Barney has not been well!
December 25th 2006
Not quite the Christmas
Day we were expecting! Barney was rushed off to the vet early this
morning, out of the blue last night he did not want to eat his usual
evening meal, a first time ever for Barney refusing food.
Overnight he started with this awful dry retching which
gradually got worse and worse, by morning he was in a great deal of
pain and very distressed and running a very high temp. 106F. Well,
thank the Lord, for my vet! I phoned Ros, and this on Christmas Day
Morning, she said to meet her at the surgery in 20 mins! We were
able to get him stabilised and comfortable with anti-spasdomic,
antibiotic and pain killer injections. Thankfully he was not
dehydrated so I was able to take him home an hour later with
instructions to fast him and keep him hydrated with the electrolyte
solution she gave me and she would come out to me if necessary. With
encouragement he did keep drinking a little of the solution every
hour and I didn't even need to use the syringe or do subcutenous
hydration. Boxing Day he had more antibiotics and I continued
encouraging him to drink. He was already feeling much cooler and
showed some interest when I fed Pixie and Spike but fluids only,
little and often. When we saw Ros again on the Wednesday his
temperature was down to normal and he was no longer hunch backed,
tail down and had even jumped into the van rather than needed to be
helped. Much better! Even attempted a feeble wag when he saw Ros. We
did the bloodwork then and got the initial results on Friday. As
expected the WBC was high and indicative of an infection (we treated
with antibiotics for ten days) but more worrying was that the lipase
and amylase levels were elevated, indicative of pancreatitis,
further testing which we got results in a few days later, (I might
have this wrong but I think was cPLI), confirmed this diagnosis.
Since the attack I initially was feeding Barney just little and
often with chicken breast and rice, but have gradually been
introducing more foods back in over the past two weeks and he has
been doing fine on them, nothing wrong with his appetite now.
When Barney was first
diagnosed with pancreatitis and the initial bloodwork results came
back in my vet was the first to say that no-one knows just what
causes this disease, and that opinions differ on how to treat it.
Some vets may prescribe steroids to reduce inflammation but long
term use of steroids can in fact be one of the factors causing
pancreatitis but this more likely with a dog who has been treated
for a while with these drugs for a condition such as arthritis.
Barney did not present
with any of the usual symptoms, he had not actually been vomiting,
had diarrhea or previously been prone to gassy attacks or other GI
tract problems. Had no allergies, was not on any medication and had
not got at any fatty stuff to bring on the attack.
A previously very healthy
Berner, he will be nine in April, out of the blue on Christmas Eve
he refused his late night feed of kibble for the first time ever.
Thankfully this Berner is
now doing very well again, the antibiotics brought his temperature
back down and since then he has been eating little and often on a
low fat diet, I started
him off after the 48 hr fast with chicken breast and rice, little
and often and have gradually been adding new foods back in. Over the
last week I have reintroduced lean red meat again, all fat trimmed
His diet presently is Low
Fat and consists mainly of high quality protein and root
veggies/rice/cereals with low glycemic vegetables cooked or pureed.
We did further bloodwork
on Wednesday and will get the results on Monday 22nd Jan. '07
In the meantime Barney
is doing well, his appette is good and he is coming out for walks
again with Pixie and Spike
22nd January, 2007
My vet just phoned a while ago with the results of Barney's
bloodwork we took last Wednesday
Good news is that that the amylase and lipose levels which were
the indication of pancreatitis are now back to within normal ranges!
His WBC is also back to normal!
Still of concern is that two of the three liver enyme levels
tested are still slightly elevated but not so unusual in an older
dog, (he will be nine in April) his RBC is still the same at the
lower end of normal so we will continue to monitor him and keep him
on the low fat diet, feeding little and often.
We see the vet again a week on Wednesday to check his weight,
he did dramatically lose weight during this Acute Attack of
Pancreatitis over the Holidays but I am feeding lots of extra carbs
(mostly root veggies from my garden) at the moment and he is in
pretty good shape so hoping that he will gradually regain the lost
weight and muscle tone.
Today he had a really good day! Is very cold here now in the UK
and we have snow predicted, it had been unseasonably warm and very
wet but today was a chill North Wind blowing in! All the dogs had
such fun today running free in the fields, Barney was like a puppy
out there running full pelt with Pixie and even play fighting with
her again, so good to see this Berner Boy bouncing around again.
Vet visit next week, we will then decide whether to do further
bloodwork and run a full liver function spectrum but for the moment
is good news!
31st January, 2007
Not a good day!
Today was the scheduled
weight check for Barney and yesterday afternoon I had thought all
was going so well, he has been eating well the last few weeks and
has really been back to his normal self. The last week or so he and
Pixie have been chasing down in the bottom meadow and swimming in
the pond, having so much fun and he has been really clowning around
Yesterday, had his feed at 5 pm and ate the lot, chicken breast
and rice, he has been on four small feeds a day the last weeks, his
10 pm feed he ate only a little!....Noooooo!!!
