Bodhi Blog - Blind Dogs - 2012 Archive
- December 31, 2012 - Mia has had a strange skin issue since November. She had a biopsy in Seattle nearly 2 weeks ago to check for cutaneous lymphoma, fungal infection, lupus, etc. I found out today that she has hypercalcemia from Cushing's syndrome brought on by the prednisone she has been on since the end of July. She will have her predinosone lowered again next week after a follow up with the oncologist.
- December 23, 2012 - I took Mia to an oncologist just north or Seattle on Thursday. She is going to begin chemotherapy (satraplatin). The only mentioned side effect is possible nausea. The chemotherapy may be able to provide 2-6 months of control. After that, it may be possible to switch to another pill.
- December 16, 2012 - I am going to take Mia to an oncologist in Seattle for an evaluation. She may have a tumor on her face that is causing the swelling. Likely too late to do anything, but one vet mentioned palladia as an option to help slow down tumor growth. I also found a spot on Mia's skin that appears it could be melanoma. Two vets have said that the mammary tumors appear smaller than they would expect at this time, so at least a small bit of good news recently.
- December 2, 2012 - After a couple days on Benadryl, Mia's swollen eyebrows are not better - one of them is worse. I am going to be seeking a second opinion from another vet, just in case this issue is not related to her cancer or prednisone.
- December 1, 2012 - Mia has had a swollen eyebrow since sometime in October. It has gotten larger and I also noticed the other eyebrow is swollen. I checked with other boxer owners and everyone thinks it is allergies, although my vet said he had no idea what it was. I am giving her Benadryl, however Mia's liver is not so great right now and I read that Benadryl can be a problem if there are liver problems. I am going to keep an eye on her and stop the Benadryl if I notice anything getting worse.
- November 22, 2012 - Mia had some trouble walking today. She also has spondylosis deformans, which is causing her to slowly loss functions of her legs. I have noticed over the past few days that she has had more difficulties. Her front legs were trembling a couple days ago. The vet only mentioned her back legs would be involved, but all of her legs appear to be affected. At this point, I am not sure if the cancer will take her prior to her losing the ability to walk.
- November 9, 2012 - Mia made it through her surgery today. Her heart did slow down 2 times, but she pulled through. The vet did mention her liver blood test showed significantly elevated levels, which could mean the cancer has spread to her liver. She is a little disoriented but ate a normal meal. Without the infected tooth in her mouth, the vet said she should be feeling better right away.
- November 4, 2012 - Mia, my fawn boxer with cancer, has an infected tooth. She has been on antibiotics and is now on a second round along with a pain killer. She may be getting surgery on Friday, but she is not a good candidate for anesthesia so there is a chance she will not make it through a surgery. There may not be a choice. She has lump on her face from the infection and now a second lump on her eyebrow has shown up. She has been hanging in there with the cancer, without one bad day so far. She has lost a little more weight since her last weight check, but she is doing relatively well. I am hoping I don't lose her this coming Friday. I would hate to see her life cut short by something as stupid as an infected tooth. Even though she was given 6-8 weeks in July, there is a small chance she could still be around another few months if the cancer does not spread quickly.
- September 20, 2012 - Caly, the newest dog, had a seizure in the evening. It was the first seizure I had noticed, besides occasional leg jerks that could be petit mal seizures. Her head suddenly started shaking back and forth for about 30 seconds. If your dog has never had a seizure, the first one is the scariest. I was immediately concerned her mental disability was getting worse. Overall, she does have several small signs since getting her in May that her mental disability is declining fairly quickly, but she is not going on any anticonvulsants unless she starts having seizures regularly.
- July 24, 2012 - Mia does have cancer. It is a high grade mammary carcinoma with metastatic potential. She has been given an estimated 6 - 8 weeks. She is going to start on 20mg of prednizone per day to help slow down this very aggressive cancer.
- July 17, 2012 - Mia is going in for x-rays and a biopsy. The vet told me if she has the malignant form of this type of cancer, then she would only have a matter of weeks remaining. If the biopsy shows she has the malignant form I will likely opt for surgery and risk her under anesthesia at her age since she will otherwise be guaranteed death in a short time without any intervention.
- July 12, 2012 - My one girl, Mia, has "probable" adenocarcinoma - essentially breast cancer. The vet said there is a 50/50 chance it is malignant form. With being a boxer and around 10 or 11 years old, I lean towards it being malignant with having lost my other boxers from cancer. Mia is going in for blood work on Friday to see if there is anything showing she cannot make it through surgery. At her age, she is at risk of not surviving surgery regardless, but I will likely take the risk unless x-rays show spreading of cancer elsewhere. The tumors are very small and were caught unusually early, according to the vet. There are tumors on both sides, implying that it is malignant. She also has a lump inside on her right side that is larger than a golf ball that is unknown and was noticed around the same general time as the other tumors.
- June 29, 2012 - Today is Bodhi's eighth birthday. I am so glad he made it. A few months ago I was not sure he would make it this long, but he is relatively stable, mostly only skipping meals every few/couple weeks. I have not had to increase his prednisone, so his issue is not progressing fast at this time.
