Saturday, February 28, 2009

Honest Weblog

Honest ScrapOK in response to Sugar Sima's challenge it looks like it's my turn to join previous prestigious winners of the Honest Weblog award. You can imagine the tears of joy in my eyes as I read my acceptance speech and thank everyone who has helped me through the years and made it possible for me to be here on this auspicious day and accept this award with all the gratitude in my heart.

  1. Cold PizzaI'm really well behaved and do what I'm told, but when mum and dad are out of the room I will steal pizza off the lounge table if it's left unguarded.
  2. I love getting gifts. Especially big chewies and bones. Then I can tear them into tiny pieces and stand back and watch the fun as mum and dad walk around the house standing on sharp crumbs in their bare feet.
  3. I am responsible for making the bows on the front of mums new shoes disappear. Even though that case was thrown out through lack of evidence.
  4. When I'm feeling lonely I like to howl like a wolf, which only makes mum laugh as she says I look goofy when doing it. It's quite often I'm not alone and just that everyone else is in another room.
  5. When the post man comes I like to make him think I'm all big and fierce, but if he ever said hello to me I'd probably lick him to death. And as for the little old lady who delivers the free papers... I should be ashamed of myself.
  6. I make as much fuss as possible when taking my daily tablets (twice a day) just so I can get attention for as long as possible. It's not that I don't like the tablets, but I like the game more.
  7. What's that smell?When mum and dad have got guests and are embarrassed by a nasty smell, that's mostly me. But dog food smells so nasty going in, what else can you expect?!
  8. One of my favourite games is to hold as much water in my mouth after drinking and see how much of it I can get on the cleanest person around. Chasing people around with a big slobbery face is almost as much fun.
  9. I usually wait for mum to finish tidying the house before I start scratching and throwing fresh tufts of hair all over the place. Then I'll go outside run around in the dirt before tracking new footprints across the mopped floors.
  10. Finally, I love being a dog! Sleep when I want, dinner prepared for me, all the exercise I want (as long as it doesn't ruin my nap schedule) and heaps of love and attention. What could be better?
So now all I have to do is go find seven other hapless awardees deserving of this prestigious award.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Good Week

This weeks been just great. Mum's been at home having taken time off work, so I've been able to bug her constantly for attention.

But so far the best thing seems to be no nasty surprises and my ear infection seems to have been chased off. No more annoying scratching and head shaking. It really does seem to have gone.

Dad cleaned my ears yesterday and the cotton wool came out almost as clean as it went in... well, how clean are your ears?

Minced British BeefToday I had the absolute best dinner in the world raw British minced beef, yum! It's so good that I don't mind even if mum mixes in some other stuff like rice and potatoes, I'll still eat the lot.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Seizure

21:00 Mum and dad had just finished supper and were watching TV and I was lying behind the sofa when I started fitting. Dad wanted to try to stop me going into another cluster so soon so he used some of the Diazepam on me.

I got to stay upstairs in the bedroom all night and it past without further seizure. I did misbehave though. I found a carrier bag with something in, and I just can't resist investigating. So I spent a while rustling it until dad woke up and put it out of my way.

Then I found some paper I thought I'd tear up and again dad woke up and put it out of reach. So I thought this was a good game so them I started gnawing on the laundry basket until dad got up again.

I'm hoping this seizure may be related to me getting sick and throwing up my tablets. Maybe I no longer had enough in my bloodstream to hold off the seizure.

Getting Sick

Today I was full of beans when mum and dad got up this morning. After a full day of rest yesterday things were going well.

Then Chris phoned dad at work to tell him I'd been sick and the only things in it were the tablets he'd given me this morning. After the fun and games of the last few days dad told Chris to give me my tablets again.

I managed to keep them down all day but Blaine found I'd been sick again in the afternoon. Nothing in it but bile and I hadn't eaten my breakfast.

Dad came home and I was all skulky and hiding like I'd done something wrong by making a sicky mess. I needn't have worried as dad didn't tell me off, but he did take me outside to give me a bit of a wash around my face and neck as all the slobber from yesterday was getting a bit pongy. When mum got home at 18:30 she made my dinner and I ate it all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Morning of Seizures

Today's been as bad as yesterday. Another four seizures.

01:20 Dad had stayed up predicting that I was due a seizure at around 2am. He wasn't wrong.

04:40 Whilst sleeping in the bedroom with mum and dad I woke them up about on schedule for another seizure.

07:20 Mum had just got up to go to work and I went to have a nosey at dad in bed to tell him I was feeling strange again and then went into a seizure.

