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Caring For a Chronically Ill Dog. Leroy Update

Thank you to everyone who has been asking about Leroy. I’ve been quiet in giving updates because it’s been a roller coaster ride but at this moment I can say that he’s had more good days than bad days so far this week.

I was going to keep this update short and just post it on our social media pages but since I tend to go in-depth with his updates and they can get quite involved I decided the blog would be the best place for it.

If you missed that Leroy was sick you can refer back to this post. In that post I talked about how Leroy was having an IBD flare-up and dealing with Lymphangiectasia While Leroy has had small flare-ups of his IBD over the last few years, this is the first time were dealing with his Lymphangiectasia flaring up since he was diagnosed just over 3 years ago.

With Lymphangiectasia a dog can go into remission for several years so it’s something we don’t deal with often. With that being said, when  Lymphangiectasia strikes it’s something that you’ll never forget because it’s such a tough condition to treat and battle. As I wrote in the last post, I thought I had a pretty good handle on it and I still believe that’s true, but as I also stated, things can go from bad to worse with this condition very quickly and it did.

Why did it go bad?

I started Leroy on the medications that we use to treat his IL as soon as I knew we were dealing with more than IBD. I was holding off on the steroids but after a few days it was obvious that we didn’t have a choice.

I’m not a huge fan of steroids because, with my experience, they are very tough on the big dogs. They come with a long list of side effects and Leroy has about every single side effect listed. However, the steroids work. They take down the inflammation and make Leroy better in the long run. When Leroy is on the steroids he gets worse before he gets better and while it’s hard to see him like that, when he gets over the hump he is better.

The Timeframe.

I started Leroy on the steroids about a week and a half ago. All was fine for the first few days and then the steroids really got into his system and Leroy began to drink a lot of water, pee a lot, vomit and he stopped eating. He also started to lose weight and he became weak to the point that he struggled to get up. Him and I were both living the nightmare over again.

When the steroids take effect Leroy pees a lot, which is good but the steroids are also taking the inflammation down in the lymphs so the fluid that he has built up starts to drain out, which is good. But now Leroy is peeing a lot and trying to push the lymph fluid out when he pees. This results in him pushing so hard that he grunts. Because he’s pushing so hard he vomits. Because he’s vomiting he stops eating. This is vicious cycle that we go through all day and all night.

So then we have to try to adjust his medication to a comfortable, but also effective, level for him. This takes more days.

Then we have to find something that he’ll eat. Not easy because he has IBD so we have limited options.  I can’t just throw any food at him. I made Leroy a big batch of the go-to meal of boiled chicken, rice and sweet potatoes which he was loving last month but now he refuses. So we tried noodles, he refused that. After days and days of trying to get him to eat, he finally decided that the only thing he would eat was his dry prescription dog food.

So be it. It’s either that or he’s going to starve to death.

So now we’ve gone 4 full days of Leroy eating. We’ve got the steroids down to a comfortable, but hopefully effective level and Leroy’s poops are almost back to normal. He’s lost about 20 pounds.

He’s still on the flaygl and will be for a few months, he’s on pepicd for nausea, CBD oil for comfort and inflammation, low dose of steroids for an undetermined amount of time, and he’s suppose to be on his probiotic but he refuses to eat his food when that’s on there so I’ll revisit that sometime in the near future. He’s scheduled to have his protein levels and B12 levels checked in a few weeks and that will be the determining factor on how long we’ll need to continue this regimen. I’m sure we have a few months left.

Our goal is to get Leroy through this flare-up and pray that he goes into remission for another 3 years. Hopefully by the summer he’ll be off the medications. He does get depressed when he’s this sick but he’s slowly coming out of that now. If I sound a little frustrated in this post, it’s because I am. I don’t know what led us back here. Was it something I did? Was it the deer poop he ate when we went for a walk in the woods last month? Can I not do these fun things with Leroy anymore? Did he get into something that I’m not aware of? Was I not watching him good enough? Was I too lax in his diet somewhere?

There really won’t be anything to update until we have his levels checked or if he stops responding to treatment. Thank you all for caring about him like he was your own. I believe that he feels your love. <3

If you’re new to our blog and don’t know Leroy’s history, you can check out this post to see where his illness stems from.


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Intestinal Lymphangiectasia in Dogs: Leroy's Story

Wednesday 7th of August 2019

[…] Gentle giant, Leroy. Photo My Brown Newfies […]

Blueberry's human

Monday 19th of February 2018

That stinks - hoping he continues to improve.

Have you looked into Olewo carrots? I know you know Leroy the best and what he can tolerate - so I just wanted to throw that out there in case it might help. Blueberry does not have the same condition as Leroy, but I do find that it helps her with any digestive issues faster than canned pumpkin.

Hang in there. :)


Monday 19th of February 2018

I have looked into them but haven't taken the plunge yet. Are they easy to digest do you think? I wonder about that with him. He use to get apples all the time but after after awhile he didn't tolerate them well.

Jan K

Monday 19th of February 2018

This sounds SO stressful - I can only imagine. I'm so glad to hear Leroy is heading in the right direction and things seem to be under control now. My heart is with you. Please don't blame yourself - sometimes these health issues are going to happen no matter how hard we try not to let them. You couldn't love him any more or keep him any safer than you already do. Hugs....hang in there!


Monday 19th of February 2018

Thanks Jan. I'll always wonder if there was something else I could be doing of could of done but I do know for sure that I love him with all my heart! <3


Monday 19th of February 2018

Thanks for the update - I was getting concerned but didn’t want to bother you.


Monday 19th of February 2018

Sorry about that. He was on such a roller coaster there for a few days I didn't know which way he was going to go! It seemed like everytime I said something he did the opposite. That's Leroy for ya though!

Monika & Sam

Monday 19th of February 2018

So very sorry to hear of Leroy's latest health issues. When you have a dog with chronic health problems, your heart aches more than most. Sending oodles of poodles POTP thoughts your way. ?

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