Last Thursday we had a vet visit and got Nilla's bloodwork re-checked.
The good news is that her kidney values are stable (not getting any worse) - so we're doing ok there. That is a relief. A couple of numbers were actually slightly better than the last bloodwork. Nilla has been eating pretty well and had a good week (showing some attitude, barking for treats, pottying normally, etc.). She can still climb the sofa-steps and get onto the couch by herself for her favorite napping spot. Physically, she appears to be pretty "sturdy" (as Diane, shaynapugs, recently described her). It's just the organs that are the problem... which brings me to:
The bad news is that her liver numbers went from normal on her last bloodwork to really high on this lab result. This is just an educated guess, but we think that it's likely that the MCT's have metastasized to her liver. This is awful news, but I guess it's not unexpected... I just hoped it wouldn't happen so soon.
So, since Nilla is now on what we are calling Hospice Care, it's all about maintaining the best possible quality of life for as long as possible. We've started Nilla on steroids (prednisone), which may help decrease the MCT's and improve her quality of life a bit more... but it's hard on the liver. So I'm going to start her on a supplement called Thorne Research S.A.T. (Siliphos, Artichoke, Turmeric) to support the liver. Nilla continues to get subcutaneous fluids to support her kidneys and she gets a handful of other supplements and pills. At some point we will need to decide when to stop all supplements/meds and just let nature take it's course, but we don't feel like that time has come yet. Nilla is a fighter and, as of right now, she is still saying that she wants to live.
Thank you all for the support and for following Nilla's journey. When we adopted this feisty little curmudgeon at 4.5 years old, she was hard to love at first. She'd had some rough experiences in her life already and wasn't sure if she could trust again - she was ready to snap at anyone who came near. She learned to love her Daddy quickly and became a Daddy's Girl, but she had to drill her way into my heart. Early on, we had to learn so much about training and managing her environment. It took constant supervision to keep her 'under threshold' for her triggers, but she's been able to live a great life - camping with us, hiking on trails, visiting stores and dining out. Now, over 12 years after bringing her into our family, watching her little body betray her has been very emotional and difficult for us. I'm grateful for this slow and progressive pace so that I can come to terms with things as we learn to say goodbye, but it's still one of the toughest things I've ever had to do. So, your continued support and good vibes are much appreciated.
Here are some pictures from a 2011 camping trip and a visit to a cool restaurant. Nilla eating her very own burger! (Wonka got one, too)
Barking Dog Cafe Nilla 2.jpg
Barking Dog Cafe Nilla 1.jpg
Barking Dog Cafe Nilla 4.jpg
Denamarin is good for liver support. Expensive, but good.
Glad to hear about the kidney values - very sorry to hear about the liver values. That said, it is not unknown to have bizarre, off the scale readings, and for them then to right themselves. So even if MCTs are a likely conclusion I wouldn't have thought that is the only possible cause.
It absolutely sucks to deal with the ageing of our beloved pugs and I so feel for you. The main thing is that Nilla wants to fight right now. Good for her - feisty old girl.
Hugs all round.
Bella, mummy to Snifter and Toddy!
Glad that Miss Nilla has been able to give some ‘attitude’ and enjoying life this week, just so sad to hear that the liver function doesn’t seem to be doing so well now. Hoping that the S.A.T. treatment helps her.
Bree, Xanthe and Darwin
I'm so sorry her liver values were not good but thrilled her kidney values are stable. Attitude is everything, so fight on Nilla! Hugs to you both.
Jackie,Mom to Robbie & Stacy my human children and Tinker my furkid.
So sad to read this. Tears for you Miss Nilla. I'm glad you're having many good days, but sad to hear the MCTs are taking their toll. Hate those MCTs.
Sienna's Pictures and Bio - http://www.dogster.com/dogs/1302954 I love you, baby girl!
Help Lisa (6 Beautiful Pugs) and the senior pugs at the "Rusty Pug Retirement Ranch" through their Amazon Wish List http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wi.../104M0QBM5XSWW
Fight on Nilla, Amy and Andrew!! I agree with Bella, not to jump to conclusions just yet. With the research you have done and the meds you are trying you may yet see a turn around in Nilla's numbers. I rejoice in the good kidney values and pray for better liver numbers. Pug hugs to you all.
We never touch people so lightly that we don't leave a trace.
Sending along many hugs! I know you are on that rollercoaster now, so I'm keeping you & Andrew, Wonka & Nilla all in my thoughts & prayers, every day! It is so hard when our babies are at this stage. Love the pictures of her enjoying her "burger!"
Rugby 7/10/02 - 9/28/15 Miss you, little girl! You're always in my heart!
Molly DOB: 7/6/04