Thursday, October 11, 2012

Samson's Diagnosis


Samson at the Vet 

After we left on Monday, our vet researched the syndrome he thought Samson suffered from. He also consulted with a ophthalmology vet and came to the conclusion that he had correctly diagnosed Samson and prescribed the right medication. And of course I went home and googled this and when I saw that another symptom of the syndrome involved depigmentation of skin, I knew the vet was right. Unfortunately, he was right.

This is what Samson has and will have for the rest of his life ~~ I quote here from a website ~ I don't now the name, it doesn't show on the page: 

Uveodermatologic Syndrome (UDS) is an immune-mediated canine disease characterized by inflammation of the eye, de-pigmentation of skin and whitening of hair, well, white fur wasn't a clue here, but Samson has been losing pigment on his nose for a while now. Morbidity is related primarily to the eye inflammation, which can result in secondary ophthalmological disorders that lead to blindness. Treatment involves both topical and systemic immunosuppression.

Although generally considered to be more common in Northern breeds, such as Akitas, Siberians, and Samoyeds, there have been reports of the disease in a wide range of breeds, including the Dachshund. 

UDS is thought to be caused by the inappropriate production of antibodies directed against pigment-producing cells, although viral infection cannot be ruled out as a cause of the disease. 80% of reported cases of UDS involve Akitas. 

So what does this mean for Samson? And for hubby and me, as his mommy and daddy?  For the rest of his life, Samson will need: Eye drops, three times a day. That sounds like a lot of fun! After he finishes this heavy duty dose of antibiotics and prednisone, he will have to be on the lowest possible dose of prednisone for the rest of his life. Considering the horrible side effects of steroid drugs, including getting diabetes, the vet said that there is another drug that can be used in combination with the prednisone to minimize the risk of complications, and, better yet, if side effects are noted, this drug can be used alone. Then, this sweet man, who knows we aren't exactly rolling in money, told us it can be purchased at Costco!! 



The vet took Samson in the back and tested him again. Best of all, Samson responded a little to the light this time. So he can see a little. The vet gave him another glaucoma test, which was negative. He checked all the other areas where Samson could have lost pigmentation and all were fine. 

When we talked afterwards, the vet said he had been really worried on Monday, but now felt there was hope for Samson. We go back there on Monday, so it is clear our vet wants to stay on top of this. 

Thanks again for your support.









31 comments:

  1. steroids a vital and benificial when used properly and with thoughtful consideration.

    I wonder if there would be any benifit from him wearing sunglasses

    serious here. I have known dogs who ride motorcycles ( no stop laughing, serious 8-D ) who wear goggles

    Is photosensitivity in your clear sunny climes an added stressor?

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  2. Oh Samson! I am still praying that this will turn around and that you will be able to see. I am so sad for your mommie, daddy and for you. Gracie sends doggie licks and lots of love your way.

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  3. poor Samson! Wonder if that is sort of like Uveitis that donkeys can get?

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  4. Upupaepops: How wonderful to see you here again. I always value your scientific knowledge and input and I've missed you lots. Thanks for your comment about steroids. I am so worried about that. I know our vet will be considerate and will take the best care of Samson.
    If you look at Samoyed photos on the web, you will see some wearing googles. A friend had a Samoyed and she always put sunglasses on her when they went skiing. I also noticed that feralwoman's samoyend, Dexter, wear sunglasses sometimes. I will check with the vet. It would not surprise me if altitude, strong sunlight, and so on has something to do with this.
    Bobbu/Gracie: Thank you so much for your prayers for Samson. Those licks means a lot to Samson, Gracie.
    Tina: I don't know anything about that donkey disease. But people can get something similar, called VKH Syndrome. Oh, well, I guess we just have to muddle on.

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  5. Whew! Now you all know and can proceed from here. It is better knowing than not, Inger. I know Samson will do just fine adjusting to all this new 'stuff' in his life.

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  6. Dear Inger,
    at least you have a diagnosis now and know that it isn't anything too complicated or that is going to hurt Samson. That's at least something! However, I am sorry it isn't a disease that you can fix with medication but rather something chronic.
    Will his eyes recover after taking the medication, or does this depigmentation "remove" the cells/tissue and cause loss of eyesight eventually?

    Take care and give Samson a big kiss on his eyes and nose from me! :-D
    Sarah from Germany

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  7. The Samson of history was both bald and blinded, and he went on to perform amazing feats of strength.

    From your pictures, I think your Samson will do the same!

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  8. You're lucky you have such a good vet. That makes all the difference, when we're worried about our pets.

    Our cat got diabetes late in life and had to be given 2 shots a day for a while. Hubs had to give the shots, I couldn't do it. IF the cat jumped, I jumped, not good.

    We do what we have to do for our loved ones,including our pets.

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  9. Glad you got a diagnosis, at least you now know what you are dealing with ..... Hope his treatments bring some relief. Take care. Give Samson a BIG hug.

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  10. Doggies always seem to manage it seems...our last doggie Jessie had cancer and she handled it "ok", that's a small ok, but lots of love and hugs and Samson will adjust and keep you company!
    Ron

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  11. your vet sounds like the very best to me. I am so sorry for you and for Samson, and I pray now that he will get better. i have not heard of this disease and it breaks my heart for all of you. keep us posted on how things are going, even just a short post will let us know.