My other dog, Caly, was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She is going on medication. She lays down 99% of the day and has some other issues not related to neurology that may clear up with the thyroid medication. She is still getting lost in the house, usually in a corner and can't seem to find her way out. She may have dementia, but only more time will tell if additional symptoms appear or current ones progress. She does appear to have mostly learned the dog door. I assist her in finding it to go outside and she has found her way back in several times now, even though she has to walk up a 20 foot ramp to get back to the same level of the dog door from the yard.
- June 6, 2012 - Bodhi went for a day and a half without eating, except for a few biscuits. He finally ate Tuesday evening. That is the longest he has gone without eating since he was doing so badly in February/March. This morning, Bodhi appeared out of it and unusually mellow. He also urinated on the floor a few times times during the night even though I had let him outside just before bedtime Tuesday evening. I am not sure what is wrong, but he appears to have had a neurological event of some sort. He did not eat right away in the morning, but ate mid-morning and by the evening ate normally with his behavior approaching normal.
- May 30, 2012 - When I first met Caly I thought her disability was less severe than Bodhi's. Both are mentally handicapped but their behaviors are so different. Caly has turned out to be less self-sufficient than Bodhi. Caly needs regular assistance due to having more issues with agility. She also gets lost often and stuck going in circles, which may decrease over a few weeks as she adapts to her new home and her stress level decreases. I have noticed Caly panting at times when the other two are not panting. I am concerned some since panting can be a sign of cancer. I adopted her knowing her age, so I will accept what happens, but I sure hope she has a good amount of time remaining.
- May 29, 2012 - I discovered that Bodhi is lactose intolerant today. My vet even mentioned most dogs cannot tolerate dairy products. I added some plain yogurt, at someone else's suggestion, into Bodhi's food to give him an easy form of probiotics, but within a few minutes he vomited. I will not make that mistake again! I will also reconsider how I give him his meds, since I use cheese. I waited a couple hours and offered food again and he ate his meal without problems. So, in the end lesson learned.
- May 28, 2012 - Bodhi and Mia met Caly (a 10 year old blind and mentally-handicapped white boxer), their new very beautiful sister yesterday. She arrived from Albuquerque, New Mexico in the evening so they only had a couple hours together before bedtime. The introductions went okay. Caly clearly has neurological issues, which the shelter in Albuquerque did not mention. She walks in circles, which scares Bodhi since he doesn't get bumped into just once, but over and over. Their interactions will always have to be highly supervised since Bodhi becomes aggressive when afraid. Mia, my other blind dog, did well with Caly then got a little jealous and did some low rumbled growling but only once. Mia clung to me a little more in the evening. Overall, Mia appears that she will tolerate Caly. Hopefully over time Mia and Caly will become buddies.
I am going to be working on reorganizing this site so it is about more than just Bodhi. I will expand it into blind dogs in general as well as neurological issues. I currently have three blind dogs, Bodhi, Mia, and Caly. Mia is the only one of the three that does not have neurological issues. Her blindness resulted from glaucoma.
- May 26, 2012 - Bodhi did not eat this morning. He would not even eat the last resort option of pieces of angus beef burger. Nothing interested him. He did eat in the evening. He was ready for food about an hour and a half prior to normal feeding time. This is the second time this week he skipped a meal. That is not a good sign. I am hoping the addition of the new dog on Sunday will not upset Bodhi. He has always done well with other dogs, except when his brain misfires and he gets upset.
- May 21, 2012 - Bodhi did not eat in the morning. He would not accept when offered later in the morning either. He did eat in the evening, but still hesitated until I put his bread/cheese/meds into his food bowl. One change I have noticed is that Bodhi has stopped peeing in the house at night. Not sure exactly when that occurred since it is not something I have been tracking. It could be he stopped that as the rainy weather went away, although it is raining for the next few days. Most boxers do hate rain.
- May 19, 2012 - Bodhi is basically stable with prednisone 4 meals out of every 8. I have noticed in the past 2 days that he is having more petit mal seizures. I am not sure why since his stress level has not increased as a result of anything I have noticed. I suppose it is a sign his hydrocephalus is progressing. I need to stop being so optimistic. Every time he gets stable, I start thinking he is not so sick and will be around for a long time. I keep wanting to see him get old enough to be grey like other older brindle boxers. Prednisone is so good and bad at the same time.
On a new topic, I got news today that Bodhi and Mia's new sister (Lacy, another blind boxer - new name may come after meeting her) will likely be here by the end of the month. Lacy will be flying on a private plane, from a very generous person at his own cost, for part of the way and then driven the remaining trip to Ferndale, Washington. I am beyond excited to meet her. I have been looking at pictures of her for many weeks and have already fallen in love with her and feel very protective of her. I am concerned Bodhi's stress will increase, but I will be keeping Bodhi separated from the new dog for a couple weeks. I want her to learn his smell most of all. That, along with my warnings, is how Mia avoids Bodhi when he is upset/aggressive. From my count so far, it is taking nearly 30 people to get Lacy away from a kill shelter in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Ferndale, Washington. I wish I could meet everyone involved and thank them for their generosity. Without these people I would not have been able to rescue Lacy. If only Lacy could know how many people are working to save her in a society that otherwise accepts discarding animals like her every day...
