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  #1  
Old 08-23-2005, 01:25 PM
KatzDoggiez KatzDoggiez is offline
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Hello, first let me say a little about myself....I currently have two dogs both are golden retriever/chow mixes. Koda and Kaia. We have just recently (a week ago) been told that Kaia has been diagnosed with grade 3 luxating patellas in both of her back knees.
We are having problems with Kaia again. This poor dog is just riddled with problems. She was just recently diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder called Pituitary Dwarfism. Basically her pituitary gland is not producing the right hormones to help her grow and thrive correctly but in doing so, it is creating more problems. She is about 6 months old physically but she has been since I have gotten her in February. We honestly have no idea how old she really is. She is definitely well over a year but she can be any age. Her teeth are not growing and her fur will not change and she will not get any bigger and she is mentally always going to be 6 months old. She is an EXTREMELY destructive chewer. She has shredded pop cans and hard plastic toys(literally into over 100 pieces), she has destroyed kongs and lately she has started eating my porch. The problem is, mentally she isn't learning not to do it. She will get it while I am outside with her and correct her but within just a short time she just forgets. That is unfortunately never going to change.

We are going to have a thyroid test done on her, if she does not have enough of the thyroid hormone she can develop pituitary tumors. She may have to be on thyroid meds for the rest of her life. That is where our big problem lies. She needs to have growth hormone to ever get her out of this state and that is not a guarentee just a possibility that it will help her. It is somewhere between $100-$300 a month for the rest of her life. There is absolutely no way I can afford that. We are putting off the $1500 knee surgery that she needs until we decide what to do. We do not want to put her to sleep but we cannot afford to fix her and I know that she will be in pain soon. More then she is now (due to her knees). I am waiting for a call back from our orthopedic surgeon to see what he thinks are our best solution. I am so frustrated. My hubby has kind of liked all of the pets we have had but he is not really a dog person but for some reason he has developed a very strong bond to Kaia and this is killing him. I don't know what to do.

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

(By the way, this is a very nice forum!)
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:09 PM
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joce joce is offline
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It never hurts to go to another vet. You may also be able to call vet schools and see if you cna get anyhting done at a discount. Some animal groupls help owners with costs too but I don't know nay off hand.

I don't know anything about dog pituatary tumors but I have one and I'm not even on meds for it Its a prolactin one not anyhting to do with growth hormone though.

The problme is if there are already these problems you have to think of all the other ones that will come up. Is her life ok at the moment? Is she in a lot of pain? Our beagle mixes sister had problems kind of like this. It was one thing after another and when it got to the poin that she was at the vet more than home we had her put down. Sometimes you can only do so much.

And it won't hurt to ask here and see if this guy/girl has any suggestions even if they are just to make her knee more comfortable for a while.
http://forums.doghobbyist.com/forum.php?catid=21
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Old 08-23-2005, 03:03 PM
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I don't know much about the condition, but you might want to post this in the health section also.
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatzDoggiez
We do not want to put her to sleep but we cannot afford to fix her and I know that she will be in pain soon.
in my opinion, you as the owner are obliged to let her go as soon as her quality of life deteriorates beyond the point where the good outweighs the bad in her life. anything else would be selfish.

i know you are new to this forum (welcome ), so please don't think i am being heartless or mean, but if you admittedly can't give her the treatment she requires, it would be cruel to keep her around just because you are attached to her.

also, don't forget your other, healthy dog, whom you'd be taking resources away from in favor of kaia.

write down all the things kaia enjoys most in life (e.g. eating, chasing a ball, going for walks) and how her state of health allows her to enjoy them. keep a diary on this and judge fairly how balanced the situation is. once you have reasonable doubt that her quality of life is deteriorating, you should either fully commit to all necessary treatment, or let her go.
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:08 PM
KatzDoggiez KatzDoggiez is offline
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Thank you for your replies. Our vet is absolutely wonderful and he has cut costs for us everywhere he can. He never charges us with an office visit, he always tries to give us samples instead of having us pay for a prescription, he even did a sedation and x-rays for us at no cost, plus he asked for a second opinion from another orthopedic surgeon.
We definitely are spending alot of time at the vets office we have gone three times in the last two weeks. We live over an hour away from our vet so it is quite a trip to get there frequently.
I am very concerned about more things popping up later on in life. Plus from what I have read is that most dogs with this disorder only live to be about 2 years old. She is already a minimum of 1 year old.
I will post this in the health section just to see if anyone else has any ideas other then what is probably the inevitable.
Thank you for your posts.
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:48 PM
KatzDoggiez KatzDoggiez is offline
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Well, I got a call back from my vet with devastating news. There is nothing we can do for Kaia. The thyroid medicine will not help her and neither will the other two medicines that were thought might help her. The growth hormone will only buy her time, not help her get any better. The vet feels she is probably a couple years old and dogs with this disorder typically only live for 2-4 years. He thinks that soon she will start having mental problems, he thinks her destructive behaviour is just the start. Plus she is going to start having more medical problems that will basically slowly kill her. He also said based on her x-rays of her knees that as soon as the cold hits (a month or so) she is going to get to the point where she cannot walk.

We are supposed to start watching her for signs that she is in pain or is getting worse. It is so hard knowing that Kaia is going to have to be put to sleep so soon. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE SHOULD GET THEIR MIXED BREEDS SPAYED AND NEUTERED! This is the second dog that I have had to put to sleep due to congenital birth defects. These are dogs(as much as I loved them) should NEVER had been born.
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:00 PM
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I'm so sorry, KD... this is just horrible. You sound like a very responsible and compassionate owner. I wish you the best. Please keep us posted and let us know what we can do for you...
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:16 PM
KatzDoggiez KatzDoggiez is offline
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Thank you very much. I will keep everyone updated on anything that may change or anything new that might come up.
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:29 PM
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oh KD, i am so sorry.

i'm sending good thoughts your (and kaia's) way.
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Old 08-23-2005, 11:03 PM
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I am very sorry. I wish you luck in getting through this!
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