Roxy update: It’s definitely blastomycosis
UPDATE 5/16/12 1:28 PM
Roxy is doing as well as we could have dreamed. She now has to go for IV treatments every other day and she takes some very expensive medicine on a daily basis, but it is working. Her cough is much improved and she has a spring in her step and a twinkle in her eye. She is still running a fever which is our biggest battle, but we have that under control for the most part. Her worst problem, though, is an inability to nurse her puppies so her poor boobs are swollen and miserable. Because I am a dedicated foster, I milked this poor baby for a couple of days to get some of the pressure off of her, followed by cool, wet compresses which she loves:
For now, the routine is every other day to the vet for IV Amphotericin B and daily oral Sporanox (not generic). Each day in the hospital costs about $200 and each pill costs about $16. The vet was kind enough to donate some old meds she had to save us some money, but her first week of care ran almost $1800. Had we not taken her home every night it would have been around four times that much. We are still fundraising for her because she may go down as the single most expensive dog EVER to grace our doors and that is saying something. Anyone who wants to donate can do so here: http://www.bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php (just be sure to note it’s for Roxy in either the company name line for credit cards or notes on paypal). She will be on the Sporanox for another month before we are able to switch her to generic itraconazole at a big savings cost wise. Overall, we expect the treatment to take a minimum of four months.
Today is bittersweet for me because we are sending her puppies away to a foster home. This will definitely upset Roxy, but it is for the best as the risk of an inadvertent nursing could be disastrous as the drugs she takes concentrate in breast milk and could cause kidney failure in the puppies. We want the very best for them and for Roxy. Thanks to everyone for the prayers, good wishes and donations. We would not be where we are without all of that.
Finally, after days of treatment and sleepless nights, we know for sure Roxy has blastomycosis. This is a very serious, very dangerous and frequently fatal fungal infection which, in Roxy’s case, has caused extreme pneumonia. This afternoon, we treated her with the Amphotericin B and started the Sporanox. Amphotericin B is a dangerous drug and sadly, Roxy’s nursing days are done as the drug concentrates in breast milk and would likely be toxic to the puppies. This is making the puppies quite angry and Roxy is very confused as to why she isn’t allowed to see her puppies. However, we cannot keep them from trying to nurse and Roxy from trying to nurse her puppies. She is an awesome Mom and she has done well by them, but they must be separated immediately to save them all. Tomorrow, since they will not be getting any breast milk, we will have to give the puppies their first set of shots to protect them from disease. At almost four weeks, we are feeding puppy milk replacement, baby food and baby cereal, and they are doing OK, but I think they would be better in smaller numbers with more attention from the foster. We need local fosters in the Nashville area who can take these youngsters on ASAP, which frankly breaks my heart as I am totally attached to the little creatures. This is not what I had planned for them.
Roxy is holding her own. Her lung x-rays showed some improvement and she is resting a little more comfortably. She has a very long way to go and remains in danger. We are guardedly optimistic. I would like to give a huge shout out to Dr. Herd who has taken phone calls at all hours of the day and night and tolerated extreme instances of foster Mom stalking. Without her help, Roxy would have died this week. We would also like to thank everyone who has kept Roxy in their prayers and/or donated for her care. We have raised about $1200 which has covered most of her costs and we will continue to fundraise for her as the medication costs will exceed $2000 most likely. Sporanox is incredibly expensive and she will be on it for many months. If you would like to donate to Roxy’s care, you can do so here: http://bigfluffydogs.com/pay-online.php. Just be sure to note in the company line that it’s for Roxy so we can thank you properly (or if on Paypal – in the notes section). As always, thanks to everyone for their support. Roxy could not do this without all of you.
For those who would like to foster, and who are in the Nashville area, please email email@example.com for information on fostering.