Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So then THAT happened...

I can't stand it; I was going to post a whole slew of stuff I've been saving up but it's been so long since I posted anything that I have to do something:

I thought when a dog had seizures you just gave him meds. I didn't realize you'd have to experiment with doses, be there every second of every day, monitor for seizures in clusters (very dangerous), learn to give liquid Valium rectally, discern between large and small, aura-extended and contracted, and a host of other happy accompaniments to epilepsy (which could also be a tumor, a reaction to vaccines or "other..." ).

I don't believe I enumerated the attending bodily fluids and I don't believe I will.

This derailed the blog for awhile but I am happy to report that at present (hearty wood-knocking) things seem to have calmed down.

Also the dog formerly known as Carlo is now called Kola. It's a long story perhaps shared in future but meanwhile call him Kola cuz he won't answer to anything else. Although sometimes we call him "Seize-y."

So Sir Kola seized 5 times in one day (prompting an overnight ER stay, aka the most expensive dog-sitting in town), four the next, then two, now none for almost a week. I never thought I'd measure time by how many seizures did not happen in an hour and then a day but there you are. We even got to take the long-awaited trip to the coast, being sure to pack our new Seize-y Kit(TM). We learned that Kola:
loves to travel in the car
would prefer riding over walking
doesn't like rain
loves to run in sprints
loves to pull dead fish from under the sand
doesn't eat the brake handle when not drugged on that one drug we can't pronounce
um, loves to ride in the car.

More soon. Seriously.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cowboy + Dogs = Happy Ending

Seems like if you used to lasso you never forget how. Jesus Villanueva used to rope cattle in Jalisco 30 years ago; the skill came back when he spied two dogs trying to get out of a canal near Yakima, WA. The sides were too slippery and the owner had been desperately running alongside for TWO MILES. A deputy was trying to rope them but no luck, so Mr. V. got each one of them on the first try. Read more about it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nothing's simple

Well, you'd have to expect that if the Sullicake household got a new animal, it would turn out to be a little... special. New kid Carlo turns out to have epilepsy. Or at least that's what it looks like. Needless to say we have been thrust into the world of research, worry, relief, concern, bemusement, etc and we're still learning.

At 5:00 a.m. a week after we got him he had a seizure. It had all of the symptoms of "grand mal." Reaching over the bed in the dark to him, holding gently, waiting, watching him on his new bed convulsing. An eternal 90 seconds.

In the last week we've been getting to know him, partly by noticing what he's not and what he doesn't do. Wow, we'll say, he didn't bark at the neighbors! Oh, hey, did you notice he didn't grab food off the table? Such is the discovery process of adopting from a shelter. It's been delightful--so many things he doesn't do--we just got lucky. And then there's, oh, lookie, he's having a seizure!

When Carlo came out of it he was breathing hard, foaming at the mouth. And, a shock: he clearly did not know who Ann and I were. Total blank. What I realized a few hours later was that in our concern we had gotten all in his face, and even though he didn't know us, he didn't get aggressive or bite. If I'd come out of a seizure or even a deep sleep, I would not have appreciated someone in my face, especially from another species. (Well, I might have preferred animal over human.)

Yet another thing he "doesn't do."

So, here we are researching, weighing, and opting for something as holistic as possible without depriving him of what he needs to keep the symptoms down. But the thing I noticed this morning after we talked to the vet that I "didn't do," was for one second think, "oh what a drag this is." Not because I'm so enlightened but because there's been a shift in me lately from "oh god, not one more thing," to "this is life." It used to be that if anything unexpected happened it threw off the whole apparatus. But this is what is now. A new teacher has come to us.
Grateful yet again.