Booger Update: Snot a tumor

Booger went in today for sedation, x-ray, tooth examination to make sure he didn't have a bad tooth irritating his nasal passages, and nasal passage flushing.
Nothing. The vet is completely baffled. Nothing at all came up on the x-ray, his teeth are healthy, and she flushed his nasal passage several times with nothing at all but clear fluid coming out. He continues to sneeze although he hasn't had bloody sneezes in a couple of days, and his lymph nodes are still swollen. He has bounced back a bit over the past few days, but he's still not his usual playful self.
The good news is, the vet didn't find anything we were fearing, such as a tumor. The bad news is, we still aren't much closer to knowing what's bothering him. The best news is, Dr. DeHaven is very cost-conscious, and our bill came out at the low end of her estimate. She took cell samples from his swollen lymph nodes. She told us she could send the samples off to a commercial lab & have results back in 24 hours, or send them to the University of Georgia, wait a couple extra days & save $50. She recommended sending them to UGA since its nothing life threatening.
Its a little frustrating not knowing how to make him feel 100% again!

Hugs to Booger, sorry to hear about this. I hope your doctor figures it out, it is wonderful that she is conscience of cost and the well being of Booger. You are lucky to have a great vet.

Get well Booger!

Its awful to still not know…hopefully, something will come to light soon.
Glad there are no tumors.
Hugs

I'm at wit's end.
The results came back from the lab at the University of Georgia, and they confirmed no cancer or fungus. That's the good news. The bad news is they didn't find anything (I call that bad news because we still have no idea what this is so we can't even start to treat it!)
The vet, as a last shot in the dark, put him on Clavomax for a week. He got his last dose last night. It did not improve him in any way, and he's gotten increasingly lethargic.
If I take him to the park, he runs & plays almost completely normally. However, at home, all he wants to do is sleep. I've been practicing some agility stuff with Lola, and he's very interested & is picking up everything I've been working on with her. He eats normally, but I've had to increase his food slightly because he seems to be losing weight.
I spoke with the vet on the phone last night, and she says she is at a loss. She has nothing else she can do except refer him. She told me to take him off the Clavomax for 2 days, see if he perks up & then call him back.
She mentioned referring us to an internal medicine specialist & doing bone biopsies & using more sophisticated equipment to search for a fungus that could be hiding somewhere that she can't see.
I'm so frustrated. We have exhausted our vet funds on the procedures done so far, and don't know where to go now. Any prayers, thoughts, good vibes, anything at all would be much appreciated. I'm getting a bit depressed watching my dog suffer. He shivers all the time & just wants to sleep on our laps with a blanket over him all day (not much of a difference from before really, other than now he doesn't have bouts of playtime in between naps. Just constant naps.)

What did his blood panel look like? Was everything in the normal range? Has he had a full thyroid panel run, his lethargy may be do to hypothyroidism?

@lvoss:

What did his blood panel look like? Was everything in the normal range? Has he had a full thyroid panel run, his lethargy may be do to hypothyroidism?

The vet didn't run a blood panel, which I asked her about. She said that the nasal issues aren't likely to show elevated white blood cells or anything. She thinks it would be a waste of time & money to run a blood panel in this case. (Its been a couple of weeks since I asked her about this, and she used an analogy of a mechanic trying to diagnose a problem with your car using certain tests for certain problems). She also hasn't suggested a thyroid panel. His lethargy seems to be connected to just how miserable he is overall with sneezing & his swollen lymph nodes. I think the more he sleeps, the less he is awake to sneeze.
All the points mentioned thus far in this thread (ie the blood tests), I have questioned her on. She's very understanding in allowing me to question her knowledge & experience (as if I have a clue what I'm talking about) & has given me answers which I feel make sense. She knows we're on a tight budget & doesn't want to spend our money unwisely & also doesn't want to stress him out with unnecessary tests.

I guess my concern would be that there may be another issue going on that is making him suseptible to whatever is causing the sneezing issues. Symptoms like the swollen lymph nodes would make me wonder what the blood results look like. Though nothing may turn up, if something did, it could help narrow in on where you should be looking. A basic blood panel is usually under $100, which is not cheap but may help rule out the involvement of other organs especially since the next step seems to be a specialist.