09:40 Because dad took the day off from work to get his car serviced he took me with him to the garage so we could walk back. On the way back even when dad let me off the lead I walked to heel, which is very unusual, as I like to have a nosey about. Then about halfway home in the middle of a green I stopped all starey then fell into a seizure. Dad had me on the lead and I was confused and uncoordinated for a very long time afterwards.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Seizures Continue

This has been another day and night of seizures. Dad says they are a little different from the previous ones. Just as bad but different. Afterwards I no longer pace about bumping into things. Instead I lie there hyperventilating and unresponsive for about 60 seconds. Then when I come out of that I still want food and the toilet.

19:20 I was upstairs lying behind Dad when his alarm went off to tell him it was time for my pills. Whilst he was downstairs getting them I started fitting - the schedule appears very predictable now. In an effort to try to break the cycle dad used one of Diazepams, but I doubt it worked as I immediately had to empty my bowels and dad caught it just in time in the bin.

10:30 I was l downstairs lying behind the sofa whilst mum and dad watched the new series of Minder on telly (Apparently it's not so good without Arthur and Terry, whoever they are). Then all the usual process chomping and paddling started.

Damn it, damn it, damn it!!!

We ran out of Epiphen yesterday as the prescription was delayed in arriving and then was not received properly to allow the pharmacy to ship the drugs on time.

11:00 The outcome was almost guaranteed and today I started having seizures. Luckily the kids were off school and Chris was around when I had the first one. It was the usual full on seizure whilst I was asleep in bed.

15:00 Later in the afternoon Blaine was around to see me have another full seizure whilst in bed again.

I'm so annoyed at myself for letting it come to this. There was a miscount on the tablets and what with changing the dose I didn't leave enough of a buffer between getting the prescription, ordering and delivery.

It was such a frustration arranging with the vet for the prescription, to be told I couldn't collect it the same day. This pushed it to Friday and that meant my order wouldn't be shipped until Monday.

Then to have the pharmacy call to say they hadn't received one of the prescriptions, well that was it. Another day later.

Only myself to blame I guess. I must make sure I don't let this happen next time, as now we're not going to be sure if the additional dosage or the KBr are working.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Some time ago dad did a lot of research on my vaccinations and asked questions of the vet in regard to annual boosters.

There was a very interesting TV show that explained the data used to demonstrate vaccination results in humans and animals was highly flawed. It showed that even without vaccination many diseases like measles and flu were actually in decline prior to the vaccinations even being manufactured.

The charts used showed that basing the declines of such diseases only by showing a year or so immediately prior to vaccination, or in using a logarithmic scale, hides the fact that the trend was significantly downward anyway.

After making this find on the net I thought it worthy of posting and may be of interest to those also questioning the need for annual boosters.

It is therefore our contention that those who continue to give annual vaccinations in the light of new evidence may well be acting contrary to the welfare of the animals committed to their care.

Letter from UK Vets which appeared in Vet Times, UK January 2004

Dear Editor

We, the undersigned, would like to bring to your attention our concerns in the light of recent new evidence regarding vaccination protocol.

The American Veterinary Medical Association Committee report this year states that 'the one year revaccination recommendation frequently found on many vaccination labels is based on historical precedent, not scientific data'.

In JAVMA in 1995, Smith notes that 'there is evidence that some vaccines provide immunity beyond one year. In fact, according to research there is no proof that many of the yearly vaccinations are necessary and that protection in many instances may be life long'; also, 'Vaccination is a potent medical procedure with both benefits and risks for the patient'; further that, 'Revaccination of patients with sufficient immunity does not add measurably to their disease resistance, and may increase their risk of adverse post-vaccination events.'

Finally, he states that: 'Adverse events may be associated with the antigen, adjuvant, carrier, preservative or combination thereof. Possible adverse events include failure to immunise, anaphylaxis, immunosuppression, autoimmune disorders, transient infections and/or long-term infected carrier states.'

The report of the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Taskforce in JAAHA (39 March/April 2003) is also interesting reading: 'Current knowledge supports the statement that no vaccine is always safe, no vaccine is always protective and no vaccine is always indicated'; 'Misunderstanding, misinformation and the conservative nature of our profession have largely slowed adoption of protocols advocating decreased frequency of vaccination'; 'Immunological memory provides durations of immunity for core infectious diseases that far exceed the traditional recommendations for annual vaccination. This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information as well as well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in .most cases, lifelong.'

Further, the evidence shows that the duration of immunity for rabies vaccine, canine distemper vaccine, canine parvovirus vaccine, feline panleukopaenia vaccine, feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivurus have all been demonstrated to be a minimum of seven years, by serology for rabies and challenge studies for all others.

