Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weather May Stop My Visit With Seymour

I received a call from the doctor on call this morning. Seymour is the same as yesterday. I so want to visit him but the weather and road conditions are bad and the hospital is over an hour away. I was told that the neurosurgeon was in an accident on the way to the specialty hospital this morning. Unfortunately, the hospital closes at noon today and doesn't open again until Monday. A doctor does come in Sunday morning for a couple of hours to check on the animals and to call us, but no one can come to visit. When the hospital is closed, the Emergency Care group is there but they aren't affiliated with the hospital, so I can't visit.

I am torn because I would hate for something to happen to Seymour this weekend and me to not at least have seen him. I know he is scared and wonders where I am. But, unfortunately I think there is a good chance that I won't be able to get there this morning. I am pretty bummed. . .

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Seymour's Possible Diagnosis

I got a call this afternoon from the neurosurgeon at the Specialty Hospital. She said that she and the neurologist looked at Seymour's blood specimen and it appears that he may have meningitis. They have put him on steroids, a chemo drug and at least one other drug. Based on googling this, his symptoms put him in the late stages of the disease so I don't know how he will do.

They say it is an autoimmune disease in dogs, so once it starts up, the body starts fighting itself. It settles in the brain and spinal cord. It doesn't appear to be contagious. They are doing all they can for him. I am thankful he is at that hospital.

I asked if I could bring him food when I come tomorrow and she said yes. I will try to feed him with a spoon again to see if I can get him to eat my homemade ground chicken, carrots and brown rice. I can't wait to see him. I hope it gives him a little boost to see me.

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Still Waiting

I received a call from the neurosurgeon this morning and they couldn't do Seymour's testing until early this afternoon. They said that he is stable, no better or no worse. If they find a spinal problem they will operate right after the scan and he will be in the hospital until Monday. If they don't find a spinal problem, they will do the brain MRI. I don't know what would come after that.

I thought that I would be able to sleep with Seymour not here, but worry kept me awake most of the night. Zooey did settle down and slept either beside me or in her crate. I went out this morning with my daughter to my new grandson's pediatrician visit and to run some errands and when I came home, Zooey was on the back of the couch, in her nervous mode. I am sure she is afraid of losing her brother and her owner/mother 😳

We continue to wait . . .

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Update on Seymour

I received a call from the Specialty Hospital. They didn't get to do Seymour's MRI or spinal tap because they had 7 scheduled and one animal died during the MRI so I guess they stopped for the day to deal with that. Tomorrow a neurosurgeon will do Seymour's tests and if he needs spinal surgery, they will do it right away. They still think the back legs issue is separate from the brain issue. I just signed a consent and it says that if they do the surgery, there is only a 70% to 90% expected improvement. It is worth it to me since he is unable to move his back legs at all now. They were giving Seymour pain meds tonight to help him sleep.

So now we continue to wait - and hope - and pray.

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Long Night - Long Day - and it's not over yet

Last night was awful. Zooey was freaking out, probably due to not understanding why Seymour wasn't himself. She climbed onto the back of the couch, hid upstairs for hours and I finally put her in her crate. I feel bad for both dogs

Seymour can no longer walk at all. He wants to go outside but he can only sit. About every 2-3 hours he would whine and cry and I would try to rub him but it didn't help. So I took him outside and he would sit for 5-7 minutes, then I would bring him back inside and he would be okay for another couple of hours. I wasn't sure how long I could handle the lack of sleep and inability to help him. Finally I put his bed in the new rocker bed I bought for my new grandson (sorry Augie) and was able to put it beside the couch and rock him a little to calm him down. We all finally got about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

This morning when I was heading out to drop Zooey off with Jan and pick up Betty to come with me to the Neurologist appointment, Seymour pooped on himself. I was just glad to see that he was still functioning there! When we got to the Speciality Hospital, Seymour again pooped. I cleaned him up as best I could. The people who worked with us at the hospital were very nice. They took Seymour to check vitals and then the Neurologist, Dr Wolfe came to talk to us. I liked her and her reasoning. She doesn't know what is wrong - it could be 2 different things. The sight and hearing could point to a brain tumor but the legs may be different. She mentioned possible meningitis but won't know until they do more tests. So I had to leave sweet Seymour there for them to do an MRI and spinal tap. They will keep him until tomorrow but I might get a call tonight from Dr Wolfe to let me know how he is. I am scared but relieved that he seems to be in good hands. The next step will depend on what they find. I am starting to have a little hope again, but the operative word is "little". Seymour certainly can't go on like this. He has no quality of life but just maybe . . . .

