July 16th 2011 1:19 pm
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Mom wrote this to her family about me:
Got back from Lobo's laser treatment. The student who worked on him commented on how I had better try harder to keep Lobo from licking his wound and keep it cleaner. Tough to do when I am at work for ten hours and he slips out of his cone and is laying in the dirt. I cannot leave him in a kennel as his prednisone makes him super thirsty and having to pee more often than usual. Impossible for him to be in a kennel while I am at work. A doctor wandered by and offered some suggestions such as taking an old T'Shirt and making him clothing that would keep a barrier between his tongue, dirt and his wound. I ended up cutting up a pair of my favorite sweatpants (but they were worn out) and making him some culottes for his front legs. I haven't stopped laughing since I put them on him. They look like clown pants! Poor boy. I think I will put the cone on as well and hope he doesn't slip out of both while I am at work. We had a normal walk today and he did good. Excuse me, but I'm still laughing. I will try and get a picture.
One thing of interest, this young woman vet student mentioned how she had lived in Kamloops all of her life except for attending vet school in Saskatoon. She is set to go back for her fourth year. She likes Saskatoon but was dreading the mosquitoes. I then asked her if she knew our cousin's daughter who just became a vet. She did! Small world. These treatments take 20 minutes, so we had plenty of time to talk. She said she liked working for Dr. Nicol because he embraced new technology like this laser therapy. It must be very new because I can't find much about it. I may be dreaming, but I think Lobo's toes drags were less pronounced on our walk today despite the heat and his compromised front leg. He is becoming a favourite patient at the clinic. And he is behaving amazingly well. I sure love that boy.
Now me talking ...
Mom laughed her face off when she put those pants on me. I'm not too sure what to think about that. I wish she wouldn't also put the cone on me but she was told that the wound was to be kept dry and away from my tongue and dirt. So, she is using the "culottes" and the cone. She says it is for my own good. Doesn't feel like it.
July 15th 2011 9:59 pm
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I'm much more active and alert today. In fact, I found a way to slip out of my cone overnight. Mom saw it sitting in the middle of the yard when she got up.
My leg was still quite swollen this morning but much less so just now, in the evening.
She took me on a drive up to Greenstone Mountain. We took a little walk and just enjoyed the flowers and the view:
Greenstone Mountain Wildflowers
I'm going for my second laser therapy session tomorrow morning.
My little cuddle kitty Kitcat is terrified of me when I'm wearing the cone. Too bad because I could use the little kitty to comfort me. She just won't come near me and even growled at me when I tried to say hello!
July 14th 2011 3:51 pm
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This note is from Mom to her family:
Back from vet.
He has an infected leg. Not related to his other troubles except for the fact that he has been laying down more than usual and got a sore on his elbow. He is on high power anti-biotics. So I will continue to block him from the stairs but not from the rest of the yard. Might be better to have him running up and down the fence and falling on his face, than getting, basically, bed sores.
Woohoo! I'm going to Saskatchewan! Thank you all for your prayers. Wait, crap, I have to take more pills! Oh well, I can do that. Mom is taking me on the Buse Mt. drive right now to celebrate.
July 14th 2011 11:47 am
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The latest news is, that Mom finally noticed that my right front leg is swollen. We are hoping this is completely unrelated (to my other troubles) and treatable. Mom moved it around and it didn't hurt. Wasps maybe? Snake? Spider? Anyhow, I'm going to get checked at the vet and FOR SURE get my laser therapy. We are hopeful yet again that I'm going to be around and make that prairie trip after all. Phew! We just thought of spider now. We have black widows here. I will be at the clinic in two hours. Mom tried to move that up but they are too busy. I have improved since last night and this morning. So hopefully, another couple of hours won't hurt.
Mom is feeling very bad about being such an alarmist. But she really doesn't have much support out here. You guys are our support. Plus it is quite alarming when a big boy like me doesn't move. Especially after these last few months.
Now, let us see if I can climb the ramp into my truck.
July 14th 2011 10:46 am
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Mom came out to mow some lawn and release pent up energy. I got up and followed her to the far back yard. I feel a bit better. Mom was amazed.
Mom is taking me to the vet in a few hours and now thinks I will be able to use the ramp to get in the truck.
July 14th 2011 8:58 am
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Mom just wrote this to her family. (Forgive the language, it was a term of endearment and other terms of frustration and anger.) The ones we were hoping to visit on our prairie road trip in September....
I just double checked the meds again. He had been taking 25mg in the morning and 25mg at night before last Thursday. He is now on 25mg in the morning and 20mg at night. I don't think that slight drop would explain this. He has been on the slightly lower dose for a week now.
He spent the whole night right where I left him in the yard. I just checked on him and he lifted his head and that was it. I brought him water and he didn't want it. Frisbee, no reaction. Then he laid down flat again. I guess I waited too long because now I am stuck with not being able to get him in the truck. But the son-of-a-bitch and I had a normal walk yesterday morning! What the hell is going on? I think today will be the day I have to put him down. How long can I let him lay like that and wonder if he might get well enough to move around or not? Especially when no-one knows for sure what is wrong. The biggest difference from this new episode with the old one is this time he has no appetite and no excitement at all. Last time he was pretty upset that he was having trouble and still wanted to play with his toy and eat. And he was loud! He has eaten better than usual ever since this April thing. Before April (and coincidentally, the prednisone) he would always screw around and take his sweet time before eating. I would even have to put something on his food, like cheese, if I wanted him to hurry up. I will try and speak to a vet this morning. Maybe even see if any would come to the yard and put him down here for a big price. I could also wait until Dave is off work and we could haul him in later today. There is just always going to be this niggling thought in my head that we missed something. And if we figured it out, Lobo could be okay again for a year or two. But I just cannot have him waiting around like this for much longer. I had a feeling that when I took his latest video, up on Buse Mt. in the storm, it was kind of like his swan song video. I will always cherish that. He looked pretty good in that video and we were having fun. That was only a week ago. I had intended on going on that drive again last night when I got home from work, but he wasn't going anywhere. I will bring out his food bowl. I'm sure that he won't eat, but just in case. Maybe some magpies will come for it and that will perk him up.
