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Old 12-15-2019, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Name: Vinh & Ann
Dog's Name: Biscuit (@Rainbow Bridge), Pork Chop, and Emmie
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New Orleans, LA
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Default Rallying for TEAM Biscuit Support for Pork Chop!

Hello to our SM Family,

Our boy Pork Chop is not doing too well. He has just been diagnosed as potentially dealing with "Spinal Cord Tumor (meningioma)" cancerous tumor.

The history of the event started around Sunday, November 3rd where Pork Chop was well and normal and just being his cheery rascal self. We were having a birthday party celebration and Pork Chop was sitting to the right side of me right next to my foot. In the process of standing up, I accidentally put my right foot on Pork Chop twice! . At the time he was mad and gave me the eyes but we didn't notice any signs of pain or major injury.

1-2 week passed and we started to see signs of slight head twitching, his front right-shoulder area also shown signs of muscles twitching coincide with the head twitching as well. He also started to show signs of difficulty walking steadily and not able to lower his head. He stops wanting to play ball and just wasn't his cheery rascal self anymore. We also notice that when he lies down on all fours, he has a hard time putting his head down flat to the floor like he used to, to rest and/or doze off. He was not comfortable lying on his right side for long and often have to move his head or get up or switch side within 1-2 minutes. He was also hesitant to jump up/down our bed, which he does easily countless times.

At the time the symptoms weren't severe so Ann and I weren't overly worried and was hoping it was due to me stepping on the boy and we were hoping the minor discomfort would be healed in time. Fast forward to Thanksgiving week, we had a new visitor who brought with him a new little furball friend name Boo. She was an adorable 8yrs old cutie gal of which Pork Chop immediately likes and he started to howl extending his neck and head and continued howling for a good while. Within a day after that event, we notice the Pork Chop condition turning worse. He now has much more difficulty walking and lying down. He started to lose appetite and/or wasn't really up for eating and drinking water. He seems to be in more pain and shivering all the time. The muscles and head twitching got more intense and routine.

We rushed him to VCA Causeway Animal Hospital right away but on the first visit, our normal Vet, Dr. Gentinetta was not working that day so another Vet did the initial full body examination based on the information we gave. She couldn't locate any area on the Porky body that would show signs or indication of soreness/injury from being stepped on. However, based on what has happened and the current symptoms Porky is experiencing, she prescribed an anti-inflammatory and pain med Gabapentin. Due to the severe potential side-affects of the anti-inflammatory (steroid), we decided to not give this med to Porky and only stick with the Gabapentin.

A 4-5 days later we still do not see any signs of improvement for Porky and was able to scheduled to see his Vet Dr. Gentinetta. The doctor did another full body check-up and this time when he pressed firmly at Pork Chop front right-shoulder and Porky whines and shown signs of significant pain in the area. We immediately did an X-RAY and sent the result to the Radiologist for a closer review and feedback. In the meantime, Dr. Geninetta's initial diagnoses are that the signs and symptoms seem to be related to either a swollen disc which if not severe can be treated with anti-inflammatory (steroid) Dexamethasone and pain med Gabapentin. The plan was to only administer the Dexamethasone for a period of 5 days as this is a stronger steroid and should usually do the job of treating slip/swollen disc. One day later the Radiologist responded indicating the Porky could be dealing with a herniated disc. So we were advised to continue with the current medical treatments and to limit as many physical activities as possible for Porky.

Another week passed and we see very little signs of improvement other than the medication helps with easing the pain and making Porky more sedated to help him to rest and sleep. His twitching, body shivering, muscles and legs shaking seem to get worse as days progresses. He started to not want to eat or drink less, barely can sustain longer sleep than 15-30min before the pain and discomfort wakes him up. His mobility is now severely impacted where he seems to have a weakness developing on all of his legs. When he walks he is wobbly and can barely control the movement of the legs. He can barely maintain balance and often fall to the sides when attempting to walk and potty.

We consulted with Dr. Gentinetta and provide him with an update and the Doctor was highly concerned and we brought him back for a closer check-up and Dr. Gentinetta immediately refers us to Dr. Lee at Veterinary Specialist of Greater New Orleans. Dr. Lee's initial examination indicated that the source of the pain was actually not at the front right-shoulder as initially diagnosed but rather at the top upper neck area near Porky's head. Dr. Lee is still thinking that this could be due to the herniated or swollen disc from initial diagnoses and recommend to use a more strengthen medical treatment plan first before considering the next step which is surgery.

He changes the medical treatment to Prednisone (steroid) replacing the Dexamethasone and continuing the Gabapentine for pain. The new medical treatment schedules were 1/2 0.5 Prednisone tablet twice per day for 7 days, then 1/2 tablet once per day for the next 7 days, then 1/2 tablet once per day every other day. The Gabapentine was 0.1mil every 12 hrs. This is a plan to hit the problem hard first 7 days then gradually tapper down the meds.

