Allergies, seizures, Cushing’s, oh my.

Melvin continues to challenge the medical community.  His allergies are flaring up a bit right now and to be honest, I’m not even sure why.  My guess is he has developed an allergy to something he was fine with just a few months ago.  Why universe, why?

Itchy McItcherson and his sidekick, wonky-legged-diaper boy.  IMG_0073

Also, his back arthritis is taking him some getting used to. He’s on pain medication, laser therapy, and he takes joint supplements but the fact remains he can’t always pull jumps off.  This is the phase in his life when he doesn’t realize his body has limitations so he attempts things and it doesn’t work out and he ends up wiping out.  Not fun for him to go through, terrible to watch.  I help him up and hope he remembers next time.  In the same way a puppy learns what he can and can’t do, and older dog realizes that laying on the rug is sometimes easier than hoping up on the bed.  And that my dear readers, is the exact moment you join them on the floor.


His liver values continue to stink.  We aren’t talking a hundred or two hundred over, we are in the thousands off count (we like to overachieve!).  A popular theory is that he may have Cushing’s.  The problem is, it’s incredibly hard to test him for it and perhaps even more difficult to treat him.  My guy has been on prednisone his whole life.  Long before I got him and everyday since he came to me at age three (he is now nine).  He has been at the internist or at the normal vet on days when we have withheld morning food/pills and by noon, he is gnawing his body.  The prednisone was a life decsion.  It was part of the master plan: we choose joy over time.  If there was something that could take the place of the pred, we would make that move in a heartbeat.  But as of yet, nothing works like it.  And seeing him chew his body to relive the intense itching…no. No.

Sometimes, post seizure or after a bad liver update, we don’t get the answers we’d like.  We often get no answers at all. Sometimes we all just agree to watch him, look into alternatives, pray for a change in direction. I don’t love that part, it used to weigh on me a lot more than it does now.  Now I just head home with Melvin and give him ice cream or something else he shouldn’t have but that makes him so happy that it’s worth it.

Ice cream coma. IMG_0057

While I am not happy about the things that haunt him, I refuse to be sad. He doesn’t know he’s a hot mess and I find so much humor in that.  He’s loving, and exuberant and constantly hungry.  He continues to drool water farther than any dog I have ever seen.  He’s Melvin, and this is part of what I got when I rescued him. It’s a package deal.

Always seek the joy.


28 thoughts on “Allergies, seizures, Cushing’s, oh my.

  1. This hit home for me. (When I got Frannie, I didn’t realize she came with a whole host of mental, skin, and ongoing GI issues…) They are very much a labor of love. 🙂 Hope Melvin feels better!

    • We are here if you ever want to chat! I mean you take one look at them and know you will do anything for them but it would be nice if the universe could cut them a break everyone once in a while!

  2. I swear there’s some kind of alter universe where Indiana and Virginia dwell on each side of a mirror.
    I hate that you all are going through this, but luckily for Melvin, he has you to see him through.

    • He is a babe!!! It’s what we do, we love them. I wouldn’t trade a single moment, I really think that animals find us for a reason and we learn why they found us as we go along.

  3. Your post brings tears to my eyes for both you & Melvin. I have struggled with a special needs dog, too and yes, it can be heartbreaking. He IS lucky to have you and you are lucky in many ways, too, although sometimes it’s hard to see that side.

    Wish there was something more that I could do to help but know you both are in my prayers regularly.

  4. Melvin is lucky to have you around to spoil him with ice cream and car rides and all the good things in life, I hope things turn around and you get some answers. But, if they don’t I know that you’ll find a way to get through, dogs have a way of helping us do that.

  5. Melvin brings such joy to my world and I only know him through your wonderful blog so I can only imagine the love and joy you guys share every day. Beautiful!

  6. Very sweet…I have a dog who is aging quickly too, a Cushings one at that. It is hard to watch her try to get on the bed or couch and fail. Butterscotch sends Melvin her sympathies.

  7. I’m so sorry about these problems. I have an itchy dog too, somewhat controlled with benadry twice a day and atopica – which comes with liver issues. I have him on Milk Thistle to protect his liver and it works. You may have already talked to your vet about this, but there has been a lot of testing with Milk Thistle and it shows good results in human and animal tests. Good luck with your sweet boys.

    • We did the Atopica for a while, cutting it out didn’t make much of a difference skin wise but it did help with liver values for a while. I have tried Milk Thistle in the past, he is on a couple of Liver friendly supplements but I should revisit the Milk Thistle, I feel like it’s alway good to retry, you never know when something might kick in. The itchy ones, OYE! Good luck to guys too!

  8. I love Melvin. I’m glad you sit on the floor with him. I have some of the same issues that Melvin has to deal with. the Itchies, the back problems, the back legs that don’t seem to work like they used to. My acupuncture dr. did some magic for my itchies with a little bag of gunk out of our vacuum cleaner. He just holds that little bag on my neck for awhile and I’m pretty much itch free for a month! Magic! And I get Boswellia and Yucca Extract and SamE for my back and arthritis. That stuff makes me feel really good!!! I hope you find some answers for Melvin. The best answer is to just love him. and you do that for sure!

  9. Dealing with the same thing with my boy, he’s been on steroids since he was 1. Milk Thistle and SamE have helped a ton though with his liver values. My boy is only 7 and I already see him aging a lot over the last year. Medically the last year was rough on him. Sometimes I lock his little annoying sister out of the bedroom and cuddle with just him for a bit (little sisters don’t like him getting attention!). Plus he’s my sleeping in buddy, he’d sleep in all day if I’d just lay there with him 🙂

    • That part about aging around 7, yes! I recall that. Melvin’s head used to be so big (he’s an English lab) and his blockhead started thinning out so much around 7. I think they all it pred head. I call it sad! Know that we are here with you, going through it all! Loving them is just so easy.

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