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  12. You have a good and caring vet there. Nice to know you have your dx now and can move forward.

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  13. All you can do IS all you can do--& you're doing that!! I'm sure Samson will adjust. At least his condition is not causing him pain. If only it were as easy for humans to do so.

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  14. Inger-so glad the doc found what was wrong.Samson is gonna be fine and we do what we do for our furry man.I hope this makes you feel better and give Samson a hug and a kiss from us!And a hug and a kiss for you too.

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  15. I am sorry to hear Samson is not well. Keeper sends him a big old slobbery kiss...I am glad you can get the meds at Costco. It can be so very expensive buying meds at the Vets. I applaud your Vet for telling you this!

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  16. It is not a good diagnosis but better than so many others. Your vet sounds like a caring one and I am sure he will do what is best for Samson. Oh you poor pup, I am so sorry you have to live with this disease. And eye drops are not so bad... just stay calm and it will be over in seconds.

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  17. it is good to know what you are dealing with - even if it is incurable. i am hoping with meds it is somewhat treatable, though. if his eyes are responding, that would be wonderful. fingers and paws crossed over here. thanks for the update, inger.

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  18. Samson, We all love you and want you to be as healthy as possible. My boys are rooting for you.

    Love,
    Janie and the Z Boys -- Harper, Scout, and Franklin

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  19. Hoppas det blir bättre...hmmm ang sjukdomen som även taxar får , har han fått sk PRA??

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  20. You know we're going through a similar situation here and it has been harder on me than on Buck. Our vet said it's like he's looking through a dark window in his left eye and there's nothing that will change that.

    I'm confident that you, hubby, Samson and Soldier will adapt just fine because of the love you have for each other. xo

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  21. Wishing all the best for Samson. But no matter what, there is no reason to think he can't live a perfectly wonderful life. Please check out my good friend's blog, Raytheblinddog.com. I was Ray's foster mom from age 6-11 months until he found his furever home with Jean. I've fostered and owned many dogs, and I promise you, Ray's blindness was just a total non-issue; he got around perfectly well, and in fact he was less trouble than my sighted dogs since he wasn't forever barking at something he could see out the window! Ray's the best and happiest dog you could ever imagine, and no one ever knows he's blind until you tell them. So take heart - dogs take whatever lemons come their way and make lemonade, believe me!

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  22. Hugs to you and Samson.
    I gotta say, I think you have a fine vet. That's such a help.

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  23. Sorry to hear of Samson's problems. But delighted to know that you have a thoughtful and capable vet.

    I suspect the challenges will be more or less manageable.

    Blessings and Bear hugs to all.

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  24. Hi Inger .. well in some ways that's a relief - Samson has been diagnosed correctly and your vet appears to be very empathetic ... at least Samson is with you both and there's still lots of hugs around and warmth from that loving dog for you both. With many thoughts - Hilary

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  25. Inger...lucky for Samson, you have a terrific vet who can help both of you get through this. Big hugs from Skoog Farm.

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  26. Hello Inger! I'm glad that you've gotten the correct diagnosis and can now move forward. I'm also glad that your vet told you about getting the medications at Costco. I've been doing that for a long time and it does save--I remember one medication was $250 at one pharmacy and at Costco, it was $175--Just make sure you tell the pharmacy it's for a dog, because sometimes there's additional savings for that too.

    Take care, and know that I'm thinking of you all, and sending lots of positive energy in your direction!!

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  27. Oh Inger I am so sorry to hear this. Take care and give Samson a hug for me. B

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  28. Inger, while I am glad you now have a definitive diagnosis for Samson (never heard of UDS before, thank you for sharing the information about it), I’m sad that it will mean blindness or reduced eyesight. My heart goes out to Samson, and to you and your hubby, because I know what it’s like to have a dog go blind. It happened to our Roscoe for a different reason, inoperable cataracts. He is 13 now and has adjusted (blind in one eye, limited sight in the other) although his world is much smaller. The adjustment I think was harder on my husband and me as mommy and daddy. I know eye drops are no fun! Excellent that your vet told you about going to Costco for a good price on the drugs. We have used Costco for the best prices on meds for our dogs too.

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  29. Dear Inger, it's 9:40 a.m. here in Missouri so that would mean that it's 7:40 out where you live. I'm sure you're up and may have taken Samson and Soldier for their walks before getting ready to go to the vet's. I'm so eager to find out what you will learn today.

    But this posting from last Thursday seems hopeful to me. The three-drops-a-day will be tedious and fitting them in might be difficult at times, but Samson is so dear to you and your husband that I know you'll do this with great care and love for the rest of Samson's life.

    And if he can see something--anything--that will be a gift to him and to the two of you. Peace.

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  30. Dear Inger, only now I read the post of Monday, October 8, 2012.
    I am sorry to hear of Samson's problems, but I am glad you got a diagnosis and you have a good and competent vet. Hope his treatments bring some relief. Give to dear Samson kisses and hugs from me.
    Love,
    Sonia.

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  31. Inger could you please contact me at my email address niteflyrwoman@yahoo.com? I have something personal to ask you.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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