Friday, October 12, 2012

Dear God: A Cry for Angels to Save My Dog

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet


In the summer, my beloved Brittany Seth, 6, stopped eating and drinking water. I watched my food-loving canine (part of my Brittany duo) go from a meaty 35 pounds to 29 pounds. After $1000 of medical tests, an antibiotic and change of diet was the cure.
Within 24 hours, my feisty, active, sweet-loving dog was back. Within weeks I no longer saw his ribs. Today, he weighed in at near 35 pounds.
But unfortunately, the story doesn't end...
A few days ago, my fur child was acting clingy. As a quake sensitive with seismically sensitive four-leggers I thought "earthquake" is coming. Wrong. Nothing significant. 
Yesterday, Seth's balance was off. He wasn't the leggy, agile canine I know. He was also subdued. Appetite still good but...he seemed weak and my other Brittany picked up on it. He fell twice. He appeared dazed and confused. His spirit was hazy. It's like monsters invaded his body and soul.

Fast forward: Today, he's at the vet...being monitored. I received "the call".  So far, better than expected. No epilepsy. Most likely no brain tumor or bone cancer (often causes lameness in the legs). He passed the hands-on neurological exam(s). Now, I wait. More blood work. Re-dos. I ponder, "Does he have an underlying life-threatening disease?"
I'm scared. I'm in shock. I have given my heart to this dog whom I've embraced since he was six weeks old. He's my older Britt Simon's sidekick. He is my best friend. I hope that you, God, please come to the rescue (again) and help us find the problem and fix my four-legger.  I can't bear to lose him. It will break my heart and spirit. Last night when he put his paw on my forearm, he was telling me, "I'm trying to be strong for you." And I got the message. God if you can hear me, please let the angels heal Seth. My tears are real. I know you know that. Save my dog.

44 comments:

  1. I think we're losing my dog. My brother--strong--has him and he was crying. My dog has lost balance. He is only 6. We will not find out until tomorrow AM. I am so scared.

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  2. Update: Waiting for the vet's call with verdict from blood work... I've been in heavy research mode/talking with trusty sensitives... My read:
    1-- Vestibular Syndrome (Vertigo)-- not life-threatening but scary for both owner/dog. No cause, No cure. Often doesn't happen again. Looks like stroke (uncommon for canines) and/or epilespy. Good news: It should pass within 3 days to a few weeks. I'm sensing he may have had his 1st episode back in July (different symptoms). Right now--just loss of balance.
    2-- Hypothyroidism--loss of balance symptoms but my gut instincts say prob not. Treatable with daily pill.

    Meanwhile, I wait for the call.

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  3. Wrong read. Vet says no on Vertigo because Seth doesn't have rapid eye movement. I found out that while he is correct (telltale sign) it still is possible to have the syndrome without it but not likely.
    Blood work came back negative. Vet leaning toward a neurological problem (not little, out of his league).
    I asked for the odds of Seth snapping out of this... A coin toss... Time is on our side because he's not in pain, eating, walking, etc., but he is subdued and balance is off...
    Feel like the monsters have attacked my boy. Images of Marley & Me, I Am Legend scenes of letting dog go are haunting me. I hope for a miracle. We wait.

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    1. Seth is with my brother in the back house. We both are distraught. We are trying to be optimistic--but it's a challenge. I haven't cried this much since I lost Kerouac, my senior cat of 13 yrs. Thoughts, "Why?" and "He's only 6! and healthy!" are confusing me. I've only been away from him one night. This is the 3rd time. I want my sweet loving Brittany back more than anything. But his spirit is gone. I don't think he even knows me. "Why?" It's not fair. I can't stop the tears.

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  5. Update: Doggie Miracle. Today, took Seth outside and his balance is much better. He acknowledged dog-lover neighbor, kissed him, alert, wagged tail! and walked to the trail & back--pranced/smiled! No kidding. Vet said if it was something he ingested we had a 48 hr window left. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to watch--like The Dog Whisperer! (Follow-up at vet in A.M). There is hope! Big hope!

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  6. Today vet saw the odd eye movement. The Good News: That means my diagnosis (intuitive read) of the vertigo-type disease was correct. First comment: Vestibular Syndrome (Vertigo)-- not life-threatening but scary for both owner/dog. No cause, No cure. Often doesn't happen again. Looks like stroke (uncommon for canines) and/or epilespy. Good news: It should pass within 3 days to a few weeks... (Treated with antibiotics/anti-inflammatory meds)...

    The Bad News: If Seth has the type that is outside the brain, he lives. If he has the central type (rare) prognosis is not good. We now are treating w/meds -- wait, pray, and love.

