Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Update on Vet-Stem & Hearing Progress

Helloooooo friends! I just want to give you guys a quick update on my progress with the Vet-Stem procedure as well as my noise induced deafness.

Vet-Stem: Summary of entire procedure can be found HERE

My Vet-Stem Injection Day was on April. 22. 2010. It is now 20 days since I have had my own stem cells injected into my arthritic right front elbow, right knee, and an intravenous dose.

I really don't pay much attention to myself, but according to mum, she thinks I'm less stiff when I get up from a lying down position. Before my stem cell treatment, I used to have to get up slowly, take a few long stretches before I get moving. It also took me quite a few steps to walk off the stiffness in my front right elbow. However, mum noticed a subtle change just a week after I had the injections. Mum was still sleeping on the sofa bed downstairs back then, so I wouldn't try to go upstairs. The sofa bed was about the right height for STINKY's landsharking. Of course, he had no control over his mouf as usual, and tried to give mum morning landshark bites when she woke up one morning. With my half opened SuperEYES, I watched the event unfold as mum yelled "STINKY NOOO!" and proceeded to covering her face with the pillow. (mum: I wasn't yelling, and I said "Jaffa".) STINKY of course, did not stop. He somehow had it in his head that "STINKY NO" means "STINKY YES", so he continued biting at the pillow as well as the hand that was holding onto the pillow. So I, FLEW off my bed, without any stretches or anything, I ran over to where the drama was happening, and put myself in between STINKY and mum. I told STINKY to GOOOO AWAY and gave him the look that told him to GOOO AWAY. That stooopid moved back a few steps, but started staring at me and acting like he was gonna landshark me except he just kept biting at aire around me. Mum was waking up by then, so I proceeded to rub MY SuperHEAD all over her face and body and tummy and the side of the bed.

Anyway, the whole point of all that was that I wasn't stiff in my front elbow, and I was able to get up from a night's sleep and run over to mum's rescue. I have continued to get up without looking too stiff, so mum thinks the stem cells might be doing something.

(mum: Since Sunshade wasn't one of those bad cases where she could barely walk or was limping heavily, I didn't expect any drastic changes. I knew her improvements would be more subtle, like less stiffness, etc. The less stiffness could also be due to her being relatively inactive since the procedure. I guess we will know once she resumes normal activity, if the stiffness is less than what it was before.

One thing that I haven't noticed any change in is her slight neurological issue that results in her hind legs giving out or stumbling periodically. She has a narrowing of the spinal canal at the L6-L7 region, and that might be compressing the spinal cord causing the neuro issue. Since stem cells cannot be injected directly into the spinal cord at this point (maybe in the near future), we were told by the attending veterinarian from Vet-Stem to not hold our breath on the procedure helping with the neuro problem. Still, my vet and I had hoped maybe the intravenous stem cell dose that was given would somehow travel through the bloodstream and miraculously end up in her spinal cord.

We are still quite early in the game as I have heard dogs that continue to improve 2-6 months, or don't improve until 2-3 months after the injection. I guess only time will tell.)

Noise Induced Deafness:

I became deaf on May, 1, 2010 when the tires for MY SuperSTROLLER were over inflated and one of them popped inside the car BESIDE my SuperEARS. It is now 10 days after the incident and my hearing is no where near being called "SuperHEARING" if you know what I mean. But I can hear some things.

I can hear mum when she calls my name in a certain tone of voice (the nice voice that is, I can't hear her when she calls my name in the you're-in-trouble kind of voice, strange). However, I can't seem to tell where the voice/sound is coming from, and I get a little confused. The other day, I heard mum call me, so I looked all over the house for her. I even went into the yard to look for her, and I still couldn't find her. Then she walked into the yard, FROM the house, and waved at me. I was seriously like WTH... I was just in the house! (mum: I called her from about 3 feet behind her with her looking away from me. She heard my voice, but had no idea where it was coming from....)

We went to see my Auntie Janice today and she thinks I did rupture my left ear drum, but I was just too SuperSTOIC that I never yelped when it happened, and when mum touched my ears. This was the first time my Auntie Janice got to examine me since the incident. She was away the last week when we went to the clinic, and her friend Auntie Sue saw me then. Anyway, like Auntie Sue, Auntie Janice was able to get a clear view of my right ear drum no problem, but not my left. Our ear canal have a bend before the ear drum, so usually they have to pull on the ear to sort of straighten out the canal to get a view at the ear drum. She couldn't do that with my left ear because I yelped. And my Auntie Janice knew that unless it hurt A LOT, I'd never have made a peep. (mum: Sunshade's pain tolerance is very very high. You (as in someone she trusts) step on her, she will just stand there and wait til you move away before she hobbles away on 3 legs.) So even tho she couldn't see my left ear drum, she thinks there is a rupture that's still healing.

Auntie Janice put some acupuncture needles in me,

There's some on my head, beside my ears, can you see them?

Here's a better shot,

For my left elbow,

My right elbow,

My back,

Acupuncture always makes me wanna sleep, but I feel sooo good during and after.

(mum: Sunshade falls asleep EVERYTIME, and snores most of the time. The acupoint on top of her head, in the center, is the one that makes her sleepy. Janice took that needle out already so I could take these pictures with her awake.)

I hope I continue to gain more hearing back as I found out recently that I'm still missing out on some VERY important sounds in life, like the K-I-T-T-Y barking sound, etc.


brooke said...

heheh Sunshade you look like a cute little alien with those needles sticking out of your head!
Glad to hear your hearing's slowly coming back and that the stem cell injections seem to be helping!

Inky and Molly said...

You poor pumpkin, can't hear the "you're in trouble"- voice, ey?
We hope that all the needles will do some good!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Yep...a Siberian in a 'dale suit!

I love it!

Thanks fur the updates!


Lorenza said...

Hi, Sunshade!
thanks for the updates!
I hope everything is going back to normal soon!
Kisses and hugs

Duke said...

Mom is squeemish anytime needles are in very view! ewwwwwwwww
Our paws remain crossed that your hearing comes back 100%, Sunshade!
That's awesome that you can get yourself up much more quickly to let Stinky know what's acceptable and what's not while your mom is trying to wake up! We hope you keep on improving!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

The Oceanside Animals said...

Aiiieeee, needles!

TwoSpecialWires said...

We kinda figured it was one ear more than the other when you said you were having trouble locating sounds. Moma told us it takes two ears to locate sound. One ear hears it first. Then the other ear hears it. And the brain says, "Look that'away" based on which ear heard first. Cool, huh?

We're hoping that left ear keeps healing.

(And we just realized we are now reading out of order. Moma's brain didn't get the directions right.)

(Is there any hope?"
Jake and Fergs