Sunday, May 31, 2009

In the Dog House

Pepperoni Pizza

Looks like I'm in the dog house today. But it's not all my fault really. I mean, who goes leaving pizza lying around at night? If they didn't want me to eat it all then they should have put it away from me, how was I to know I shouldn't eat a slice of pepperoni and six slices of spicy Mexican chicken pizza. I was just tidying up.

Big news today is Auntie Caz is coming over for a barbecue. The family will all be over too, so I'll get lots of attention and probably lots of yummy scraps. That's if I'm forgiven and let out of the dog house by then. I'll have to put on my best puppy dog eyes and manipulate them like I usually do.

Anyway dad found this old photo of some one called "Carol Ann" and now I'm confused. Is this the same person as Auntie Caz? Just in case you forgot she's 280 years old on Tuesday - Oh, that's 40 in human years. That's still really old though isn't it?

Auntie Caz / Carol Ann

Thursday, May 28, 2009

At the Doctors

Blood TestDad took me into work today. That's a sure sign that I'm gonna be poked and prodded by the vet later. Especially as I didn't get any breakfast before we left for work.

On the way in the car I got sick. Dad said it looked like whipped egg whites as I'd not had any thing to eat. I managed to slip over in it and got it all over me before we got into the office. Dad wasn't too impressed as it made me very smelly through the day, bleurgh! He tried to clean me up as best you can with a paper towel and water, but the smell stayed behind.

We went out into the town centre at lunchtime. Thursdays are market days and the town is full of people. I was on my very best behaviour and walked good as gold by dad's side. I think dad likes taking me into town on Thursdays. He thinks it's much easier to walk through the crowd as they seem more eager to move out of the way when I'm with him. It must be the smell?

Market Day
At the vets I got a good going over, ears, eyes and gums etc. It's all very confusing as they try to make me stand where they want. I wish they'd make up their minds - so I just lie down here and let them get on with it.

The vet couldn't find anything wrong - and the "bobble head" didn't show itself, so we're going to have to try to catch it on camera. The vet's going to talk with a specialist, even if we can't afford to go see them ourselves, just to get some additional advice.

They took some blood to send off for a liver function test, so we should get some results next week. They also asked about vaccinations... dad politely skipped the issue for now. No doubt he'll be talking with them about it later though.

I also got weighed again. I tried all the lady like tricks of one foot on the floor and leaning on the wall, but didn't get away with it. I weighed in at just over 45kgs, which is an improvement, and more like what I should be.

Dad treated me with his leftover chicken tonight, just as a way of praising me for being so good all day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why Are Things Never Straight Forward?

I Pity The FoolIt's been a bank holiday weekend so dad's taken me out for plenty of walks in the woods. Mind you I've been that hyperactive a few really long walks have been needed to wear me out a bit.

Dad ordered a repeat prescription from the vet last week. It needed to be a little earlier since the KBr dose has been increase and the current tablets will run out quicker. The vet needs 24 hours to get them ready so after calling nice and early on Tuesday, they'd be ready on Wednesday lunchtime, right? Erm, No. Turns out they wont be ready until after 3:30pm, which means it'll be a push to get the order shipped the same day... I'm beginning to think the vet's trying to make things difficult because we order online.

But then when dad goes to collect the prescription there's a little surprise - or two. The receptionist asks if there's any reason they write out 3 prescriptions each time, KBr and the two sizes of Epiphen. Well no there isn't. I order all of them from the same place. The next sentence you can figure made dad scratch his head quite a bit. "Well next time we'll write just the one prescription then. Which will save you some money."

Huh? Had they misheard me when I asked if they could do this on my first visit, but was told they weren't able to do that? Well dad wasn't going to argue... how very strange.

But surprise number two was almost as funny. Dad reminded them that they had over charged us on the last prescription by £6 and they could use that credit this time. Turns out they'd already used the £6 credit on the last visit! So it went to pay for the Pro-Kolin+ without us knowing.

Well that's just sneaky. So I write how reasonable the cost of £14 was (link here) and then find out it was actually £20. Just bloody typical!

But the upshot is the online drug company played a real blinder. Dad called them up and sent them the prescriptions and they counted, packed and shipped the drugs same day. With first class post they arrived next day. I know I don't use this site for advertising, so just consider this a thank you to Pet Drugs Online.

Looks like dad's going to have to make another call to the vets though. Over the weekend I've developed a worrying shaking of the head. It's like I get a bit starey and rapidly shake my head from side to side a little. Mum calls it "Bobble head" as it's like one of those little toys if they were shaking their head saying "no". It doesn't last long and I usually snap out of it as soon as someone says my name, but it is worrying.

Makes us all think there's more going on in my head than what causes the Epilepsy.

