"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." ~ Unknown

RIP Topaz 9/8/14

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I have put off writing this blog post because I thought it would be too difficult to write and get through.

I think I waited too long because now I don’t know what to write.

What do you say about losing your heart dog?

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And he was totally my heart dog.

We did SO much for him. Medication, changes in food, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, etc.

We held him as he suffered through each grand mal seizure and helped him get through the post ictal stage afterwards.

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We did everything we could until there was nothing else we could do to help him.

So we did the only thing left we could do for him and we set him free.

And now, the only thing I can do is to write him a letter…

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My dearest Topaz, 

I want you to know that you are loved and that the decision to set you free was not one that came lightly. You were not the same happy, crazy, boofy dog. That is difficult to see as a pet mom and dad.

We hope you had a happy life. We hope you know that you were loved so, so much. The kitties loved you as did Onyx. Cosmo and Onyx and even Mooshy will miss you like crazy.

Setting you free has ripped a giant hole in our hearts that I don’t think will ever heal completely.

You were my baby, my puppa, my boofy boy. I will miss your pig-nosing the back storm door, your boofing when asked if you were hungry, the way you loved to be brushed, and loved your kiddie pools in the summer. I’ll miss feeling your warmth in the bed, and I’ll even miss you chasing Malcolm around the room.

I’ll miss you chasing the UPS truck along the back wall in the yard, and the way that you’d chase cars while on a car ride.

We love you forever to the moon and back and we will miss you forever. Please know this. Please take care of Zagnut and Skittles. I hope they met you at the bridge.

We will see you again…and I cannot wait.

Love always, Heidi (Mumma) & Todd 

 

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I think this will always be the most difficult decision I have had to make. I know in my heart it was the best thing.

I love you, Puppa, forever…Run free and enjoy…until we meet again.


 

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The Legend of Rainbow Bridge

From the book, “The Legend of Rainbow Bridge” by William N. Britton
Reprinted with Permission
www.legendofrainbowbridge.com

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When a pet dies who has been especially close to a person here on earth,
that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are beautiful meadows and grassy hills there
for all our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is always plenty of their favorite food to eat,
plenty of fresh spring water for them to drink,
and every day is filled with sunshine so our little friends are warm and comfortable.
All the pets that had been ill or old are now restored to health and youth.
Those that had been hurt or maimed are now whole and strong again,
just as we remember them in our dreams of days gone by.
The pets we loved are happy and content except for one small thing.
Each one misses someone very special who was left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes
when one of them suddenly stops and looks off into the distant hills.
It is as if they heard a whistle or were given a signal of some kind.
Their eyes are bright and intent. Their body begins to quiver.
All at once they break away from the group, flying like a deer over the grass,
their little legs carrying them faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet,
you hug and cling to them in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.
Happy kisses rain upon your face.
Your hands once again caress the beloved head.
You look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet so long gone from your life,
but never gone from your heart.
Then with your beloved pet by your side, you will cross the Rainbow Bridge together.
Your Sacred Circle is now complete again.

(Reprinted with permission of the author. Published 1994. Copyright © William N. Britton. www.legendofrainbowbridge.com)

Downhill

I don’t know what happened this past month with Topaz.

We had asked the vet if we could put him on the Meclizine for a longer period than just the 10 days they initially had put him on since he did get worse again after coming off of both meds. They gave us another 10 days worth and again, once he was off the medication, he went back to not doing well. So we called and just got a month’s worth.

And he was doing better.

And then, suddenly, he started going back downhill.

I don’t know what happened.

He’s so wobbly and having a hard time getting up. When he does get up he stumbles and walks crooked hitting his head on walls and running into things. And the falling. He keeps. On. Falling.

He’s not even laying down normally.

He’s been crated a lot lately for long hours because I was in the hospital and my husband was up there visiting with me. He’s been eating at off hours for the same reasons. Saturday (9/6/14) he was crated most of the day and when I got home he didn’t even get up in his cage to greet me. Usually he is up and ready to go outside. He didn’t even stand up.

And when I let him out…I swear, I thought he had a seizure. He was acting really post ictal…stumbling, not steady on his feet, wobbly. So I checked the blankets…they were a little damp, but it didn’t smell like urine. I checked him…didn’t see signs of the foaming or even really urination.

I gave him the usual medication I would give in the after seizure cocktail – valium, PB, and Rescue Remedy. Little did I know, my husband gave him a valium that morning for the same reason.

This morning, he did not get up when I did…something he ALWAYS does. I had to help him stand up. I let him out and helped him down to the stairs to the grass.

I fed him, gave him his meds, and just had him relax.

He has not changed. He’s still wobbly, stumbly…

He’s just not the same dog.