- May 16, 2012 - Bodhi would not eat this morning right away. I got up earlier than normal and decided to feed them right away. Bodhi had the defensive posture like he wanted the food, but I think he was nauseous. He had a string of saliva hanging from his mouth. I tried again around 9:30 a.m. and he ate pretty quickly. I am glad he ate since it is too early in the off cycle to not be eating. I need to research some natural additives for his food to reduce nausea. He is already on so many medications.
I don't have official confirmation, but the new dog, Lacy, is supposed to head to Denver, Colorado this week and eventually making it to Ferndale, Washington. I am so looking forward to meeting her. I am buying some baby gates to keep Bodhi separated from Lacy for a while, since his learning ability is slower than other dogs and I want Lacy and Bodhi to know each other's smells for a couple of weeks before fulling interacting.
- May 13, 2012 - Bodhi's last meal of the day was the end of the cycle of being off prednisone and the first meal with prednisone. He hesitated eating until I added the bread/cheese/meds. He normally does not hesitate in the evening.
- May 12, 2012 - Bodhi had another episode where he was sitting and doing nothing for several minutes. I thought he wanted outside, but he did not budge. After a few minutes he started walking around again. This is the second meal off prednisone. I need to track these episodes better. I am wondering if they occur when he is off prednisone.
- May 10, 2012 - Bodhi continues to do well on prednisone. He ate as expected and seems to be back on a schedule of 4 meals out of 8 have 2.5mg prednisone. I would love to try to increase his days without prednisone, but every time I try, he stops eating.
- May 9, 2012 - I have added a dedicated page for information about blind dogs along with a list of 10 tips for people who have blind dogs. Blind dogs are easier to take care of than most people might expect.
- May 7, 2012 - Bodhi is doing fine. His eye is normal again. He had more aggression over the weekend, but I am hoping it was from the steroid shot he got on Friday along with the prednisone on Saturday and Sunday. He was better on Monday.
I have not mentioned it on here yet, since I am not sure if it will work out, but I am looking at adopting another dog. She is a boxer mix and is currently in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There is a group of people working on getting volunteers to help assist with transport to Ferndale, Washington. Here is a link to her information: Lacy.
I look forward to meeting her. She looks very sweet and I think she will get along with Mia, my other "normal" blind boxer who is older as well. Mia has been more nervous when I leave ever since Raudi died last summer, so I think a buddy at home will help. Mia and Bodhi are not exactly buddies, since Bodhi can be aggressive.
- May 4, 2012 - Bodhi has been doing well. I was supposed to give him prednisone last night, but he was eating so well I decided to try to go one more meal without prednisone. That did not work out. He did not eat in the morning. I need to stick with the schedule so he does not skip meals.
The evening was more interesting. Bodhi came inside and his left eye was very puffy. I immediately took him to the vet, where he received injections of steroids and Benadryl. It is assumed a bee or a spider got him. At home, I waited a while before trying to give him food, but when I did he would not eat. He tried to bury it. An hour or so later I heard him whine or howl, or something in between. I offered food and he took it. His eye is still swollen, but at least he ate. That is my mantra, at least he ate.
- April 30, 2012 - Bodhi ate well today. I have noticed some other changes. He has had more episodes where he acts a little unusual and he started shedding more. One or two nights ago I woke up with him crawling on top of me in bed, which is something he would normally not do. His directional ability seems to have decreased. I noticed last week when I tapped on his food bowl that he was going in the wrong direction, which has persisted nearly every feeding. Otherwise he is acting like I expect, but the changes make me wonder if the hydrocephalus is affecting areas of his brain that is causing behavioral changes. The hair shedding was something that increased last fall and disappeared when he first started prednisone.
- April 29, 2012 - Bodhi would not eat anything in the morning. I tried all the last resort options, Hills AD, hamburger, bread and cheese. Nothing worked, so I stopped trying and did not offer food again until evening. He seemed hungry but would still not start eating. I added some Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese, which has a very strong smell, that was melted in the microwave and cooled enough to not burn him. That got Bodhi eating. When his appetite is low but I can tell he wants to eat, only strong smelling foods seem to get him started. Once his appetite kicked in today, his food aggression increased. He was growling at the sound of my other dog's nails on the wood floors while finishing his food. He was very hungry even after he ate 1 and a half meal's worth of food, but I did not give him more. The vet mentioned that multiple smaller meals are better than 1 huge meal. A larger meal could reduce his appetite in the morning. He fell asleep within 20 minutes of eating, so he must have calmed down and felt better. He woke up a little later and was running around in the front yard and playing with me. He looked very happy.
- April 28, 2012 - Bodhi ate well today. He has had less aggression, with being off prednisone the past day and a half. I am hoping he eats in the morning. That will be the fourth meal off prednisone.
- April 27, 2012 - Bodhi ate well today. He has had more aggression. I think he is hungry from the prednisone.
- April 26, 2012 - Bodhi was very hungry today. He had a fair amount of food aggression. I gave him another 2.5mg prednisone in the morning and evening. Tomorrow I am going to give him 2.5mg prednisone and see if he can go 2 full days without more.