Well next weekend auntie Caz goes over the hill. Apparently she's on the down hill side, so dad says. I think that means she's 40. I know, I know, you're all saying "What, again?" So hopefully the weather will be as good as this weekend - who knows maybe I'll get her to take me to the woods?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Me and My Big Mouth

Well that'll teach me to put good words into the blog.

22:20 I was laying in the doorway to the kitchen sleeping quite peacefully when a really big seizure struck. Not that it went on much longer than usual, but the ferocity of the head twitches after the initial chomping were much more noticeable and stronger than previous.

Dad got straight on it and figured as two diazepam weren't working let's try for three. Scary I know, but he was really worried by this seizure. Especially as it follows so close to the previous cluster.

It turns out that I'm not the only one suffering this weekend. Snickers and Gio have both suffered a visit over the past few days too.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spritual Healing

With all the happening over the weekend things haven't really improved a great deal. Following the seizures I've still not fully recovered. It seems the after effects have been somewhat distressing to mum and dad.

There's defiantly some mental impairment going on though. For instance I'm scared of the stairs now. Previously I'd follow dad like a shadow just to be with him, and going up and downstairs was never an issue. It's not like I've even fell down the stairs whilst having a seizure either.

But the worst part, for mum at any rate, is that I'm not letting anyone know when I want to go out to the toilet. Add onto that that I've also got diarrhea at the minute, it means that there's a lot to mop up.

Spiritual Healing
On Sunday dad was just taking me out when Anita's (she's Ian's girlfriend - Ian is dad's brother, and they live next door), well her mum came round to see me. She's a spiritual healer and offered to work her magic on me and see if she could help. Dad's not going to turn away anything that may help. So she came around and did a laying on of hands. I certainly enjoyed the attention, now let's hope it helps out in some way.

I guess dad's a bit of a sceptic. More a case of he believes what can be demonstrated as proof rather than simply accepting things based on another's beliefs. But without wanting to sound hypocritical, nothing else seems to work so far, so what harm can it do?

After consulting with the vet on Monday over the phone dad ordered some probiotic formula to ease up the diarrhea. They also recommended that the potassium bromide be increased to 3 x 325mg twice a day.

Dad reckons it seems a little strange talking with the vet on the phone for free. After all you pay for the consultation and prescription charges and drugs, but talking to them on the phone incurs no cost. I think it would make more sense to pay for any consultation that takes up a vets time and fore go the charges on prescriptions.

At least this time it seems to have been value for money as after paying the £14 for the probiotic formula (Pro-Kolin+), which appears to be a reasonable price, and getting a free phone call, the balance swings our way a little for once.

Purina - Bakers Complete
I've also had to go without dinner or breakfast to try to clear up the diarrhea. But I was so persistent mum buckled under the pressure and gave me a mug of Bakers dog biscuits. I have never eaten dry food, I just don't like it, but I guess if that's all I'm getting I'll eat the lot!

But just to be different it looks like I'm not so fussy with my food now. So mum and dad are going to try me on dried food again, just to see if they can at least use it part of the time.

The vet is also going to discuss my case with a specialist and see if there's anything else that can be recommended. They also spoke about an MRI scan, but mum and dad really can't afford that.

Today's been a bit better. At 5am this morning I still left a puddle in the living room. I did bark to wake dad up... but only to tell him I had already gone, and not before as I should.

I also finally gave in. After dad went back to bed I made several attempts to go upstairs, before I finally picked up the courage to make it to the top! Now I've made it once, getting there and back has become easy again and I'm back to following dad. I hope this is a sign that things are turning around.

Pro-Kolin+ : A highly palatable paste formulation containing beneficial microorganisms, prebiotics, kaolin and pectin, whose absorbent and soothing properties are well known. It soothes the gut lining during periods of diarrhoea and improves the consistency of stools.

PS: Well the eczema seems to have cleared up, yay! Looks like the steroids have done their job, but will I be as muscle bound?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Long Weekend

Tired EyesThe seizures continue through the night and dad wakes up looking like this in the morning.

01:45 I started fitting in the bedroom after dad had taken me upstairs to keep an eye on me. This time after the seizure I didn't get up and pace around at all. I just breathed as if hyperventilating for a while and went back to sleep. I think this worries dad more as any change does.

03:45 This time I reverted back to the usual pacing and ravenous appetite. Dad took me downstairs to go out and then get some food. Afterwards I paced for a long time backwards and forwards between empty bowls, and the window ledge where my food is, wanting more food. Dad eventually had to pick up my bowls as I was rattling them around the floor so he couldn't sleep.

Dad got the sleeping bag and crashed on the sofa to let mum at least get some sleep.

