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Easter Sunday April, 8, 2007

Foster has been at the ER vet since 9:30 last night when we rushed him there because he could not urinate or defecate. Last night the radiographs did not show any mass which was good but the possibility of one being there and not visible was still pretty great. The vet called after we arrived back home after midnight to say he could feel swelling of the prostate so much it was blocking everything else. I went to bed thinking it was still not sounding very promsing but am greatly encouraged this Easter morning!

I just hung up from the attending vet at the moment ( 10:30 a.m. ). This is the 3rd vet since we went there at 9:30 last night. Since its a 24 hour clinic they have shifts of vets and this is the morning shift. This guy sounds older and wiser so I am encouraged. Its one of three things, two of which can be treated. Since he's younger ( 4 - 6 ) and neutered , he thinks the chances of it being cancer are not so great. Also because the prostate is enlarged unilateraly and evenly which cancer would not do. Foster removed the foley cather (of course like any self respecting giant), lol. They left it out for a couple hours to see if he could pee and he is still blocked up big time so its going back in with measures so he can't remove it. He is going to stay there today until around lunch tomorrow when I will pick him up and get him to my regular vet for a biopsy of the prostate to be sure which it is, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or prostatitis (sp?) .....can be treated with propecia and the other treated with meds.

Its looking better than I originally suspected, thank God! I am going up to hand feed him in a couple hours since no one there knows the procedure we go through to feed my dog without aspirating him. They can deal with the other end which is not working and I'll deal with the front end that requires very specific methods of feeding so he doesn't choke and suck food into his lungs.

Please keep my boy in your prayers as he is not out of the woods yet and if you would like to help with Foster's vet bills we would greatly appreciate it. IF you feel led to do so please make a check out and mail to:

Debbie Stover
2807 Allen Street #616
Dallas, TX 75204

We greatly appreciate your help, thoughts and prayers for this most unique giant boy! Please include your email addy and name so we can list you as one of Foster's angels.


Foster's visit to Texas A&M University
Feb 9, 05 - Feb. 12, 05

Texas A&M Vet School small Animal Clinic

Texas A&M Vet School small Animal Clinic

4th year vet student Caleb Haelwort was Foster's personal care taker and doc

4th year vet student Caleb Haelwort was Foster's personal care taker and doc

Foster and I drove down to College Station, TX bright and early on Wed. Feb 9, 05. We arrived around 10:30 and once we were checked in, Caleb (4th yeard vet student) and Lindsay (3rd year vet student) came and took us to a room and began the initial work up. I told them everything I know about Foster and what we go through when he eats, how I feed him, etc. They weighed him, listed to his heart and then took him away. After consulted with Dr. Vinayak who explained all the procedures Foster would be having in the next days.

Basically the plan was to run tests and do a process of elimination of everything that "could" be causing his eating and drinking and aspirating problem until they find out what it is.

Wednesday after I left they did chest xrays to make sure there was no aspiration pneumonia since his chest sounded "dull" on the right side when they listened to his breathing and heart. Chest was clear so that was good news. they also did an esophagram and endoscope and those were good. They did biopsies of the stomach and the duodenum and took some mucuous samples of the trachea since there was a l ot of mucuous there.

Thursday they did the flouroscope and bronchoscope and those were good too. They took blood to send off to check his hypothyroid levels and for an ACTH test for possible Addisons. They also sent blood off for myastenia gravis. all three of these things can cause isolated cases of swalowing difficulties in rare cases. The results are not back from the bloodwork as of today, Wed. Feb 16, 05

Friday they just observed and saw what he does when he eats and drinks. He did have some trouble while he was there and aspirated at some point in time while there. The prognosis is pharyngeal disphagia which is unfortunate as this cannot be fixed with surgery. least we know what we are up against and will deal with this for the duration of this sweet boy's life. I'm happy to know all the things its not but I am bummed this is what it is. I was so looking forward to him being fixed and eing able to eat like a normal dog. It just enver occured to me he couldn't be fixed.

I got up bright and early and raced down to A&M to get my boy Saturday morning Feb 12, 05. I arrived around 10:30 and Caleb brought Foster out to me about 5 minutes later. he was happy to see me but not as happy as I thought he woudl have been. I thanked Caleb and we talked about all the things its not and the blodowrk we are waiting on then I took the pix of Foster and Caleb for our web pages. foster and I took a little walk out front then began our 3 hour drive back home. If you have the oppotunity to use this awesome vet school I strongly recommend it as they do everything possibly kown to mankind to find the answers for your animal's problem! while it may not be the answer you were hoping for, knowing what the prob is makes a huge difference. Thank you Caleb and A&M!!

Foster had an arrythmia while under anesthesia so it is possible he also has a heart condition called Dilated Cardiomylopathy (DCM) that is common in deep chested breeds such as rotties, shepherds, danes. This is not what I wanted to hear either and means we need to have a sonogram and other tests done once we have the aspiration pneumonia cleared up. This mean more major vet bills for this boy in the not too disant future. If you would like to help support Foster's medical bills we greatly appreciate your help as always.

Saturday evening Foster was having problems swallowing and wasn't really interested in eating. I figured his throat was sore from having the various things poked down it so wasn't totally worried yet. Sunday morning he refused to eat and felt hot to touch. He was really coughing and swallowing and clearly not acting right so we went to the ER clinic. He had a temp of 103.1 and xrays showed the very beginnings of aspiration pneumonia. Doc gave him a PPG injection and sent me home with clavamox. He told me to continue coupage and bring him back to work in the morning so our daytime docs can see him. I work in a vet clinic that is also an ER at nights and on weekends.

Foster and I went to work Monday and we began giving him baytril injections IM and started using the nebulizer and tent so we can aggressively beat this aspiration pneumonia before it really sets in. Same thing on Tuesday and today Wednesday. I can tell a difference in my boy today. He seems to feel better, isn't as noisy when breathing and the swallowing difficulties have subisded considerably His throat must be less irritated now. He hasn't eaten very much since last Wed and has lost about 11 pounds. He ate tonight (Wed) and we didn't have any trouble so I'm thrilled about that! Looks like we have made the turn toward beating the pneumonia, yea!!!

Foster with his head in the nebulizer tent

He doesn't love this but is a good boy and sits and lets me hold his head in my lap while he gets a tent full of steam.

Thursday Feb 17,05
A&M called yesterday and Foster does not have Addisons or myastenia gravis which is good. All of his tests came back fine other than the bacterial infection in his lungs. When they called they said he needs to be on baytril right away which he has been on since Monday so we are way a head of that now. She was glad to hear that he had been on baytril and being nebulized already.

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