- April 25, 2012 - Bodhi had me worried today. He suddenly stopped eating earlier in his schedule than normal. He has gone at least four meals in a row without prednisone before hesitating with food for several weeks. This morning would have been his fourth meal after his last prednisone. He would not eat in the morning or a couple attempts at snacks or regular food in the morning. I stopped trying and waited until after 5:00pm. He howled, acted like he wanted food, but he still refused his food, including Hills AD. I finally cooked a hamburger patty. He refused the hamburger but loved the smell. Since his tongue hangs out of his mouth most of the time, his tongue touched the hamburger juice I had added along with the pieces of hamburger. After a couple minutes, his appetite kicked in. He could not get enough hamburger. I then put some pieces in with his regular food. He started to resist that, but I moved the hamburger pieces closer to where his tongue would touch them. Another couple minutes, he was eating everything. He ended up getting too much prednisone since I had some in the hamburger and some in his regular food, total of 7.5mg, but he ate. He will be very hungry in the morning due to the relatively large amount of prednisone and may urinate in the house overnight, but he ate. I am so relieved, although this is sign the hydrocephalus is progressing.
Also, I moved the links for videos to the top menu so there is a separate page dedicated to videos.
- April 24, 2012 - Bodhi ate well again. He is still on his prednisone high, playing a lot and running around. He had a little aggression. I have not been noticing any petit mal seizures. Not sure if they are gone again or if I am just missing when they occur.
- April 23, 2012 - Bodhi ate fine today. He got 2.5mg prednisone in the morning, the 4th meal in a row, so I am going to see how long until he goes without resisting his food, up through 4 meals (2 days). I have stopped using one soft food that seems less appealing to him.
- April 22, 2012 - Bodhi is eating fine now. He hesitated with food on Saturday morning even though he had prednisone the day before, but I am not sure if that is because the soft food I mix in with his normal food was a new can of a different flavor. He has had more prednisone and is a little off schedule, but I will get him back to 2 days on and 2 days off over the next few days. He seems to be very picky about the smell of his food at times.
- April 17, 2012 - Bodhi had some aggression today, either from the prednisone or just normal Bodhi behaviour. Otherwise, he is mostly stable right now.
- April 16, 2012 - The experiment to try 2.5mg of prednisone two days in a row and two days off did not work. Bodhi began resisting food the morning of the second day off prednisone. He has had 5mg/day prednisone the past two days and is back to eating mostly normal.
- April 13, 2012 - I gave Bodhi 2.5mg prednisone on Thursday and Friday mornings. He is still eating well. I have noticed a few petit mal seizures, but they are not very common. I need to discuss with the vet if we will need to tolerate a certain amount of petit mal seizures or if controlling them completely is better for Bodhi.
Bodhi's disposition today was great. He was still very interactive without being too crazy with playing like he can get with higher amounts of prednisone. I am attempting the next 2 days without prednisone. We'll see how it goes. I would like to get him on a schedule of 2.5mg for 2 days and off for 2 days. Once I have him on a set schedule, I will be able to monitor the progression of the hydrocephalus since it will require increasing the prednisone or extending to a day on meds.
- April 11, 2012 - Bodhi had an episode around 10:22 p.m..
- April 10, 2012 - Bodhi ate well today. He was very playful and interactive in the evening. He made me laugh several times with how he plays. I need more video to show people, he plays unusually but very humorously. This is his first day off prednisone. I plan on trying prednisone starting Thursday and Friday with 2.5mg in the mornings only. If he can still go 2 days off after that, then he will experience fewer side effects, short and long term.
- April 9, 2012 - Bodhi was much more receptive to eating. He was very playful and wanting a lot of attention during the day. Obviously the prednisone is working its magic. I gave him another 2.5mg in the morning and evening for a total of 5mg. I will not be giving him prednisone for at least the next 2 days. I would like to go 3 days, but I will determine that at the end of the 2nd day.
If he goes too long without eating, he could get to a point where he will not recover so I have to be careful how often he goes without it. I mentioned to someone today that feeding time has become like Russian roulette. It is only a matter of time before he stops eating. Every time I feed him I am concerned he will refuse the food. Very frustrating, but he is happy today and that is all that matters at this moment. I also keep hearing from vets, vet techs, etc. that the "average" person would not have given Bodhi the chance that I have provided him. I find it sad that most people would not provide a good life for a mentally handicapped blind dog. I saw no other choice when he was diagnosed in 2005.
I forgot to mention before that he has been aggressive with food again since Sunday evening. Before January (and since he was a puppy), he would usually grow when I first gave him his food. If he was touched, he would definitely try to bite. That was just normal for him. His food aggression is basically a good sign that he is at a level similar to how he has been since he was a puppy. I have always had to give him his food, tap on his food bowl to indicate where is it for him to find, and move away very quickly since his aggression occurs as soon as he smells food in front of him. Once he is done eating, all aggression is gone (in the past and today), except for occasional issues where he gets nervous and another dog bumps into him.
This round of prednisone took longer for a response, but it was the first time I gave him 2.5mg twice a day instead of 5mg in the morning. Not sure if there is a cause and effect with dosage timing or if his hydrocephalus is progressing faster. Crossing my fingers it is dosage timing. I still keep hoping for a few more months of him feeling good and being happy.
Bodhi was not his normal self in the evening, around 7:45pm. He had, what I call, an episode. Since January he occasionally acts unusual in the evenings where he may seem lost, out of it, disoriented, or simply not really caring where he is or what he is doing. This evening he acted a little like he was in no hurry to do anything and didn't care about much. He would stand still for a couple minutes, then move around and wonder a little. I have some video that I might post. I assume this is the hydrocephalus progressing and affecting a part of his brain. Every time I see him act like this, I just worry.
