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Thursday, October 20, 2011

A miracle?

As some of you know, K has had more than her share of health issues over the past 18 months that have resulted in a toe amputation and her being on antibiotics for at least half of the 18 months. I'm not complaining - I know that everything could have been far worse.

Despite all of the setbacks, K recovered from the toe amputation and has been my mountain biking buddy this year.
Her latest issue has been a series of urinary tract infections that have recurred many times since April, including a serious kidney infection. We thought that we'd put that whole ordeal behind us until a recent culture of the bacteria in her vagina showed MRSI, a very serious antibiotic-resistant staph infection.

Because the antibiotics that could fight this infection were also potentially toxic to K, the vet and I decided to do another culture, to be super-certain that K truly had MRSI before putting the evil antibiotics in her body. I found out yesterday that the culture results seem to hold some optimism but they're very confusing. The results showed that, as of 6 days ago, K still had a staph infection but the majority of bacteria in the culture were no longer resistant to standard antibiotics. This result is confusing because we did nothing to treat her in between cultures.
After the second sample of cells was taken, we started K on estrogen replacement therapy and on vaginal flushes with antibacterial medicine in them. Remember, however, that we started these things *after* the sample was taken... so they didn't cause the different results. And, yes, you read that correctly - "vaginal flushes". I have been trained by my vet on how to give my dog a douche. It's a trifle embarrassing... especially when a friend arrives at the door unannounced in the middle of the procedure (that actually happened)! Fortunately, rather than laughing at the absurdity of the situation, my friend jumped right in and distracted K with treats while I did my work.

After seeing the latest culture results, we consulted an internal medicine specialist who said to continue on this path and re-do the culture in a couple of weeks. Her hope was that K's body had rallied in between cultures and started killing the bacteria on its own. If she's right, we may avoid the dangerous antibiotics altogether.

I hate being in limbo land... I prefer to make a plan and stick with it. Instead, we're in "wait-and-see" mode. I guess that's better than having K be truly sick. She never has seemed like she had a whole-body illness so far in this episode.

Today, we mountain biked together, through our favorite aspen grove. Can you believe how different it looks from two weeks ago? It was like a golden heaven then.
It's hunting season here - that's why K is wearing a blaze orange vest.

So, I'm working on relaxing while we "wait and see". In the meantime, I promise that we'll be having lots of fun and enjoying sunrises/sunsets like the one that painted K's fur red in the photo below.
As an aside, when I searched the web for things related to "spontaneous recovery from MRSI", I hit a bunch of sites focused on miracles.

34 comments:

  1. You know you have a true friend when she helps you give your dog a douche!

    Hope K continues on her recovery.

    Cindy

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  2. We sure hope K continues recovering

    Stop on by for a visit
    Kari
    http://dogisgodinreverse.com

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  3. Sounds like a miracle to us!!

    AROOOOOF!
    Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

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  4. We are firm believers in miracles. We hope the wait and see time flies by and brings good results.

    K looks truly majestic in that first photo.

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  5. Hi Y'all!

    Wow! so great to hear your news! We're so happy for y'all!

    I keep meaning to get Hawk a vest instead of just his red collar that I put on this time of year. However, we are hiking on our own or family land whenever we're off lead so no one should be hunting...but you never know. Our nieces dog was shot on our farm by a neighbor who thought it was a coyote that had been getting into his sheep. He apologized but it didn't help much.

    BrownDog's Human

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  6. Yeah, your so handsome in your get up today, wearing helmet and a black shades, wow so fabulous getup Woof! I love your photos, it shows that you are adventurous! :)


    ----------------------------
    It's all About Pet Fences | Dog Fence

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  7. We believe in miracles !
    We are wishing on moons and stars, and crossing our paws for K!
    And we want you to "breathe deep",, we wait with you. Remember we are by your side.
    We love looking at your world,, there will be lots for you to show us. And K will be right with you.
    love
    tweedles

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  8. Sorry K has had such a rough patch.
    Sounds like you are doing all the right things and she looks wonderful....paws crossed.

    Wyatt and Stanzie

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  9. I believe in miracles too! You have many furiends who will be hopin' and prayin' dat K wil be OK:)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

    PeeS K looks too cool fur school in da furst foto!

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  10. K is super lab! What wonderful news. Hope the estrogen and douches help keep her in tip top shape for years to come.