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  7. Received an e-mail from a vet whom did an impressive youtube on PVS... His diagnosis for my boy? Exactly what I told my vet his AM/thinking all day: Inner Ear Infection or Brain Tumor (more unlikely, especially at his age). I'm trying to be strong, patient, and hang in there as I know Seth is. God, please save my dog.

    http://www.petplace.com/dogs/head-tilt-in-dogs-vestibular-signs/page2.aspx

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  8. Today, Strength card came up in Tarot deck. Amazing changes since 24 hrs start of meds. Alert, way less lame, especially outdoors. Got up on fence w/leggy paws 2x to greet neighbors. Smiled, pranced. Appetite/water normal. Resting with Simon, Britt 1. He is no longer wobbling head. Groomed self. Knows who I am. I sensing this could very well be an inner ear infection and the medicine is healing my fur child. We wait.

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  9. Day 4 with meds. My dog is 90% back. Saw strange dog and he barked. A lot. Jumping on couches/bed. Alert. I'm exhausted emotionally/physically monitoring him day/night. This AM I prepared his pills and left for 1 second...Kitty Zen scarfed him. No ear infections for the cat.
    Tired. It's been like going back to when Seth was 6 wks old (wobbly, needs watching, lack of coordination) to 6 yrs old. Watching each milestone. I believe he is on the mend. I've read that this is quite common and many people, like me, originally think it's a stroke, epilepsy or brain tumor. I thank the DVM who e-mailed me confirming my instincts of a middle ear infection.

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  10. Vet yesterday. Said 80% back. Steroids another wk. Seth seems to be back... A tad subdued indoors but all balance is good. Back outdoors--pulling on leash, paws on fences, jumps on furniture, barks, standing/head out window in car--a dog.
    So, vestibular syndrome seems to be the verdict, my first read. Most dogs, I read, do make a recovery and it usually doesn't not return. I'm hoping this is the case and Seth has many quality dog yrs left to enjoy. I believe there is a God and he loves dogs.

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  11. Exhausted. Frustrated. Yes, Seth is 80% back and vet said he's subdued indoors because of the drug. I feel like my dog still has monsters in his body. He isn't the same Seth. It's like someone took his personality away. I am distraught. Sympathy pains. I know he's made great progress...I'm tired. I'm scared. What if he doesn't come back?

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  12. Vet said Seth, 6, is 80% back. He's on anti-inflammatories and they seem to affect his personality traits. I hope my dog comes back. He's going through motions: eating/balance back/and comes alive outdoors big-time but indoors his loving/giving/feisty nature is subdued. Hopefully on Sat. taper the drug. I miss my dog but on the upside he recovered quickly and regained balance.

    Still going with the vestibular syndrome (acute loss of balance...common, like epilepsy/stroke but not life-threatening and usually doesn't come back). Very scary for owner/dog. It comes on like an earthquake and you always wonder, "Will it hit again?" despite the literature that says most likely not. I miss Seth but he's way better and very comfortable.

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  13. Today, Seth pointed -- a very long time! Kissed me this AM/bear hug on my forearm. Bit by bit, I sense/hope I'm getting my boy back. Again, like he regressed to 6 wks old to 6 yrs old. He's more polite, not as feisty. Where oh where is the "real" Seth? Hello? More TLC. I love my dog.

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  14. Today, is the first day I'm leaving to swim...Seth seems to be back...Sat. vet visit and hopefully tapering steroids. I think my boy is almost back. Thank you God for answering my prayers promptly. I know you love canines. I can feel it.

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  16. Last night was the first night I spent with Seth -- since all of this earthquake syndrome began. My boy is almost back. We both slept comfortably. Tomorrow the vet. It should be a positive visit. Normalcy is in the house. We are a family again. My fur child survived this shake-up! And I am thrilled. Ironically, my energy has come back.

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  17. Today, vet check. All good. Tapering Rx for the next 2 wks. Seth is pretty much back to the dog I know. It was a frightening ordeal and I'm still tired. Time for TLC for this guardian! But it's an amazing accomplishment to have nursed my boy back to health. Thank you God!

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  18. I'm happy. We're happy. Woke up this AM with Sethie standing on my chest! He nested on the waterbed. Lifts leg outdoor with no problem. Barks at passerby dogs. Leaps on furniture. Enjoyed his walk at the trail/drive. He's looking at me right now like I'm the love of his life!
    It's so important that people who experience this vestibular syndrome know that it goes away--not a death sentence...I've got my canine back! Elated. Eye contact, alert... It's like watching scenes out of "Charley" when his IQ is low and then he learns. My brainiac dog is with the family.

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  19. Mention of the classic film "Charley" haunted me as I watched my 6 yr. old Britt regress to a puppy like state. After the Rx/a couple of weeks he improved 90% and tapering steroid now--faced with a setback.
    It's a catch-22...The med takes away his endearing personality but... He was back--alert, loving, normal.
    But, I noticed it was taking him too long to do his business (his hind legs are sensitive). Today, he fell. Now, we're going back.