- April 8, 2012 - Bodhi finally ate again. I had to use the bread/cheese combo to get his appetite stimulated, but he did eat 2 full meals during the day. He did have some aggression during the day, but he has had aggression his whole life that I typically have not written about. So, I am not sure if the aggression was related to the prednisone or if is was "normal" Bodhi behaviour. I gave him 2.5mg of prednisone in the morning and evening for a total of 5mg.
- April 7, 2012 - Bodhi refused both regular meals. I was able to get him to eat a can of Hills AD in the afternoon, so I gave him 2.5mg prednisone with that. He did eat several biscuits, but was not interested in his regular food at all. I went one day too long without prednisone. Bodhi does not seem to be able to go 3 full days without prednisone without refusing food on the 4th day.
- April 6, 2012 - Bodhi ate this morning after I gace him the bread and cheese with his meds inside. He is getting closer to not eating again, but this is day three without prednisone, so overall not bad that he is lasting three days off prednisone while only on two days.
I had forgotten that I took some video of Bodhi's petit mal seizures to show the vet. I have uploaded one video (above) of a petit mal seizure. This one is not too bad. When he was doing very bad, I did not video tape him. At one point he was having hundreds per day before his seizure medication was increased along with the addition of prednisone.
Bodhi ate well in the evening. He appeared to purposely wait until I added the bread/cheese/meds. One difference I noticed today, on the third day off prednisone, was that his stool was much softer. That could mean his stomach is bothering him. Not sure. I had not correlated that before. I did witness one petit mal seizure in the afternoon.
- April 5, 2012 - Bodhi ate this morning without a problem. He was whining prior to feeding him, he was hungry. I believe that he may have not finished his evening meal yesterday since I had slipped in glucosamine (human type without tasty stuff), so when he bit into it he stopped eating due to the bad taste. I have suspected some of his issues in the past were food aversion due to the medicine I have to put in his food. Looks like I need doggy glucosamine so it tastes good for him.
- April 4, 2012 - Bodhi ate well this morning without hesitation. I did not give him more prednisone at this time.
I took Bodhi to the vet this morning to discuss the future. Essentially, Bodhi is dying. The prednisone is keeping him alive. As the hydrocephalus progresses, eventually medication will no longer work. It could be weeks or months. I am going to continue to give Bodhi as little prednisone as possible to get him to eat. I have lower dosages and will try 2.5 mg the next time he needs it to see if he still responds with the lower dosage.
He only ate part of his evening meal. Normally, once he starts eating, he keeps going. This is likely another sign of the hydrocephalus has progressed in just the past week.
- April 3, 2012 - Bodhi was hesitating eating again, even though he had prednisone yesterday. That is not a good sign. This is the first time he has hesitated eating the day after getting prednisone. He did finally eat and I gave him 5 mg prednisone. Bodhi ate very well in the evening without hesitation.
- April 2, 2012 - Bodhi began trying to bury his food. He was obviously hesitating eating, so I gave him his meds first, in part of a hamburger bun with cheese. I gave him 5 mg of prednisone. He then did eat, so maybe I could have skipped the prednisone this time. By evening, he was whining at food time, very hungry. He was very playful and having a great time.
- April 1, 2012 - Bodhi ate in the morning. He was aggressive first thing in the morning, growling and not wanting to be touched. He used to be aggressive every morning until he was fed, so this could be his "normal" behaviour.
Right as I gave Bodhi a biscuit this evening, with Mia (the other boxer), very close to Bodhi, he had a petit mal seizure. I was not expecting that since I have mostly noticef the seizures only after a half day or more of not eating. Could be the hydrocephalus progressing quicker than I had hoped.
- April 1, 2012 - Bodhi ate in the morning. He was aggressive first thing in the morning. He used to be aggressive every morning until he was fed, so this could be his "normal" behaviour.
- March 31, 2012 - Bodhi ate well today. He played a lot and ran around in the yard. Prednisone sure is good at covering up the truth. It is so nice to see Bodhi acting so joyful. I can only hope his remaining time is as happy.
Right as I gave Bodhi a biscuit this evening, with Mia (the other boxer), very close to Bodhi, he had a petit mal seizure. I was not expecting that since I have mostly noticef the seizures only after a half day or more of not eating. Could be the hydrocephalus progressing quicker than I had hoped.
- March 30, 2012 - Bodhi ate in the morning after trying to bury the food. I gave him another 5 mg prednisone. He may have had a couple petit mal seizures this morning. Sometimes it is difficult to know if the movements are just normal jerks since my other dog does the same thing occasionally. He urinated on the floor overnight, likely from the prednisone. While he was feeling well and off the prednisone, he had stopped urinating in the house at night. He was very playful in the morning and appeared to be feeling well.
Bodhi ate very well in the evening. He was whining 2 hours before I fed him. Without prednisone, his appetite fails, but with only 5 mg of prednisone he acts like he is starving. I have scheduled an appointment with the vet next week to discuss how to proceed in the future. I am going to ask if Bodhi can get lower doses of prednisone as well.
