What's new on the Harv front?
First, I bought about 15 lbs of Equus Magnificus, his favorite gooey molasses ball treats. The box arrived yesterday and I fed him most of a bag last night.
Second, I called New Bolton for a phone consult. My goal was to find out how this might progress and whether he is at risk for bladder rupture.
The vet I talked to consulted with "a team" of more experienced vets, including a neurologist, and she called my regular vet. Then she called me back. I so appreciate their willingness to do this and that is why they are my go-to facility for tough problems. They said...
- Based on what they know (without doing diagnostic tests) they think Harv has Cauda Equina Syndrome or EPM. Both are neurological. It could be other things.
- Diagnosing EPM at their facility would involve a spinal tap. EPM treatment is $1200 to $1500/month. There is a cheaper treatment (Rebalance?) that is $280-400/month that is less well-known.
- Harv is not a likely risk for bladder rupture, as the urine will take the path of least resistance, the opening into the sheath, barring blockage.
- She advised against routine bladder flushing as too risky, and said it should not be necessary.
- The sediment that was in his urine is not uncommon or necessarily pathological.
- His incontinence could be caused by "not enough squeezey" in the bladder (my words) or by a spasm of the sphincter. These are treated differently, with different drugs. Drugs for the non-squeezey problem are expensive. Not sure about the sphincter issue.
- She suggested Harv be tested for Cushings, to see if it might be contributing to the progression.
- She suggested a low dose of steroids as a generic treatment to make him more comfortable.
- Harv's incontinence problem is fairly common (although it does not seem common from what I'm reading and talking to other people).