Charles had to go back to the vet (going to vet pictures above) to make sure all the heart medicine for his advanced congestive heart failure (see post on March 21: Charles’ 2d Chance) was OK. Jolie, of course, suffering from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), came for moral support. Well maybe Charles was her support, but I digress…
Dr. Buchanan said everything is looking good. We are watching his liver and kidneys and all that stuff because between the Phenobarbital, for seizures, and the VetMedIn and Lasix, for the heart, his poor little organs are under a lot of strain. But Charles does not know this, so he is as happy as a lark.(Coming home from the vet – smiling – pictures below.)
One side effect of these meds is that he is really hungry. I mean, eat the wallpaper hungry. He is not only constantly barking at us and demanding more than ever (he is a Pomeranian CHIHUAHUA as you know and currently we must place a very heavy accent on the little demanding dog part of the breed), but now he has taken to jumping up at my arm when I am in the recliner and giving a little nip if I am not listening to him (since I try hard to ignore him if I can).
We are really glad that Mr. New-lease-on-life is still with us, but we really would like to watch at least one TV show undisturbed.
He finally did conk out after all that excitement at the vet, at least for a little while.
On February 17, Charles had a grand mal seizure. It was very scary for all of us. We started him on Phenobarbital, a drug that is used to treat seizures. He continued to have what we thought were smaller petite mal seizures every few days after that. The vet gave us Diazepam as a rescue drug for when the seizures happen, this was to try and stop what they call ‘cluster’ seizures (one right after another, which is common). But something continued to not be right. Even the smallest excursion was causing him to collapse. Was it the seizure disorder or something else?
You may not remember but Charles has a heart murmur and an enlarged heart. On March 7 we went back to the vet because of multiple collapsing episodes. She said his chest sounded OK and we should continue with the pheno as prescribed. Pheno can take several weeks to kick in. But…things still did not seem right.
I emailed the vet on March 15 and sent a video of him collapsing. Late afternoon, she prescribed a heart medicine called VetMedIn (pimobendan), which improves the efficiency of each heartbeat so that it doesn’t have to work so hard, in addition to the Pheno. I picked it up after work on March 16. I was worried about getting him to take it because it is a large pill for a little dog, so we decided to wait until the morning.
4 AM, Friday, March 17, before we could even start the VetMedIn, Charles went into congestive heart failure. His little heart was racing a million miles a minute. He was panting and wheezing. Off to the Vet we went as soon as they opened. On X-ray, the lungs showed fluid building up around the heart. The vet asked us if we were ready to make the very hard choice about his quality of life.
But… there was one other medicine that we could add to the mix and see if that could help – Lasix, a diuretic. We opted to give it a try. What was the worse that could happen since he already was so weak. We carried him up and down the stairs in the house; we carried him outside to the bathroom; we did not let him exert himself at all if we could stop him.
March 21 – SPRING – and he seems back to his old self. Hungrier than usual but stubborn and sassy and just being Charles. Now he refuses to be carried and wants to do everything by himself. Prayers are still needed, but right now we are extremely happy that he is still with us. Spring and medical intervention have given Charles a second chance. Bang those healing drums and thank modern science for medicines that work.
I can’t believe that it has already been a year since Sofie left us (1 year today). There is never a day that her presence isn’t felt in my heart. She was such a unique spirit and not having her here, in the house, in the yard, continues to feel odd. I know that Charles missed her terribly after she passed as did I. They say that time heals all wounds and what is a year in the scheme of time, so I will just have to give it more. I miss you Sofie Bear but know that you are out of pain and stress and anxiety. I hope you and Louise and Nine are all there on the bridge waiting for me.
We got our spring hair/fur cuts and Sonya, our groomer extraordinaire, gave us cute little shamrock bandanas. Do we look Irish? March 17th is the Feast of Saint Patrick. He was the patron saint of Ireland around the year 461 and supposedly March 17 is when he died.
Though it is an Irish thing, we celebrate it big here in the US. Actually, according to Wikipedia.com, it is celebrated bigger in North America than in Ireland. Americans have actually had parades since the 1600s to celebrate.
We have a lot of Irish friends: Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Terriers, Wheaten Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Irish Setters, Irish Water Spaniels, and who could forget the cutest little Glen of Imaal Terrier.
Well, maybe we don’t look Irish, but everyone can be Irish for one day. Now, where is that pot of gold they talk about at the end of the rainbow?
It snowed. Yes, it really did for like a day. Then we broke a record for heat. Then it got cold again. Welcome to life in Maryland. We have crazy seasons, but this year has been the craziest. Hottest February on record they say. We are catching every ray of sun we can because you never know when it will start hailing. In Maryland, we can pretty much experience all 4 seasons in one day. Grab that sun when you can!
How has your winter been? I know some of you are snowed under. Stay warm. Spring is coming.
Mom said that the kids are coming over for lunch today (to Mom they will always be kids, but to us, they are big humans). We are waiting by the open door on the steps to greet them. Mini, the other dog, likes to wait with us too. If you look all the way at the top of the stairs you will also she Noel. She is too scared to come down.
Sometimes Noel will wait at the door, but the slightest movement outside tends to scare her so she doesn’t stay long. We on the other hand, love the steps and can wait, not so patiently, for at least 5 minutes before going to do something else.
Just a normal afternoon of preening and rolling. These two have become best friends and you find them together a great deal of the time. Mini Cooper has always been the other dog anyway. She is the only cat we have ever had that meets everyone at the door and runs with the dogs (instead of running away from them). It is awesome when life at the zoo just happens uneventfully.
Hope your Wednesday is wonderful too. What’s your normal?
I noticed that as the security guards we hire get smaller in size, they have a lot more yard to cover. They appear to get further and further from the big tree so that they can see what is happening. It looks to me like Charles and Jolie have worked out their parameter strategies. I must say that Jolie is very fast whenever a squirrel touches down.
I don’t know who I am more afraid of, the 2 ankle biters or the big 100 lb ball of fluff. Squash never barked unless he really meant it (and what a bark it was) vs the littles who never stop yapping.