Overall, the prednisone is simply covering up Bodhi's medical issues. Without the prednisone, he would not eat. With the prednisone, he likely has a matter of months remaining (if we are lucky). Although in the early stages, Bodhi is essentially in hospice care at this point.
- March 29, 2012 - Bodhi did not eat this morning. He smelled the food offered for quite a while, pushed it around, but never ate anything. Seems like the day he begins resisting eating is when I need to give him some prednisone. If I had given him some last night, he probably would not have gone without eating this morning.
I did get Bodhi to eat a can of Hills AD around 1:30 p.m. so I got him to take 5 mg of prednisone. In the evening he ate. He did hesitate, he was not immediately eating, but he did eat the full meal and I was able to get him his prevacid and other meds. I tried to give him a biscuit after 8:00 p.m. but he did not want it. I have also noticed two petit mal seizures, hours apart.
- March 28, 2012 - Bodhi is doing well right now. He had 5 mg of prenizone Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. He is off prednisone at this time. I missed giving him prevacid on Tuesday and he hesitated eating Wednesday morning. I was able to get him to eat with a little warmed meat added to the meal. Except for this morning, he is back on the diet before October 2010. He ate well this evening. I am giving his medication at the end of his meals. He may have been getting adverse to food again from the meds.
The local vet is taking over for now. I see no need for continued use of the neurologist. The neurologist wanted to put Bodhi on 20 mg prednisone/day for 2 weeks and then step down to 10 mg/day. I disagree with that treatment since prednisone cannot cure anything and that level will only cause Bodhi great discomfort without any longterm benefits. 5 mg prednisone makes Bodhi extremely hungry within a few hours. Another week or so will let me know if I made a correct decision or not.
- March 23, 2012 - Bodhi refused his food this morning with little attempt to bury it. He also has had a few petit mal seizures. They are sporadic and mostly spaced far apart. I have contacted both his regular veternarian and his neurologist to discuss the next step.
Bodhi continued to refuse food. He finally ate a few Old Mother Hubbard biscuits at 6:00 p.m.. He refused all the unhealthy tasty things I tried a couple weeks ago. He has been doing some whining and howling, but otherwise his disposition is very good, so far.
I had leftover prednisone from the previous cycle and gave Bodhi 5 with Hills A/D (tried 2 pills, but he stopped eating).
I also realized tonight that Bodhi has been sleeping in my bed more often again. He did that a lot when he was not eating and feeling bad in some way. About 4 days ago he started sleeping in the bedroom during the day, but I assumed it was related to unusually high noise level throughout the day. He is giving off so many clues when he starts to feel bad. Can't believe I am still learning from this dog.
I have not witnessed any petit mal seizures since around noon. Not exactly sure of the time, but they were more in the morning, so maybe just his brain waking up? He has always been vulnerable to seizures right after waking up. Would probably get worse without meds.
- March 22, 2012 - Bodhi took more work to get him to eat this morning. I had to give him more hamburger with cheese to stimulate his appetite, then he finished the rest of his food. I switched the dogs back to Newman's Own food yesterday (after slowly introducing it over the past 2 weeks) since many of Bodhi's problems started after switching to Castor and Pollux Organix. His stool was very loose this morning. The final switch in food may have been too sudden. He had issues last October when I changed his food. I think I need to stay with Newman's Own and not change his food anymore!
Bodhi finally ate about half his meal after adding broken pieces of Old Mother Hubbard dog biscuits in with the food.
- March 20, 2012 - Bodhi did accept the healthier meat and cheese and only skipped one meal last week. He is back to eating normally. This is his third day off prednisone, so I expect his appetite to decrease again, but the vets are waiting to see when that will happen before trying anything else.
This evening I noticed that Bodhi's back right leg was sliding on the floor when he walked. This was one of the symptoms when he was not doing well. Likely the prednisone is wearing off and his arthritis will begin affecting him again. He has been acting like a puppy the past week. I suppose that part is over.
- March 13, 2012 - I tried to switch to a healthier hamburger patty with some added cheese tonight compared to the angus beef burger with cheese he had been eating, which I finally read the label and realized he was getting far too much sodium each day. He refused to eat the alternative. I was only able to get him to eat a couple Old Mother Hubbard dog bones. He did not get his regular medicines in the evening.
- March 12, 2012 - Bodhi has done well over the weekend with the lowering of prednisone. I realized today that Bodhi is overall doing better than when I first took him to the vet in January. Most of Bodhi's aggression is gone. He would occasionally get upset and growl and attempt to bite if touched when he became anxious, had food, and sometimes with water. His aggression has only appeared once over the weekend when I think I scared him and he attempted a bite, but was wiggling his tail a few seconds later. He was valuing his food this evening - he took a posture that was defensive at first, something he always did but with growling. He really likes cheeseburgers (just meat and cheese). Still hoping I can get him to eat without the cheeseburger eventually, but if not, then he will be one lucky dog.
Bodhi was very active today. He was up a lot and wanting my attention. We played a few times and I saw him playing alone a few times. He is doing so much better than I could have ever expected. Still cautious, trying not to keep my hopes up. Not sure if this is temporary or not. If his hydrocephalus progression is recent then he could go down hill again at any time. Either way, he is very happy right now and had a great day.