This morning he was a little subdued and reluctant to come with
us but eventually came for a gentle stroll down the garden, we were
due at the vets anyway for 4 pm so I did not try to feed him, just
made sure he was drinking still. Somewhat interested when I fed the
other two at lunchtime but not his usual breakneck to be first in
the kitchem, hmmm! Just cocked his head and stayed where he was!
Nose by this time feeling slightly warm and just a couple of times
he did that awful dry retching again!
Well, the news from the vet visit, sort of good is that his
weight is the same as two weeks ago, he has not lost weight though I
had hoped to see some improvement here! He has been eating so very
Bad news is that his temp.was 105 F and he is now back on the
All being well, the plan here is this time to keep him on the
antibiotics perhaps for three weeks, I will speak to her on Friday,
pencilled in is that I may need to bring him in for furher bloodwork
and discuss perhaps doing scans. Hoping for the best he is doing
very well again in which case we will see her again in two weeks for
a further check.
This is no way as bad as the intial attack over the Cihristmas
Holidays, when Barney was in such pain, all paws crossed that we
have nipped this episode in the bud.
Ros, said to feed him small amounts if he wanted them, and when
I fed Pixie and Spike a while ago he was very keen and first in the
kitchen. I gave just the tiniest bit of chicken breast with a
spoonful of mashed potato and he is now sleeping peacefully,
Will feed him a little more later all goes well!
Had hoped that Christmas was a one off episode and we were
dealing with a single attack of Acute Pancreatis but in my heart I
knew that Barney had not been gorging on stuff he shouldn't have to
bring this on and we were into a long term haul.
Will update on Friday after we speak to the vet again .
From my last addition here re. Barney things got very bad, on
the Friday he continued with the raised temperature and a very
worrying rapid heartbeat of some 160 beats per minute, ultrasound
scans at that point were giving concern that something was very
wrong his spleen and possibly Hemangiosarcoma, the following Monday
we did further tests but showed the spleen, liver and pancreas as
normal. However seemed that a mass in his chest was pushing his
other organs out of place.
We could not get a clear picture at that time as that heart
beat was so very rapid so became a priority to calm it down
Further x-rays taken a week later confirmed that there is a
strange mass in his chest, the heart is somewhat enlarged and his
windpipe is being pushed up towards his spine and would account for
his other organs also being displaced.
Not an easy place to do further investigation and would entail
a great deal of risk even to do a biopsy!
So I have chosen not to go further with specialist consults
but to treat the symptoms here, some type of cancer at work?
Barney straight away on the cancer diet, High Protein/High
Barney for the last week has been on medication primarily to
get that heart beat stabilised, further antibiotics to get that temp
and the WBC down! And the supplements I have been giving him, Essiac
Tea, Cantron, probiotics and digestive enzymes.
Cottage cheese and flax seed oil for breakfast!
Yesterday we saw our vet again and was a good visit!
Barney's heart beat was down, his weight is back up to 50.2
kilos where it was when this all started!
So far so good! Yesterday Barney was Bouncy!:-))
Barney continues to do so
very well, we have slightly upped his heart meds after we took
bloodwork a few weeks ago, his resting heartrate is now down to
80/84 beats per minute, was 160 when we so feared for his life.
He is happily coming for walks again, does a mile in the
morning up into the woods and again in the afternoon.
He is eating very well on the cancer diet and continues to
enjoy the best ever quality of life.
Barney continues to do
very well and celebrated his 9th Birthday on April 13th!
He is looking glorious as
I have also acquired a Furminator comb which really does strip out
that undercoat and also bought some of their de-shedding shampoo and
conditioner, sorry, still have to get those pictures up!
Last week was his vet check again and all went very well, his
resting heart rate at 70 - 74 bpm, just very slightly high, and even
at the vets when he gets very excited was 104 bpm, His lungs sounded
clear. We did full bloodwork and when the results came in a few days
later, wonderful news, all levels back within normal ranges!:-))
Barney will continue with the meds to control his heart rate,
the cancer diet and the many supplements I am giving him but for the
moment he is not scheduled to see the vet again for a couple more
months unless I am at all concerned about him, of course!
He is eating well, full
of energy and coming for his 2 ml daily walks again.
Way to go Barney!
July 5th 2007
Somewhat belatedly as we saw the vet again with Barney a few
weeks ago, was a touch worrying as his heartrate was up again
slightly but when we weighed him his weight was also up by 6 kilos
from the last time he was weighed and prescribed!:-))
He has regained all that weight he lost earlier this year and
it is muscle weight, hardest thing of all is to put back that solid
muscle on the rear end but Barney has done it!
We have upped the heart meds slightly to adjust to this and all
is still very good here!
He continues to do well on the Cancer Diet and the supplements
July 8th 2007
Sadly, today was the end
of the road for this brave Berner, he had done so very well.
This morning Barney
started to cough up some blood, despite our best efforts that tumour
had grown just that fraction too much.
Barney took his last sleep peacefully in my arms.
His Tribute Page here
Barney's necropsy showed it to be a bronchial carcinoma that
had spread to involve his heart muscle
Thank you all from all over the world, your support during this
time has meant so very much to us and kept us so very strong,
This very, very special picture of support from Jacki's Bodhi
helped keep us going against all odds.
Endlesslove Angels* *Endlesslove