The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘Canine Epilepsy’

Mail for Me?

Last evening when Kay came to take us home from work, there were some paper things sitting on Elizabeth’s seat in the car. One was larger than the others and fatter – looked like it might make a good chew…. Sure enough, Elizabeth said to Kay, “Oh, this one is for Stella!”

But it wasn’t really, at least not in the way I had anticipated.

It was a book, which Elizabeth spent the evening reading while I curled up on her bed beside her and sniffed it over. There was a picture of a yellow dog on it that looked a bit like my pal Bud.

Bud isn’t doing too well these days, apparently. I haven’t seen him, but Elizabeth had an email from Joanne. She tells me that it said Bud has a condition that is wasting some of his muscles so he is having trouble eating, drinking and getting into the car to come for a visit now. She says he may not be able to come and see me again. That makes me sad, ’cause Bud was my first ever dog friend. He came over to visit me when I was just a pup – my first ever visitor, in fact! Elizabeth says his vet is helping him to get better, and he is improving slowly. I hope he’s all better soon.

I dogress. ~:o)=

The book…

Elizabeth has written a review for her bookshop site which I will reblog for you to read.

I think it was a good book, too, though. Since she read it I’ve had three doggie spa treatments. My hips in particular are awfully sore these days and I’m still a bit clumsy back there. Cory’s Story, Elizabeth says, made her realise that I was hurting and why – it’s that KBr stuff she gives me now in my ‘chicken’. Her massages feel good, and I seem to be hurting less today. She says she learned some other things she’s going to look into further, too. I think maybe she’d like to see me better almost as much as I would!

Ooooooh….

Ooooh. I haven’t been feeling too well this past week. I don’t remember that much, but Elizabeth says I’ve been lying curled up at her feet making R2D2 noises, snoring loudly and neglecting my duties as official greeter at Elizabeth Campbell Books. Not that there’s been much greeting to do. It’s midwinter and all her customers seem to be hibernating. “Life is a real bear this time of year,” she says.

What I do remember is how awful it’s been to get up when it’s time to go home for the day. My legs don’t work properly. It doesn’t help that the floors start to undulate (I love that word. Elizabeth says there’s a word for sneaky deer that is almost the same – ungulate. Both sound much better than they feel, though. [See Stella’s Oh Dear, a Deer series]). Sometimes I got so woozy I had to sit down – it just happened that way. I’d be walking, then I’d be sitting and wondering how that happened. The walkway between the car and the house not only undulated, but the railings started coming at me from every direction. The walls in the house weren’t staying in their places, either. I remember being utterly confused by the belligerence of my normally benign surroundings. It was awful.

Elizabeth took me back to the Vets’ again (I’ve gained another pound since last week – 108 now! I fell off the weigh-scale, so it took a couple of tries to get my weight.). Dr. Celia thinks that the loading dose of Potassium Bromide (KBr) was too much for my system. I was taking 5000mg per day along with my Phenobarbital. She says I was suffering from ataxia. The symptoms are a lot like human drunkenness. She says that the KBr reacts with the Phenobarbital to multiply the effect of both drugs, so that even though I had relatively low amounts of both in my system (therapeutically speaking), I was getting a lot of punch.

Dr. Celia said I also had to sleep in the two-legger house for a few nights in case my mind was too foggy and I fell asleep in my Run in the cold, instead of staying in my den of a house where it was warm enough for me. Elizabeth says it’s no wonder I’m sleeping on the job… I’m pacing the floor in the hall all night! I don’t remember….

I’m feeling much better now that they’ve reduced my doses of both drugs. I even felt like pulling out my tennis ball and bouncing it in the hall for a while yesterday. I’m still pretty sleepy, though. And Elizabeth says I’d eat a side of moose in one sitting if she gave it to me. I’ve never heard of a moose before. She says it’s also an ungulate, only much bigger than a deer. Like I said earlier… sounds delicious!

Anyway… I don’t feel much up to writing this week. Elizabeth found a blog that I really liked when she read it to me and Kay. It’s a story I thought some of you might like, too, so I’m going to share it with you on Friday instead of my usual blog. I might do that from time to time through the weeks ahead if we find some interesting posts out there. I hope you’ll let us (and the authors) know if you enjoy them, too!

~|o}= ZZzzz…

Canine Epilepsy & Me

This morning, my day started out just fine! A little snow in the air and a breeze with wolf scent tickling my nose. Yep, in the winter, those wily wolves are often lurking on the Campbell Estate; they’re trying to out-sneak the sneaky deer. I don’t like them getting too close to my two-leggers, so when I smell them like I did this morning, I make a point of asserting myself. That involves a quick round of the property and some hearty woofing. Those wolves don’t mess with me. Oh, no!

