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Obi, Roo & Poppy
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OMG what a horrendous couple of days! First of all, let me start by saying a huge thank you to you all for your messages of support. They really were appreciated although I had to stop reading them at one point as they kept making me cry... I really was very frightened that I was going to loose Obi.

Finally, after waiting by the phone all day, Obi has been diagnosed, he does have Meningitis. They strongly suspected this (as did I) when they admitted him last night and it is has been confirmed by the results of the spinal tap. Obi is now in recovery after his general anesthetic today. There are several types of Meningitis and they believe he has Steroid Responsive Meningitis (SRM). This is awful but also a huge relief as this type responds to treatment whereas other forms can be fatal. At the moment they do not believe there has been any lasting damage to his brain, spine or eyesight which is a massive relief. There is no known cause for SRM. The treatment is steroids and Obi has been given a high dose and they will assess how he responds to this overnight. If successful then we have a plan to treat him. His pain is also being managed.

His prognosis from RVC is, that with 4-6months of high dosage steroid treatment (assuming he responds to this) , he should make a good recovery. There is a 25%-30% of a relapse. When he has recovered enough the goal will then be to slowly wean him off the steroids and allow his immune system to function as it should. I guess I/they will know more in time. I have read various accounts of SRM online and some stories talk about dogs never making a full recovery or with a poor quality of mobility and life and others saying a full recovery was achieved within 6 months. So it’s hard to know what to believe? I’m going to be as optimistic as possible! I am only just looking in to the after care and there will be a fair amount of it. He will suffer from side effects of the steroids, notably – excessive urination and weight gain. If anyone has any experience of caring for a dog on steroids then please do let me know as I would like to prepare as much as I can.

This has all been such a shock and has happened so fast. His condition kept deteriorating steadily over the three days and I could see that the treatment that my local vet administered wasn’t having the slightest impact. He was so disorientated and in such a lot of pain, it was agonising to watch and I felt utterly helpless. On Tuesday morning when my Vet said he had a fever I started researching his symptoms as I thought it odd that he would happen to have a neck injury at the same time as getting an infection/fever. I came across Meningitis and mentioned it to my Vet. He was quite dismissive and said it was highly unlikely as it is “quite uncommon” but he couldn’t tell me what was causing the infection/fever from the blood results! His plan was to just keep administering antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and rest Obi. By Tuesday night I could see his eyes were closing up and were very infected and I insisted that the Vet carry out tests to rule out Meningitis. It was at this point that he advised Obi needed to see specialists and was transferred to RVC.

The scary thing is that this came out of the blue with no obvious cause and Obi could well have been suffering for much longer and sustained permanent damage. This condition often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as slipped disc etc. Steroids are the only effective treatment for SRM. So please, please be very aware of the symptoms* incase this ever happens to your dog. Early intervention gives the best prognosis.

I am very thankful to the staff at RVC and can’t wait to get Obi home. Depending in how he responds to the steroids I hope to have him home in the next couple of days and I can visit him tomorrow. Obviously things will be a bit different around here for a while but hopefully he will make a good recovery and be back to his normal, bouncy self.

One final thing, if you have not yet sorted out Pet Insurance then PLEASE make sure you do. Obi’s Vet bills are already over £3000 and climbing. Fortunately I have good cover so I didn’t need to worry about this element.


Much love and thanks
Clare & Obi
xxx

*Steroid Responsive Meningitis Symptoms

Hyper reaction to touch, particularly the neck/top of spine area
Movement of head up/down and side to side causes pain
Fever
Lethargic behaviour
Strange gait when walking and standing motionless with arched back
Reluctance to negotiate steps
Reluctance to eat/drink if needing to bend neck down to bowl
Shaking/panting
 

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Oh Clare I'm so relieved to hear that little Obi is hopefully on the right road to recovery. I couldn't stop thinking about you both all day. I nearly texted you loads of times. We really all do send our love and positive vibes that Obi will make a full recovery. He's so lucky to have such a loving and strong mummy!!! Please, please keep us updated on how he's doing as we are all worrying so much! Love and hugs to you all xxx
 

