Sunday, March 22, 2015

Status Quo

Seymour and I are both at the same level we were on Thursday- I am still sick and he is functioning the same.  I wonder how much more function he will get back?  He can walk pretty quickly - when he want to - on his stiff back legs.  He regularly climbs the 3 steps to the back porch and the sofa without help but I wouldn't let him try to climb to the second floor of our house right now, and I am not sure he will ever be able to do that on his own without possibly falling.

 He is eating everything now and loves to chew rawhide bones.  I am questioning  if he only hears out of one ear because he still can't always know where a sound is coming from unless he is right beside it.  He sometimes just stops and seems to be staring, but then he comes out of it and continues with whatever he was going to do.  His bark is still very hoarse and would not scare anyone.  Zooey makes up for it though.  Even with his disabilities, he is still the Seymour I love.  He wants to lay beside me.  He follows me into the bathroom, hoping that means a walk is in the near future and he lets me dress him in whatever fashion I want. Unconditional love!

I, on the other hand, hope to be functioning and sleeping better soon.  I went to Target to get a recommendation from the pharmacist on what I could be taking and unfortunately, she gave suggestions of things I have already tried. I still bought up most of the cold and flu isle.  I switch between natural remedies and drugs, hoping to find the cure.  I am not a patient sick person!

I am glad the the dogs help me to keep my attention on something besides myself.  I am a bit boring right now.  More, and hopefully more exciting updates in a couple of days.  I am also still searching for a new blog program that will allow me to post pictures again.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Too Much Informatiom?

I still can't get BlogPress to work, so no photos for now.

Monday night, Seymour wanted to sleep with me, as usual.  He had been given new meds at the vets and I put him back on the anti diarrhea medicine.  He sleeps on a pee pad - mostly.  One issue he has been having recently is that he doesn't seem to be able to hold his bowel movement very long.  He sits up in bed ( I can feel him get up), his eyes get big, and before I can run with  him out of the house, he has already started going.  The first two times he got the majority of a regular poo on the pad, but I had to change the sheet.

The next two times - yes four times during the night - he had majorly runny diarrhea, so I changed blankets and the sheet again.

Last night I decided not to take a chance so I set up a portable enclosure for him with his bed and blankets, a large pee pad and food and water.  He wasn't excited but at least he could see me because I was only about 5 feet away.  We live in a "cozy-sized" house. He had no accidents.

Last night he is sitting beside his bed in the enclosure looking at me like a prisoner but when I didn't give in, he went to his bed and slept until about 3:30 am.

I think all of the stress of the last month finally got to me, because I have now been sick for 4 days with no sign of improvement.  Zooey is the only healthy one left in the house and luckily she isn't requiring any extra attention.

The fun never stops.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blogpress isn't Working

I tried to write my blog and add a picture and it isn't working.  I also couldn't fix errors.  So, hopefully I can figure out the problem soon.  Blog Press updated their software last night to fix "bugs" but I am afraid the bugs have multiplied!  Unfortunately, I can't post pictures when I write directly on the Blogspot account. Hopefully I can post my exciting "bowel movement" blog tomorrow!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Vet Visit Update

Well, the good news is that Seymour really is doing better than most. His diarrhea is probably caused by the Prednisone and the fact that he wasn't on anti diarrhea meds. They said use them until they ran out, but obviously Seymour needed more. So he is back to 4 meds twice a day, with 1/4 pill instead of 1/2 of the Prednisone. I stopped the pain meds and he doesn't seem to miss it. Don't want an addicted dog! Luckily, he is good about taking his pills in a blob of Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese spread. Zooey gets her own blob of pill-less cheese.

During this visit, he was also given the third drug they use to treat Meningitis, which is Cytarabine. He will have to go back for more treatments and check ups for about 9 months. His next visit is scheduled in 3 weeks. The neurologist said that there is about a 10% chance that the Meningitis could return and she just saw a dog this morning whose Meningitis came back about 9 months after his first bout. I am hoping that Seymour is in the 90% category.

Currently Seymour's blood work looks good. I guess that this will become the year of taking care of Seymour. Hopefully, it won't stop us from traveling, but maybe not as far from home as usual.

