Friday, August 6, 2010

A Note From Joey and Maggie: Shades Of Gray

Joey's left adrenal gland

Dear Gentle Readers,
     We apologize for the lack of updates this week.  Thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement, your comments and emails mean more than you'll ever know.  We've been hesitant to provide any update on your 9.5-year-old  'Long and Short of it All' host 'Joey' and his new battle with Cushing's Disease, as it's not the intention of this site to focus on our personal issues and problems, although we do try and let you know maybe once or twice a month what we're up to in our "Note Fom Joey and Maggie" columns.  Even then, we try to keep them positive, as we do in most of the Dachshund news and stories that we report.  So, it's been a busy week with the taxing and tiring kitchen remodel and visits to the vet, and hard for us to update the site; we're not quite sure when things will get back to normal around these parts.  Our Dad has been a bit on edge, and has focused most of his spare time just holding and cuddling us, and we're not about to complain about that! 
     Joey had an abdominal ultrasound performed on Monday of this week.  In Cushing's Disease, an abdominal ultrasound is performed to determine if the problem is with the pituitary gland in the brain (which controls the adrenal glands) or the adrenal glands themselves, located near the kidneys.  About 80-90% of the time, it's a problem with the pituitary gland, and the disease is generally treated with chemo medications that will eat away at the adrenal gland and cause it to decrease production of cortisone.  In Joey's case, it was determined that he had tumors on both of his adrenal glands.  There is about a 50% chance that these tumors are malignant.  One of these tumors is very large, and is constricting and invading his vena cava, and has blocked it about 85%.  The vena cava is a large vein which carries de-oxygenated blood back to the heart.
     So, a very risky $4,000-7,000 surgery may be in store for Joey, but we'll know more after we meet with the surgeon next Monday morning.  The internet is a dangerous place to peek around in, and when you see comments on veterinary sites like "Removal of an adrenal tumor is generally considered to be one of the most difficult surgeries in all of veterinary practice," or read troubling statistics that 6% of dogs are euthanized during the procedure, or that 29% don't pull through, your heart just sinks to an all new low. Joey's existing heart issues - his beat has a gallop, and he's got a level 3 heart murmur - may not even qualify him for surgery, in which case we're guessing that chemo meds may be tried, although adrenal tumors seem to respond only to high doses, and we're not sure if we want to put Joey through that.  It's all just speculation until we meet with the surgeon to discuss his options and quality of life based on the choices made.
     Meanwhile, it's mostly just special times, kisses, and belly rubs for us, and we really enjoyed the hamburger we got to share in the drive-thru after our visit to the vet on Monday for the ultrasound.  Maggie came along for moral support - although she mostly just hid under the chairs in the waiting room, trying to restrain the growls which seem to just come naturally from her when she goes to see those folks in the white coats.   


Joey waits patiently for the new kitchen counters to be installed so the water can get hooked up so he can try out the new extra long Dachshund bathtub (torture machine!) that Dad installed in the new kitchen just for him and Maggie.

Joey, August 6, 2010

39 comments:

Alicia said...

Many prayers coming your way for Joey!! We all want good, positive results for him and the family. Your pups are so adorable!

The kitchen re-do looks beautiful too. The shaker cabinets and farm sink (yes, a torture device in our house also) are a design A+. Y'all have lots on your plate right now. Be optimistic thinkers!

Anonymous said...

Woof Joey, we 4 dachies from Quebec Canada are woofing for ya. We want to know the news (good or bad) afterall you always post for rescued dachshunds in rescue groups who need our support and help. Can we help you in some way? Sending you all good yips and yaps and paws crossed for a good outcome. Bark to ya later, Sass the Bold, LollyPop Wiggle Butt, Shilo Baby Bean and Maggie Muffin

Anonymous said...

Joey, Maggie & Carson---We're thinking of you! Please keep us posted.

Kate n' Allie in MD

Anonymous said...

Hi Joey, just a quick comment to let you know we are praying for you that the tumors are benign and can be treated with medicine and not surgery. Hang in there Joey's Dad! We are praying for you too.

The kitchen is coming along nicely!

Cynthia said...

Hi Maggie and Joey, We just wanted to send our love your way. Medical issues are never pleasant and we wish you the best. We adore both of you! Woof!

Karen Hening-Speedone said...

Dear Dad: It sounds like you're having a really rough week. All of us in The Herd in Baltimore will keep thinking positive thoughts for Joey. We all agreed that we could forego a week of treats and make a donation to Paypal for Joey's surgery. We'd like to help.