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Oh Clare, how incredibly scary and upsetting for you. I can only imagine how you must be feeling but thank goodness he has now been diagnosed and that it the form that can be treated. I will keep everything crossed that the steroids start to have an effect soon and that you can bring him home as soon as possible. xxx
 

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Thank goodness for this news you must be in shock but at least you know what you are dealing with and as you say you must be optimistic. Clearly you are a sensible intelligent person and he has the greatest hope of a full recovery being cared for by someone like you. I wish I lived closer and could offer some help. Do you work? Will you be able to manage the 24/7 care he will need for a while. I am sure there are people who could help you. Keep being brave. Loads of love from Cara and Izzy xxx
 

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Obi is clearly a fighter and with your love and care I'm sure he will do well. Without you research and dedication looks like the outcome would have been very different. Thank you for posting all the details so we are all more aware of SRM and know what signs to look out for. Lots of hugs and remember to take care of yourself as well as the children and Obi xxxxx
 

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I can only reiterate what people have already put... we all wish we lived nearer and could offer some help and support but please ask if there is anything you think we can do.For now continuing to send love,hugs and the bestest of wishes to you all, hope you have a good nights sleep and positive news in the morning x xx x x x x
 

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So good to hear from you Clare. Like everyone else, have been thinking about you and Obi. I didn't sleep well last night, kept thinking about poor Obi.

So glad you have a diagnosis. At least now Obi can be treated accordingly.

Take care, you're doing a brilliant job and a wonderful mummy to Obi. :hug: x :hug: x
 

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Thanks for the update Clare. Ditto all of the above posts. Lots and lots of love from us. Although we may not be close enough to offer physical help I hope you will find the forum a therapeutic place to ask, vent and celebrate. Obi is young, fit and strong and he has the very best dedicated mummy too!

Karen xx
 

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Again I echo what others have said. Best of luck to you and Obi and hope he makes a full recovery soon.
Thank you so much for posting the symptoms so that we can all be aware.
x
 

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Clare you have been on my mind all day...

Pleased to hear Obi will be home in a few days time and he is being treated ... I am still in shock about it all to be honest .. xxx
 

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So glad they can finally begin to help Obi and that he can get home to you asap, give him a big ILMC cuddle from all of us tomorrow when you can visit and I hope Clare that you can begin to worry slightly less. I know his recovery could be a long one but he is a lovely little dog and an absolute credit to you and if anyone can do it it is you two!!!
He stole our hearts in the one day he came to visit, so I can only really guess how awful this has been for you. Be strong little Obi, it looks like the force is with you;) xxx
 

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My fingers are crossed for Obi to be his normal self very quickly, and for this awful chapter of his life to be firmly behind you both. It sounds like you have done an amazing job for Obi, getting him the care he needed.
Hugs and best wishes, from our house to yours. x
 

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Poor Obi, how upsetting to hear :( I hope the steroids work quick & he can come home and recover :D how old is he? Good luck to Obi & best wishes! :)
 

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Hi Clare

I've been thinking so much of you all day and hoping for a positive update. Well done to you for pushing when the vet's treatment wasn't working - what a fab mummy you are. Hope Obi responds well to the steroids and so lovely you will see him tomorrow for a visit.

Lots of love to you and your family - what an unimaginable time you've all gone through. Best wishes, Karen x
 

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Please to hear he is hopefully on the mend, with regards to the steroids they will make him want to eat and drink more, hence the weight gain and increased urination. The drinking you can't do an awful lot about but monitor his weight and food intake and you should be able to keep him as slim as possible. The vets at the RVC will wean him down dosage -wise as soon as they feel he is able to do so which will help to reduce the side-effects. :)
 

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Clare
Thank you for taking the time to update us all - It sounds like I am not the only one with Obi on my mind all day.

As said before - we are here for you and your dedication to finding the cause of his problems is inspirational. If anything good can come of it, you have shown us to persevere and make sure our cockapoos get the right treatment.

Wishing you and Obi strength for the long path ahead.

Much love to you both x
 

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Hi Clare again!!! I don't want to text you again as you must be knackered and sick of me:eek: but I have found this place in St Albans!!!!!!!! Swimming will definately help Obi's recovery, eventually obviously. http://www.hydrofordogs.co.uk/ it says reclaimable against pet insurance so definately woth a look x
 
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