November 20th 2007 11:05 am
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Rocky passed away yesterday at a Specialist center/Hospital in Irvine. I wasn't there to say goodbye or hold him but according to Dr Tammy, he was pretty much out of it. His passing was peaceful, swift and... Wherever he is now, I hope this sweet little boy will be happy (as he always was with us) and will be able to SEE his beloved squeaky toys.
Everything happened really fast. A week ago, Wes and I were in NYC when Rocky had his first seizure. On Saturday morning he had his second one, and then about seven or eight more seizures followed this throughout the night into the next morning. The convulsions were violent, there was a lot of frothing at the mouth and after each seizure he was disorientated, restless, had difficulty breathing...
On Sunday (day before yestereday) we took Rocky into an Emergency clinic where he was administered valium and phenobarbital, and put in an oxygen tank with IV tubes. After a while he became stable enough for us to drive him to Dr Tammy (Neurologist) in Orange County for more tests. The Emergency Vet was ready to euthanize him, but we couldn't bring ourselves to do this without finding out if there was hope... We didn't know what was wrong with him.
We didn't know at the time that when we dropped Rocky off in Irvine Sunday night, this would be our final physical moment with him. The boy was all doped up and resting in Wes' arms and still he lifted his little head to give us kisses on our faces before they took him away. He was such a sweet sweet boy.
Yesterday morning, after Rocky's MRI scan, he had another two seizures. He was vomitting a lot of fluid, compulsively walking in circles, bumping into the walls of his cage, falling over a lot, totally disorientated... and then after a while when he stopped breathing and had to be put on a "breathing machine",we all agreed that it was time to say goodbye. The MRI results showed an infection/tumor in his cerebrospinal fluid... this would spread too quickly to be curable.
I feel very lucky to have been foster mom to this sweet, cheerful, playful, loyal, loving, patient blind dog that nobody wanted. He was a joy to take care of and very loved and spoiled rotten by us here and will be remembered forever.
I cannot thank BostonBuddies enough, who supported Wes and I through this weekend's trauma and for having done so much for Rocky. As you all can imagine, the medical bills are sky-high. So if you would like to help out with the treatment that Rocky has received or contribute to the care of other homeless sick Bostons, your donations can be made via the BostonBuddies website and these will be hugely appreciated.
P.S. I have uploaded some videos (sorry, theyre kind dark and blurry) to Rocky's Myspace blog, where there are more diary entries which didn't make it over here to his Dogster page. Click on the VIDEOS section to see him playing with his squeaky toy.
You can also see photos of Rocky at Flickr.
August 9th 2007 9:36 am
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First of all check out All-Mighty Clothing. A very cool Bostie-inspired clothing store and our Rockster is on their website!!! All-Mighty also has a myspace page and a Flickr account with lots of boston terrier photos.
As of today, Rocky will have been on prednisone for almost 1 month. I am tapering off his dosage & he will be meds-free in about 2 weeks. So far there have been no changes. He is still the same blind 'happy pinball' dog that he was when he first came here and Dr. Stevenson said that if there are no changes it is likely that Rocky's optic nerves are too damaged. It looks like he won't be getting his sight back. :(
THE GOOD PART
I know it's easy to feel sorry for Rocky - being newly blind at the ripe old age of 9 years. But the good part is that he is doing really well in spite of not being able to see.
For a blind dog, he is happy, confident and playful. He likes to fling and drop his own ball (or kong) and fetch it, using his nose to relocate it. It takes him some time to find it again but he is getting better!
Most people don't believe me when I tell them he is completely blind. When you talk to Rocky, he turns his head and *looks* at you. When he sits on your lap, he turns his head from time to time and *looks* at you with his big pink tongue wagging. We sometimes forget that he isn't really looking at us.
His navigation skills are not wonderful.... he still bumps into things (especially when he gets excited) but is learning to compensate for the blindness with his nose and ears. He is good on a leash (except when there are other dogs around) and he will follow me everywhere, listening to footsteps and voice directions. I believe that with time, he will get smarter using his other senses.
A FEW THINGS ABOUT ROCKFORD P. DOGG:
*Amazingly, he can get "lost" in my apartment, unable to locate me on the couch from a few steps away BUT he can sniff-out another dog's toy hidden in the bushes from several feet away!
* Rocky lies on my bathroom floor when I get ready/do my face in the mornings. When he hears the sound of my hairbrush or the toilet flush, he gets up on his feet and waits at the door.
* Words that Rocky knows (but doesn't always respond to):Treats, Walk, Sit, Shake Hands, Stop, Careful, Come Here, This Way, Up/Down(for steps), Lie Down, Hungry? When you ask him a question, his eyes open wide and he cocks his head to one side. He is so cute!!!
July 24th 2007 12:09 pm
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I received a call from Dr. Stevenson yesterday. Rocky's MRI results have been analyzed by a radiologist but there is no new information. :(
It seems that the inflammation could be as Dr. S suspects - either GME, or lymphoma (a type of brain cancer, though unlikely because there are no other symptoms. I hope not, anyway!) It is also possible that we are too late in trying to save his eyesight. Perhaps Rocky's optic nerves are way too damaged, such that even if we can control the inflammation, he will be permanently blind.
In the meantime, Rocky is the same. He is still bumping into things. He has become super flatulent and his poos are runny but that could be because I am giving him new stuff to eat, like glucosamine biscuits, chewable vitamin tablets (with Milk Thistle for his liver), skin-&-coat nibbles and cheese-flavored "dental bones". If he is going to be extra hungry (from the prednisone) and if I am going to be giving him treats anyway, I may as well give him some good healthy stuff, right?
For the next week starting today , I am doubling his prednisone dosage to10mg twice a day. Dr. S. says that if there are still no changes after 1 week, it will be time to wean him off the steroid.
The good news is that in spite of his blindness and bumping into things, Rocky is still a very happy, playful and loving dog. He gets lots of compliments on the street for being handsome and cute and he continues to be very spoiled here.
With a great list of tips for owners of blind dogs.
Yahoo Blind Dogs group