Amy Karnehm noticed a change in her dog Candi’s behavior in spring 2019 after she had a dental cleaning and extraction, then experienced a fall. Candi’s eye was swollen, and her veterinarian couldn’t fit them in for an appointment. Karnehm was able to get Candi an appointment at another clinic in the area. That clinic performed an ultrasound and x-rays which showed Candi had a detached right retina, but no masses or any reason for the issues. The veterinarian recommended an MRI to investigate what was causing the issues. The clinic suggested Karnehm make an appointment with Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center Neurology Service.
After reviewing the imaging, veterinary neurologists explained to Karnehm that Candi had either neuritis, a condition caused by inflamed nerves, or a tumor. Due to her size and where the mass was, the radiation oncologist wanted to rule out neuritis first. Candi was prescribed prednisone, but her symptoms persisted, ruling out neuritis. Candi has since been diagnosed with a brain tumor that is affecting the sixth cranial nerve and the brain stem. Candi’s left eye also remains severely crossed and her right eye is now cloudy with a cataract.
Treating Candi’s tumor with prednisone has greatly slowed its growth, however prednisone can result in various side effects and lead to other health issues. The goal is to lower Candi’s dose of prednisone while maintaining her quality of life and controlling the tumor. Although Candi continues to have multiple health issues along this journey, Karnehm says that if you were to see Candi, you wouldn’t believe that she is facing so many challenges.
"We’ve been so very happy with the support and care Candi has received. We have been coming to Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center to see Dr. Lauren McAllister in Neurology since November 2019. Even before the pandemic, Dr. McAllister has worked with us in between appointments to adjust meds, answer questions and, at every step, has prioritized overall quality of life for Candi,” said Karnehm. “I am so blessed to have the veterinary team in place that I do – their primary concern is her quality of life. She’s exceeding everyone’s expectations!”
Karnehm has always been aware of Ohio State’s rankings and knew that the College of Veterinary Medicine program was top notch. She is impressed that so many local veterinarians, including six of the veterinarians at her current practice went to Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. That love for Ohio State combined with the care that Karnehm received for her dog Candi, drove the desire for the Candi Karnehm family to support the college.
“I want to help Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center and the college because people that are in veterinary medicine are special. The pay is nothing near what human medicine pays (exponentially less) and they have issues to deal with that you rarely encounter in human medicine. Most veterinarians are the primary care practitioner, as well as the specialist in multiple fields- not to mention dentist- and their patients can’t tell them what is wrong."
The Candi Karnehm family (Candi’s mom and grandma) are thrilled to be able to provide support as a ‘thank you’ for the amazing care they have received throughout Candi’s journey by providing a new laptop and scale for the Neurology Department, as well as providing some assistance for their resident (Dr. Lauren McAllister) to attend the ACVIM forum and take her board exams this coming year. In addition, Karnehm will be establishing an endowment for the Neurology Deptatment in her estate.