Monday, February 27, 2017

UPDATE on Ruffin. Promising new leads.

New blood test for Ruffin last Saturday still shows high levels in liver enzymes so I have postponed the CT scan once again.

Ruffin has now been completely weened off prednisone as of last Friday. Per my Vet we accelerated the decreased dosage spending one week on 2 x 5mg then last week on 1 x 5mg. Our Vet said this may have been contributing to the enzyme spikes and masking the true problem. Hopefully the new blood test next Saturday will show some improvement.

In searching for causes of liver disease I came across a promising new lead: Hepatic Encephalopathy in Dogs, found on PetMD

The list of symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy almost completely matches what I have seen in Ruffin, INCLUDING BLINDNESS

I think this should be looked into further by our own Vet, Dr. Matt McGlasson, at Noah's Ark and I will be bringing Ruff there tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

On the lighter side, I am once again convinced that the strongest vitamin in the world is LOVE.  Bessie has been actively fussing all over Ruff, as the photos show. And Ruff enjoys the attention and responds.

UPDATE Tuesday, February 28th:
It pays to keep all of your doctors in the loop. Late yesterday afternoon after posting the above Update, I sent a courtesy email to Dr. Haeussler, the Ophthalmologist, letting him know what I found researching liver disease and hepatic encephalopathy and he came back with a reply and recommended Ruffin get a bile acid assays (blood tests) to see if hepatic encephalopathy is the cause of his symptoms. And I'm glad I took the time to look up that test last night because it requires an absolute 12-hour fasting and then a two-part test over two hours. I dropped Ruff off at our Vets's office this morning and picked him up at 2 PM. It will take a day or two to get the test results.



  1. Continue to keep Ruffin in my prayers, as well as you and Jackie! Marge

  2. You did a good job sleuthing out a possible new lead, Nelson! We are keeping Ruffin in our thoughts, and send over warm wishes to you and your wonderful family. Also, keep up the good work & sharing the love, Nurse Bessie! Hang in there, Ruff - we're rooting for you! Hugs, from Annette

    1. Thank you, Annette. I like that title, Nurse Bessie.
      That latest test is the one I hope Ruff fails because it points us in the right direction to getting him well again.

    2. I hope that you get the answers that you want and the answers quickly! Sending good wishes!