I have always said that my husband and I would do everything we could to help him as long as we could afford to do so and as long as I thought his quality of life was not suffering.

I cannot afford extensive testing to find out what is wrong with him. If this makes me horrible…then so be it. That sounds cold, but trust me…he is my heart dog and my heart is completely breaking in half right now.

He could have had a seizure while crated in the past few days and we didn’t know. Shit, he could have had a stroke, or have a tumor or something. We have no idea.

I do know that this dog that he is right now is not the crazy Topaz that I know. It makes me so sad to see him like this and he cannot be happy laying and stumbling around.

I’m 80% sure that my husband and I have made the toughest decision that a pet owner has to make. And again, my heart is absolutely breaking.

We will see what tomorrow brings.

Vestibular Disease

Topaz went to the vet today. He hasn’t gotten any better and we really wanted to get his phenobarbital levels checked.

The vet said it looks like he may have vestibular disease, or vertigo for dogs.

Information about Vestibular Disease from VeterinaryPartner.com:

Canine idiopathic vestibular disease (also called old dog vestibular disease) and its feline counterpart, feline idiopathic vestibular disease, begin acutely and resolve acutely. Usually improvement is evident in 72 hours and the animal is normal in 7 to 14 days, although occasionally a head tilt will persist. When a case of vestibular disease begins, it may be a good idea to wait a few days to see if improvement occurs before doing diagnostics beyond a routine blood/urine database. These two conditions are idiopathic, meaning we do not know why they occur. We do know that they represent problems in the periphery (nerves of the middle ear rather than in the brain.)

Symptoms:

  • Ataxia (lack of coordination without weakness or involuntary spasms – in other words, stumbling and staggering around).
  • Motion sickness.
  • Nystagmus (back and forth or rotational eye movements. The movements will be slower in one direction. This is the side where the neurologic lesion is likely to be; however, nystagmus is named according to the direction of the fast component – i.e. there may be left nystagmus but the lesion is probably on the right side of the vestibular apparatus.)
  • Circling (usually toward the side of the lesion).
  • Head tilt (usually toward the side of the lesion).
  • Falling to one side (usually toward the side of the lesion).
  • Trouble with other nerves controlling the head and face.

Topaz does not have the nystagmus (eye movements), or the circling, and not sure about the motion sickness. He has not been vomiting, he is still eating, interested in food, and going to the bathroom ok.

The vet did bloodwork for his phenobarbital levels and some other blood tests. They all came back normal as far as I know.

We got meclizine for him and prednisone. His ears looked good, so this may not be an inner ear problem.

For now, we are going to give him the meds, keep him safe from falling, and monitor him for the next 4-5 days. If the meds don’t seem to work then we will take him back in for more testing.

I talked to a friend who is a vet tech and she said to make sure they check his liver. So, if needed, I will have them do that.

They also said he has a spot on his spine that he reacted to like it hurt so we need to put a heating pad on it. Right now he’s laying in my office with the heating pad. We also bought a number of rugs and made a path from our back door to the carpet. Of course, he still slips and falls on the linoleum. Figures.

So that is where we are right now. Will update as needed.

More information about Vestibular Disease found here.

Something Isn’t Quite Right

I am not sure what is going on with Topaz right now. He is eating fine, a little slower than normal but is definitely interested in food. No vomiting or diarrhea or anything like that as far as I can tell and he does seem to be drinking more.

At first, I thought maybe pancreatitis but now I am not so sure.

I think he may have had a seizure sometime in the past couple days but I am not positive.

He is acting a little post ictal – really stumbling around the house and everything and just laying around. He was panting a lot yesterday but seems better with that today.

He doesn’t seem to be in pain really, he is just off and not right.

I did give him a Valium not too long ago and so he is now snoring in the hall. He may need a trip to the vet tomorrow if he doesn’t get better. :/

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Grand Mal – 5/16/14

I am over these seizures. I swear to God.

Topaz had another Grand Mal seizure on 5/16/14 around 4:30 pm.

We were able to get a script for Valium from the vet, but we’re still waiting on the Rescue Remedy and need to find the ice cream.

I wasn’t home for this seizure but the husband said it was typical.

The vet upped his Phenobarbital from 1 ¾ pills to 2 pills twice a day. We’ll see how that goes.

He’s a little shaky still. I almost want to call it twitchy.

I don’t want to see him suffering and am afraid that we need to start thinking about his quality of life.

I did promise my husband and myself that we will try everything and anything we can afford financially and emotionally to keep the seizures at bay.

But eventually, I know that we may need to make a difficult decision.

I hope that is later than sooner, but he’s almost 9 yrs old and has been having seizures for 8 of them.

Hopefully this medication dose will help him.

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