July 10th 2011 11:51 am
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I'm holding my own and enjoying these last few days. It isn't so hot! And Mom is a bit more relaxed.
The evening after my vet visit, Mom took me for a drive and made a little video. She had better buy a lot of video cards and bring her charger when we go on our road trip!
Storm on Buse Mountain
July 7th 2011 5:15 pm
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Hi everyone. We just got back from the vet. He is a very nice vet too. I only yelped once when he wanted me to stand up and tried to pick me up. I don't like being picked up. The rest of the time I was quite comfortable. He did a few tests on me but no needles or thermometers up my butt. He talked to Mom for almost an hour and a half. (I even had a snooze during that.) He was really good in that he had read all of the reports that my other vet had filed about me.
From all that information, Mom telling him about me and from this visit, he is pretty sure it never was a tick after all. He is in agreement with most everything the other vet said it might be if it wasn't the tick. The only thing that he didn't agree with is having me take both meloxicam and prednisone at the same time. So Mom will stop with the meloxicam.
What he thinks that I have is a lesion in my cerebellum or somewhere near there. If that is what it is, we will never know why it happened. But the good news is, I probably won't ever get as bad as I was when it first happened. He said Mom could think of it like I had had a stroke, damage was done, my body has adapted a bit so I can move around better than I did that first day and we have to manage it with prednisone. He would like to see me on a much smaller dose since I will have to be on it forever. So, we are going to slowly cut that back. I also have arthritis in my lower back. We already knew that. It isn't bad but it for sure doesn't help with this other problem. It adds to it.
He thinks that it would be worthwhile to try laser therapy. Have any of you heard of that? He says that might help my mobility and make it easier to lower the prednisone dose.
He discussed all kinds of tests they could do, other rare possibilities, but as far as he is concerned, there is something constricting my spinal cord (a lesion?) and affecting the nerves running to my rear legs and even my front. With the prednisone's anti inflammatory characteristics, it reduces the constriction enough so that my front legs work good and my rear legs work enough so I can walk. I guess the hot days made things worse and that must be why I scared Mom by getting worse this last while.
Anyway, we left the office thinking that I will be making my prairie trip and maybe even another one next year!
Everything is still a bit of a mystery but Mom is feeling much more confident that we can manage this and nothing is growing in me that will make me get real bad real fast. That is what she thought. That I had a tumor. It is still a possibility but the vet didn't think so. He also noticed that my right rear leg was a bit worse than my left. He is definitely a good vet. He must have commented ten times on how handsome I was! And how I was in great physical shape. He couldn't believe how good my hips are, as in perfect! Every vet seems worried about my hips and elbows until they examine me. They are perfect. I guess it is common for a big GSD like me to be prone to hip dysplasia.
The lady at reception was also going on and on as to how handsome I am. She even took my picture and petted me, cautiously! And she brought me a bowl of water while we were waiting.
And other people in the waiting room were pointing at me and saying, oh my God! Is he ever big! and good looking! I was just waiting patiently and laying on the floor. The other dogs were all tugging at their leashes and making a nuisance of themselves. I cooperated when it was time to get weighed. I usually don't. I actually liked this vet clinic.
Mom thought I had gained weight, but I actually lost ten pounds. It makes no sense because I am eating like a pig and not running around like I used to. Must be the prednisone.
There was a 4 month old GSD being carried out wearing a cone. She was really cute. She had cut open her belly on barbed wire. I winked at her and told her about when I sliced open my ear on barbed wire. I gave her a few pointers on how to spot that nasty stuff in the future and avoid it.
Mom and I truly appreciate each and every one of you for supporting us through this latest fright.
Mom is feeling 100% better today after what we learned. Trying another vet and vet clinic was for sure good advice. Mom still likes our regular one, but it is good to know another super good vet.
If anyone know anything about this laser treatment, we would like to hear your opinions.
Lobo, and Mom
July 6th 2011 4:54 pm
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Thanks everyone. Mom is usually an optimist but she isn't feeling good about things right now. Obviously, she has been pouring over the internet for theories and answers along with checking up on everything my vet mentioned. We really trust him, but our good friends definitely got through to Mom in that getting another opinion would be wise. (Puff, you are one of them! Thank you Marilynn for the good advice.) Even really good vets can miss something or make a mistake. So thank you for that because Mom is having a hard time thinking clearly right now and is panicking.
I'm doing okay at the moment except it is so bloody hot out here right now! It is 33C (92F). We did our walk at 6:30am when it was 22C (72F).
I have had a huge appetite throughout all of this. In fact, I'm loving my food way more than I ever did. Mom used to never get much interest out of me when it came to meals or treats. Now, I'm all for them. So she will stock up on such things on her next trip to the store.
We will post tomorrow after my vet visit. This will be late in the day.
Lobo & Mom
July 6th 2011 11:31 am
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I'm getting worse so Mom is taking me to a brand new vet tomorrow. I have seen a few but they were from the same clinic. This 3rd opinion will be a last chance to see if there is anything that can be done for me.