Sunday, 25 November 2012

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Goodbye Brosa

This morning at approximately 9:10 a.m. AT, Brosa left this world.  All of the tests and research could not get to the bottom of his issues, and he was failing.  He wasn't responding to the treatment he was getting.

Last night I suspected; this morning I knew.  His first mom, his rescuer Lee Anne, who spent the last 2 weeks with him, fully supported my decision, knowing he was suffering.  She lost a favourite pup today too.

Goodbye my Flying Squirrel Monkey Man.  Jump high for those discs at the Bridge, and tell Duncan and Oscar I love them too.

November 25, 2008 - September 22, 2012

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Brosa Update

Well, we still don't have an answer as to what EXACTLY is going on with him medically, other than the fact that his adrenal glands are producing too much cortisol.

He drinks too much, pees too much, is losing his muscle mass, is lethargic/depressed, no desire to play, weak/can't exercise.

This is a hard departure from my Flying Squirrel Monkey Man/The Turd who I love so much.

As the last test turned up negative, Brosa was started on a course of drugs called Lysodren, commonly used to treat Cushings Disease.  It is hoped that this will lower Cortisol production and stabilize him, before testing for Atypical Cushings.

Lysodren is treated very much like chemotherapy as it's so toxic.  Gloves are required to handle the pills and Brosa gets 1/2 a 500 mg tablet each 12 hours.  I wrap each half in a Pill Pocket and give to him with his meals.  The first pill was provided at supper on Wednesday August 22nd, and I stayed home the remainder of the week to monitor him, particularly through the weekend, to ensure he wasn't suffering any adverse reactions to this drug.

He also gets Denosyl (a liver support supplement) once a day, Tumil-K (potassium, added yesterday, to help boost his levels which are too low and may also improve his PU/PD) twice a day, Vitamin E once a day, and an antibiotic call Clindamycin twice a day (as it was suspected he had a possible cleft palate infection that was compromising his breathing).

On Friday, August 24th, while we were out on our deck, I showed Brosa his frisbee which was on the table.  He took it from my hands and trotted off down the steps into the yard with it.  The first time in almost 2 months he has shown any interest/possession in a toy. It really did my heart good!

We also went back to the lake for a quick cool off.  Given how weak Brosa is, he wore a life jacket in the water.  He did have tremors afterwards, so that was just a little too much exertion for him and therefore he won't be made to do that again in the near future, until that time comes (hopefully!) that he's feeling stronger.

The following day, I purchased two new squeak toys for Brosa and Delta.  Delta, as always, immediately detected the smell of them in the bag, so I didn't waste any time given the toys to them.  Although Brosa broke his squeak in the first minute, the other still works as I type this, and either toy has barely left Brosa's mouth in the days to follow.  This is such a good sight to see!





Brosa is slowly showing interest in other toys I have recovered from storage (they were put away after the last foster dog, Walker, began to rip every toy to pieces, lol!).

His condition is "guardedly optimistic", but just seeing his interest in the toys seems positive.

Yesterday, blood was drawn to test his cortisol levels after 5 days on the drug.  It hasn't really gone down much more than a minuscule amount, and therefore the current dosage continues.  He will be retested again on Saturday morning.

Kayzee wasn't forgotten when I shopped for the new squeak toys.  In in effort to find fun things for her that wouldn't be eaten by the dogs, I decided to buy a cat grass kit.  While waiting for that to sprout, I also bought a bottle of catnip spray, which I sprayed on the old Cat Spa we have but hasn't been used in quite some time.  After giving it a thorough washing, the spa was placed on the floor in the sunny spot, and Kayzee proceeded to be in orgasmic heaven!

Stay tuned for future updates on Brosa's condition.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

2012 is a really shitty year

I could be forgiven for hoping the Mayans are right.

Still mourning the loss of my mother.  Gone too soon.  The liver transplant surgery should have taken place 2 years ago when she was added to the list, not when she was too sick to survive it.

No sooner had the funeral taken place and foster dog Walker had been adopted, that Brosa started having uncontrollable thirst and urination in the house.

Our primary vet, after spending $1500 in vet fees, multiple blood work and tests, xrays and emergency fees, simply gave up and said "it's stress".

I called bullshit on that, and went back to a vet we hadn't used in 2 years (I have a problem with the amount of time it takes to get an appointment there).

He certainly was up to investigating other tests and diagnostic possibilities.

Unfortunately, since July 9th I now stand at $2700 spent on additional bloodwork and tests, ultrasounds and various medications, and still no diagnosis for my poor boy.

My Turd, my Monkey Man, my 3 year old baby, is deteriorating, and no one knows what the hell is going on!  His results are closest to Cushings Disease, but not 100% so.

We are waiting on blood work results from the PEI college (blood drawn Monday August 13th) and as of Friday, still not in.  So what does the vet do when I report that Brosa is worsening?  Give me extremely toxic medication to treat Cushings (Lysodren, along with Prednisone to counteract the effects Lysodren may have on him) without a diagnosis of it.  I gave him one dose at supper and then thought better of it.  I'm not going to kill my dog with a drug he may not need.