The veterinary surgeons below fully accept that no single achievement has had greater impact on the lives and well-being of our patients, our clients and our ability to prevent infectious diseases than the developments in annual vaccines. We, however, fully support the recommendations and guidelines of the American Animal Hospitals Association Taskforce, to reduce vaccine protocols for dogs and cats such that booster vaccinations are only given every three years, and only for core vaccines unless otherwise scientifically justified.

We further suggest that the evidence currently available will soon lead to the following facts being accepted:
  • The immune systems of dogs and cats mature fully at six months and any modified live virus (MLV) vaccine given after that age produces immunity that is good for the life of that pet.
  • If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralise the antigens from the subsequent so there is little or no effect; the pet is not 'boosted', nor are more memory cells induced.
  • Not only are annual boosters for canine parvovirus and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia.
  • There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines.
  • Puppies and kittens receive antibodies through their mothers' milk. This natural protection can last eight to 14 weeks.
  • Puppies and kittens should NOT be vaccinated at less than eight weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralise the vaccine and little protection will be produced.
  • Vaccination at six weeks will, however, DELAY the timing of the first effective vaccine.
  • Vaccines given two weeks apart SUPPRESS rather than stimulate the immune system.
This would give possible new guidelines as follows:
  1. A series of vaccinations is given starting at eight weeks of age (or preferably later) and given three to four weeks apart, up to 16 weeks of age.
  2. One further booster is given sometime after six months of age and will then provide life-long immunity.
In light of data now available showing the needless use and potential harm of annual vaccination, we call on our profession to cease the policy of annual vaccination.

Can we wonder that clients are losing faith in vaccination and researching the issue themselves? We think they are right to do so. Politics, tradition or the economic well-being of veterinary surgeons and pharmaceutical companies should not be a factor in making medical decisions.

It is accepted that the annual examination of a pet is advisable. We undervalue ourselves, however, if we hang this essential service on the back of vaccination and will ultimately suffer the consequences. Do we need to wait until we see actions against vets, such as those launched in the state of Texas by Dr Robert Rogers? He asserts that the present practice of marketing vaccinations for companion animals constitutes fraud by misrepresentation, fraud by silence and theft by deception.

The oath we take as newly-qualified veterinary surgeons is 'to help, or at least do no harm'. We wish to maintain our position within society, and be deserving of the trust placed in us as a profession. It is therefore our contention that those who continue to give annual vaccinations in the light of new evidence may well be acting contrary to the welfare of the animals committed to their care.

Yours faithfully

Richard Allport, BVetMed, MRCVS
Sue Armstrong, MA BVetMed, MRCVS
Mark Carpenter, BVetMed, MRCVS
Sarah Fox-Chapman, MS, DVM, MRCVS
Nichola Cornish, BVetMed, MRCVS
Tim Couzens, BVetMed, MRCVS
Chris Day, MA, VetMB, MRCVS
Claire Davies, BVSc, MRCVS
Mark Elliott, BVSc, MRCVS
Peter Gregory, BVSc, MRCVS
Lise Hansen, DVM, MRCVS
John Hoare, BVSc, MRCVS
Graham Hines, BVSc, MRCVS
Megan Kearney, BVSc, MRCVS
Michelle L'oste Brown, BVetMed, MRCVS
Suzi McIntyre, BVSc, MRCVS
Siobhan Menzies, BVM&S, MRCVS
Nazrene Moosa, BVSc, MRCVS
Mike Nolan, BVSc, MRCVS
Ilse Pedler, MA, VetMB, BSc, MRCVS
John Saxton, BVetMed, MRCVS
Cheryl Sears, MVB, MRCVS
Jane Seymour, BVSc, MRCVS
Christine Shields, BVSc, MRCVS
Suzannah Stacey, BVSc, MRCVS
Phillip Stimpson, MA, VetMB, MRCVS
Nick Thompson, BSc, BVM&S, MRCVS
Lyn Thompson, BVSc, MRCVS
Wendy Vere, VetMB, MA, MRCVS
Anuska Viljoen, BVSc, MRCVS, and
Wendy Vink, BVSc, MRCVS

'Deaths from infectious diseases have declined dramatically, mainly because of improved water supply, sanitation, adequate food supply and birth control. Immunisation programmes have played a part, but graphs show these [diseases] were declining before the immunization programmes began.'
Margaret Stacey, 1988, The Sociology of Health and Illness

Other sources of interest:
Alternative source:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's

Happy Valentine's

Time for a Bath

Well dad took me to go see the vet yesterday to check my ears are getting better. Unfortunately it looks like the infection is still there, although it's not irritating me at all anymore. So the vet signed me up for some more Canaural so we can continue to see the infection get finished off. I don't really want it to recur.