Zooey was a bit freaked at Jan's and would not eat, go potty or settle down. She started her climbing when we got home but I grabbed her and she is now settled into a blanket on the couch beside me. I hope we can both get some sleep tonight because I don't know what tomorrow will bring.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Good With The Bad

We had a pretty good night last night. Seymour slept beside me and whined a couple of times so I took him outside. I think he might have gone to the bathroom once. I actually got at least 6 hours sleep.
But, last night my daughter texted me about the class action Beneful lawsuit. Great, Seymour could only eat their blended food. She then saw that it was just for the kibble but that was all I needed to hear. I took some chicken out of the freezer to thaw and this morning cooked checken, carrots and brown rice and then blended it together. I started feeding Seymour with a spoon while holding the little bowl of food under it to catch the drippings. In no time, Seymour went at it in the bowl. It was wonderful to see. I still have to give him water with a syringe but I guess if it tasted like checken, he would lick that bowl!

We then took a stroller walk around the neighborhood and headed to visit our friends Jan and Betty. The dogs were both calm in the car.

Jan was the second person to meet Seymour after I adopted him. He has known Seymour just about as long as I have. He watched him many times when I traveled for work. I had to give Seymour another chance to be with his friend. Betty, Jan's wife, is a retired nurse and she graciously volunteered to come with me to Seymour's appointment. I graciously accepted. I told her that I will need her less emotional nurses side to be with me. She will try. Jan will watch Zooey while we are gone.

I decided to put an Easy-up canopy in my yard outside of my back door so both dogs could go to the bathroom where it is dryer, since we are anticipating rain. My friend Bandy came over to help. Both dogs stayed with him the night my daughter had her baby on Feb 13 and Seymour was like normal, except for a hearing problem. He was shocked to see that Seymour is pretty much immobile now. Of course I had to have a picture of him with my kids, I mean dogs.

Zooey is now totally freaked out by Seymour's whines. She doesn't like babies cries, either. Every time I took her out to the back yard, she would run to the farthest corner and hide there. I finally brought her back into the house and took down the gate to the second floor and let her hide there.

When we were coming home from Jan and Betty's, my neighbor who recently moved was back at her house with her dog, Coconut. Seymour and Coconut were great friends but when we put Coconut near Seymour she backed away. She didn't want to have anything to do with him. I feel that they sense illness.

The bad news is that even over the day, Seymour has declined. He can no longer stand, and although he whines to go out to go to the bathroom, he can't stand up to go. I put a pee pad under him and he is wetting it. I know he hates that.

I can't wait until our appointment tomorrow. I just need to know what is wrong or if I can do anything to help him. He is truly my best friend and you hate to see your best friend suffer.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Seymour Visiting Family

Tuesday late afternoon

I am trying to make Seymour's days enjoyable. This morning, I took both dogs around our neighborhood in their stroller again. It was only about 34 degrees but we were all bundled up and I needed a little stress reducer. The dogs just needed a change of scenery. I let Seymour walk when we got back to our front yard. It is difficult for him, but he managed to walk about 30 ft. to the front door.

I headed out alone to get him more dog food that he didn't have to chew. He has to eat it off of a spoon, but at least he can eat it. When I got home, my daughter said that her newborn August (Augie) was awake and we could come visit. Seymour loves babies, Zooey, not so much. I wanted Seymour to meet Augie. I couldn't choose between the following pictures of Augie and Seymour. I will cherish them both.

The sweet thing was that when it was time to go, I stood Seymour in her yard and after he managed to do a little "business" he tried to head right back to Shan's front door. Maybe we will visit again tomorrow.

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

More of the Same

Tuesday Morning

A night with Seymour is like a night with a newborn. I had him sleeping in his bed next to me all night. Every whine or groan woke me up and I tried to figure out what they meant. I took him outside 3 times to see if he could go to the bathroom. I don't think he did. When he panted, I gave him water with a syrange. He actually likes that. I opened Zooey's crate so that she could get out at about midnight but she choose to stay where she was - better sleeping, I suspect. Finally after a 4:30 am trip to the back yard, we all finally fell asleep on the couch until my alarm went off at 7:30 am.