    Mango Momma

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  11. We believe in miracles, too, but I AM giggleing a little :-)

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  12. K sure is one special companion thats for sure
    Benny & Lily

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  13. If it makes you feel any better, at one point I had to medicate Hawk's remaining masculine area after he developed a sheath infection. Hubby flat out refused to do it, saying "No guy touches another guy there, even if it's across species!" Apparently Hawk agreed, because he'd lift up his back leg to give me easier access and let out this groan every time I applied the antibiotic cream. The only thing that could have made it worse was if someone else had seen the whole process! I hope that K is feeling much better soon! I don't have any doubts that she's a miracle, based on all she's done, and I don't imagine you have any either.

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  14. K deserve all the miracles she can get! Look at those beautiful and the love she reflects, the same that is received.

    24 Paws Crossed. :)

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  15. You have a wonderful friend! I would like to think that I would of done the same thing!
    The wait and see approach is so hard but it seems as though what K is doing on her own is working, after all, she, herself is a miracle:)

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  16. We believe in miracles...and in the determined body's ability to fight off almost anything! You are both cut from the same cloth, Warrior Woman. We send our most powerful White Dog healing energy that this "sweeping out the bad" continues. Believe...trust...relax.

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  17. Give miracles a chance! I am a believer, and so are many others on our blog list.
    Right along you have had lots of people praying and wishing for K's recovery . . .maybe you got it!

    Cheers, hugs and prayers (that includes you and your back as well!)

    Jo

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  18. For what it's worth we're big , big believers in miracles . They work for family dogs and their biking owners !

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  19. K is quite the fighter and we have full confidence in her, and you!

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  20. The things we do for our dogs, huh? She'll get better - we are sending healing vibes her way!

    Sam

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  21. Sending more good thoughts to Miracle K!
    I always wonder what our dogs think while we're doing these crazy medical things...

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  22. We believe in miracles too. We are keeping paws crossed and good thoughts for you all. K that she continues improving and for you that you feel better than you have.
    Wags
    Ernie,Sasha,Chica,Lucas
    PeeEss: All pics are fantastic. K's with the helmet and specs is sooooo cute. How patient is she to do that for you....

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  23. whoa, that all sounds so intense. I wish the two of you the best as you find out what is wrong and how to heal!

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  24. hhhmmm...I'm suddenly reminded of that Hot Chocolate song.... =)

    We've had crossed paws for you and K over here. Wishing for the best possible MRI results too.

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  25. OMD! Doggie douche? That is some serious love. Hope she fights and licks, err, conquers it, on her own. W/o drugs.

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  26. We're so very happy for K! Hope her own immune system continues to battle away for her and she finally gets over this. We do believe in blessings, which is practically the same thing as miracles. May you both continue to be blessed.

    Jed & Abby

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  27. ~~~~~~~~~~~these are miracle vibes~~~~~~coming your way! Had to laugh at the douche story...we had anal sack episodes with our previous dog...mmm mmm doggy!!!

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  28. Loved that first photo! What a trooper!
    Good to hear that K is feeling good now.

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  29. Well, I guess you have to do what you have to do. Any of us would, and if it helps, and she avoids the powerful antibiotic treatment it would be awesome! I hope all goes well, and will check back later for updates. Hang in there!

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  30. Thinking about you! Enjoy those sunrises and sunsets...may they bring that special light and shine away.

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

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  31. Hi, I am somewhat knew to your blog so when I read that you have Dersomething Disk Disease, the first thing that crossed my mind was whether or not you have a Tens Unit? It is a little unit that sends electrical pulses(through a gel pad) into your body. It soundls kind of scary, but it is completely pain free. My mother also has back problems and the Tens Unit has just saved her! It is an amazing alternative to painkillers and other meds.

    Just is case you don't have a Tens Unit and want to know more you can contact us at swimtaxi234.blogspot.com. Just leave a comment. :-)

    ~B~

    PS: Feel better soon K!

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  32. It sounds like good news to me. It'd be great if K can avoid the antibiotics. But yes, mysterious. Bodies tend to be that way.

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  33. I'm so glad K seems to be fighting the infection on her own, and I hope the stronger meds will not be needed.

    I can't believe how quickly the world changes this time of year. If the brilliant color lasted longer, I suppose it wouldn't be as special. But I sure love it when we have it!

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