    I'm so distraught: emotionally, physically, and financially. I had my dog back but in the back of my mind I thought, "Will it hit again?" like a great quake.
    He is at the vet. (Again.) I wait. (Again.) It isn't fair that my healthy pooch, only 6, is going through this ordeal. I'm frustrated and scared. (Again.)

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  20. OK. Two vets -- mine and another well-versed on this topic -- got back to me. Doggie lives. Continue tapering prednisone.

    Sethie developed two lumps (shoulder/private part) -- who knows how I felt those (intuitive nature?). Pred-related. Aspirated--no cancer/tumor. Antibiotics coming home with my baby boy.

    Not upping dosage of pred (thank God, it takes away his personality).

    Hind legs just a little wobbly but overall balance is good. I pray this is just a fluke/setback. Gosh, I got through my past Britt's grand mal seizures at 5; by 7 he was seizure-free and lived a quality life till 14.

    Chill. Chill. Chill. Be strong, Seth. We can do this!

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  21. So, tonight I didn't know what to expect--wobbly pup or subdued doggie.

    Surprise! Seth ran into the house, hungry, ate. Wagged his docked tail,smiling, jumped up on the love seat and couch, and did his business outdoors quickly and without favoring his back leg!

    Could one antibiotic do all that? I'm amazed. He's doing better than I am!

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  22. OK. We're at the 3 wk mark. Is Sethie back? Almost. All is normal... a little less frisky than the pup I had before Oct. 12 but balance is good, alert, next to me and Simon. Got a good support group of two-leggers and my four-leggers, Simon and Zen, seem to help, too.

    I think we're out of the woods. And vets are on our side. Today looks like it's going to be a "normal" day and pup will get his trail walk.

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  23. Feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride -- never liked 'em. Yesterday in the car, Seth lost his balance. Motion? We're at about 3 wks -- the milestone to say if it's vestibular syndrome (which it is but still may never know why). When he's on ground, all is steady. I don't like this, taking me back to the seizure days of my late Brittany. True, much more frightening but we knew it was epilespy and the seizures faded; lived to 14 seizure-free...
    This time around, I don't know what to expect. As a Californian it would be assumed I can hang -- the quake sensitive girl. So, instead of living on a fault line (actually, one is 2 miles away), I'm residing with my pooch and it feels the same. Read: Not out of the woods. Mixed bag of emotions. Not fair.

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  24. Today, actually turned into a normal one. "Prancer" my new moniker for Seth (it's another perfect and polite dog that has moved into his body) is happy. He jumped on furniture piece to furniture piece. Enjoyed his walk and pranced.
    Doggie kisses for mom/sibling. Alert, and even loving. He did stumble once trying to grab a bagel in my hand (but he was in an awkward corner on my waterbed so no big deal). Since he's only six, the little stumbles are okay...he gets right up like a puppy. Again, good day. I still believed God loves dogs. Keeping the faith.

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  25. Making more progress. Back legs are steady. Pup woke me up early. Alert, affectionate, balance good. No stumbles--at all. Head to head with Zen (cat). I think my boy is coming back to me. "Seth? Is that you?"

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  26. Seth is on the road to normalcy. Balance is good. No chewing bones or giving me a high five -- but he's still on Rx till Fri...then every other day. He's more in tune to Zen/Simon and almost back. Two good days in a row. He put his lanky legs/paws on fence to greet stranger. Good boy. He adores two-leggers and craves a human hand fix. Onward.

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  27. Today, Sethie is almost normal. He barked at dogs! He pulled on his leash! He lifted his leg with ease to do his business... He kissed me. He put his paw on my arm. His appetite is great. He hogged the covers. (For some reason, he doesn't go under there now.) Other than that, my baby boy is close to being the fur child I knew and love. Welcome back Seth! I feel like you took a vacation. It's great to have you home.

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  28. Just got a bear hug from Seth! Smiles this AM. I am elated with my boy. If anyone ever experiences what I did...please speak up about vestibular syndrome--not a death sentence! It's a disorder that comes out of the blue and goes away within 3 wks! I'm so happy. Time to feed my Brittany duo! Normalcy, yes.

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  29. Late last night, Seth (at last) slipped underneath the comforters on the bed! I think he was scared since the "monsters" took his balance...but he's so back. Last on the list? Chewing his bones and my baby boy is back. Tomorrow, tapering again with Rx; staying on antibiotic till Nov. 16. Re-evaluate. Happiness is living with a Brittany duo! Welcome home, puppy.

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  30. Today, is the taper day. No Rx (anti-inflammatories); every other day as we do the weaning. So far, so good. I still can't believe how fast this scare came on and went away. Like a bad dream. Like an earthquake. Thrilled to have Seth--calm, alert--here with me...

