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Unfortunately my English Setter, Hobson has been seriously ill again. His temperature went up to almost 41 degrees last week, his appetite was very poor, his digestive system a mess and in addition to his already serious immune and auto-immune problems, he had an enlarged kidney. 

Fortunately Hobson’s temperature has now returned to normal and his digestive system has settled. However, he is a skeleton only weighing 30.7kg (his normal weight is 35.8kg – he is a large framed English Setter). Unfortunately one kidney remains grossly enlarged so Hobson has now developed kidney disease. 

The vet who is treating Hobson is a decent human being. He wants to help. He has admitted he does not know exactly what to do because Hobson’s health problems have been mismanaged by other vets for many years. In addition Hobson has also been suffering from a neck injury since late 2010 which has resulted in serious neck/spinal/pelvic/hind leg problems which have contributed to his other health problems. Fortunately I persevered and took Hobson to see a particular chiropractor on 20 December 2013. Unfortunately there is a long road ahead to build up the muscles in the various areas of Hobson’s body and he now has serious arthritis in both hind legs. 

Today the vet recommended Atopica for Hobson as a last resort. I thought it was a natural product. I have just completed research on the internet and was horrified to read that it is a similar drug to Prednisone which almost killed Hobson and is one of the primary causes of all of Hobson’s health problems. Atopica is a Cyclosporin drug and has been used to stop the human immune system from rejecting a transplant organ. I nearly fell off the chair when I read the potential side effects. I have cancelled the order for Atopica because suppressing the immune system in Hobson’s case has definitely not worked. Hobson’s immune system is barely functioning. He now has a grossly enlarged kidney. I cannot take the chance of giving him this type of drug again. 

I would appreciate your opinions very much. I am in an extremely high state of anxiety. I am going against the recommendation of a vet who is trying to help Hobson but in my heart I feel I am doing the right thing for Hobson by not giving him this drug. I hope you can also reassure me. 

Thank you very much  James, Catherine and Sylvia for noticing my words of distress and for your kind messages of support, and Barbara, Ellen and Karen too, and my other ES friends who have been worried about Hobson. 

This is a photo of Hobson and Misty on 22 March 2014 when Hobson was very ill. I cannot bear the thought of losing my boy. I just cannot lose him!! 


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My late Ellie was taking Atopica for a long time and had no obvious side effects.I am not sure if Atopica is a steroid as Prednisone is but Ellie had very bad reactions to steroids and couldn't take them.

I would go with your gut reaction regarding Atopica and I really hope that Hobson improves.

Thinking of you both,


My old boy Kiefer (now sadly gone) was given Atopica,  amongst other things, when he had a prostate cyst. It did not agree with him and after 2 doses we rejected it totally. Our vet was fine about it ( it wouldn't have made any difference to us if she had made a fuss!) and revised his treatment successfully.

Like Howard I think you must go with your feelings on this one.

Love to Hobson and wishing you all the strength you need to continue your efforts.

Oh Susan, I am so soory to read your post. I can offer no advice only support to you, I know every decision you make for your fur childen is always for there best interest and if you go with your feeling s you are doing the wright thing. Thinking of you, and praying for a happy outcome dear friend. Take care and keep us informed X

Breaks my heart.

Hang in there.

Dear Susan! I am so very sorry to read your News and that I can give you no advice but like Angela I know every decision you make is the best for Hobson! Thinking of you!!! xxx

Dear Howard and Sue

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. The information you have provided has been very helpful. I am definitely not allowing any vet to give Hobson any type of immune suppressant. This type of drug has almost killed Hobson twice in the past. Every dog is different.

I feel devastated because Hobson was starting to make progress last year until I followed the advice of a vet who has specialised in developing natural diets and supplements for dogs with "skin" problems for at least 15 years. He recommended a probiotic for Hobson which also almost killed him. It is no wonder Hobson's kidney has suffered. Also, the gross misdiagnosis of Hobson's muscu-skeletal injuries by so many for so long. Hobson's problem with his right eye and his weight loss were directly related to his neck injury and not his "skin" problems!

Thank you very much Howard, Sue, Angela, Rob and Barbara for your kind words and your support. This means a very great deal to me. It really helps if you can receive kindness during these traumatic times.

