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 Apollo's Story

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PostSubject: Apollo's Story   Fri May 06, 2011 9:19 am

This one is very difficult for me as it still breaks my heart. But, I feel that it needs to be shared in case any other glider ever has to go through this.

This is the story of a little guy that we initially thought had repeated anal gland infections. In the end, you will see some different diagnosis. I originally chronicled this story on another board and am just going to copy and paste my posts here so that we can all learn something and maybe do better with the next one.

Originally posted after I returned from the SGGA with Apollo. He had had his anal glands removed during the gathering.

Posted 07/30/08
Quote :
Apollo is hanging in there. 2 days of severe dehydration, but today he perked up a bit. He is active and just warms my heart when he runs to me every time I open the cage/rept. He is on cage rest, so I think he is going stir crazy.

Posted 08/02/08
Quote :
I moved Apollo to an even smaller collar yesterday. Now, he can't reach his butt, but he can get around much better and can reach his back feet to clean them - since I guess I didn't do a good enough job with his bath.

He cleaned his feet for 20 minutes and just chirped and chirped the whole time!

It is easier for me to do a slide show since I already have so many pictures of him. So, if you are interested, here ya go:
Apollo Slide show

Posted 08/04/08

Quote :
Anyway, I talk so much about Apollo that I can't remember who I told what. So, I am posting what I know here:

Apollo had a few days of no hissing/straining when going potty. BUT, when I stopped the metacam, he began hissing and straining again. So, it is clear that there is still a good bit of swelling. After two days off of the metacam, Apollo is going back on today. affraid Dr. Walsh believes that some of this is because his bladder was so infected that it became enlarged, which gives the body the FEELING that he needs to pee, even if the bladder is empty. He thinks that is why he was straining so much to pee, but only a little drop would come out. So, we are continuing with both antibiotics as if we are treating UTI/bladder infection. I gave him a little cranapple juice, and he peed for hours, I swear. :) He will remain on antibiotics until at least the 23rd of this month.

He is able to eliminate better than before. I am having no problems with getting meds down him since I started mixing it with yogurt. He LOVES yogurt. When I open the rept, he comes running to me and looks at me like "what do you have now? huh?" He chirps and chirps when eating yogurt and mealies, and you guys should see him trying to play with his toys! It is so funny! I am going to try to get pictures.

He seems to be feeling better, which seems to make him happy. He chirps all day long. I even think he is having happy dreams!

Some of his stitches fell out yesterday (I had to help one of them completely come out). He still has a few in there, but they are beginning to dissolve. He looks REALLY good. I started putting emu oil on his incision sites today in hopes that it will make the fur grow back super quick so that he can come out of the e-collar.

He is a very precious boy. I am thrilled to see him doing so well. He still has some issues with hydration that I think stem from the amount of medication he is on. So, he gets pedialyte all day every day, and he drinks every bit of it I give to him. That, coupled with watermelon and the yogurt juice drink at dinner are keeping him hydrated enough that I don't have to sub-q. :crossing:

All in all, my worry for him decreases with each passing day. :dance:

Posted 08/06/08
Quote :
Don't stop praying for Apollo just yet.

We are headed back to Tulsa tomorrow (or tonight if necessary). :Cry2: I'm too exhausted to explain more, but Apollo has had a turn for the worse. :med_sad: Keep him in your prayers. I'll update when my brain is functioning again.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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PostSubject: Re: Apollo's Story   Fri May 06, 2011 9:22 am

Posted 08/08/08
Quote :
I don't know how much better my brain is working, but I am rested and able to share Apollo's story.

Apollo had begun to have pretty extensive hissing and straining when trying to urinate again. This became increasingly more frequent and more intense. A few days ago, I noted that he was beginning to have some swelling:


Over the course of the night, he continued to balloon up. He was filling with urine, but not able to get it to leave the cloaca. Additionally, he would hiss and strain so hard that he would shake pretty significantly.