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A Little Set Back

Seymour started having diarrhea yesterday, less than 24 hours after his took his final anti diarrhea pill. I called the hospital and they want to see him today. They will also do his follow up visit blood work, etc. today instead of Thursday. Hopefully, this is something that can be resolved quickly.

In spite of this set back, Seymour has been doing well. He is shaky, but he goes up the steps to the sofa by himself now.

I will write more when I know more.

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Shopping Trip

We took our first shopping trip since Seymour got sick. We went to pet friendly Home Depot. Seymour walked from the car to the store and was eager to get in the cart. His back legs are still too weak for him to stand on two legs like Zooey.

He did go up the steps to the sofa twice and once went up the 3 steps from the yard to the porch, but he has also fallen when he has tried, so he is a bit scared to do it. It is something I need to work on with him.

He walks all over the back yard and Zooey now is the instigator of getting into trouble. I left them in my fenced back yard for about 10 minutes and when I came out they were nowhere in sight. I called them and Seymour slowly came out from under the shed but Zooey took her good old time coming out. Why do they easily learn each other's bad habits?

One other little bit of progress. Twice now, I have seen Seymour lift his back leg an inch or so when he went peed. So, I guess it will just take time to get strength back in his back legs. I am happy with how far he has come.

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Location:Dripping Springs, Texas

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Seymour's Still Doing Well

Progress has slowed down, but Seymour walks, eats, likes to go for a car ride and a stroller ride. Three times I left him on the sofa while I got the mail, etc. Three times he was at the door to look for me. I finally saw him use the steps to the sofa. He is a bit clumsy, but makes it down the steps.

He won't even attempt to go up stairs. I think his back legs are still too weak.

Friends of ours, Mary and Rick, came to visit yesterday. Both dogs have stayed with them and both dogs love them. I think it gave Seymour a boost to see them. Zooey, who is usually cautious around most people, went right up to both of them demanding attention. I wish they lived closer!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Another Update

Seymour now can shake his head almost normally. A week ago, he would try to shake it once and he couldn't do it again. Another good sign, but now the progress is a bit slower.

I probably will write my blog every other day unless something happens. There should also be more news after his doctor's visit on March 19.

Thanks to everyone for their concern. Seymour is a special little dog. I think our trip to Italy bonded us even more. I am glad that I have those memories!

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Reality Check

Seymour's neurologist called today to check on him. She re-scheduled his appointment until March 19 because (I didn't know this) he needs to come in every 3 weeks for some kind of shot/immunization and blood work to check his white blood cells. She didn't tell me how long he will need to do that. She did say that most dogs don't progress as Seymour seems to be doing and she sounded cautious. So, he has a long way to go and I am still hopeful for a good recovery.

On a lighter note, my daughter and grandson came over this morning and she said she was having a bad day. She hadn't seen Seymour so I thought it might cheer up up to see his progress. Then I said that she might want to hold him because he likes to be held. As we were talking she said "He has bad gas. Here, you hold him". She wasn't quite fast enough, because he was having a bowel movement. Really, he has never done that before, but it is hard to know when he has to go now. So, her bad day continued. Her shirt in being washed as I write this. Luckily we have been able to laugh about it tonight.

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Just Another Day with Seymour and Zooey

It is nice to say that. Both dogs are here with me and both are relatively healthy. The improvement I hadn't mentioned before is that now both of Seymour's ears are standing up. When I first brought him home, only one was up and then both were up for a short time. Now both are nice and straight all of the time. I am still trying to figure out his hearing. I think that it is improving and he does understand when I say his name in the house. Outside still seems to be a bit of a problem.

In this dark picture above, you can see a portion of the steps I bought to help the dogs get on and off the sofa. Today, I started working on helping Seymour climb those steps. I think it will probably take some time to get him to do it on his own, but I think he will be able to learn. His back legs still have some weakness and stiffness, but I think that he has the motivation.

I am starting my list of questions to ask the neurologist on Thursday. My two main questions are "Can dogs with his severity of meningitis get back to normal functioning?" and "Since this is an autoimmune disease, can he get it again?".