- March 9, 2012 - Bodhi ate better today than yesterday. He had a good day. He is urinating often, but not too bad. He ate over 1,000 calories today. He did not finish either meal so he must have been nice and full when he stopped. I have been using hamburger with cheese to prompt him to eat. I put his meds in the meat and feed him that. Once he has had his meds, I put the rest of the meat and cheese into his regular food. Hopefully I will be able to wean him off the meat and cheese and he will go back to exclusively eating regular food, but he steps down in prednisone to 10mg/day (from 20mg/day) on Saturday so I am just hoping his appetite remains good.
Every evening Bodhi used to play with a dog bed. He would rub his nose against the end, bit it, tug on it, and shake it. For the first time in weeks, he attempted to do that tonight. He did not tug and shake it, but he was playing some.
- March 8, 2012 - Bodhi ate well again today. He had a little less in the evening and delayed eating a while. He also acted a little odd, walking around a lot. He may have had a neurological "event." He is possibly experiencing a continued progression of his hydrocephalus or something unrelated. He has had occasional periods of odd behaviours in the past, but they were always transitory so I never put much concern in them. Hoping I am not seeing the end of the peak of prednisone's effects.
- March 7, 2012 - The prednisone is obviously doing its thing. Bodhi acted more like his old self suddenly today. He has already eaten two full meals and possible went over 1,000 calories. I was able to get him to eat regular dog food (with some hamburger) for the first time in about 10 days. He was more interactive, went outside more (to urinate a few times), wagged his tailed, played with me more than the previous few days. Overall he seems to feel much better. Not sure how long the good effects from the prednisone will last, but it is great to see him feeling well and eating.
- March 6, 2012 - Bodhi had a vet appointment this morning to drop off urine, get a blood test to check for leptospirosis, and to pickup prednisone. He slept the rest of the day after getting home. He did eat more dog biscuits just before 5:00 p.m. and went outside. He is more wobbly. The leg that had a TPLO a few years ago seems to be hurting him, since the last trip to Lynnwood, when he first gets up. The one difference I noticed this evening is I could not get him to wag his tail much at all. He seemed like he wanted to be left alone then he wanted to play a little and be petted a lot. Then he laid down and slept. Not sure if the mood changes result from meds, neurology, or something else.
Bodhi got up later in the evening and I offered him some hamburger, which he readily ate up. He easily ate over 800 calories during the day.
- March 5, 2012 - Bodhi got up in the morning and went outside. He played with me some and wagged his tail. Got his liver function test (bile acid test) results back today and the numbers were within normal range. He is so confusing. The vets want to try prednisone for about a week to see if he shows any improvement. He is going to have his urine tested to check for protein (or something) and also a blood test to check for a bacterial infection (I forget the name). I finally got prevacid in him today and his appetite was higher this evening. He ate quite a few dog biscuits that are 138 calories each (Old Mother Hubbard Classic P-Nuttier biscuits). He finally stopped eating when he seem too tired to keep going - not sure if he is sleeping from meds or if it is liver congestion, which the regular blood test last Thursday at least indicated.
- March 4, 2012 - Bodhi slept most of the day again. I gave him his medicine twice during the day, except for the prevacid. He played with me outside in the morning a little, which he has been doing nearly every morning. He ate 1 can of Hills A/D in the evening. He would have eaten more of the A/D, but I did not have enough. I tried other food right away and he refused it. He is walking with a little wobble. That is a signal he is getting his meds, so I am not concerned about that one thing. Tomorrow I should be getting his liver function test results. Nervous about that since I am not expecting good news.
- March 3, 2012 - Bodhi has been sleeping all day except for this morning when he got up to go outside, drink water, and eventually eat 3 dog biscuits (just over 400 calories). He did pee on the floor overnight, but that is not overly uncommon for him. He has always gone through "spells" of that. He does not want to eat. He smells food offered a lot, but just will not eat it. I discovered he did not get his meds yesterday. I found them dissolved in the uneaten food, so I dissolved his medicine in water and ice cream and injected it into his mouth. He was not happy with that. Not sure how long I want to do that to him. Seems mean. He has been having regular tremors when awake since this morning, like he is cold and shivering. His medicine level is likely very low with not getting his meds for so many days. I am not feeling hopeful about the blood test results when I see him like this.
He just got up at 8:20 p.m. while I was typing. He went outside, came in and drank a lot of water from 2 different water bowls. He would not eat anything I offered him. He laid down and I put a dog biscuit next to him in case he wanted it. He is having tremors, but there are fewer than this morning and his walking is a little more wobbly. That is how he acted when his medicine was increased. I assume he got the medicine earlier into his system and is adjusting. Hopefully that will stimulate his appetite tomorrow. This is also his first day being home after 2 days at clinics. He is likely stressed from those trips.
He got up again after laying down for a little bit. He seemed confused and was checking out the house like he had not been here before. He did eat 1.5 cans of Hills A/D after laying down again. I fed him from my hand since the vet mentioned that was how they got him to eat for the liver function test.
- March 2, 2012 - Bodhi had his liver function test today, also called a bile acid test. He had blood drawn, fed, and then blood taken again after a while. To my surprise, the vet reported that Bodhi ate up the food he was offered, peanut butter and Hills A/D. I have tried both at home with no success. One of the vet techs said I was just not cute enough.
