Monday, January 18, 2010

Scary Crap

I know it has been a hot minute since I've blogged but I had a ton of stuff that piled up at the end of the semester (grant applications, finals, etc.) and then I jetted off to Africa for two weeks and just now am getting caught back up. I have some other blogs in the works so hopefully I'll start the year off strong and my adoring fans will be happy again :)

Unfortunately the first post of the year is not shiny & happy but since I'm obsessed with my dogs it is very necessary.

About a month and a half ago Ange woke up and notice that Caramel was acting strange kind of like she had had a stroke. She was stumbling around and her legs weren't working very well. She was worried but was waiting to see if she'd snap out of it. Caramel likes to sleep under the covers and really close to our bodies. Ange thought maybe she'd slept on Caramel and her legs were just asleep. She said she looked like she had a stroke but recovered a few minutes later so she wasn't too worried. We hadn't thought about it since then.

However, this morning around 4:15 am I woke up because I could feel some commotion going on by my feet. In the few brief seconds when I was trying to orient myself I felt one of the dogs crashing into my legs so I immediately sat up and turned on the light. Caramel was shaking pretty violently and trying to walk but her legs weren't working well. She had this glassy eyed look on her face and was clearly scared. I grabbed her and put her in between Ange and I and was trying to figure out what the heck was going on. There was clearly something wrong so I jumped up to go put my contacts in and get some sweats on so we could run her to the Emergency Vet near our house. Ange stayed in bed and held her while I was getting ready. She said this was very similar to what happened the previous month except not as severe. By the time I was ready to go she had stopped shaking and was looking normal again. We were sitting on the bed with her and she was her happy self. It was weird. We let the dogs outside and she was running around like normal. Ange thought maybe she got tangled under the blankets and maybe her oxygen got cut off and that's why she was acting like that, and then when she was out of the covers and breathing it went back to normal. So we decided to hold off on the vet visit.

Ange had to work at 6am so she just decided to go ahead and get ready ahead of schedule. I was going to go back to bed but since I was pretty wide awake I thought I'd turn on CNN for a bit and wait until Ange left to go back to sleep. Ange got out of the shower and we were chatting when all of a sudden Caramel's legs started twitching and contracting into her body and she started thrashing around again. I pulled her onto my lap and was loosely holding her while petting her and talking to her to try and keep her calm. At this point I started to think she was having seizures. After a few minutes she was back to normal again. So weird! I decided that since she'd had two seizures in 45 minutes I didn't want to wait until our vet opened at 8 and decided to take her to the Emergency Vet (even though I knew it may cost a fortune!). So I got dressed again and we headed out to the vet while Ange went to work.

I got to the vet and let them know what happened and they said it sounded like she may have epilepsy but they wanted to do some blood tests to rule out other things first. Apparently in dogs it's pretty hard to diagnose epilepsy. Basically they look for all other possible causes of seizures and if they don't find anything else that's the default diagnosis. So they took her back to get her blood and the doctor decided to give her a shot of valium to calm her down a bit as a preventative. As he was walking her back to the exam room she started having trouble walking again and I could hear her crashing into the wall. I opened the exam room door and dropped to the ground to comfort her. The doc wasn't sure if it was a seizure or a result of the valium. He said some dogs have weird reactions to valium although this looked like it was also a seizure. We thought is might be due to both because her leg weakness lasted longer than the other two even though her other behavior returned to normal. Carmie and I chilled on the floor of the exam room and snuggled while we waited on her blood tests. Everything came back completely normal so that basically ruled out all other causes (brain tumors, diabetes, etc.). Since she'd had 3 seizures in an hour and a half he thought it would be best to give her an injection of phenobarbital and a two week prescription of pill phenobarbital. We have to follow up with our regular vet in two weeks to check her phenobarbital levels and see what plan of care our vet recommends.

We got home and she was pretty drowsy, but overall doing better. The doctor said that the small seizures weren't too worrisome--they were scary but they wouldn't hurt her. But the bigger concern would be if she had a massive seizure that she didn't come naturally out of it could cause brain damage. Since Ange & Brian have work and school all week I didn't want to risk leaving her alone for long periods of time while we are in this transition and regulation phase. I got ready for Bloomington and at 8am called my mom and Dale to see if it would be ok to bring Caramel with me to Bloomington. Dale is off work right now and I thought that when I am at class this week he could keep an eye on her and that way we won't have to worry about her having a massive seizure and having no one around to help her. Luckily my mom and Dale are awesome and said no problem.

We came down to Bloomington and I went to my office for a while. Luckily my office is chill so no one minded having Carmie around. I did a few hours of work and then came to my mom's to hang out with her, Dale and my sister who came down for a visit. Carmie's been doing well all day. A little tired and loopy but no more seizures (knock on wood). She is mostly sleepy and a little loopy but all in all much better than she was this morning. She has an appointment at our regular vet in two weeks so we'll see what happens then. I'm just worried about my little angel and tentatively glad that she is doing better!

1 comment:

ange said...

Poor little blonde dog!We miss you both so much!