berner.org

from the berner-l

I was able to speak with both Dr. Willis in the UK with reference to the UK article in the Small Animal Practises journal and also to Prof. Peter Moore at the Uni of California.

The information he shared was excellent and I hope what I have been able to pass on to the treating vet here will give them some options for treating this sick young dog. I'm not sure if this boy's case has been caught early enough as he's quite ill...it's taken them some time to diagnose because we just don't have that many Berners in this country. I believe it's not been that commonly diagnosed in this country - but probably through incorrect diagnosis more than a none existent situation.

It does appear to be slowly reactive - In fact, it would seem the first histiocytes surfaced some 6 months ago...so this is not a new condition for this boy, it's just now that all this boy's problems have been pieced together and diagnosed this week after he was opened up. His bowel has been infected...those late symptoms being runny stools and weight loss.

I was able to pass on some current data from the "Current Vet Therapy" Journal - these sections I believe Prof. Moore was a co-author in and was able to offer a great deal of insight in to these. He spoke of 2 primary drugs to treat this systemic form of histiocytosis -- CyclosporinA and Leflumomide...and you do NOT want to know how much the latter costs! I was mortified!! I'm hoping the first drug is a little more affordable...no, at LOT more affordable actually. I don't even know if they are available here in Australia.

I've learned some interesting facts about this form of Histio -- the symptoms being a VERY important clue to recognising the illness. It does appear the result of an over active immune system - white blood cells gone mad - hence the reference to "Immunosuppressive Therapy" in the above Journal. Eye lesions and conjunctivitis are a clue, as is the skin surface feeling quite rough and thick...and of course the histiocytes - which on this dog looked a lot more like crusty sores than lumps. I believe also that not all of the drugs will treat the eyes and their legions -- separate eye drops are needed for that - I believe the drug "Optimune Eye Drops" can be useful here.

I believe it's not that common for Malignant Histiocytosis and Systemic Histiocytosis to be diagnosed in the same dog at the same time, but Prof. Moore didn't think it was not possible.

Robin - your health links pages I was having quite some trouble with yesterday...have you changed some of those?

So...now we wait. I'm just praying that something can be done to help this boy. His owners are frantic.

Again, I thank you all who responded for your help. We're very lucky to have you.