07:10 Another big seizure and another episode of rattling the bowl around after the food I had just wasn't enough.

17:30 I thought things were getting better and I was just having a snooze when another one came. This time I didn't do the pacing and ravenous food. Just lay and chilled out to recover.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cluster Seizures

02:05, 07:10, 10:50, 13:50 Continuing on from yesterdays cluster the seizures are about in line with previous ones in terms of their frequency.

Fortunately dad's got another day off work so he's been around to look after me.

In the car
17:10 I got all excited when dad was working on his car. I had to sit in the boot as that's where I sit when we go out to the woods. As I lay there another seizure hit and before dad could get to me I'd fallen out of the car. I wasn't really hurt, but it gave dad a scare.

23:10 After mum went to bed I was asleep in the kitchen when another seizure struck.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sweet Tooth

Wine GumsOn Tuesday dad was lying in bed reading when I heard the rustle of a packet. Being nosy I thought I'd check out what he had as it might be something nice that he'd share with me. Well when I say share, what I actually mean is use as a bribe to be left alone.

Turns out dad had a packet of wine gums. What really surprised him was that I liked the smell. I wouldn't leave him alone until he gave in and let me have one.

I kept putting my paw on the bed. Lying there with my chin on the bed giving him the big sad puppy dog eyes, until I broke him down and he gave me a sweet.

Eventually dad cracked and handed one over, expecting me to drop it on the floor once I found out that it wasn't something I liked. Instead, I LOVED IT! I couldn't get enough. If dad found me annoying before he gave me a sweet, now I was even more so. I went frantic pacing around trying to get his attention before pleading for another.

When bed time came mum kicked me out of the bedroom and relegated me to my bed in the kitchen. But that wasn't the end of it.

Next day whilst everyone was out at work or school, I snuck into the bedroom and found the sweeties. No one would find out surely? I'll just have the one... but then getting the bag open without an opposable thumb isn't easy and it tore open. So rather than leave any evidence I'd better dispose of it all.

Later in the evening mum found the empty torn up packet and put it into the bin. Wayhay! I'd gotten away with it... until dad went to read that night. For some reason he remembered he hadn't eaten them all. BUSTED!

What's Going On Today?

18:10 Dad was on the computer just typing up something for the blog whilst I lay snoozing behind him, having dictated it all to him of course, when I went into a seizure. Apparently it was a full on big scary one that lasted a while. So dad used two of the diazepams on me to see if they'd do any good.

Seems odd that on Monday I have one seizure and then 3 days later another.

22:50 I decided to go downstairs with mum and got a Bonio to chomp. Mid munch I fell into seizure. Looks like the start of a cluster.

Monday, May 11, 2009

You Miss Me?

Freddy KrugerOne, Two Freddy's coming for you,
Three, Four, better lock your door,
Five, Six, grab your crucifix,
Seven, Eight, gonna stay up late,
Nine, Ten never sleep again.

08:00 Well he's been a little overdue. I thought we were getting away with it just fine. But as I was eating my breakfast the seizure caused me to fall over in the kitchen. Mum thought I'd just slipped, but soon noticed the usual paddling.

Chris was in most of today, had to go out on a driving lesson. When he got back there was no sign of another seizure. There would be slobber everywhere and probably a puddle of wee. So let's hope this is a one off. More than likely not though.

I guess it was on the cards that the seizures would start just as dad returns to work after having a week off.

This evening mum and dad are around to keep an eye on me, so we shall see if I keep them up tonight or not.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"Just Do It"

My new "Nike's"As this eczema is still driving me nuts, I'm still mouthing my paws, dad ordered me a pair of doggy boots from eBay. I can't say I'm too impressed with them.

They make me walk around really goofily and mum and dad chuckle. You can hear me coming a mile away as they scuff along the floor.

Dad likes them, as they work. They've been putting them on me mostly at night, so I don't spend all night chomping my toes. Once they are on they stay on. They may twist around but I just leave them alone and ignore them, not even showing any interest in pulling them off.

They're supposed to be able to be used outside and the leather on them probably would survive quite well. But they're definitely not submersible. They'll keep out puddles but not to the depth I'm used to paddling in.

Chicken Wings
Mum went out with the girls last night and left dad to fend for himself. Before she went she put a pizza and some chicken wings into the oven. When they timer went off dad couldn't believe the pile of wings that were in there!

Just as well I was there to help out. Dad wouldn't have gotten through all that on his own... or would he? After all the wings dad didn't bother with the pizza. So I kept on reminding him I was there and could help tidy up, if necessary. When I finally got a piece I ate so carefully, not dropping it onto the floor, just rolling it around in my mouth and giving it a good chew so as not to get any hair on it.

