Thursday, April 14, 2016

Flash and Valley Fever (again)

Ben and Noah were watching The Flash last weekend. When I walked by the art table, I saw this drawing.
I thought, oh that's cute of Ben.  Then, come to find out, Noah did it!  I was shocked.  What 6 year old makes bubble letters.  I couldn't even master those in high school.  When Noah said it was his, I didn't believe him and had to ask Ben.  How bad is that?  But, it's a compliment to Noah, so he forgave me.

In other news...we are having Rocko issues.  We took him to the vet last week for a routine check up and to get caught up on shots.  He has a mole by his eye and we were curious about removal and what we thought was a little fatty tumor under his arm.  Then, the vet pats him on the head and says, "I'm more concerned about the lump on his eyebrow".  What lump?  It blended in with his brow bone and was about the size of a cranberry, so very easy to miss.

So, he wants to biopsy it.  Okay.  It comes back as a single organism of Valley Fever.  Oh gosh no.  Forest had Valley Fever. It's a disease prone to Arizona as it's carried by a fungus in dirt and gets spread in the wind. Dogs are sometimes on medication for the rest of their lives.  And the bad news, in 2013, the price of this medicine skyrocketed.  We paid about $8 a month for Forest.  Now, they want $85 a month!  What!  And the vet says if you are done with medicine in 18 months, consider yourself lucky.  That's $1500.  Plus $230 blood tests every 6 months.  We did find a place with cheaper medicine, but it's still a significant amount of money, and we can't say for sure that it would be done in 18 months.  This could be for the rest of his life, which on a golden retriever is typically 10-12 years.

Rocko is almost 9 years old, but he is the picture of health.  We know how dogs act with Valley Fever, no energy, no appetite, coughing, etc.  Rocko doesn't have a single symptom.  The doctor did a blood draw to confirm the results and his titer ratio of 1:64 shows he is a very sick dog.  What?  We walk 2.5 miles every day.  Forest couldn't do that when he had valley fever.  It's just very bizarre.  I mean, it isn't like Rocko is acting like he's fine for our benefit.  He's a dog.  If he's not feeling great, you know it.

We just have a lot of questions at this point.  How can we commit to over $2000 worth of medicine and blood draws for the next 18 months when our dog seems totally fine.  Humans can be carriers or have valley fever and their body doesn't register symptoms.  Can dogs do the same?  We aren't really getting a lot of answers as our vet has had 3 cases of this up here.  It's more prone to Phoenix and southern areas.

The vet also recommended teeth cleaning, mole removal, etc, which is close to $1,000 since they have to put him under for all of those procedures.

So, we go back and fourth on what to do.  We may just let him ride it out and keep giving him the best possible life we can.  We have no clue when symptoms could present themselves...a week, a month, a year.  Who knows how long he's had valley fever, and he's the happiest dog around right


Linda said...

That's awesome, Noah! :)

Hope you find solutions for Rocko!
On a dog note, my sister Angie let us all know that their beloved Jake (a Shepherd - only 7 years old) has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and has 3 months left to live. They are understandably all very heart broken and we share their sadness with this news. Our pets are definitely our family.

Love, Linda

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the mis spelled name ROCKO!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the mis spelled name ROCKO!!!Hey what's going on I just left my comments mispelling Rocko's name and they are gone??? Maybe they are just hiding and will reappear when I get out of here.

Anonymous said...

Nope they seem to have vanished into thin air... Maybe the FLASH came and scooped them up and made them vanish. Anyway I am not going to try to remember what I wrote before I just wanted to say the drawing did remind me of Ben's work several years ago ... so Noah has talent too!And as for Rocko I will keep him in my prayers as he is such a sweet dog and I love him too. Hope you have a good weekend.