The kitchen look fabulous and the dachshund jacuzzi looks first rate! (Remember what I said: positive thoughts!!) Did Maggie ever get the faucets and countertops? Looks like her end of the job is missing!

Love and kisses to both the puppers - Auntie Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi Dad Carson, yep we 4 dachies from Quebec Canada would like to help with a donation for Joey too. Is your vet office setting up a trust fund or something (will need address as we would send a international money order). Or is there any other address to send a gift of $ to? Thinking of all of you. Bark, Bark to ya later.

impromptublogger said...

Feel better Joey!

Love, Max

Joey and Maggie said...

Aw, you guys are the best, such support means so much, you have no idea. But we could never accept any monetary donations for medical care. Dad will find a way - he always does!
And thanks for the comments on the kitchen, it is turning out real nice. Karen - love that you call the new sink the Dachshund Jacuzzi! :) The counters take a little time, but Maggie is heading out this weekend to sniff out some soapstone samples, and hopefully they will be out to measure next week. The faucet has been ordered, and should arrive today or tomorrow.

Lexi said...

I have been following your blog ever since I got my doxie last fall, and I am praying for Joey, that everything will work out for you guys

Karen Hening-Speedone said...

Hey, Dad! You should know better than to tell a dachshund "No!" It would mean a lot to many of us to have a part in Joey's care.
So . . .

Maybe I'll just send a small donation to Wienerwritings.com with the words "Maggie and Joey" in the memo and you can either a) ignore the money; or b) log on to or register with www.wienerwritings.com and let all the good karma flow!

Anyone else who wants to send to wienerwritings.com will get some good karma too!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Joey, a big woof from the north of Germany! I'm keeping my paws crossed for you and your health. Please, tell your Dad that his website made our life a lot more sunny, since we're following each and every news he's posting. Please, give us the chance to give a little bit of sunshine back to you, apart from all the prayers for your recovery. Dachshunds will always stick together. WOOFWOOF, Tobi

Anne said...

dearest Joey: you are in my thoughts and prayers. coco bean and roxie lou also send every ounce of their doxie love to you too!!!!!!!!! AND, to mom & dad to joey/maggie: i am addicted to your blog and relish in everything you post!!! hang in - it's gotta be tough, but remember, you are spreading the word and touching all of us - we appreciate it and keep coming back for more!! love - auntie annie em

Anonymous said...

Much love to little handsome Joey, and we will be praying for a good outcome. It's wisest to follow your personal vets advice and not some anonymous web advise, no matter how well meant. i alway love visiting he site and seeing both Joey and maggie - so, so pretty!!! Nice kitchen, too!

A MilShelb Mom said...

We're thinking about all of you and are parying for a good outcome!
~Maggie, Milly, and Shelby

Anonymous said...

Dad Carson,
We've had two dachshunds with Cushings disease -- Ziggy's adrenal ultrasound came back "inconclusive" and he was treated with trilostane (Vetoryl) and didn't have surgery. His Cushings was diagnosed when he was 12, and in hindsight, I realized that he started showing symptoms when he was about 9 yrs old. He then developed diabetes when he was 13 and we lost him last fall when he was 15. But -- the trilostane completely controlled the Cushings for the 3 years that he took it, and we lost him due to complications from the diabetes, not the Cushings disease. Then, Minnie, our 9year old, started showing symptoms earlier this year; she was diagnosed with atypical Cushings and her ultrasound was normal. She's been taking Trilostane since January, and she is doing GREAT. No symptoms and she runs around again like a puppy. So, there is hope with Cushings disease -- don't believe everything you read on the web! Some vets are not familiar with using trilostane, as it has only been approved for use in the US since 2009 and prior to that had to be imported from the UK. I would order it from a pharmacy in Los Angeles for Ziggy in the early years. Now I can get it from my vet's office for Minnie. If your vet has not used it or has not suggested it to you, you should ask them to look into it. It is not a chemo-type drug; it blocks cortisol production and is less damaging physically than the chemo-type drugs.

I am thinking good, positive healing thoughts for Joey -- remember, dachshunds are tough -- he can get through this!

We love your website!

The San Diego dachshund crew: Nelly, Minnie, Kirby and Henry (our little piebald guy!).

Anonymous said...