So, I began expressing him - gently. I was able to get on drop out at a time. For 3 hours I expressed him. Finally, most of the swelling/fluid accumulation was gone. But, it kept re-filling. So, we spent the night repeating this process (though I never allowed it to get that large again.)

SOOO - off to Tulsa we went - with pictures to show how bad it had gotten. I had spoken on the phone with about half of the free world by this time, and had so many scenerios running through my mind. The only other person I could find who had ever seen anything like this was Mary & Charlie, and with their Chloe, her urethra and colon had detached from the cloaca. So, that is where we started. Barium tests showed that everything was intact, but there was very significant swelling running the entire lenght of the urinary tract and not allowing anything to move from the bladder. The bladder was SOOO full that it was encompassing almost the entire body cavity. So, Dr. Walsh used a needle to express the bladder, getting 3.2cc of urine out of a tiny glider body!


After the urine was aspirated, it seemed to relax some things, and I began to notice a difference in swelling. Now to address the major swelling. Apollo has been on metacam for 8 of the 12 days since his last surgery, AND was using synotic - a topical anti-inflamatory, so the amount of swelling noted was troubling. Furthermore, the cloaca was very irritated and red.


Apollo was given a BATH and a shot of metacam and one of baytril. After about 15 minutes, the swelling began to be noticeably lessened. Now, Dr. Walsh was able to begin a more thorough examination inside the body. What he found was that the previous penis amputation left Apollo with some scarring, which has caused a slight stricture. He speculates that this then caused Apollo to begin straining some to urinate, which allowed some back up into the bladder, causing a bladder infection. The bladder infection lead to a UTI and then to the infection in the anal glands. All of these procedures and expressing of the anal glands lead to an unusual amount of swellilng that was being continually irritated by the frequent straining and struggling in the e-collar. He did not remove the scar tissue because he feared that it would only allow more scar tissue and begin a viscious cycle.

C&S results will be in in a few days. Urinalysis revealed a significantly increased white cell count and a few crystals. So, we will continue to treat the bladder and urinary tract infections.

Soooo - Apollo left the vet with NO swelling and was so happy when he woke up that he began hopping all over the table and chirping! It must feel nice to finally have an empty bladder! Very Happy We are trying a different topical steroidal anti-inflamatory med, and left with more antibiotics. He also came home with more pain meds, since he is having some cramping while his bladder and cloacal area go back to normal size after being stretched so much (kinda like after having a baby).

Apollo was much more active last night than he has been since I brought him home. He still hisses to pee or poop, but WAS able to pee and poop multiple times. The struggle now will be to keep him from becoming swollen again. :Prayer:

NOW I'm off to an emergency visit with my dog, Tater Tot. I swear, it is never ending!

Posted 08/09/08
Quote :
Apollo got some tent time last night. He was SOOOO happy to be playing! He was very active all night last night, so I take that as a sign that he is feeling better. Heard a little bit of hissing, but NOTHING like before. He did not get a bath last night, so he is a bit dirty in the pics, but I DID get some pictures!

Slideshow of Apollo in tent

Posted 08/11/08
Quote :
OH, attention is not a problem around here:
Those face rubs feel SOOOOO good!


Hey, where are my face rubs????


Notice anything missing? ?????



THAT's RIGHT - when hanging out with Mommy Val, he is being allowed time out of his collar. Not one single issue so far!

AND, just cause he loves to show off, Look at his bum today:


No more stitches, no more scabs, fur growing back in, and no swelling! Looking good!

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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PostSubject: Re: Apollo's Story   Fri May 06, 2011 9:32 am

Posted 08/27/08
Quote :
************* UPDATE **************

Apollo is healing on the outside VERY well. His little bum is so cute now. He is getting a little fuzzy on the incision sites from his surgery. All is looking good outwardly. However, he still hisses and strains very bad to pee. He still only gets a little drop of pee out at a time. :hmmm1: Dr. Walsh believes that the scar tissue is just too great. But, at this time, we are very limited in options. So, he is researching and thinking. I am researching and thinking.