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Not Much Change

Seymour continues to walk around but he can't walk straight. I will have to find out if that will ever improve. Yesterday, Seymour was on the couch and I went upstairs to find Zooey. When I came back down, Seymour was on the floor. He did it again when I went to the mailbox. I don't know how he is trying to go down the 3 steps I have for the dogs to get on and off of the sofa. I am guessing he goes down one step and falls down the other two. He doesn't even try to go up the steps.

But just in case, when I went out, I took the steps away so he wouldn't try to climb them or fall off of them.

They are now both spoiled by being given chicken instead of dog food. Seymour can chew strips of chicken and still gnaws on his bone a few times during the day.

I continue to be amazed at his progress!

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Small Step

Every small step is important. Seymour is still very skinny and very unbalanced, wobbly and stiff. He still falls a lot but can get up by himself if you give him time.

He hasn't been able to chew so I could only feed him puréed food. Last night he started chewing on a small bone Zooey had accidentally dropped near him. This morning I decided to see if he would chew his favorite in the whole world, a chicken wrapped chew bone from Trader Joes. He went after it!

After about 5 minutes, it tired him out, but he loved it. I now plan to go to the grocery store and get some chicken I can cut into pieces, not puree. He needs to gain weight.

It's a small step but hopefully they will all add up to a full or almost full recovery.

Oh, and the hospital called to check on him again and I admitted that I gave him too much medicine twice when he first came home. She said to watch for blood in his stools but that the excess medicine should be out of his system by now. Scary lesson learned - thoroughly read the instructions!

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Little More Improvement

Little by little, I see improvements in Seymour. This morning I took him and his sister out to the back yard while I checked on plants. Soon I heard his sister
Zooey barking and then I heard a noise like a goose flying over. It was Seymour's first attempt at barking. Unfortunately, he was facing the opposite way from Zooey, so he still is having hearing location problems, but it's a start. I might have wanted the barking to come back a little later.

He has been using his tail to help balance him when he walks but it has always been pointing downward. Yesterday I saw him lift his tail horizontally to his body. He can't lift it up further yet but he is getting there.

He seems to understand basic commands like "lay down" and it takes him a little time to get down, but he does it. When I came back after being gone for about an hour this morning, he was waiting at the door for me.

So, Seymour continues to improve. I can't wait to see where he is functioning when he goes back for his check up next Thursday.

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Thursday, March 5, 2015

He Pooped!

Who cries because someone poops? Yep, I did! I took Seymour outside and he toddled around. They next thing I knew he was doing his business. I consider that a big milestone for him.

I tried to upload a video of Seymour walking in the back yard but I couldn't figure out how to do it. Trust me, he was walking.

Initially, I hadn't wanted to wait for an appointment at the north location of the Pet Specialty Hospital because Seymour was declining so fast. But now I am so thankful for being able to have taken him there. Dr Wolfe and her team were amazing. They were also kind and caring. I looked forward to the calls every day to see how Seymour was doing. Many times the calls weren't good news, but they always focused on the good part of the news. "He's eating and drinking".

Seymour has a follow up appointment there next Thursday and I hope I can show them how much he has progressed. Keeping the faith!

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A Little Better

Last night and this morning, when I took Seymour outside, he peed on his own. Not with his leg up, but with a squat. Not bad. I accidentally gave him more of his medicine that he was supposed to get, so I hope I haven't harmed him. I need to read the instructions more thoroughly!

Seymour is still working on his walking, especially when I leave the room. Can we say "co-dependent"? I'll take half of the blame :-). When he walks, the back part of his body wants to go in a different direction from the front. I hope that improves.

Both dogs ended up sleeping with me during the night. And both did the same thing when I said "Do you want to go outside and go potty?"

"We can't hear you" . . .

I am hoping for continued improvement. The next thing I am waiting for, with a bit of trepidation, is when Seymour finally has a bowel movement. He has eaten quite a bit and nothing has come out yet!

