Mo Bloggin'

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Archive for the tag “seizures”

Birthday boy

Another year has passed and Cutter just had his 12th birthday (10 days ago).  I can hardly believe it at times, and remember at last year’s 11th birthday I was wondering if….  But here we are, my amazing, bigstrongboy still plugging along, albeit at a much slower pace. 

He’s had some rough times, and lately my concern has been over him being hammered with the side effects of his anti-seizure meds.  It’s a wicked Catch-22 these days – reduce the drugs to give him a break from side effects (weak, uncoordinated, sedated – all exacerbated due to his age and normal age-related weakening) and the seizures come rushing in to fill the gap.  Both are detrimental to his health, but the seizures, if left unchecked, will kill him faster than the drugs.  There is more than a whiff of brimstone in the Faustian nature of my ongoing battle with canine epilepsy and I am filled with a chaotic mix of pride, gratitude, humility, and desperation whenever I dwell on his condition for more than a moment or two. 

Rottweilers are not a long lived breed, and making it to age 12 is remarkable for any of them.  For Cutter, plagued with epilepsy and the brutality of seizures for the past 7.5 years, to have made it to this milestone is a small miracle.  I am so proud of him, and yes, myself, for fighting so hard.  I’ve spent buckets of cash, dealt with near incompetency from several veterinarians (trust no one!), and have fought tooth and nail advocating for his health and well being.  But I can’t take all the credit – without his willing partnership and lionhearted strength nothing I could have done would have made a difference.  So here’s to my buddy, my amazing, wonderful, adorable Cutter.  Happy Birthday Buddy. 

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10 days, six years, who’s counting?

Can I just say how sick I am of canine epilepsy?  I don’t think there’s any way to convey the anguish, the frustration, the sickening worry, or the awful thoughts that come with each seizure episode.  If you’ve been through it, you know, but there’s little to prepare you for how it takes over your life, and, of course, the life of the sweet canine buddy afflicted.  The only advantage he has is that he’s not “aware” of his condition, at least not like a human — this human — is aware.

Cutter began having seizures in November of 2002.  Looking back, the first couple of years weren’t so bad, even as I struggled to accept what the condition is, and that he would never go back to being the dog he was, or our lives the way they were.  I held out hope for the longest time that I would find the magic bullet to bring it under control and we would go back to living a normal life, without the spectre lurking, without my heart pounding every time I hear an odd thump or chewing noise.  But, alas, it’s progressed.  And progressed.  He’s winding up a 10 day run now–only one tonight, a minor gum chewer a little while ago.  They seem to be tapering, though you never know.  A week ago we were in the throes of a full-on cluster, with multiple complex partials and grand mals mixed in a fun bag o’thrills every evening.  Rectal Valium was used, multiple times, and we avoided ER, thankfully. 

It’s so stressful, and disheartening.  And through it all, Cutter remains absolutely adorable.  He had some rough days, days where I wondered what I was doing…choking back fright and tears and wondering…should I make the decision?  But now he’s back to his bright (well, for him) self, enjoying his pleasures (mostly revolving around eating food, feces, and various and sundry non-food items) and engaged in life.  I know when it’s all over that I’ll wish it wasn’t; that the years spent imprisoned by a bizarre, chaotic, unpredictable, and horrible affliction will seem to be a mere blip and that it wasn’t all that bad, really.  Except it was.  It is.

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