Since Bodhi had not eaten since Tuesday, he was likely so hungry that he finally ate. He also ate over half a can of A/D in the evening, including his seizure medicine, thyroid, and pepcid medications. The test results will be available on Monday.
- March 1, 2012 - Got home a little while ago after taking Bodhi down to Lynnwood for the day. The decision to go on Thursday for the MRI and ultra sound occurred Wednesday evening. We are all tired. Bodhi's results are better than expected, but not great. He does not have a brain tumor. His hydrocephalus has progressed, but his last MRI was six years ago, so the progression could be recent or just expected changes over 6 years. The neurologist said (paraphrasing) the changes might be expected over six years, but not enough dogs like Bodhi are usually still alive at his age to have enough data for a valid comparison.
I am not sure if his neurologist has treated a dog with Bodhi's issues at his age. I have never met anyone else with a dog like Bodhi, but I always assumed others were taking care of these special guys, too. Takes work, but I have learned more from him than I could ever put into words and would not trade the experience for anything. He deserves every chance available, as long as his quality of life is good. Bodhi's blood work has changed significantly since January, so Bodhi is getting a liver function test. The neurologist mentioned a more technical term. I will try to get the spelling of it. Bodhi also has a thickening of the stomach, which can be caused by IBD. He has always had food issues, but lately it is far beyond that. Could be IBD is why he is not eating. The neurologist said there is/are treatment(s) for liver failure (I was surprised by that), but the liver function test results will determine the course forward. I will also be posting his latest MRI images online as soon as I receive them.
He also would not eat again tonight. He has not eaten since Tuesday. He is getting the liver function test on Friday. He has to fast in the morning so even if he wants food I cannot give it to him. Hopefuly he will eat Friday evening.
I am realizing some of the behavioural changes I posted on here in October November, December, and early January were leading up to whatever is occurring.
I have never posted on a daily basis here before. I'm realizing how little about Bodhi I have posted?his unusual behaviours, his funny way of playing, and more of the patience-testing moments of taking care of a dog with congenital hydrocephalus, blindness, and mental retardation. He is worth every minute, but I have left out so much on here. However, I am going to attempt to update Bodhi's situation every day for a while in case other people have a dog with liver failure and/or IBD. Maybe something that I write about will help someone else.
- February 29, 2012 - Bodhi is not doing well. He is not eating regularly. He had a full day without eating on Monday, so it appears to be progressing. He has me very worried. He is getting an MRI and an ultrasound to diagnose what is going on. Regardless of the results, Bodhi likely has very little time left. This all started in early January and he seems to have gone down hill so much in less than 2 months that I feel lucky if he were around for another month. Not sure if that is too optimistic.
- February 17, 2012 - Bodhi was evaluated by a neurologist on February 9, 2012. His jerks/spasms appear to be petite seizures. His seizure medicine level has been increased 50%. Last weekend he appeared to be improving quite a bit. Monday he was a little worse and Tuesday was the same. Wednesday he slept nearly the whole day and would not eat until nearly 9:30 p.m. He looked doped up from the medication. Thursday, the next day, Bodhi ate immediately both morning and evening meals. Looks like the seizure medicine has increased his appetite. My biggest concern now is his back legs. When he first gets up from laying down, his back legs are very unstable and he usually falls down at least once. He gets more stable after a few minutes of walking. The hardwood floors are not helping. I am hoping he is still adjusting to the meds. He is still experiencing jerks/spasms, but not as frequently. Another MRI would answer whether his hydrocephalus has progressed or if he has a brain tumor, but I am trying the increased medication level before stressing Bpdhi with another MRI.
- February 1, 2012 - Bodhi has not yet gone to the neurologist, but he is doing much better with meclizine. He was on meclizine while on the antibiotic, but a few days after the treatment ended, Bodhi had difficulty standing up or controlling his legs. He appeared drunk. I put him back on meclizine and he improved significantly within 3 days. He is going to his local vet this week to see if anything else can be diagnosed prior to going to the neurologist. The local vet said he noticed Bodhi has nystagmus, but I have been unable to witness this myself while at home. Bodhi's anxiety increases significantly when I take him elsewhere, so I am suspecting the nystagmus could be from anxiety while at the vet clinic, or his eyes are simply moving around in response to unfamiliar sounds.
- January 26, 2012 - My local vet has referred Bodhi to a board-certified neurologist, Karen Kline, down towards Seattle. I don't have the medical terms for what is occurring, but he is experience twitching and unusual eye movements for at least the last two weeks.
- January 14, 2012 - Took Bodhi to the vet yesterday. He stopped eating in the mornings last weekend. He will eat the afternoon meal, but not right away. Blood tests are being run, he is on an antibiotic, and he is taking a motion sickness pill. The vet is not sure what is wrong so looking at every angle. He also has some swelling under his chin that does not hurt him. He had/has a slight fever as well.
- January 6, 2012 - Bodhi normally will growl while laying down if he is touched or bothered in any way. For the first time, after 7 and a half years, Bodhi crawled into the bed at night. He laid down beside me and fell asleep. He got out of bed at midnight when I had to get up. He started growling, so he had to sleep in a dog bed. Still was very cool to have him do such a normal dog thing even for only a couple hours.