Sweet 11 year old (4/7/2008) Drake was released to us by his family who felt they could no longer manage his medical needs. He arrived quite overweight and with dry, inflamed and infected eyes, stenotic and infected ears, and obvious skin issues. We got him in right away to see our pawtnering vet in the area, Bressi Ranch Pet Hospital 🐾 so we could diagnose all of his issues and then begin to formulate an effective treatment plan.
Drake is suffering with “dry eye” (meaning he doesn’t produce an adequate amount of tears) and because it hasn’t been effectively treated he has a lot of secondary inflammation and infection. We have started him on an antibiotic and steroidal drop as well as a tear stimulant to help boost his tear production. We use Optixcare Plus, an artificial tear, around the clock to supplement his tears and adequately lubricate his eyes. We are already seeing that his eyes are more comfortable and appear to be responding very well to this treatment. Thankfully his corneal stains were negative and his intraocular pressures were normal.
Drake’s ears are so scarred and stenotic from chronic infection and inflammation that treating them is going to be a bit tricky as they are nearly closed up. We are using a wash, topical treatment, and oral medications to help try to “open them up” and access all the bacteria and yeast. His foster mom is using a keto wash to clean them and massaging in medication the best we can. Only time will tell how well his ears will respond to these efforts. We have certainly seen our fair share of very bad ears and Drake’s are definitely right on up there with the worst.
Drake’s skin, like his eyes and ears, is angry, inflammed, and has a lot of bacteria and yeast growth. We decided to go ahead and go right to a skin culture so that we didn’t waste any time trying broad spectrum antibiotics that may or may not be effective for his specific bacterial growth. Drake has obviously been in a lot of discomfort for a long time and it’s way past due to get to the bottom of his issues. The culture has been sent off and is ‘growing’ and the results will be in any day which will tell us exactly what is growing and exactly what medications will be most effective in treating it. While waiting for these results we have gone ahead and gotten him started on topical treatment which includes 2 medicated shampoos, chlorahexadine mousse, and a medicated spray. He is also getting good skin and coat supplements. He is such a good boy for his baths and his skin is already looking better and we feel very confident we can cure him of his discomfort once and for all.
While collecting a urine sample, a mass in his bladder was detected on ultrasound and radiographs confirmed it is a bladder stone. We just got the results back of his urinalysis which reveals a raging urinary tract infection, which is very likely responsible for the formation of that stone. So again, we went straight to a urine culture so we could learn exactly what kind of bacteria is growing and therefore how we can most effectively treat it. We are awaiting the results of the culture.
The rest of Drake’s labwork was fine - his fecal test was negative, heartworm and tick borne illness test was negative, and bloodwork was normal outside of some elevated values due to infection. His knees and hips are in good shape, especially given his age and carrying the extra weight. Due to his age we have started him on a daily joint supplement chew.
Drake has severe dental disease and is desperately in need of a dental cleaning. A significant heart murmur was detected though and he needs to see a veterinary cardiologist for an echocardiogram before he can be cleared for the dental. We would like to get some of his infections under control first as it could be affecting his heart health. We will be rechecking eyes, ears, skin, and urine in 2 weeks and then moving forward with a visit to the cardiologist and hopefully dental soon after.
Whew! As you can see we have quite a bit to tackle but we feel like we can make a huge difference in his health. There is a lot of room for improvement and so that makes us feel extremely positive and eager to get him to his best self. We are taking a riffle (vs. shotgun) approach, meaning that we are really zeroing in and targeting his specific issues. This is obviously more costly but at 11 years old he is very deserving of a comfortable, healthy, happy quality of life and we intend on ensuring he gets just that. We will be sure to share his culture results once we get them. You’re in good hands, Drake, we got this 💜 Drake is being fostered in San Marcos, California.