29 February 2008

I had an email today from Lorraine to say the results after biopsy found Willow to be having copper storage problems. Luckily there has not been too much damage to the liver but she will have to be on medication and be biopsied again in about 6 months time
Here is a note from Lorraine
It would be nice of you to write something on the blog now, please, I could really do with support from people who truly understand. I would be most interested in how other people have coped with their dogs low copper diet, any known low copper treats, things to especially avoid, anything that may help manage her illness and make poor little Willow's life more happy
If you would like to write privately please email Lorraine LorriDragon@aol.com
I am so sorry to hear about Willow, she is a young dog and fortunately there is little damage to her liver. Hopefully with monitoring and medication she will be able to live a normal life.


Tina W said...

Lorraine sorry to hear the results of Willows biopsey-let's hope that the low copper diet helps and your little girl is soon feeling better.

Marie said...

Lorraine, you will certainly get plenty of support here.

I lost my first bedlie to copper as I wasnt aware of the problem, and that is my biggest regret.

Take comfort in the knowledge that you are aware of Willow's condition and can act to help prolong her life.

Good luck, and dont be afraid to ask for support.

big mo said...

Lorraine so sorry for you and your dog I think Hill's do a prescription diet that is low in copper and in it is medication to restore the liver. i think i gave mine rice cakes as treats.and they did like them.

Donna said...

poor willow hope everthing goes ok

Deb said...

Royal Canin makes a prescription formulation for hepatic disease. So sad Willow has to be stricken with such terrible disease, but early diagnosis hopefully leads to long normal life. Sure Willow will have many happy days ahead just spending time with you Lorraine.

patricia said...

Feeling for you Lorraine, Larry as you probably know, has colitis, and is on a special diet, he is much better now, but i have to even watch his treats, do some searching on the net its amazing what you can come up with, fish4dogs have wonderful natural treats, but e mail them first, they will come back to you very quickly good luck willow

stu said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your Willow's problems. You are lucky to have found out early enough to treat the problem. Do not despair.
We have been unfortunate enough to have had two affected dogs which we discovered at a young age and both of them lived to a ripe old age. One of them made 17 yrs and the other nearly 16, both of them working well into their teens.
Hepatic support diets, common sense and medication, if she can tolerate it, all make a difference.
There are plenty of websites offering advice on low copper foods. In most cases you just have to be sensible and cut out the high copper stuff.
So many affected dogs lived a full and active life that it was sometimes difficult to convince people that the problem existed.
Be careful, listen to your vet, give Willow lots of love, try and keep stress to a minimum and you will probably be O.K. for many years.

Sue & Liza said...

We can only echo what other bloggers have already said. We're thinking of you both and hope Willow feels much better soon.

Tricia said...

Sorry to hear about you Willow. I have had 2 bedlingtons with CT. One got sick when he was 3 years old, he recovered, the liver repairs itself, was put on medication & live a healthy life, I lost him at age 15 years, never sick a day in his life. I also had a bedlington that had a biopsy & found CT, she was put on meds & also lived to be 15....never sick had a happy healthy and active life. My sister had a bedlington who was affected, he could not take any of the medication to treat CT....& he lived to be 13!! How he tolerated the high copper count is not known...these all took place back in the 1980's & early 1990's. So much more is know now about it. There is no reason why your girl shouldn't be a happy healthy girl.

Lorraine said...

Hi Everyone!

Thanks so much for your support, it does help to know that we are not alone. :)

Poor little Willow has now been hospitalised twice with this illness, (it is not called copper toxicosis as her liver is not badly damaged, and some gene tested carrier dogs, which Willow is, do have higher copper levels at six months improving by one year old. This would be brilliant, but she is 11 months now and has a high copper score of 9500, so not too hopeful).

Ian and I hated to see her feeling so ill and lethargic. She used to also just go into like a trance and stare without seeming to see anything, it was awful to see though it did not seem to bother her too much.

On her new medication she has completely stopped doing the staring and perked up no end, I am glad to report. She still has stitches from her op and is only supposed to be allowed out in the garden on a lead to do the necessary until 11th March, no other exercise or excitement. However she seems to have other ideas and is already tearing about if not repressed. Have you ever tried to repress a Bedlington puppy? I think it is the definition of impossible! Willow can get excited because you have feet. Really, she plays with them!

It is so nice to see her with more life about her. She starts her zinc medication on Wednesday and also has her stitches out then. I hope that she can tolerate it, as her copper is quite high at 9500. In a normal dog it should be less than 2000. Copper starts to do damage above that level, so we do need to try and get it lower and hopefully the zinc medicine can help do that, but apparently it is a slow process and not tolerated by every dog.

She is on a liver prescription diet and also cottage cheese, which the specialist vet recommended to up her protein levels.

I really hope that we can successfully manage Willows illness and help her lead as happy a life as possible. It is encouraging to read of the success stories here! I would be grateful for any further hints, tips or anecdotes that people may have, it all helps and I am grateful to you all for taking the trouble.

Best Wishes,


dawn de bussey bedlingtons said...

thinking of you and willow

Tricia said...

My dogs that were affected were on D-penicilliamine...the cooper binds to it and is excreeted in the urine. It takes about 2 weeks for it to show signs of improvement. My first bedlington was so sick before they figured out what was wrong with him, this was in 1983, that he could not even support his own weight to stand up. He threw up everything he was fed & I thought for sure I was loosing him. It was my crash course in learning about CT. Hope Willow has a good out come, I will be thinking of you. Let us know how she is getting on.

Lorraine said...

Latest Willow news-

Willow is doing well on the medication and her bare bits (almost half her body!) are now not so skin like to feel as tiny baby hairs grow back in. She is bright and alert in herself, and is totally fed up with not being allowed walks or plays in the garden. She has started to protest by asking to go out every five minutes and then just mooching in the garden. Bedlingtons are too bright sometimes!

I feel I should correct the misconception that I wrote in my previous message on this thread-

Apparently 2000 is not a normal level, under 200 is. Sometimes dogs can have have liver damage at less than 2000, too. See, I am learning all the time!

Many thanks to those of you who have sent good wishes to Willow, both here and by my email. I really appreciate the good advice, information and support offered. :)

big mo said...

So pleased to hear the new's will keep our finger's x she must be feeling a little better.