Sorry to hear he still isn't well. I know money is short, but I think I agree with Lisa…especially if the lymph nodes are swollen, maybe a blood panel would show something. I think Ruby's was about $70 when I had her spayed.

Andrew, I am sorry to hear this 😞 I agree, get the blood panel run. I would also check the thyroid – unable to regulate body temperature is definitely a sign of a malfunctioning thyroid. Has he been checked for Valley Fever? What's his heart rate like? A low heart rate can = thyroid troubles.

Deb

Sorry you still don't have an answer. Hopefully you will find one soon.

Carrie and Andrew,
I am so happy to hear that it isn't cancer or fungus but I also feel your frustration at not knowing what is causing this problem.

Since there is no apparent physical reason, there could be something in the environment triggering the sneezing. Do you use topical flea products on Booger? Do you wash floors with bleach or other potentially toxic products? Do you use carpet fresheners? Do you have any kind of air fresheners? Do you use dryer sheets with his bedding? Do you spray insect products in the house? Does anyone smoke in the house? Even if you have used any of the above for a long time, allergies can still develop. Remove as many of the above as possible and see if Booger's sneezing is reduced.

Oh yeah, you said Booger's sinuses were flushed and an x-ray of his teeth was done but was an x-ray done of his sinuses? Sometimes something as simple as a tiny blade of grass or a seed can get lodged in the sinus cavities and it just won't flush out. An x-ray is sometimes the only way to find it.

I'm sending good vibes your way and also keeping him in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us updated.

Yes please keep us posted… (sending basenji hugs your way).

Sending good vibes your way – one of my previous beasties had a sneezing problem for a couple of days and I discovered he had inhaled some fibers from a rug he had torn to shreds. I only discovered it by accident when I noticed a weird looking snot in his nose. Did your vet actually look in his nostrels?

I really really appreciate all of the advice, good wishes, hugs, thoughts & prayers. Every time I think about him suffering, I just want to cry.
I will definitely discuss the blood panel & thyroid panel with the vet when I talk with her in the morning.
Robyn, she probed his teeth, and x-rayed his nasal passages to make sure there wasn't a tumor in there. I'm assuming the sinuses were on the x-ray (not really sure where the sinuses are located??).
As far as allergies… We did get a dryer around the same time the sneezing started, and we were thinking he might be allergic to dryer sheets (which he has never been exposed to before). I asked the vet, and she doesn't think its an environmental trigger. I have stopped using the dryer sheets, but it will be a while before I feel I've cleared the house of any and all residue (clean AND dirty clothes re-washed.)
I'm supposed to call the doctor tomorrow, so I will bring up the blood panel & thyroid panel & see what she says.
And thank you again.... the support here means so much to us!

Good luck! I think I'd be pulling my hair out by now.

@Andrew:

I really really appreciate all of the advice, good wishes, hugs, thoughts & prayers. Every time I think about him suffering, I just want to cry.
I will definitely discuss the blood panel & thyroid panel with the vet when I talk with her in the morning.
Robyn, she probed his teeth, and x-rayed his nasal passages to make sure there wasn't a tumor in there. I'm assuming the sinuses were on the x-ray (not really sure where the sinuses are located??).
As far as allergies… We did get a dryer around the same time the sneezing started, and we were thinking he might be allergic to dryer sheets (which he has never been exposed to before). I asked the vet, and she doesn't think its an environmental trigger. I have stopped using the dryer sheets, but it will be a while before I feel I've cleared the house of any and all residue (clean AND dirty clothes re-washed.)
I'm supposed to call the doctor tomorrow, so I will bring up the blood panel & thyroid panel & see what she says.
And thank you again.... the support here means so much to us!

Just a thought, if a full thyroid panel was done, you could ask Dr. Dodds to take a look at it? I always get copies of blood work from my Vets to put in my records. You never know in the case of emerency you might need it.

Hugs to you and Booger and that you'll get to the bottom of the mystery… Pls. keep us posted...

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