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  31. Hmm. Odd. Last night, Seth seemed to lose balance for a second on waterbed. Not sure if it was a fluke, motion of bed or anti-inflammatory (can cause weakness, I read, but all dogs are different)? Today, is the day of just an antibiotic (done on the 16th) and he's more alert, himself. Got to keep the faith that we're moving forward. Overall, progress. Paws crossed. Simon (Brittany) and sibling have been my anchors. Seth is standing up ready to go for a walk...Black ice out there...How do I tell him I'm waiting a bit.

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  32. It's been one month since the ordeal. For the most part, I think it's over but...now we're at the end of tapering the anti-inflammatory Rx, tomorrow last day for antibiotic. Overall, improvement big-time. Personality is almost coming back...hopefully the Rx affected Seth and normal will be around the corner. Wait and see (again).

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  33. I think, I hope the residue of the Rx is wearing off... Mixed reports on the Net tell me it can take up to 10 days--makes sense. My intellect tells me no brain tumor...Emotions? I wait, stare, wait. Will something else happen or will my boy's personality come back 100%? Again, wait, pray, love. We've come full circle but hopefully to a steady place.

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  34. Just found out that when Seth does circles--it's better that he does it both ways... So more evidence not a brain tumor, but something neurological. Great. More waiting...If his balance gets off or...it's back to a very small amount of anti-inflammatory which I don't want because of the long-term side effects/short-term aren't fun either. Wait...All is good right now.

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  35. Dear Doggie Diary...as it seems to be taking on the appearance of such. Last night, Sethie had a minor relapse...a little wobbly... After I slept on the issue, It came to me. Last night I told the vet, "Hey, I hung in there with my former Britt w/epilepsy. At 5 he had his first grand mal seizure; seizure free at 7." In between the shaky period I literally wrote an article that led to a published book on canine seizures...Dylan lived to 14 and arthritis took him--not body quakes!
    So, this AM... Seth is almost normal and I don't want to go back to prednisone (its side effects are nasty)...Brainstorm. Time to switch diet to one that's all natural, rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, omegas... all for brain wellness. It's worth a try. I do believe in combining holistic and conventional treatments...

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  36. After my "Ah ha" moment,just got off the phone with my trusty pet store--totally into natural nutrition. Found the perfect doggie food, will pick up today. Gradual transition.
    I am a fighter for my fur kids...and in retrospect a nice track record. My beloved Kerouac had kidney disease; put on special diet he lived a quality life 4 more yrs. We can do this. Sethie could be a Dylan 2. Prayers, holistic diet, conventional meds (here as very last resort). Wait, pray, love.

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  37. So, today to the vet (again). Sore on Seth's head underneath fur. I thought the worst...Wrong. Infected hair follicle. Go figure. Vet is pleased with doggie's progress. 90% back he said. Called it "canine neuropathy" unknown cause. We may never know what created all of the drama. Vet told me 2nd visit he didn't rule out brain tumor...How scary and I toyed with that scenario but didn't sense it was for sure. Psychic readers recently told me "brain" which is intriguing...all said pooch would heal...and it looks like my Seth is almost back.
    Today, at the vet, he smiled, wolfed down treats, super alert, happy...I was proud of him/progress...a good day. Good dog!

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  38. Today, Seth has a relapse. The vet noted he was probably worse than the first bout 5 weeks ago. No promises of a good prognosis. It was bad. I watched my active, healthy pup go downhill...in the past wks. and his spirit was never totally back.
    And then, suddenly, it happened. It was not fun. Not pretty. It was almost like I lost my dog at home. I picked him up and it's as if he was not there. At all. Neurological diseases are a bitch. But as a longtime animal lover I know he would want me to be strong and let him go. I hope there is a dog heaven. I'm going to miss you Seth so much. But I will hold onto our memories forever. I'm so sorry. I love you Puppy Pie...

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  39. As I enter Day 1 without Seth I cannot figure out why God didn't answer my prayers. Someone told me God takes the best--like beautiful flowers...but I wanted to share more quality time with my blossoming relationship with my dog--a special canine with special traits. Our bond was so strong...losing his spirit weeks ago was so challenging despite glimpses of good days, almost back. I feel relieved that my energetic canine doesn't have to deal with "monsters" in his body but I also am crying on the inside. My heart hurts and there is a void in my home. This is the end of my life with my beautiful Brittany boy. But his spirit will always be with me.

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  41. I just read your response rscredits. I still miss Seth more than any other dog I have lost. There is a huge hole in my heart... But next Sat. I will pick up a new pup...and I sense while it will not be my boy he will help me move on and try to find happiness once again.

    Every day I see Seth's photos in my home. Every day I speak to him on the other side. Every day I get images--good and bad--of the dog that tore my heart.

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  42. Today, marks the day when I began to lose my dog Seth...I still hurt and feel the pain.

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  43. I love you Seth. You will always be in my heart. I miss you every day.

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