Monday, December 14, 2009

4 Week Checkup

Samba went to visit Dr B today. It's been four weeks since she started treatment for MMM. She's had a few side effects from the high doses of steroids, but nothing we can't live with. She's lost six pounds so she's going to get her wish and get bigger servings at meal time. Her voice has gotten higher, she has a slight tremor and her hair is getting thin on her tail and legs.



The good news is that she can open her mouth more than two thirds of the way. We demonstrated this by feeding her some yogurt in the examining room. The doctor watched how she moved her mouth and how aggressively she grabbed the spoon. He was very pleased with her progress.

The part that bothers me the most is the muscle loss. Her head feels like a skeleton with hair. The area marked temporalis muscle is gone. There's a deep hole there. Her whole muzzle feels thinner. The muscle that has been lost is gone forever. The muscles around it will get stronger and take over the job of the ones that are missing, but she'll never have a nice smooth, rounded head again. Dr B says that most people won't notice because of all her hair, but it feels so strange to me, and it makes me so very sad.

So tomorrow we'll cut her Prednisone from 40 mg daily to 30 mg. With luck some of the side effects will go away as the dosage drops. She'll stay at this level for a month as long as she continues as she is. We'll also do some mild physical therapy with her ball and a soft toy. We're using the ball to judge what level she's at. If she continues to carry the ball, we're Ok, if she won't carry the ball, she's in trouble and we have to see the doctor immediately.


Here is Noah kissing his Mom and telling her how glad he is that she's feeling better.

14 comments:

Mad about Craft said...

I hope she carries on the way she is doing. She looks bright eyed and bushy tailed in the photo.

gaylen said...

Oh I'm so glad that she's doing better. what a good boy Noah is - making sure his mommy feels okay.

I know what you mean about her head feeling hollow - there is a definate spot on Abby's spine where they removed the disc and it feels really weird! g

charlie girl said...

I'm so happy to hear she's improving.

GoldenTracks said...

Sue, I'm so glad Samba's check up was positive. These days, we'll take every step forward that we can get. I understand the feeling of sadness you feel....really, really understand. It's like I feel when I look at Sunny's sores and wonder what they mean and if they will go away.

Bitsy said...

Sue, I am so glad that you got to see Dr. B today and that you got a good report...I am praying that Samba will respond favorably to the meds, she is such a good girl..thanks for keeping us all posted...all any of us can do is live each day to the fullest and seize the day...

The OP Pack said...

We will keep our paws crossed that the decrease in meds works well for her and that she continues to improve. Good thing for all those beautiful curls - we had a black cockapoo who had both eyes removed due to glaucoma and he had a curly black mop on top that made it hard for most people to realize he had no eyes.

Hope you are also feeling better.

Woos, the OP Pack

Sam said...

I'm glad she's feeling better, too. It doesn't sound like a very fun thing to deal with, but you guys are all making the best of it.

bbes tribe said...

Glad to hear Samba is doing better. Noah seems to be helping you take good care of her. We will keep our paws crossed.
Tailwags
Ernie & Sasha

Maggie and Mitch said...

We're so happy to hear this encouraging news, Samba! You look wonderful to us!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

We hope Samba continues to progress - what a sweet picture of her and Noah.

Lynn

Channon said...

I'm glad she's holding her own. LOVE that last photo of Noah worrying over his mom. Here's hoping that she continues to stay the course and those steroid side effects go away.

Julies knitting corner said...

This is a tough time for you, you would not think looking at her that so much has happend to her. But as you say the vet is happy with how she is doing so that must feel good to hear. I am sure with all the care you have been giving her she will get stronger. Julie.C

Marjie said...

I'm glad she's doing better. It's so hard on us when the kids and pups are sick...we don't know what to do with them.

Dianne said...

I'm so glad she's doing better. Give her kisses from everyone here.