Bucks For Banjo! Help Us Heal Him!

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Raised by 51 people in 10 months
A few people have asked if there was a way to donate and help us get the answers we need to fix our pup, Banjo. We’ve been in this hamster wheel since October 7th. I came home from work and Banjo was limp and lifeless, and since then we have been to 6 visits to 4 vets across two states. We’re still going.

Timeline:

October 7th
Emergency visit at BEVS in Burlington, VTMy suspicion was GI upset due to meddling in the trash the Wednesday prior. His bloodwork, vitals and abdominal X-Rays came back all normal. He was prescribed Metronidazole (an antibiotic) to help heal his GI track.

October 8th
I was petting his ear and face and he yelped, and I pressed on his jaw on either side and he indicated pain, so I made an appointment for the next day.

October 9th
I go to Orchard Veterinary Hospital in South Burlington, VT. They do a physical exam and try to open his mouth and he yelped. He was prescribed Previcox (NSAID) for inflammation and pain.

October 10th
I travel, with Banjo to MA to be with my parents.

October 11th
My Dad and I take Banjo to Marshfield Veterinary Hospital because his mouth and jaw was very swollen and he was having trouble sitting down and seemingly unaware of where his back end was. He was given a comprehensive physical exam from Dr. Powers (who was amazing) it was determined he has a retinal hemorrhage in one eye, which was a new symptom in addition to the jaw pain and inability to sit. He was tested for 3 tickborne illnesses - that test was negative. His blood pressure, blood clot and other bloodwork was all normal. He was prescribed Doxycycline and gabapentin to see if all of this was a tickborne illness that they can’t test for.

October 12th
Banjo woke up with intense swelling under his chin and his neck and began making a snoring sound while breathing. He seemed happy and actually pepped up a little bit, but we still watched him 24/7

October 13th
His swelling and snoring don’t improve so we bring him to VCA Emergency Animal Hospital, where they evaluate him, and say that he may have a splinter in his throat that’s causing an abscess. He also had some left jock swelling. They were going to send a lymph node sample for testing to see if it was lymphoma. He was sedated, given an oral exam. No lymph sample was taken. He was given an incision in his neck to drain the swelling. He was now no longer on Doxycycline, and instead on Clavamox, a penicillin based antibiotic. We were continuing with the Previcox (NSAID)

October 14th
He’s not improving. His swelling was continuing, and he sounded like a chainsaw when breathing. We brought him for a follow up at VCA in Weymouth. We were essentially told to sit tight and let the meds do their thing.

October 15th
Swelling seemed to go down a touch and that night his breathing improved quite a bit. But he was lethargic and seemed to have some swelling in his joints. He slept well trough the night. He still wouldn’t open his jaw, so I fed him bread soaked in water.

October 16th
He woke up happy! His swelling in his Jaw and neck went down noticeably. However, the swelling in all 4 of his limbs increased. I called VCA to update them and they said it was unusual and to bring him back for re-evaluation. Currently he’s being sedated, and we’re getting a joint tap and a lymph sample to test for immune based diseases: polyarthritis, masicatory mitosis among other things. Lymphoma is still a possibility, as is tickborne illness- but that seems unlikely at this point. If it’s autoimmune, he’ll be treated with a heavy dose of steroids, which should help immediately (but we need to keep him off Previcox (NSAID) for 3 days until we can start them. If it point to cancer, we make him as comfortable as possible and take it day by day. All of this came on so fast and he’s been so sad.

Update October 16th
Banjo Update: So his jaw is locked, it’s looking like a form of polyarthritis or masticatory myositis. Likely treatable with steroids, but we can’t start those for 3 days so we don’t overlap with the NSAID. His joint fluid just looked watery and not normally coupled with those immune diseases. His enlarged lymph node just looked like it was fatty and not inflamed. Having a locked jaw is dangerous as he may choke if he vomits and he needs to be on a liquid diet for now. He’ll go on codine tonight for pain and probably some gabapentin. I’m so heartbroken - I hope steroids can help my poor thing.

Thank you for any and all support. Banjo is everything to Andrew and I, and we want to do all we can to help get answers and figure out what is causing him so much pain, and deal with it like responsible dog parents. I wish it were cut and dry: diagnoses and treatment. But we have been in a hamster wheel of many different diagnoses and opinions. Needless to say, with the multitude of tests it’s become quite an unexpected expense. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for any and all support. We’re heartbroken for our boy and just want him back to his happy, mischievous self. Sincerely,Lindsey and Andrew
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$2,560 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 51 people in 10 months
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