Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Patient of the Month- Jackie deLaurentis!!

Jackie, a 9 ½ year old, female, JRT was 7 when she was diagnosed with diabetes. She had a long history with the HAH and with, Dr. Anne Murphy. Upon diagnosis the process of regulating Jackie began. However, she was very difficult to regulate and so her mom, Sarah, started to test and record her blood glucoses at home. Sarah was diligent in taking and tracking the blood results which made it possible for Dr. Murphy to make changes to her insulin as needed. However, it took almost a year to regulate Jackie’s blood sugar levels and in that time she developed diabetic cataracts.

Diabetic cataracts are common in diabetic dogs in fact; most will develop cataracts even if the diabetes is well controlled. The solution to the cataract is surgery. 

In Jackie’s case though, before she could schedule the surgery she developed Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (I.M.H.A.) I.M.H.A. is a disease of the immune system that causes the body to attack its red blood cells causing a life threatening anemia. A steroid is needed to combat the body's desire to destroy these RBC’s  but that same steroid can cause insulinantagaism. This will increase the need for insulin in the body thus making regulating Jackie’s diabetes once again, very difficult.

Once her I.M.H.A was controlled, Dr. Murphy spent the next 10months focused on slowly weaning Jackie from the steroids and adjusting her insulin accordingly. Finally, in Oct of 2012, after 3months of no immunosuppressive drugs Jackie was cleared for eye surgery which was performed by Dr. Robert Swinger.

Today, Jackie is doing great! “She is like a new puppy!” She is once again staring out the window spying on the world as she once did. Her success is due to many factors. Her “original super hero”, as her mom would say, Dr. Murphy and the “remarkable” surgery by Dr. Swinger were paramount but a huge credit goes to Jackie’s owner.  Sarah’s determination, dedication and organization of Jackie’s bloodwork, diet and behavior made Jackie a perfect patient. Without that commitment to her care the story would have a very different ending. We are so pleased to honor Jackie (and in many ways her mother) as our Patient of the Month!!

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