WHEN YOU GOTTA GO....
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
I TALK TO THE TREES...
THE SILENCE OF THE PAPILLONS (No, not really - yo...
PAPILLON AND CHIPS
AND YET MORE SNOW
EMAIL ME .
Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.
"IN DOG YEARS, I`M DEAD"
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
A couple of weeks ago I let her out first thing in the morning, as usual, and was greeted by a salivating, staggering twitching wreck. She had been her usual lively self the night before, and I had no idea what had happened. Had she somehow eaten poison? I am very careful about poisons.
I have been in dogs a long time, and what crossed my mind was that this looked like the later stages of distemper....but that seemed impossible. She is of course immunised.
The vet thought different. He did complete bloodwork, and no kidney or liver problems showed up - indeed, no problems at all. Any poison would have affected the result. Normal temperature, so not an infection. He did more tests, and concluded that it was probably granulomatous meningoencephalitis. It normally attacked toy bitches of about her age (4). It comes on suddenly. The cause is unknown. He said that the definitive test was to examine spinal fluid, but suggested that since we had excluded all the other possibilities, we should just go straight to treatment. She had a 50/50 chance of survival.
The treatment was massive doses of corticosteroid. It was difficult to get anything into her. She did not know me at all. I had to syringe water into her, and push food down her throat. This really scared her. Most things scared her.
|Velvet - note the eye ulcer|
And the steroids began to work. The twitching and staggering eased away. She could walk. She still wouldn`t eat - until I used a liquid high nutrition feed for invalid animals. I was syringing it in, and she tried to eat the syringe - and ate the rest of the food by herself.
After that the recovery was gradual and complicated by eye ulcers aggravated by the large steroid doses. She began to recognise me, and knew her name. The tail stayed down and she was still nervous, but a good appetite had developed, and she put on all the weight she had lost.
Yesterday she went to the vet again, and was pronounced OK. A huge relief. I think the vet was quite surprised - but Papillons are tough little beasts.
I took her home and let her out to relieve herself - and bad-tempered old Camilla attacked her. She ran off into the tangle of shrubs and trees that used to be a rockery, and although I went in after her, she ran from me too. There followed hours of searching, and general despair. She knows her name, but will not come when called - in fact I am just not sure how much intelligence remains after the illness.
At midnight, after searching garden and fields till it got dark, I let the last 3 girls out, before going to bed....and suddenly I was looking at 4 girls. Velvet had come back. She must have holed up somewhere, waiting till it was safe, as she thought. Vast relief.
I am now waiting to see how much of her personality comes back. I think it is going to be a slow process.
I`m trying to find people who have had experience of this disease, and can tell me if it causes permanent personality changes.
So far she is still improving