11 June 2010

{10june2010: needles}

Good news!
So Darwin's neurologist called last week with basically the same results.  He got Darwin's xrays from our vet and looked over them with the radiologist and two other surgeons and they all couldn't determine her pain or rear end weakness.  Dr Sanders thinks Darwin is a "rare example of hyperproliferative soft tissue".  He thinks she "may be subject to a limited activity lifestyle" if we cannot control the pain.  I asked again about what he thinks about taking her to see Dr. Kelleher and he thought it would be the best thing.  
Ok, that's not the good news.
Here's the good news.  So I emailed her last Tuesday to get on her waiting list and figured it would be a while till we could go in and see her.  She emailed early Saturday morning saying she had a cancellation for Monday and we could have that appointment!  Woo hoo!  
So Monday afternoon Darwin and I jumped in the car for a 30 minute drive north to see Dr. Kelleher.  I brought along all of Darwin's records and we went over how all of this started with her staying with her doggy mom and dad.  She was very excited about Darwin's case as we had done everything we could with traditional medicine (xrays, neurologist, MRI, Meningitis treatment, more xrays, etc) and after checking Darwin out she felt like chiropractic and acupuncture would totally help.  She said in checking out Darwin's spine she confirmed my suspicion that she was probably t-boned from the right side by her dad.  She found Darwin's right shoulder was really stiff, many disks were out of alignment going down her back, her pelvis was a little crooked, and her left side was super sensitive.  She did a few adjustments along Darwin's spine and then started with the acupuncture.  
Darwin did really well with the acupuncture, which surprised me, the only time she seemed to be uncomfortable with it was when Dr. Kelleher tried to insert a needle in her lower left side (her sensitive side) and Darwin jumped up.  
Dr. Kellelher noticed that Darwin is a tad overweight due to being on the Prednisone, so Darwin's now on a diet!  We're looking for her to lose around 7lbs to get her back to her 115lb range.  Now Darwin will only get 3 cups of kibble (she was at 5, and up to 7 with the Prednisone) and 2 cups of homemade food.  She gets to eat more raw meat and hard boiled eggs, and a mix of ground veggies.  Dr. Kelleher says vegetables like broccoli, kale, parsley, carrots and cauliflower are good "back building" veggies.  She also said Darwin could get raw chicken necks.
Sorry, iphone picture.... but doesn't that look appetizing?! 
Darwin seems to like her new diet, but is not a fan of chicken necks.  Monday night she ate them, but she won't go near them now.  If they are in her bowl, she won't eat.  Last night I took them out of the bowl and she ate just fine.  I tried to give her a chicken neck on its own and she totally rejected it.  She sniffed it, gave it a lick and turned her head away!  Thank goodness they are cheap ($0.99/lb) because I threw them out! 
Darwin also getting new supplements.  A Chinese herb mixture, doggy daily vitamins, Vitamin E, fish oil (she was getting this salmon oil but Dr. Kelleher recommends getting a human grade fish oil high in DHA), cod liver oil, Choline, and Lions Mane mushroom.  These are supposed to help her brain and nervous system.  It's a lot to get used to in terms of how much and how often, but I'm sure we'll get the hang of it soon.

The only slightly bad thing is that our insurance doesn't cover holistic medicine so all the visits we make to Dr. Kelleher will add up.  Eeek!  We'll see how it goes!  We have another appointment next Monday and then another one in early July.   I'm feeling pretty confident that she'll be able to help Darwin and get her back to her normal self!


  1. Darwin, I hopes that the nommy food helps woo feel stronger!!

    It sure looks good!

    Did I mention how good it looks yet?

    Wags and woofs,
    Mack and Mia

  2. Ciao Darwin!!!
    I was passing by to thank you for all the very nice comments you left to my posts... and what I see, you are not feeling well... I am so sorry...!!!
    But you will see that you will be back in superfabulous shape in just a few weeks, I am 100% sure of that...
    You have been so brave by the doctor... your wonderful sweet eyes expressed so well how you were feeling.. Well done, this is how to react... You are a real Great Dane!!!!
    I will come and see you again, paw promise!
    Ciao Lucille

  3. Oh my GOD - Darwin - you were so brave with that acupuncture!! I probably would have been OK (I don't even feel the normal injection needles) but my human would have FREAKED!! She's tried acupuncture on herself a few times and hates it. Just looking at those needles on you make her shudder! :-)

    Mmmm....your dinner bowl looked YUMMY!!! Glad this new holistic vet is able to help - I think all her suggestions sound very good. Paws crossed that you will start to feel a lot better soon!

    Honey the Great Dane

  4. Oh boy! Mom was super excited when she read your post. She's a HUGE fan of accupuncture...it helped a ton with her first Great Dane who had spondylosis in her lower spine. Mom really has nothing but good things to say about it!

    Hope this helps Darwin get back on track to feeling good!

    wags, wiggles & slobbers

    pee.ess. Mom says that's the one reason she didn't choose Trupanion for my insurance. Holistic medicine & accupuncture were important things to cover for her. Petplan, Pets Best & Embrace all covered non-traditional treatments in case you ever think of changing insurance companies.

  5. You are so brave! I don't think I could do that....

  6. Darwin! This all sounds so positive and helpful! I am happy that my Mom and I intro'd you to Dr. Kelleher, its my hope that all goes well for you.

    Bestest wishes,

    Jo and Stella

  7. That is good news! I know that acupuncture has been great for Heffner in the past and I hope that it really helps Darwin out.

  8. Yea!! Finally some good news! I was taking human grade cod liver oil but mom just got some salmon oil. I haven't started that yet since we've been waiting for my poop to get back to normal, which it FINALLY has. Your food sounds like a gourmet meal! Yum!

  9. Wow Darwin...you got acupuntcture...that is kind of cool! You looked really neat with the needles in your back in that second pic...like it didn't even hurt! How brave you are! I think your din-din looks yummy too.


  10. I bet that food is amazing for dogs. I've heard the chicken-necks are good for the dogs. Did you buy them separately, or do you need to buy whole chickens?

  11. Thanks fur the latest on Darwin -

    It seems like woo are so on the right trakhk fur her now!

    I haven't had nekhks yet but I so enjoy the other raw stuffs -


  12. That's a bummer on the insurance. I hope the acupuncture works for her. We don't have anything like that available to us here in the boonies of Texas.

  13. Eekk needles! You were so brave Darwin...though you don't really look to bothered!
    We really hope it makes your back much better!

    We think your dinner look delicious, but can't believe you don't want to eat chicken necks, they are so tasty!

    Looking forward to hearing how the acupunture went.

    Licks and lots of Slobber,
    Lexi and Jasper the Danes

  14. Hi Darwin! You're smiling in those pix, so it must not have been TOO bad! I hope what your new doctor is trying helps you tons and tons and tons!

  15. OMD you've been saying it all along and ... mother always knows best. She was t-boned by her papa, who apparently didn't know any better. I freaked out when I read about Darwin being a limited activity dog in the beginning of the post. I'm so glad you have found somebody to help you. Tedious care, diet etc but I hope that in the end Darwin will be as good as new. If she gets too hungry, please check with your vet to see if it's okay first, you should give her some pumpkin which is really low in calories, but will make her feel fuller. And don't feel bad about making her lose weight. It'll work miracles for her overall healthy. Good luck!!!
    Twinkie and family

  16. i somehow missed this post!
    i'm glad darwin is finally getting some treatment :) so brave w/all the needles! i've always been curious about accupuncture but so scared of needles!