My boy certainly is a fighter. Even on the day we were at the vet surgery when his temperature was almost 41 degrees and he was so sick, his tail did not stop wagging. Hobson shows his love for me in so many ways. When he wants to thank me, he "bobbles" his head up and down and then he thrusts his head into my groin with his tail wagging furiously. A funny way to show gratitude I suppose but Hobson has done this since he was a young boy. When Hobson is lying down and I tell him how much I love him, he looks at me and then he places his paw around my neck to try to hug me. 

Hopefully, Hobson will pull through again. 

Thank you all. Susan xxxxx

Susan, Hobson is a fighter and he has you fighting for him too and you know what is right for him what ever the vets says, I'm glad I didn't do what vet wanted to do for Finlay, Take care Ellen

Dear Ellen, Your reply was not shown when I commented yesterday. Thank you very much for your support. You would certainly understand that trusting your own instincts instead of a vet can save the life of your dog. Sending hugs to you and your beautiful Finlay, Susan xxxxx

So sorry to hear of you distressing time with your beautiful Hobson.
Might be a silly bit of advice I wonder if acupuncture could help in anyway.
If you think it may make sure the person has full qualification not just a short course.
I wish I could be more helpful.
Thinking of you and your lovely boy..

Dear Rosie 

Your suggestion of acupuncture certainly is not silly. I assume you feel acupuncture might be helpful for Hobson’s muscu-skeletal problems. (If I am incorrect, please let me know). Unfortunately there are 2 major problems with this.

(1)  Since the late 1980’s/early 1990’s I have been trying to find a competent acupuncturist, homeopath, naturopath, etc. to help my dogs and my horses. Because few therapists treated companion animals in those days, I used myself as a “test case”. Unfortunately to this day I have not been able to find one "natural therapist" who is competent . This includes so-called "holistic" vets. The vet industry and the natural health industry in Australia need to be regulated. I cannot see this happening in my lifetime. It is a real shame because animals and human beings respond very well to acupuncture. I have many stories to share. Both Hammer and Hobson were grossly misdiagnosed by this so-called "holistic" vet who performs acupuncture (badly!!) and is a chiropractor (bad!!). He is only one of many incompetent so-called "holistic" vets.

(2)  Hobson’s muscu-skeletal problems are the least of his health problems at present. The major worry at present is maintaining Hobson’s temperature at a normal level. So far this is happening. Why did Hobson lose his appetite which has never occurred in his life time until 2 weeks ago? What type of infection caused Hobson’s temperature to rise to 41 degrees which is life-threatening and caused his loss of appetite? There are no answers yet. Hobson also has a grossly enlarged kidney as well as his other serious health problems, all caused by vets! 

I have had terrible experiences with chiropractors in the past but the chiropractor who treated Hobson on 20/12/2013 is different. He diagnosed so many of Hobson’s health problems by watching him walk. I said nothing. He genuinely cares and does not charge outrageous fees. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree and he is very experienced. Hobson could not be in better hands. 

Thank you for caring, Rosie. I tell Hobson I am not the only human being who cares about him. He understands and wags his tail furiously. He loves to be loved. Susan xxxxx

Susan. We fur and human send our love. No animal could be in better care than with you and you will find the answers for your precious fur baby Hobson. I had tears in my eyes reading how Hobson still wagged he's beautiful English tail....even in 41 degrees at the vet. Our daughter like you, has taken in a sweet little King Charles named Tully because he has a few issues (the usual Cavi things...minus heart). I alllllways admire people who sacrifice everything for their fur children....and Susan you are one. :o) I'll pray and keep you in our thoughts. Take care Susan xxx

P.S: Shelby is defying the odds and is still with us annoying her Irish pack lol. We pray she shares more time with us :o))

Dear Dianne

Thank you for your kind words. Hobson has a girlfriend who is a King Charles Cavalier. She is a real sweetie. It is extremely unfortunate that so many purebred dogs have so many health problems. You must feel so proud of your daughter. Dear Tully is lucky she has found him. I am very pleased to hear that Shelby is defying the odds. I often wonder how Shelby is going. Hopefully my boy, Hobson will defy the odds too. Take care too, Susan xxxxx




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