I haven't had a full night's sleep (not more than 5 hours) since before my mother passed away.  I'm up 2-4 times a night with Brosa when he urgently needs to go outside (and STILL has pee to spare in the house).

I fear I may have to *be kind* soon as I don't want Brosa to suffer much longer.  His quality of life hasn't existed in almost 2 months (weak, lethargic, clearly not happy).

I know vets aren't miracle workers, but I need assurance from them that they care, that they're consulting with others in the field that may bring a fresh pair of eyes.  I'm not getting that, and I'm both pissed and heart-broken.

*end rant* Hopefully next post will bring better news.

Here's a video of Brosa having a swim last week.  He was quite weak, but still gave it an effort to cool off.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Memory Lane

I compiled many photos of my mother through the years, which were on display via a slide show on a large wall-mounted t.v. during the visitation at the funeral home.

I saved those photos to this online album, to share with friends and family who were unable to attend the service.

Judith Davis June 15 1946 to June 25 2012

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Walker has been adopted!

Walker had several meetings with the family, to ensure that his transition to his forever home went as smoothly as possible.  He loved them from the first meeting, and they him.

Congratulations to the happy new family.  Be a good boy!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

I come by it naturally

Found this photo while going through the old family albums this morning.

This is what goes on, on a daily basis in my home.  It looks very much like me and Delta!

My mother with our first dog Tippy, sometime around 1965/66.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

In Loving Memory

Judith Evelyn Davis
June 15, 1946 - June 25, 2012

I will miss you so much Mummy.  Thank you for making me the person I am today.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Walker is officially available for adoption!

Walker's Petfinder page

Here's hoping a very good application is sent for him.  He has come such a long way since his arrival in November!

Sorry there have been no new posts.  I don't have an explanation other than laziness for April.

My mother had a liver transplant on May 1st and she's still in serious condition in the ICU.  Please say some prayers/send good thoughts for her recovery.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

March updates

Oops!  Didn't mean to let my posting slide!  It has been a busy month+ since the last posting.

Delta Update: Delta's leg healed well and there has been no sign of recurrence of the tumor (so far).

Her ears remained on the thick side, in danger of turning into full blown aural hematomas.  Fortunately, her right ear (the site of the original one 2.5 years ago) subsided, but unfortunately, the left ear persisted until it started to get larger the weekend of the 10th.  Then it tripled in size early in the week, swelling completely by Wednesday.

On Thursday, March 15th, she went to see our Vet, whose car we have completely paid for by now, I'm certain, and Delta's ear was to be drained on the spot.  I assisted out back by holding Delta's head to keep her calm on the surgical table (I'm not squeamish so I asked to come back).  Our vet said that with her ear as swollen as it was, her skin would be numb anyway so no anesthetic was given.  A catheter was punched in near the tip, and then the blood/fluids drained away.  A crazy thing to witness in person, even though I'd seen numerous videos over the years.

Next, the canula was inserted where the catheter had been, and then came the hardest part, to stitch it in place.  Delta flinched a bit, but was the best patient ever.  We were done in 15 minutes from start to finish.  She was bandaged for the drive home, and then came the instructions to massage her ear as often as I can, give her warm compresses, keep tip clean, wiggle/rotate the canula, etc.  This will remain in place for 4 to 6 weeks.  She had a one-week checkup this past week, and all is going well.  She's had the occasional filling up overnight or through the day when I'm away from home, but this breaks up and drains easily with massages.

It never seems to end for my dear girl!  However, she doesn't let this get her down and she will still run and play with the boys.  She is the most patient pup, and still the best big sister the boys could wish for.

Walker update:  After several long months, it was revealed that the Advantage Multi was not working for treating his Demodex Mange, and therefore we switched to the dreaded Ivermectin (the rescue hoped to avoid using this, but there simply isn't another effective treatment).  Walker started off very slowly with his dosage.  A little bit for 3 days, a little bit more for 5 days, and little bit more for 7 days, and then finally his full dose for however long it takes.  He has had no side effects apart from early on when he seemed a little out of sorts for 2 days, but that may have not been related to the Ivermectin.

He is full of energy, and doesn't give me any trouble taking his medicine in the mornings despite being told that it tastes awful.  He just wiggles his bum into my legs and takes it like a champ.  Good boy!  He lost quite a lot of hair on his undercarriage and legs while on the Advantage (as the mites were active), but that appears to have stopped and the peach fuzz is coming back!  His horrible breakouts he had have cleared up (no more spot cleaning around my house, my clothes, my furniture, etc... it was like a crime scene at times!).
Nearly nekkid Walker, on St. Patrick's Day

Walker has started agility class and has just completed week 4 of an 8 week class.  He is loving it and learning quickly.  His tail wags constantly and he just seems so proud of himself when he goes through the equipment.  His confidence is skyrocketing!  I fully expect he will be ready for adoption in about 1 month's+ time, once we know the Demodex is a thing of the past for good.
Walker, running out of the chute Saturday, March 24th (just learned that morning!)