The new vet cleaned my ears for me whilst there and I demonstrated I was good as gold and moaned in pleasure as she did it.

The visit to the vet meant I got to go into work with dad again. He had some visitors so left me by his desk whilst he spoke with them. I just slept and waited until he was finished. The visitors thought there was something wrong with me. They thought there must be something wrong for a big bad Rottie like me to just lie there watching them.

Power washer
Today dad decided it was time I had a bath. I know it's cold out so dad's been putting it off. But today he washed the car and thought he'd do the same with me.

Now I'm not a big fan of the garden hose. I'll stand still and let dad wash me with it, but I'm definitely not all that happy about it.

But the pressure washer is a different thing all together! I love to be sprayed with it. Dad takes care to make sure it's far enough away to not blow my skin off. The mist is great fun though and I end up soaking wet. Then dad rubs me all over with shampoo before another game of pressure washer.

It's all good fun getting bathed. Afterwards there's the rough towelling down which makes me all giddy with excitement and then indoors for more towelling and then the hair dryer. I just love all the attention I get to get dried off and brushed.

I'd happily have a bath everyday - but I'm just concerned about dads hands getting all frozen in this very wintery cold weather we have right now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blood Test Results

Dad spoke with the vet today and they gave him the results of the blood test. The results show the Phenobarb levels to be with the therapeutic range. But we'll be going to see the vet tomorrow to find out what the actual reading was. It should be between 15 - 45µg/ml.

It's also time to get a repeat prescription for the Epiphen and Previcox. Although the current vet doesn't have experience of Previcox they are willing to maintain the prescription, but have spoken of Rhimadyl (Carprofen) which is one of their preferred products. Unfortunately as the Previcox is working very well and has made such a difference, it's debatable whether I want to change it - even though it is relatively expensive. After reading the wiki and other sites this quote gives me a little cause for concern:

Although most dogs respond well to carprofen, it is capable of causing liver toxicity in some animals, and in the early days of introduction there were significant anecdotal reports of sudden animal deaths arising from its use.
Source: wikipedia

So that's the last thing we want to add. More risk of liver damage when there is already an increased risk caused by the Epiphen. So dad will certainly have to query the vet in more detail about this.

We have to accept the last significant part of the statement, reporting of sudden deaths, as the same has been proven of Previcox. So whilst there is a reluctance to change it is only in regard to the liver damage.

There's also some really good news on the ears. Now the Canaural has run out the problem has gone away. No more head shaking and scratching at my ears. But we've been asked to see the vet just to take a proper look and make sure.

UPDATE: After talking with the vet she suggested that possible liver damage is a risk with all NSAID's even with Previcox.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sutton Park

Sutton Park

Dad took me out in the car today and I got all excited thinking I was off to Doggy Disney. Instead we turned the wrong way and headed out of town for a while along the M6.

When we got there there were loads of people out for walks and many with dogs. It looked just great. Plenty of open fields, woodland and pools. I'll give the pools a miss this time round as they're iced over and there's still plenty of snow on the ground.
There was plenty of parking to be had. We went into the Boldmere Gate entrance and parked up. There was no need of a lead at all. I was straight out of the car and onto the field. There were lots and lots of new places to run and scents to sniff. What a great outing.
As we entered the field the only frustration seems to be that many of the dog owner who go there must just let their dogs foul and not clean up after them. I've not seen such a lot of dog mess in such a space. Especially when there are dog bins at hand.
We'll definitely be going back again. It's only a half hour trek and the traffic and roads seem fine, even with the roadworks on the M6.

View Larger Map

Saturday, February 7, 2009


SnowThis week has been a full week of snowy weather. Most unusual for England. It caused chaos on the roads and schools all over were closed. But I didn't care! It meant dad stayed home from work and I could bug him all day, every day to take me out in the snow.

We went out on Tuesday and thankfully no more seizures in the snow, just a great time acting like a new born lamb, bouncing around and eating snow.

Dad's been cleaning my ears regularly and putting in the Canaural drops twice a day and it really seems to be working wonders. No more incessant head shaking and scratching at my ears. The drops do seem to have made the fur around my ears greasy and stand up, but it's a small price to pay for stopping the irritation.

We ran into a Collie we'd met a long time ago whilst out and his dad said how I'd filled out and gotten much bigger. I got weighed at the vets the other day and I'm up to nearly 45kg (99lb). It's the biggest I've ever been. I put it down to the medicine giving me an appetite. Mum and dad have to keep an eye on me more these days as I'm sneaking food when they leave anything around.

