Thursday, December 10, 2015

Phoenix

Phoenix is our lovely 8 year old Portuguese Water Dog. In the fall of 2011 she started developing open red sores around her vulva.  I took her to our vet who thought it was due to licking she was given a cone and some topical antibiotic treatment.  We soon discovered that the cone was not needed as it did not provide results and when the cone was removed she was not attempting to lick the area.  We had on and off episodes of the same problem for the following year.  We then noticed a horrible smell coming from her mouth.  The vet couldn’t figure out what it was and it continued despite brushing her teeth.  I took Phoenix back to a vet I had years ago that was a distance away as she was able to help us with our Sheltie that had lupus.  She immediately discovered that her lip pockets were raw and infected and that was where the smell was coming from.  At the same time her eyes started becoming raw and inflamed.  It was thought that her eye lashes were curling in and that surgery was needed to correct.  When she was under anesthetic the vet was able to fully examine her and discovered that the eye lashes were fine.  We were then sent to veterinary ophthalmologist.  After several visits we really had no further answers but the condition seemed to be manageable.  In the spring of 2013 we again had a flare up of her vulva, lip pocket and eyes.  Our vet thought that Phoenix’s problem was likely allergies.  So she was placed on a strict diet of kangaroo and oats.  She was on that diet for 9 months with no improvement.  We were then sent to a veterinary dermatologist that thought the problem was due to environmental allergies.  We continued on the kangaroo and oat diet with the addition of steroids.   Phoenix improved but we couldn’t seem to reduce the amount of steroids she needed to control her skin issues to an acceptable long term level.  We then did allergy testing and results came back showing Phoenix was allergic to a large number of things including four types of tree pollen, dust, mold and cats.  Thinking this was the answer in May of this year we started Phoenix on allergy shots.  Her condition worsened during the summer.  We were told to increase the steroids which sometimes did help the problem.  However in September, her eyes were so bad that she could hardly open them in the morning.  I couldn’t get the open sores to heal and they were getting bigger and bigger.  I felt every time I was trying to clean the discharge from her eyes so they could be opened that I was torturing her as the sores would be bleeding.  At this time even a drastic increase in steroids did not help.  Both the dermatologist and vet were at a loss as to what to do.   
 
 Thankful I decided to seek alternative treatment and went to see Dr. Sasan Haghighat.  I was immediately impressed by his caring manner as he listened to the long story of what Phoenix had been through.  He thought her case was similar to another patient, Jessie and that Phoenix’s problem was not in fact allergies but rather an immune system problem possibly pemphigus.  We immediately started her on a diet of boiled clean vegetables with some lentils and chick peas.  He gave Phoenix an acupuncture treatment, and she came home with some homeopathic remedies.  Dr. Haghighat thought that it may take up to 6 months to see results.  After one week I thought perhaps her eyes were looking slightly better but didn’t want to get my hopes up.  Upon her two week follow up visit her eyes were noticeably better.  We continued on the same treatment plan and by the following 3 week follow up visit her eyes were almost completely healed.  This was only 5 weeks after we started treatment.  We have continued with same regime and her eyes now 2 weeks later her eyes are completely healed, she has no issues with her lip pocket or vulva and we have completely stopped her steroids for over a month.  Dr. Haghighat has said that she may have a relapse in the process of being completely cured but so far she is doing great.  I have noticed a considerable increase in her energy level.  Despite being 8.5 years old, she is like a puppy again.  I was really so frustrated and concerned trying to figure out how to help Phoenix and can’t thank Dr. Haghighat and his lovely staff enough for figuring out the puzzle of Phoenix that had eluded several vets and two specialists.  He truly worked a miracle on Phoenix! 
 
BEFORE PICTURE (October  1, 2015)
 

 
AFTER PICTURE (November 5, 2015)
 
 

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