Please Help Bear Fight Vasculitis
January 2018 Update – Bear has undergone treatment under the the guidance of two specialists, and his nose and other external sores have healed up well over time. However having an autoimmune disease means remaining on expensive medications and having flare ups that require ongoing veterinary care. Bear had one such flare up in mid-December and another one after the new year that caused lesions and difficulty walking, requiring visits to the emergency hospital. Those two visits alone cost over $1,400 and thankfully there were emergency funds available to cover the costs. However those funds are generally not available for our clients like Bear which is why we have individual fundraiser for dogs with larger and ongoing medical needs.
Original Post – From Bear’s owner: At the beginning of January, 2017 we rushed Bear to the emergency clinic because of a swollen right front leg that he could not walk on. It had one small wound that was referred to as an elbow callus. Our regular vet followed up with blood tests, a lymph node aspiration, x-rays, and an ultrasound.
By then Bear had lost all of the hair on that leg and this skin was turning dark in pigment, almost black. We were referred to an internist who did another aspiration of his leg and more blood work. All of his tests came back showing that Bear was healthy. We were sent to another internal medicine specialist since they did not know what was wrong. This second specialist did a CT scan of his leg, biopsies, cultures, and more blood work. Again, these tests did not reveal any problems.
We were eventually referred to a dermatology specialist who took one look at Bear and said “that is textbook vasculitis.” We began what we were told was the only treatment for vasculitis, and were told it would take two to three months for him to begin healing. We gave it time, and his front leg started to grow fur back and improve. But then his back leg began to swell, lose all its fur and have open wounds that he could not walk on.
About two months into the treatment of his back leg, Bear got two nose bleeds in one day. I rushed him back to the emergency clinic. They ran blood tests but the results came back normal again. Our dermatology vet then changed his medicine to one with steroids in it. He was panting heavily and beyond lethargic, but we were told it was just typical side effects.
However his panting turned to wheezing and heavy breathing. He began losing pigment in his nose and his lip and his jowl swelled up. His nose bleeds began happening daily. Now his entire snout is swollen, the skin around his left eye swells up, and he has thickened lips that make it hard for him to use his mouth. Another CT scan and more x-rays revealed nothing significant.
However biopsy results did show an inflammatory reaction in Bear’s nose which may have worsened because of the steroids. Bear has been put on an anti-fungal medication while we wait for fungal cultures to come back. Bear continues to be very lethargic and having a hard time breathing. His nose and jaw are very sensitive and he will not let us touch them even to clean it.
We are waiting for a referral to come in so that Bear can see the specialist who has been successfully treating Stinky, another Bandit’s Bandaid client with vasculitis. We have already paid many thousands for Bear’s care since January. This fundraiser will mainly focus on his future testing and veterinary needs as we know this will be a long process to get him back to health.
MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets – Dallas
12101 Greenville Ave, Suite 118
Dallas, TX 75243
Central Texas Veterinary Specialty Hospital
291 Chisholm Trail
Round Rock, Texas 78681
State of Florida Registration Number CH37352. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Florida Division of Consumer Services by calling toll free (within the State) 800-435-7352. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State.