When mum came home and they went up to bed they forgot something... they'd left the pizza on the table. Whoohoo! Party time. It wasn't there in the morning and as I was on guard all night I just said that I hadn't seen anyone, and dad must have eaten it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One Day of Tablets

Daily TabletsFollowing on from my previous post where I mentioned the additional tablets I now take for the Eczema, I thought I'd post something that just shows what it all looks like.

In the picture you'll see just how many tablets I have to take every day. To date it's 15 tablets!

2 x 30mg Epiphen
4 x 60mg Epiphen
4 x 325mg Potassium Bromide
1 x 1000mg Glucosomine
1 x 3000mg Milk Thistle
1 x 227mg Previcox
2 x 5mg Prednidale

On the left is the 7am mornings tablets, middle is the Previcox I take at 5pm dinner time and right is the 7pm evening tablets.

Now if you wanted to give me all those mixed into food it would have to be a Big Mac... or two ;)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How Irritating - Eczema

Sock ManToday dad decided it was best to drive all the way into Loughborough to get the vet to have a look at my paws. The irritation has finally shown itself as an inflamed pink patch on the inside of my toes. So all this slurping my paws was for some good reason.

The vet took a quick look at my feet and decided it was Eczema. Probably caused by some allergic reaction to a chemical in or around the house. He said it's not unusual this time of year with people planting and growing things, using pesticides and fertilizers. So finding the cause could be quite difficult.

The vet prescribed a weeks (7 days) dosage (1 x 5mg, twice a day) of a corticosteroid called Prednidale/Prednisolone. He also preceded it with an injection to kick start the effects.

The vet explained it acted as an anti-inflammatory and that although I currently take an Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID, Previcox) the two can be used together as the Prednidale targets a different area and that the Previcox is very specific in its treatment.

Dad asks the questions and gets a lot of useful information from the vet. They seem very open and keen to discuss specifics, so dad tries hard to get as much detail as he can. He's no vet, but if you get the information, even if you don't understand it (and dad really doesn't), you can take it away and go rumage around the internet to get more help.

So digging around later dad find a wealth of information regarding possible side effects so now we know what to look for.

What dad also found out is that it is an immunosuppressive drug. So I guess the allergic reaction should also be lessened because of this feature.

As I'm about due another bout of seizures this really couldn't have come at a worse time. Now we wont know if these new tablets or the injection will have had any impact on my seizures. Maybe it'll cause me to go into one, delay it, who knows? But whatever it does, it means a change which we can't account for.

2012 OlympicsWell with all these drugs it looks like entering the 2012 Olympics will be out of the question. Any sample I'd give would be sure to cause the testing machine to blow a gasket!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunny Weekend

Blue bellsWhat a great weekend this has been. The weather has been glorious... right up until today where it's cloudy, grey and showery. Luckily dad took me out to Doggy Disney on the two really nice days this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday we went to the woods and on both days I was in a fine mood. I was back to my old self running off into the trees and bouncing around like a deer.

The woods were beautiful and green. This time of year everything looks so lush and green. The bluebells were carpeting the woods. It's strange how in some places they cover the floor, but in others you see none.

Mud Bath
I managed to find my favourite puddle. It seems always filled with water, but the best bit is the mud at the bottom. Whilst the water is a milky looking brown the mud at the bottom is a thick grey sludge that dad reckons looks just like porridge. Whenever, we walk past this puddle I can't resist and have to go have a lie down in the lovely gooey mess.

I know dad's not that impressed as that means I've got to have a rub down before I get back in the car and have a bath when I get home.

You can be sure that if I get in the car all gloopey I'll have a good shake and spray the inside with clay. Dad thinks I do it on purpose so he has to spend time outside cleaning the car and I can join in having fun with the pressure washer.

Towelling DryIt also means I get to go have a swim before we go back to the car. After all, dad wouldn't want me to get in the car all gloopy with mud. So Now I've guaranteed myself a swim as dad can't say no.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pink Socks

Pretty Pink SockSince the last trip to the vets my frustration/fixation with my paws seems to have gotten worse. I just can't seem to leave them alone. I'm not chewing them or raking them with my teeth hard enough to take out hair or even break the skin, I just lie there with my paw in my mouth or lick at them constantly.

I know I'm driving mum and dad mad as they're always telling me to pack it in, but I can't help it. I just slurp away for ages and leave my paw and the surrounding floor soaking wet with slobber.

It's like when I start I just can't stop. Many times dad's come down to find me in the morning with a big soggy patch on the floor or in my bed.

So by way of preventing me from doing it they've started putting a pretty pink sock on me when I start. It tends to distract me for a while and I'll leave it alone, but eventually even the sock gets covered in slobber. I guess no one else will be wanting to wear it again?