On the bright side, It really does not seem to bother Apollo much. He hisses and strains and then moves on. He plays well, eats well, etc. And, he looks really good. I have moved him to a slightly larger cage (from the small rept) so that it is easier for me to see how much he is eliminating.

Risks at this time are: He remains at very high risk for UTI and bladder infection. There is the chance that it will eventually become too much for him and he will begin to SM. He might become depressed being all alone - and we all know those risks. AND, he may become depressed or frustrated with his diet - which is modified to make it easier for him to poop. *sigh* Apollo is a difficult puzzle all wrapped up in a beautiful, sweet, lovable furry body.

And, now, for your viewing pleasure:

Look at me healing up, but passing only a drop of pee:


How much cuter can it get?


Ready to go out for the day ..... he can be a bit impatient.

Posted 08/28/08
Quote :
I hesitate to say anything, but I do want to ask you to continue your prayers for Apollo.

He had a bad night last night. I was up with him most all night. He was thrashing about in pain and I was terrified he was going to SM. So, I never took my eyes off of him (Thank GOD for those hospital pouches Shawna made me!).

I have spoken with Dr. Walsh and it looks like I will have to take Apollo in for another surgery.

We are going to try a few other things first, so I will keep you posted. But, if things don't turn around by Labor Day, then I will be going back to Tulsa with Apollo. Pray hard guys! We need a miracle, it would seem.

Posted 09/01/08
Quote :
Apollo is doing MUCH better - he is at least pooping regularly now. I guess he needs a bit more "help" dietary wise than Jen's glider does/did. Anyway, with the aid of pumpking and/or prunes regularly, he is pooping like a champ.
Little stinker would not come out and hiss for Shawna. BUT, he is still straining to pee. :(

I was able to track down the girl that i got him from and get a bit more information on him. She purchased him from a pet store where he was used as a breeder. She was never given a straight answer on his tail - just that it was "an accident." She also was able to ascertain that he was likely a mill bred baby - which adds to my belief that he is inbred. He was fed a pellet diet while in the pet store.

He had been on BML for the two years that she had him. He has always been really aggressive. He did not have any medical issues while with her.

So, not much more in the way of history, but it is something. I'm so proud of myself for being able to track her down. There is something to be said for never throwing anything away and for being a compulsive record keeper.

Tonight is Apollo's night in the tent. I will try to get cute pictures.


Apollo had been adopted to a wonderful mommy, who returned him to me at the SGGA when he became so ill. I stayed in contact with her throughout this process, and much of the above thread was written just so she could stay updated.

On 09/03/08, she wrote the following:

Quote :
Ok, so as I sit here and write this, my heart aches like none other. I just got off the phone with Val and my baby took his last breath in his second mommy Val's bra today. He was a fighter and a biter and was the most hardheaded glider I have EVER met. But, he was my angel and my baby boy. He was able to live the last of his life with Val...someone who gave him her all. She is what kept him alive and I know that without her, he couldn't have survived! I miss him so much and words cannot express how I feel right now. I was so tough on the phone with Val and was able to hold back the tears but the tears will not stop flowing now. I miss him and long to see him just one more time. I thought of him everyday and he will always hold a special place in my heart. I miss you so much Apollo. Wait for me at the bridge. You can bite me again one day....I promise I won't even move!

I posted on 09/04/08
Quote :
I am not ignoring this post..... I just don't know what to say.
Apollo's last day was so strange, and I just don't know what to make of it. I am terribly, terribly SAD. And, again, I feel like I failed him - like I missed something. I am so very, very sorry Sam.

I did send him for a necropsy. So, maybe some answers will come from that??? I have to know if it was my fault. I'm sure it was.
I miss him so much. I still have his cage right beside my bed. He was so special in so many ways. I wish things were different. I am so sorry.

Necropsy results showed that Apollo's cause of death was an overgrowth of scar tissue which completely occluded his urethra. For that last day, I aspirated his bladder every 2 hours and we tried to catheterize him. It just was not enough. We did not know that he had so much scar tissue. It had basically taken over his whole abdominal cavity.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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