I took them both outside and Seymour just sat there. So, I came in to quickly dress and when I went out again, he was laying beside the back steps. I think he tried to climb them but couldn't. He doesn't complain, just lays there. So I put him back in his bed beside the heater and Zooey joined him. Sorry that the picture is blurry.

I plan to take the dogs for a ride today and maybe visit some friends. I want to keep things as normal as possible.

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Bit Frustrated

Monday Afternoon -update

(I decided to take the vet's name out of this blog. I was frustrated when i wrote this.)

Okay, so I waited until almost 4 pm to get a call back from the vet to change Seymour's referral to the south location of the Specialty Hospital. I called twice and emailed and finally gave up and made the appointment at the north location with the neurologist. I realize The vet is busy - they said he was "swamped", but I made the decision to see the neurologist when overwhelmed with what I was told about Seymour on Saturday. Later, after talking to a few people, I realized I could probably get enough info through a cat-scan and talking to the doctors In the south location to know what to do for Seymour. But you can't change without a new doctor's referral and I couldn't get it. This was my final attempt through email:

I know the vet is busy and he doesn't have to call me, but could he call the south specialty Hospital and change my referral to them? I needed time to process all that he told me on Saturday. Seymour not only seems to have a brain tumor but something hurts him when I pick him up in his upper chest area. He can refer for whatever services he thinks we need there. If he could do that today I would be greatly appreciative. I would like to call them and get an appointment asap.
Feel free to email me his response. I just need to get Seymour seen.
Thanks so much,


I am disappointed that I couldn't get the appointment at the north Specialty Hospital until Thursday. I wonder if I could have gotten in sooner at the other location? The way Seymour is declining, I just hope he will last that long.

The good news is that I have been able to feed him his chopped food with a spoon and today he ate almost the whole 3 oz can.

I have taken him out to try to go to the bathroom numerous times today and so far, nothing. He seems to be most content in his bed, covered with a blanket on the couch beside me and Zooey. Yes, he is in there!!

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Seymour's Illness

Monday morning
Last night Seymour was whining and I would check on him but couldn't find anything wrong. Finally, as a last resort, I carried him outside. I have to stand him up and he usually doesn't move for a minute or so. Then he walked wobbly a few steps and went to the bathroom. He still has enough presence to know that he doesn't want to wet his bed.
I decided to let him sleep in his bed by the heater last night because he never gets out of it now. But at about 2:30 am I heard a little thud. I turned on the light and Seymour had somehow climbed the 3 steps to get on the couch. Unfortunately, 2 of his legs slipped between the stairs and the sofa and he was just sitting there, stuck. I pulled him up and then moved him beside me. I let Zooey come sleep with us, too. It was almost like normal with the dogs leaning against me. So soothing.

This morning, I decided that I probably should just go to the south Veterinary Specialty Hospital for his appointment and forego the neurologist but I found that, as with people, if the referral says neurologist, you can't switch without another referral. I am waiting for a call back from the vet to get his opinion on what I should do. Seymour definitely has a brain issue but he also has something wrong with his body since he sometimes yelps when I pick him up. I was hoping to have him seen today but that won't be a possibility now. I hope to get a call soon.

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Seymour's Illness

Saturday night and Sunday, February 22,2015
Seymour wobbled to his bed and pretty much has stayed there.

I am back to sleeping on my sofa bed because Seymour had been able to climb the 3 stairs to the sofa until a few nights ago. I know he can't climb the steps to the 2nd floor bedroom and I was afraid he might get confused and fall down the stairs. I decided to move his bed onto the sofa with me so I wouldn't worry about him falling trying to get up the steps in the middle of the the night. He may not even try since he is so weak, but I didn't want to take a chance. It was a difficult night. I heard every moan, breathing problem and saw every twitch. He often just laid their with his eyes open and I would stroke him so he knew I was there. His nose was dry so I tried to get him to drink water. Maybe he couldn't see the water level, but he didn't drink. I finally put water on my fingers and in my hand and he drank that. I also got a little syringe and gently squirted water into his mouth. Who would have thought that I would be doing this 2 weeks ago? He has declined so fast!

