What does "Quality of Life" really mean?

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What does "Quality of Life" really mean?

Postby Jacqqui » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:29 pm

[TOPIC AUTO-LOCKED DUE TO INACTIVITY]

So..I finally took my boy Kacey to the vet to find out if he had MBD, or neurological issues that was causing him to walk on his knuckles and twitch. First it seems that Kacey is probably a SHE not a HE.

The next thing is that her twitching and knuckling is not due to MBD her bones are fine. It is the start of paralysis from her being Adeno virus positive. I love my vet and I know she really cares about my animals and me. She is honest and straightforward and asked me what I "wanted to do" about this. She stated that the paralysis can get worse and that I would need to make a decision about Kacey's quality of life, and when it might be time to think of euthanasia. She didn't mean that I had to make that decision right now but that it needed to be given thought. She told me she knows someone with a dragon who is paralyzed and the owner hand feeds it everyday. This dragon became paralyzed after it was already two years old.

My vet asked me the same question when Kacey first tested ADV positive and we had to fight Coccidia right after I bought her. I think I posted about getting her from the online store who after I sent them medical records that she was sick (I take any animal I get to the vet right after I bring them home.) They stated they would take her back and refund my money and sent me a shipping box, but I couldn't send her back. What would they do, sell her to someone else? Put her down? So I have fought for her to get healthy and she was making good gains until this development.

She eats fine, she still moves around the tank and chases after her food the best she can and definitely moves around to bask or stay cool. She's not in pain. She is still gaining weight and is shedding like she should. She is smaller than she should be for around 3 months, but is very feisty!

She's still able to make a mess!
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She's sleep now, choosing to sleep under her hammock I lowered not ON it!
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So how do you decide "Quality of Life'?
Konner and Kaden, & Kelis
Karrington, Havanese
Naomi and Xaris , Parrotletts
Kacey Beardie (you are missed)
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Re: What does "Quality of Life" really mean?

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:49 pm

Poor little one. It's a very difficult question. In my mind I would compare the situation to that of a human. I err on the side of fighting and trying my best, but that may not be the right answer it's just my thought. Are there any specialists your vet can connect with? Maybe at a research/veterinary school? There may be additional resources available for treatment.
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Re: What does "Quality of Life" really mean?

Postby Jacqqui » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:40 pm

I do not want to give up on Kacey. You are right that it could be viewed in the same way I would approach it as if it was a human child. My vet is a reptile vet and she is one of the Professors at the school of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She did take numerous pictures of Kacey standing and walking to share with her colleagues to get opinions and suggestions. She has been a godsend (and it helps to have graduated from the same school!!) she has really taken every opportunity to work with me on the cost of visits, testing, Xrays, and any of the meds for all four. Everything she has suggested has been spot on.
She did mention trying anti-inflammatory medications as there are anecdotal reports of its effectiveness in combating or arresting some of the paralysis. She mentioned that it has been experimented as a part of treatment for people with MS. I want to look that up further and she said to let her know.

I just wanted to make sure Kacey was not in pain. I think it is the same as if I had a child with an incurable disease you really have to pick your treatments and do the research. Kacey doesn't have any of the other complications of ADV like abdominal swelling or any apparent liver issues. I also didn't have to worry about giving a stool sample as Kacey showed her displeasure with the whole visit by pretty much squirting a huge poo at the Dr when she lifted her tail during the exam!! :lol:

Thanks for your input I'd like to hear what other think, especially people who have had to go through thinking about or making these types of decisions.
Konner and Kaden, & Kelis
Karrington, Havanese
Naomi and Xaris , Parrotletts
Kacey Beardie (you are missed)
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Re: What does "Quality of Life" really mean?

Postby diamc » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:18 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that you even have to think about the "quality of life", that is so hard. Poor Kacey and you for having to deal with ADV and this diagnosis of paralysis. It sounds like he is doing quite well right now and I do think an anti-inflammatory will help him out.

I, unfortunately had to make this decision for my girl Sabrina a little of 3 yrs ago and it was an extremely hard one but I knew the time had come. Let me give you her health background.

We got her from a local pet store when she was about 6 wks old and she was doing wonderfully well, active, great appetite, etc. We decided to switch from a Repti-Sun 10.0 to a MVB and bought the T-Rex Active UV bulb which she loved. When it was time for a new bulb, I ordered the exact same replacement and noticed that she was avoiding the bulb even though the temps were good & the distance was correct. I took another look at the bottom of the bulb and noticed that something wasn't right with it. So, I decided to go with a Megaray and noticed that she was basking with her eyes closed a lot and there was some swelling & discoloration under her eyes. I sent the bulb back to them and this was the same time frame that there were issues with the Megarays and the improper coatings. I was in contact with Frances Baines (the UVB guru) and sent her one of the bulbs to be tested, turned out that the UV reading was way too high and she also noted that it was producing UVC which can lead to cancer. I have since found out that during the time that she was avoiding the lights, her body wasn't able to absorb her calcium efficiently so it affected her back legs. I started her on liquid calcium and Serrapeptase (recommended by Tracie, Drache613) which seemed to help and also did water exercises with her legs. This whole time she was happy and had her brightest yellow coloring, a good appetite, etc. Then the walking difficulty in her back legs became worse and she would walk for a little while and then use her front legs to maneuver her body around. She still was happy and I continued the treatment and exercises. When she started getting darker in color and her beard turned a light gray & she didn't have happy sparkling eyes any longer, I realized she had lost her "quality of life" and I knew it was time to let her go as I saw all the signs that she was now uncomfortable and she had been through enough. She was about 7 yrs old when I had her put to sleep.

Hope this information helps you out a little bit.

Please keep us updated on Kacey. I do believe that you will know when the "time is right."
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