A week passed and we again didn't see little signs of improvement for Porky. By the end of the first 7 days schedule, Porky's condition turns for the worse. He is now barely able to get himself up on all fours. Walking around and to potty is extremely difficult for the boy as he as lost all controls of all four legs and the ability to move and stand strong on them. He wobbles and falls all over the place trying to walk. His pain seems to have intensified and the upper area of his body from the front shoulder leading up to the neck and his head is extremely sensitive to the lightest touch.

We rush Porky back to Dr. Lee on Friday, 12/13/19 and Dr. Lee also confirmed that Porky conditions have elevated to major concerns and he recommends doing a CT SCAN right away. We had to leave Porky with Dr. Lee overnight to perform the procedure. Included with the Cervical CT scan, Myelogram, and CSF analysis.

The imaging result of the CT scan was consistent with a spinal cord tumor (meningioma suspected). Severe right-sided extradural spinal cord compression centered at C2-3 secondary to an extramedullary intradural mildly contrast-enhancing soft tissue density mass. Findings are suggestive of a meningioma. However, other neoplasia types (lymphoma, etc.) and atypical infectious etiologies such as fungal granuloma remain considerations. CSF analysis could be performed to help clarify the etiology.

At this stage, Dr. Lee's office is no longer suitable to further assist with confirming tumor nor are they able and capable of providing further treatment for Porky.

Dr. Lee has provided us with two best options to further diagnose, confirming, and getting Porky on the proper treatment plan and that is to either see a neurologist at Mississippi State Veterinarian to determine if the tumor is amenable to surgery and going to the Oncology team at LSU to discuss radiation therapy.

we are still waiting for the result of the spinal fluid taken by Dr. Lee to see if more information can be revealed to assist with confirming the tumor.

Ann and I are now considering pursuing a visit to Mississippi State Veterinary for an immediate consultation with the doctors to get a detailed outline of the next steps to confirm the tumor, how serious it is, what options can pursue to treat and get rid of the tumor. We have been doing a lot of research online over the weekend so far and the prognosis for this type of tumor does not have a lot of potential great outcomes but we are still praying and fighting with our boy. If Porky is lucky where surgery can pursue to remove the tumor, he may still have to on go repeated radiation and chemotherapy of which we are hoping will be able to do at LSU State to be closer to home.

We will keep our SM family updated as best we can base on schedules. If all goes well, we are going to discuss our decision and plan with Dr. Lee tomorrow, Monday 12/16/19 and he should be forwarding Porky's medical results and histories and referred us to Mississippi and LSU State. We will try to get an appointment with Mississippi State as early as they can accommodate us and we will be driving our boy 254 miles north to get him some immediate help.

Ann and I are still in shock and caught very surprised that out of a sudden and out of nowhere, Porky conditions turn negatively in a very fast period of time. We are standing strong right by our boy's side and helping him as best we can to cope with the pains and challenges. This reminds us so much of what we had gone through with our Precious Biscuit so it is very tough on Ann mentally but she's had to remind herself to be strong and show strong emotions to help Porky cope with his conditions. Me as well....:-)

Once again we are rallying for TEAM BISCUIT for support. Please keep Pork Chop in your prayers.

If anyone has any experience and information dealing with this tumor, please feel free to forward to me the information as we will greatly appreciate any information that can assist us with making the right decision and next steps for our precious boy Pork Chop.

Love, Vinh & Ann.

Biscuit (@Rainbow Bridge), Pork Chop, and Emmie

Vinh & Ann
New Orleans, Louisiana
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Name: Kathy
Dog's Name: Pipper
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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I am so sorry to hear this. Send prayers for a positive outcome for Pork Chop.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

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Old 12-15-2019, 02:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My sincere thoughts and prayers are with you during this very stressful time and hope that Pork Chop will be ok. Please keep us posted Vinhle as we will be thinking of all of you.
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Vinh, I sent you a PM if you could respond to that on PM I would appreciate it.
Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.), - St. Bernard
"Life without a maltese is like summer without ice-cream." - St. Edelweiss

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Old 12-15-2019, 09:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I’m so very sorry! Team Biscuit is sending prayers for Pork Chop!
Sweetness and Tessa
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dog's Name: Lacie 3/11/12, Suki 1/4/14, Ling Ling 5/2/15, Casey 1990-2008)(Maddy 1998-2012
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Iím so sorry for you and Ann have to have such worry. Iíll be thinking of you both and sending positive thoughts for Pork Chop. Please keep us posted.
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Old 12-16-2019, 06:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So sorry to hear this sad news about Pork Chop. Sending positive thoughts and many prayers for all of you.
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Name: sandi
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Checking in to hear any up-dates Ann & Vinh---hoping for a better day today w/you. Please know that we care for you & PC.
Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.), - St. Bernard
"Life without a maltese is like summer without ice-cream." - St. Edelweiss

"Wag more Bark less"
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I’m so sorry to hear about Porkchop. I will keep him in my prayers and I have faith that they will find a way to cure him!
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sending big hugs and courage as you help heal your sweet boy. We will be praying for you all.
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