At about 2:30 am Zooey wanted out of her crate so I carried them both outside, with Seymour still in his bed. I put him on the grass and he just sat there. We finally came back in the house but tried again at about 5:30 am. He then had a bowel movement but he can't push it out, he had to let gravity do it's job.
Exhausted, we all got back on the sofa bed and I read for awhile and intently watched Seymour before I could finally fall asleep. It was a long night with little sleep.
I decided that I would make sure Seymour continued to experience what he loved. I bundled both dogs up in our trusty pet stroller and headed out. Usually Seymour wants to walk but this morning he seemed confused and faced backward the whole time.

Zooey just lets him take up most of the the room and she squeezes in where she can. She never complains. She was a rescue and had been a used by another dog. Seymour is the only dog she is not afraid of. She is in love. Just before we got home, I let both of them out of the the stroller. Seymour had trouble walking and fell when he tried to lift his leg, but he did get a little pee out. It continues to break my heart to see him like this.

Later in the day, I opened a small can of Beneful chopped blended food. It is not their normal food but they both seem to like it and it is easy to eat. I fed Seymour with a spoon at first and he ate like a champ - in his bed of course. I finally put some food on a small plate for him and between the two of them, they finished the can. It was only a 3 oz can, but I felt like it was a big accomplishment.
I tried to let him out again but he only sat until I brought him back in the house.
He is now sleeping in his bed in front of a space heater I use just for the dogs. We will see what tonight will bring. As soon as they open in the morning, I will call the specialty hospital and hope they can see him soon.

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Seymour's Illness

My 10 1/2 year old chihuahua mix Seymour (on the left in the picture with his little sister Zooey) is my best friend, confidante and travel companion. I would say that we rescued each other over 8 years ago. He has had some medical problems but nothing has stopped his joy of life, walks, and travel. He loves meeting people and having them fawn on him. Recently, his medical problems have gotten worse. I noticed that he not only had cataracts but his hearing was fading. He could hear sounds but couldn't localize them. Then he started stumbling a little. Here is our on-going diary of Seymour's life challenge.

Friday, February 20, 2015
I called our vet and got an appointment for 11 am. I am starting to feel that my vet considers me a crazy old woman. I do take my dogs in when they have difficult to diagnosis symptoms, but I know when they are not themselves. At this visit, they had a young female vet look at him. I really thought she may be an intern but it didn't have that on her name tag. One of the regular vet techs came with her. I was most concerned about his hearing but told her the other symptoms he had. She felt him and put the stethoscope to his chest for one second in each of 4 spots. Seriously, what do you hear in one second? I asked if she was going to check his ears. She said she had to find a scope! A few minutes later they came back with one they were cleaning. His ears were fine. I asked them to check his temperature and they did. It was the worst vet visit I have ever been to. Then I asked if they could recommend a neurologist. Nope, no response. They obviously we're brushing me off and I was frustrated. I am not including the name of the clinic, at least for now. I still didn't know what was wrong with Seymour.

Saturday, February 22, 2015
Seymour was having trouble going up the 2 steps in my back yard. I cried because I didn't know what to do for him. He was continuing to get worse. Just down the street from my house, there is the Cypress Creek Animal Hospital. I had gone there long ago with my cat but I thought their prices were pretty steep so I switched to a vet I heard was reasonable and good. At 8 am I drove over and luckily the vet was in the front office and heard me out about all of the problems Seymour was having. They kindly scheduled Seymour for 11 am for a complete exam. Dr Henry was the vet we saw. I don't think Seymour has ever had such a thorough exam. I don't think I have ever been listened to so well. The vet tech documented everything I said in their electronic medical record. Dr Henry found that although Seymour had cataracts they shouldn't affect his vision much, but the problem was that he had no movement in his pupils, which is a brain problem. It appears that his hearing was the same. He could hear sounds but not localize them. He was also walking a bit sideways. All of the symptoms lead to either a stroke or brain tumor. Because his symptoms are getting worse, the brain tumor is more likely. Dr. Henry recommended that Seymour get a scan and told me about a Specialty Hospital in Austin. He called them and gave them my information and told me that they now have a neurologist at their north location. He gave me the number to call on Monday.
Although I cried all day thinking about Seymour's possible diagnosis, I was so thankful that Dr Henry saw him and was caring, honest and helpful. Needless to say, I am switching vets. And the cost for my regular vet for about a 10 minute useless visit was about $44. Cypress Creek Animal Hospital saw us for almost an hour and charged about $65. It was worth every penny.

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