Brosa Update: Not a whole lot new with Brosa - he is his usual Turdy self, ha ha!  I took him out one afternoon last week for a trip to Point Pleasant Park and downtown Halifax.  He had a great time, and I got very lovely photos of him as a result as well.  Brosa will begin agility classes again when Walker has completed his.

Our friend Tara has a new pup - a Cane Corso who she has named Spock.  Brosa met him the day after he arrived and was very nice with him.  Spock looks just like Brosa, except with a whole face and cropped ears. ;)  I'm hoping they'll get to be great friends.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Delta Update long overdue!

The day after Delta's birthday, a stitch broke through her skin.  I felt she was swollen, and as the bleeding wasn't stopping, she went to the animal emergency to get looked at.  The tissue was starting to heal so the vet didn't want to add a stitch/staple back in.  She seemed to be on the verge of infection however, so antibiotics were prescribed and her leg was wrapped up for a couple more days.

The vet wrap slid down by the next day however, and so it was removed and I needed to resort to some very sticky tape to keep the incision covered up. Which unfortunately made THIS happen...

I grew progressively concerned about her broken stitch and bleeding, so on January 21st we were in to the vet, where I assisted her with adding an additional 3 stitches in place.  Not surprising, I was told no more bandages in order to allow her leg to heal.  I was given Fuciderm gel for that, and Metacam for her pain.

She broke out in hives the next day, full blown on Monday evening.  She received Benadryl (but not Dexamathasone as she'd had Metacam within the past 3 days).  She also received Benadryl pills for me to give her each 8 hours, so I stayed home from work.

 On Tuesday morning she seemed better at first, but then she broke out again after breakfast.

1/2 hour later, and I called the vet.  They advised me to discontinue the Cephalexin antibiotic she had been taking since the Emergency visit, and I also discontinued using the Fuciderm.

The hives continued periodically.  On Wednesday, the vet gave her the Dexamathasone, and advised me that she wasn't so much concerned about the hives and the incision any longer; she was more concerned about both of Delta's ears, which were on the verge of aural hematomas from head shaking wearing her cone.

So, no bandage to protect her her incision.  No bandages to protect incision and catch the weeping.  No cone to keep her from licking her incision.  What I did do was put a very light self-sticking tape wrap over gauze for the next 2 days.  I also dabbed some Bitter Orange cream on the bandage to discourage her from licking. The wrap slid down her legs a bit, but seemed to do the trick.

Of the 3 new stitches, 2 of them ripped through.  But her skin was looking much better after a few days.

Finally, the stitches came out and she's now fully healed at long last!!  

She had some occasional hives prior to stitch removal and I am beginning to believe that it was mostly stress for paying such close attention to this awful thing.  I thought perhaps she developed a chicken allergy as well as an allergy to the antibiotic.  Time will tell (I've eliminated chicken for now but plan to try some with her again).

I hope this is the end to her medical dramas and that she can live the remainder of her life stress-free!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Delta is 10 today!

Delta is 10 today!  To celebrate, we removed her banadage, and then later had Three Dog Bakery treats.  I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Moments before bandage removal, the kids are enjoying a nap/cuddle.  Sorry to disturb you, kiddies!

Bandage - the sticky side ripped out some fur too - ouch!  Delta didn't even flinch but goodness... and look how it  matches the blanket as well.

8 stitches

Oh nos!!!  The "Cone of Shame" and the pen.... unfortunately Delta wouldn't stop licking the stitches, so to protect those, and also her from the crazy boys, this is what we had to do.  "Mom!  My birthday SUCKS! You should have left the bandage on me!!"

Three Dog Bakery

Let Them Eat Carrot Cake
Boxer Brownie
Drooly Dream Bar

Everyone stayyyyy!


mmmmm! (Walker ran off with his in the living room)

So good!
Happy Birthday Delta! xoxo

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Delta update

Here are some BlackBerry photos of Delta at home after her surgery.  She is feeling quite good more than 24 hours later.  So happy!
At home and in a rigged up pen for Delta using my coffee table, a collapsed kennel, and two baby gates!  This is for Delta's protection, to keep her from being too active, and to keep the rowdy boys from injuring her further!

Feeling tired and probably a little pain - what a sad face. :(

Bandaged for 5-7 days (although if it starts to roll, I can remove it.  The first day or so was most important for keeping pressure on the incision)

I'm inside the pen with Delta now, and Brosa is crying about it, ha ha!

Delta was unhappy about not being able to see me in my recliner (this is the view from it) and therefore I changed the layout for her.  She was much more content with this.

Unfortunately, in order to create this pen, I had to utilize the space in front of the picture window, and it's somewhat cold/drafty there.  So I bundled her up and she stayed asleep for hours.

Day 2 - our friend Shawna O'Handley came to the rescue and loaned us one of her xpens for a few days!  This is much better!  I set this up away from the cold wall/window and Delta can see much better now.

Hee hee!  She was talking to me here.
I imagine her saying "AWWWW MOMMMM!  Why do I have to stay in here?  This sucks!!"

I let the boys come in for a visit for a few minutes.