Oh Carson, we're sending our love and support from Israel to you and Joey and Maggie back home in Chi! You will be in our thoughts, and we hope you will receive encouraging news during your meeting with the surgeon.

With all our good wishes and prayers for health and wellness,

Becky and Michael

Anonymous said...

We are thinking of all of you and sending you sniggly, warm puppy thoughts all the way from Tasmania. You bring so much happiness to everybody's life and we love that you celebrate the joys of being owned by dachshunds. Thank you for sharing the news with us and you will always find a listening ear amongst Joey and maggie's fanatical fans. Love to you all, Moosie and Roux.

Oscar and Hans said...

Joey and Maggie:

We are thinking of you! WOOF! We will keep our paws crossed for a good outcome, and keep you in our doxie prayers. You can beat this! We are all pulling for you!

--Oscar and Hans

Anonymous said...

Joey, darling- We are sending you Montreal smoked meat filled wishes for brighter days ahead! We're pulling for you! Keep your nose up! Love to Mags and Dad, too. xoox Fern the sausage princess (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

The DIY Show Off said...

I'm new to your blog so I have some catching up to do. Nice to "meet" you all! I'm a doxie owner too (Our Niski is currently recovering from a herniated disc & starting to walk again). Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and Joey along with a BIG hug!

Roeshel

Jolyn7 said...

Joey looks really adorable in the new kitchen sink!

our thoughts are with u n ur family. do update us on both Joey & Maggie when u r free. God bless!

-Jolyn & Jed

Anonymous said...

PLEASE keep us updated- Maggie & Joey are like the cousins that Annie hasn't met yet. Remembering you in our prayers!

kalyxcorn said...

right now I can only think of five words - this is so not allowed. joey, not the kitchen, which is turning out nice by the way. my heart goes out to you, friend. :)

Ruby and Penny said...

Oh my. We are so sorry to hear about Joey. We are praying for you all and sending lots of hugs.
Love Ruby & Penny
btw - the kitchen does look lovely.

Anonymous said...

PRAYERS AND CROSSED PAWS from Chili, Honey and Teddy.

And me.

Liz Kearley

Anonymous said...

Little Joey -- We are thinking of you here in Northern Virginia. I agree that looking on the internet is scary. When Molly was diagnosed with cancer, I found many citations that 50% of dogs with her cancer don't live 6+ months. But here we are...18 months later. I have you all in my thoughts and prayers. With Love, Molly in McLean, VA

Stacey L. said...

Joey is in my thoughts and prayers every night. My dachshund Toby and I are loyal followers of your blog, and we wish you the very best!

Don't forget that dachshunds are little warriors and will often surprise you in the face of adversity.

Please, PLEASE continue to update us on how Joey is doing! Yes, it's a dachshund news blog...but of course we are concerned for the welfare of one of our lovely little hosts!!!!!

Verysupercool Sue said...

On no. I'm so sorry to hear about Joey. I didn't know about his condition. We are sending healing rays his way from Austin, Texas. Hang in there you guys. Big hugs to Joey and Maggie from our crew.

nahlah said...

My humans and I are praying for you, Joey!

Trinket's mom said...

Joey, Trinket and I are sending healing thoughts your way.

Hugs to you, Maggie and your Dad.

Anonymous said...

We're all sending Joey good, healing thoughts for DFW Dachshund Rescue!

Anonymous said...

That's "from" not "for"

The Sheridan Avenue Boys said...

Sending lots of hugs from VA. We'll be keeping Joey in our thoughts and prayers.

Karen Hening-Speedone said...

Dear Sheridan Avenue Boy: You're just in time to give Joey a quick check-up!

"Stick out your tongue, Joey - HEY! No licking during examination!!" LOL!

Anonymous said...

Faith, Tigger and Petie (the "SC 3"- Go Gamecocks! National Baseball Champs!) send love and hugs. Faith, especially, sends her kisses. She has a crush on Joey. Petie is 9, and the other "babies" are 7 year old litter mates. Their mom sends her best wishes as well!

mamamouseiam said...

I've been away, only to come back to The Long and Short of It All to catch up on Dachshund news and find THIS! Oh, my! Schroeder and I am sending good thoughts and well wishes your way, Joey. You, too, Maggie. And Dad, hang in there!

Franny said...

Our paws are crossed for a good prognosis! We can't begin to express our love for Joey, Maggie and this blog. We will be thinking of you.

Hugs,
Franny & the Doxiementary Gang

Anonymous said...

Prayers for Joey and for you.

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