This morning I cut my route a bit short ’cause I heard Elizabeth call me for breakfast. I’m always really hungry these days…. I raced back to eat.

After breakfast, Kay hadn’t finished getting the two-legger meal ready yet, so Elizabeth went up to her room to read. She likes to lie down on her bed to read. I like to hop up with her and get in a little cuddle time. I can also see through her clear wall hole to see if the wolves are lurking….

This morning, Elizabeth remembered that I hadn’t had my “chicken” yet. I get my “chicken” every morning and every night before bed time. Elizabeth pokes little round things into it first, then gives it to me to eat.  She calls them phenobarbital, and she says they’re what make me so hungry and a bit sleepier than normal. But I love my “chicken” anyway.  I hopped off the bed to follow her to the kitchen.

We got down the hall, though, and I suddenly started to feel a bit strange. I stopped in the doorway for a minute, then, instead of going to the kitchen, I trotted over to the space between the Chesterfield and the coffee table in the livingroom and lay down.  I could tell Elizabeth understood that something was wrong, too. I NEVER turn away from my “chicken.”

The next thing I remember is Elizabeth kneeling beside me. My back feels cold below my ribs. I’m exhausted. The table has moved. My back end feels like I sat in something wet. I feel my back hunch sharply a couple of times. I don’t like it, so I get up, but my legs feel weak and I feel disoriented. My feet twitch without my telling them to – I just feel really weird.

My Seizure Ice Pack Treatment: Elizabeth holds an ice pack to my back just at the base of my rib cage when I have a seizure. When she does this, my seizures become shorter and less violent. Check out the link at the end of this blog to learn more about it. I'm not having a seizure in this photo - I'm just modelling with Kay. We're pretty good, eh?

Throughout all of this, I’m aware of Elizabeth being with me. That really helps, ’cause I can feel her calm and I know everything is going to be all right, even though it feels all wrong somehow. She lets me lean on her a bit until I feel sturdier, then she takes me into the kitchen.

I’m really thirsty. While I’m having a little drink of water, she reaches into the really cold box and pulls out some sweet white stuff that turns to liquid in my mouth. I really like it – even more than my “chicken!” And I always feel much better after I have it. It’s like magic.

Haagen Daz Vanilla Ice Cream has no preservatives and just the right sugar-fat ratio to help quickly restore the energy drained from me during a seizure. I recover much faster when I have two tablespoons of this immediately after a grand mal. Smaller dogs would need less. The link at the end will take you to a site that explains this and a lot more about Canine Epilepsy.

I’m always tired when this happens – it happens every once in a while, too. I’m lucky, ’cause Elizabeth almost always happens to be near me when it does happen. When she isn’t, I always come straight home to her. I just feel safer and better when she’s near me at these times. Once it’s all over, I find a quiet place in a darker corner and I lie down and sleep.

But today, and the last time I had this happen, too, it suddenly happened again! Once more, I found Elizabeth kneeling beside me. This time, I could sense she was more worried…

Sure enough, we didn’t go straight to work. Instead, we paid another visit to Dr. Julie and my friends at the Vets’. There were some different dogs there today, and a cat, too. Elizabeth seemed to know their two-leggers, ’cause they were talking a lot. I said hello to everybody, but then I just lay down. I was really feeling tired.

They weighed me (I’ve gained a pound since my last visit in December, and now tip the scales at 104 lbs.). Dr. Julie checked everything out on me and says I’m in great shape. But I could tell she wasn’t entirely happy. Elizabeth says I’m going to have to eat more “chicken” (to accommodate something called Potassium Bromide)…. She doesn’t seem too happy about things, either. She says I’m having something called ‘cluster grand mal seizures,’ a more serious form of epilepsy than what I’ve been having for a year and a half now.

I’m at work now. I had a little snooze by Elizabeth’s chair for a while. She says I was snoring pretty loudly and it was a good thing no one came up from the front or they’d hear me and think she was sleeping on the job!

Elizabeth learns a lot about how to help me with my epilepsy from the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels website. If your dog pal has epilepsy, please take some time to go in and explore the site thoroughly. It explains so much and offers new treatments that even Dr. Julie hadn’t known about yet. Some of them have really helped me, and they also have helped Elizabeth understand and look after me better. That means she and Kay are less frightened when I have a seizure, and that’s really important to my health, too. The site advisors are vets and owners of epileptic dogs, so they know what they are talking about!

After a Cluster Seizure: I'm completely exhausted. This is one of my favourite places to flake out. It's cool, it's dark (until some nut-case sets off a camera flash) and I feel safe here.

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