Even when dad did go into work on Friday he took me with him - so that's twice in one week. I just love going to work and being with all those people and getting all that attention. When a visitor came in and saw me there with dad they were more than a little surprised to find a friendly Rottweiler just laying there watching what was going on. I think they expected me to chase them out of the building!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Making Snow Angels

Frozen Angel17:30 Dad took me out to play in the snow tonight and whilst actually running around I had a seizure. Dad said I ran in a circle like I'd lost sight of him, and then when I did see him I was all starey and not focused or not able to recognise him.

I fell into a full seizure and lay there in the snow kicking around until I came too. I was so disorientated afterwards that it took dad a while to bring me home.

I should have known better really. Roxy hadn't been quite herself all day, you just get to know the feel for this. But I couldn't resist her wanting to go out and play, and it had been a while since her last fit.

Another Blood Test

Roxy the Snow PloughWent to see the doctor again today. After the past 24 hours it seems a coincidence that I already have a blood test scheduled for 11:00.

I went with dad to work today, but what a day it turned out to be. At home there was a little snow, but at work the streets were coated with 2-5 inches of snow. A real rarity from all accounts - unheard of for 126 years - Oh, that's only 18 human years. Because of all the snow and the slippery roads, instead of 45 minutes to get to work it took twice that long.

I had great fun though. Dad took me round the park in the snow and made the most of it, pretending I was a snow plough and scooping it into my mouth.

After playing around we then went to the doctor. We saw a new lady who was very friendly and spoke at length with dad about what had been going on over the past few days and from the beginning.

After dad explained the frequency of the seizures the doctor decided that we need to add Potassium Bromide (KBr) to the medication. The Bromide doesn't have an impact on the liver but is not effective on its own so will be brought in to support the Epiphen. So along with the 2 x 120mg of Epiphen, I'll be taking 2 x 325mg of Potassium Bromide. We'll need to go back for a blood test in another 3-4 weeks to make sure the dosage is right.

The new doctor was a little uncertain of me and called for some backup to restrain me whilst she took some blood from my neck. She didn't have to bother as I sat there good as gold without a flinch or whimper as she drew the blood.

Dad asked her to checkout my ears as they really have been irritating me still. The left one in particular. After taking a look she prescribed some anti-biotics to try to clear up and infection that is in "both" ears - although more noticeable in the left.

So now we also have a bottle of Canaural (25ml) to be administered twice a day. So now we have a regime of mornings, 2 x Epiphen + 2 x Bromide + 1 x Glucosamine + Canaural, dinner time 1 x Previcox + Canaural, then evenings 2 x Epiphen + 2 x Bromide + 1 x Milk Thistle!!! Oh, and continue with the every other day ear cleaning.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Start of a Cluster?

20:00 Almost to the schedule another seizure started 5 hours after the last. The pattern seems to be 4-5 hours between them when they start.

Dad decided to try out the Diazepam to see if it would break the cycle and to learn just what to expect when administered. Not having done it before means finding the right spot isn't as easy as you'd think.

Afterwards it seems like it just really calms me down. Doesn't exactly make me sleepy just slows things up. It also seems to have a strange smell that lingers.

This evening I get to sleep in the bedroom just so if another happens dad can be ready for it.

01:30 (Monday) Almost predictable now. I woke mum and dad with a seizure early in the morning. After that dad left me downstairs to sleep - but being restless I had to come upstairs and sleep on the bedroom floor.

Now it may have been the effect of the Diazepam but I couldn't sleep and was very restless. Getting up moving, lying down... getting up etc. Eventually dad took me downstairs where I polished of another half tin of food before finally going to sleep in my own bed.

Dad didn't do so well though. He ended up sleeping on the sofa to keep an eye on me, and I didn't move at all until...

07:00 Dad was upstairs in the bathroom getting ready for work when I had another seizure. I'm sure we must have both looked an odd couple me with my mouth all foaming from slobber and dad with his face all covered in shaving foam!

Well today I'm due at the doctors again for a blood test so let's see what they have to say.

A Seizure Today

15:00 Mum and dad were just sat watching TV and I was fast asleep in the living room when the seizure started. This time was a full seizure going on for 2-3 minutes, following all the usual patterns.

Mum got a towel and mop and bucket to clear up after all the drooling I did. The floor was like an ice rink it was so covered in slobber. I scoffed down half a tin of food afterwards and did my usual pacing but seemed to come out of the fog earlier than usual.

Dad thinks I may have had a small seizure in the night too. This morning he said I had slobber all over my ear and next to my bed was more slobber than usual.