A three dog story

Eighteen months ago our Labrador was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She was treated with IV steroids then switched to twice weekly injections. She is now fine, though even more stately than she was. Since then two more neighbours have dogs that have been diagnosed with autoimmune diseases, and we were chatting about this last week.

All three dogs were diagnosed very quickly, though three different vets were involved, and they have three different types of this disease(one sounds like a dog version of CSS), and all three were quickly put on IV steroids. The vets were very open to questions, happy to admit anything they didn't know, and to consult with others, or send their patients to someone else.

Next time, I'm going to the vet first.....

11 Replies

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  • My friend and I have always joked about this.

    When the vet takes blood tests they always say 'ring back this afternoon'

    I might just come back as a dog!!!!

  • I think this should go in a future newsletter ..... excellent...

    my sister is mad about horses and has one of her own...she went to a presentation about horses and they talked about Vasculitis in Horses..she was gobsmacked... having a brother in law with vasculitis really made her tune in to what was being said and she asked all kinds of questions..and she found the whole experience very interesting... she shared this with me at the time.. horsehints.org/Vasculitis.htm

  • Book me in for the vets! ;-) At least if I have any issues with my CSS I will be able to speak to someone immediately (unlike my own healthcare team).

    My own dog passed away 2 weeks ago and our vets were fabulous (she had kidney problems & suspected cancer). She was a much loved pet for over 15 years and the vets diagnosis was both swift and compassionate. I only wish for such circumstances when my time comes.

  • sorry to hear about your dog BB.

    It does seem animals can be better treated,

    but maybe giant steps in vet sciene may find answers for us.

  • Cheers Sandra. :-)

  • I am a veterinary nurse, and really do think the NHS should come and take some tips from us sometimes!!

    If we see a patient in consultation that needs to be admitted, it is so there and then, no waiting for a bed!! X-rays/ultrasounds or surgical procedures are 99% of the time, carried out on the same day. Owners are constantly being informed of patients progress!

    Now doesn't this sound like almost the complete opposite of the NHS!!!

  • It's a brilliant idea that the NHS should talk to vets more! Though to be fair, the vet is pretty expensive, even with pet insurance. I think the thing that really struck us was the contrast between the openness of the vets (and I include the nurses) against the closed frame of mind that is obvious in some parts of the NHS. My diagnosis overlapped with our dogs treatment, and so I was able to ask questions that the NHS just would not listen to. The dog never got sent back home, after a GPs hospital referral, with instructions to stop fussing, and not to come back until there were new symptoms. And they discussed the case with others ... no problems about referrals or second opinions.

    It's really interesting that horses can suffer too.

  • Yes the big difference is cost..it is pretty expensive to take an animal to the vet. But even if you pay privately to see a consultant there is no guarrantee he/she will know anything about Vasculitis, in fact in our experience they know less than the Consultants who have a special interest in vasculitis who work for the NHS.

    The main thing is that being aware of Vasculitis in animals is a more prominent part of a vet's training where up until recently Vasculitis was only a very minor part of a doctor's training. Strangely enough John remembers it being part of his training as a dentist back in the 60's but it was quite brief. But John had one patient in the 90's who had Wegeners Granulomatosis so was quite aware of Vasculitis before he was diagnosed himself.

  • That's interesting. Is it more common in animals? And can dentists recognise it more easily than doctors? Also, my experience backs up the lack of training in medical schools. My diagnosis was finally given by a doctor who had trained outside the UK or EU. And when I was actually in hospital I heard the English consultant say "we'd better go and google that" as he left my room....

  • You would be surprised what dentists do recognise by looking at the soft tissues in the mouth...anything out of the ordinary..such as unusual shaped and large ulcers... soft tissue lesions that look abnormal... we had one very young dentist examine the mouth and teeth of a young mum and she noticed something not quite right at the back of her throat she referred her to Maxillo-Facial at the hospital and she was diagnosed with cancer of the throat.. she did survive after lots of chemo and radiotherapy... but it could have gone unnoticed for a long time and then it might have been to late..

    I will try and find out if it is more common in animals and also if it was discovered in animals before humans..it would be interesting to know...

    Your consultant would not be the first to google Vasculitis BronteM :-(

  • My husband always says we'd be better off going to the vet's! Sounds as if he could be right.

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