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Miracles Continue

Last night, I had to "help" Seymour pee. This morning, he had peed on his pee pad in his bed, which is good. He whined when he was sleeping in his bed in front of the heater but was fine all night when I put his bed on the sofa bed with me. Zooey was fine, also. Seymour's alien eyes continue.

This morning, after I gave him all of his medicine and fed him, I took him outside and he was able to balance on his front legs to sit up. I am so happy that we set up the canopy since it has been raining and there is now a dry place to set him outside.

I then put him back in his bed beside Zooey's crate in front of the heater and needed to go out to run some errands. I was gone almost an hour and when I got back, Seymour wasn't in his bed. I called for him and he came wobbling out of Zooey's crate and wobbled over to me. What a wonderful surprise! He is walking a bit sideways, but he was walking a little. I took him back outside and he stood up on his own. I need to get a video of it.

I then carried him back to his bed and he got out and came over to try to get on the couch. That was about 6 feet of walking. He saw the steps but couldn't use them - yet. I don't think it will be long before he tries.

He is having amazing gains in less than 24 hours since I thought there was no hope for him. He still has a long way to go, but what a miracle dog he is!

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Location:Wimberley, Texas

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Miracles Do Happen

I didn't know what to expect when I went to see Seymour and talk to the neurologist. Dr Wolfe and Rachael told me that he was doing a little better and had even tried to scoot under a blanket. When they brought him in, he was more alert. He looked at me and even followed me with his eyes when my friend Lynne was holding him. They showed me some physical therapy techniques to keep his legs from atrophying and also showed me how to squeeze his bladder to get pee out. So, he can't walk or pee at this point; he can't even sit up, but he is alert and seems to have the will to live. That's all I need for now. I had thought that today would be his last and I think it is a miracle that he rallied over night.

On the way home we stopped for take out at a local BBQ restaurant and when I got home, both dogs ate the beef I gave them. Seymour had been too weak to chew before he went to the hospital. He also finally drank some water from a bowl instead of just drinking from a syringe.

Although Seymour looks like an alien here, this was when Zooey first saw her brother. I think she knows not to bother him so she is sleeping on the couch next to his bed and not trying to get in with him. We have hope again! Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts.

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Another Update on Seymour

His vet just called and said he seems a little brighter so I will visit today to talk to her to figure out the plan for him. I hope he does look a little better today. Maybe we will have a miracle.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

More Bad News

I visited Seymour at about 11:15 am. He has declined so much since I saw him last that I cried. They said his neck is getting affected which is starting to affect his front legs. He really looked like someone with severe cerebral palsy. He didn't look at me and I don't think he could hear me, but when I started to feed him, he lifted his head and looked my way. I know that his eating may just be a function of the steroids. It doesn't look like the medications are helping him.

After discussion with his neurologist (who said she prayed for him last night), we decided to keep him on the medication for one more day. If he doesn't show any signs of improvement, he won't be kept alive any longer. It sounds awful and I am crying while writing, but he has no quality of life now. Not only is my heart broken, but poor Zooey is stressed and can't understand where her buddy is.

The doctor will call me again in the morning. I will hope and pray for a miracle.

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Location:Round Rock, Texas

Monday Update

Dr Wolfe called and Seymour has declined. He now is weak in his front paw. He is still eating and they haven't totally given up but it doesn't sound good. They are letting me come to visit earlier in the day so I plan to be there by 11 am.
She also talked about me bringing him home tomorrow and I fear it is because there is nothing else they can do. I hope I can hold it together.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

No Change

I just received a call from the doctor and she said there is no change with Seymour but he is eating and drinking a little, so that is good. He will be transferred back to the neuro section of the hospital with Dr Wolfe tomorrow. And they will call me again in the morning. I really appreciate these calls. Even though the hospital is closed on Sunday, a doctor comes to check on each animal and calls us. That never happens in hospitals for people.

Unless there is ice on the roads, I will be going to visit him tomorrow. Unfortunately visiting hours are not until late afternoon.

Thanks to everyone who sent me comforting emails. I know that not everyone understands why I am putting this much effort and emotion into Seymour's health, but anyone who personally knows me is not surprised.

More tomorrow -

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Location:Wimberley, Texas and Round Rock, Texas