I took Kingsley to a different vet today for a second opinion. At first, I felt like a total douchebag calling his old vet clinic and asking them to fax over his file, but now I’m glad I did.
I took him to the vet that does chiro on Ziggy – Dr. Orchard. She’s an expert on pain management, and at the very least, I hoped she might be able to recommend some other sort of treatment that just a course of steroids. He’s still in a lot of pain.
She did even better than that. She found pain in his ribs and back, probably from a wipe out on an icy sidewalk this winter (I think I remember him falling a couple of times, actually. He likes to dig tunnels in the snowbanks and sometimes digs right off the edge of a yard). This explains why he hasn’t been jumping up on things, or doing tricks. He’s also had difficulty sleeping, probably due to this pain. The vet prescribed Metacam for a week to see if that helps resolve the soreness. If not, she thinks it can be fixed with one or two chiro appointments.
Then she asked if he was treated for the infection in his teeth. Bwuh? That was never even mentioned. Yes, at least two of his teeth have very bad infections. This is *possibly* the cause of the mascatory myositis. She said a long-term, severe infection could cause an autoimmune disease. She put him on antibiotics for two weeks. It’s longer course of antibiotic treatment because she’s hoping to knock out the infection 100%. It’s not safe for him at the moment to have any dental work done, so if it can be healed with antibiotics, that would be the best solution.
She also told me to put him back on his regular food, and not bother switching his diet. I had started switching him to a higher-calorie dry food, as recommended by his previous vet. I went to Critters, and they told me to try Satori. Turns out, Satori is extremely rich and hard on a dog’s GI track, especially a pup like Kingsley who’s had GI track issues in the past. I found out today that the reason they recommend this food is because the store, Critters, owns half the company that manufactures Satori. Grrrrrrrr. Buyer beware. So I bought some doggie probiotics to sprinkle on his food while his gut recovers from my stupid mistake. This will also help his gut while he’s on the antibiotics.
I feel so relieved. I feel like there’s hope that he’ll get better now. I know the muscle waste is permanent, but I don’t want him to be in pain. He’s 13 years old, and he’s a small dog. He could live for another three or four years yet. I have hope that he’ll be restored to his former playful self and spend his remaining years free from chronic pain. Before today, I was seriously starting to think I would have to euthanize him soon because I couldn’t stand to see him hurting so much.
Always get a second opinion. Lesson learned.