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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Legal Lucy update

First of all, I want to thank everybody for their concern and advice. You have no idea how much that helped.

She seems to be fine today.
I took her back into Doc's yesterday and they gave me a shitload of phenobarbital with instructions to give her a tablet and a half twice a day, with the warning that it may take 2-3 days before it took effect, and that she'd be heavily drugged until her little body developed a resistance.
Shit, you don't need to tell me about building up a resistance to a drug. I'm an expert.

Anyway, I dosed her when we got home and guess what? She hasn't had a seizure since. I don't know if she just had an isolated cluster or if the drugs worked their magic or what, but I'll take what I can get.
As far as her being drugged, she was a little out of it after her first dose, but yesterday evening and today she seems perfectly normal as far as her activity level goes.

She's been a bit clingy yesterday and today, but she's always been a bit of an attention whore so there's that too. Last night she slept right up against me, something she ordinarily doesn't do - most of the time she sleeps on her pad next to the bed, but occasionally she'll sleep in my bed, but down at the foot.
She's been dead off on my heels all morning, following me everywhere, and between Lisa and myself, she's getting plenty of attention.

Now, for everybody that offered reasons that may have caused her seizures: I don't use or keep pesticides or herbicides on my property just because I have dogs and they tend to graze. Their heartworm medicine is Interceptor Plus, bought from my vet. I don't put flea collars on them, I use drops on the back of their necks - I'm too lazy to get up and look at which brand it is, but I also get that from the vet. I ruled that out because they get their tick drops and heartworm meds on the 1st day of the month and her seizures started at the end of the month.
Myself, I figured (and it's a very real possibility) that she has a brain tumor or spinal lesion, but there's nothing I can do about that other than keeping her comfortable. The expense for both the imaging and surgery combined is something I can't handle financially and to be honest, she's 12-14 years old, right at the end of her lifespan. I know it sounds cold, but I can't imagine putting her through the surgery just to keep her alive for another 6 months or year, and who knows if her quality of life would be good after all that.

So, there it is. I'm hoping for the best and if the past 24 hours are any indication, my hopes are being realized.

48 comments:

  1. Hoping for the best with you! We just have to love them as much as we can every day. Glad she's feeling better!

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  2. Don't tell yourself that you're being cold: you're being caring and realistic. I hate to hear people say they're keeping Fido going as long as they can: they're not doing it for the animal's benefit but their own because they can't face making the decision.

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    1. ^^THIS^^
      You are not being cold, you’re being a responsible pet owner. It sucks azz but it’s what we sign up for when we bring a pet home.

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  3. That is a good idea to keep her comfortable till the end.

    I lost an old dog two years ago and when they found cancer I just said please give him drugs to keep him comfortable. He lasted almost two years from that date. He did well until the end. Said goodbye many times and it still hurt to lose him. I still cry when i write stuff like this, he was a great dog.

    Joe

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  4. I well know your pain, having gone thru this with a couple of dogs over the years.
    make her a comfortable as you can, spoil her with some goodies and to keep a strong front.
    our last cat was a stray, skinny as hell. looked very rough. found her out in front of the house with pepper spray on her face. I not really a cat guy, but who in the fuck does that to
    any cat or dog ? cleaned her up called her fred. (didn't know she was a female until after the vet.) she did very well here, great mouser ! very loving pet, followed lisa (wife) around everywhere. I still think dogs and cats are better than most people I met over the years

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  5. I am so sorry LL and you are going through this. Lucy has always shown herself to be a trooper of a dog, overcoming adversity (new home and new people, Charlie, and then Jack) and showing all who is boss. I hope the meds keep the seizures in check and take your stress level down a notch or two.

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  6. That's encouraging news.

    Your thinking doesn't sound cold at all. It's realistic. With her age and physical condition, she's probably not a good candidate for surgery. And even if she did get through it, her quality of life could easily suck.

    For what it's worth, I'd say you're doing exactly the right thing, for you and Lucy.

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  7. I believe you are being most sagacious. I hope all continues to go well.

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  8. If it helps, you're handling this correctly in my opinion. IF it's fixable with tolerable meds, do it. If it's something that requires major, painful, and impossible to explain intervention, do not do that. Animals live in the moment; we owe our pets care and love for their entire lives, and an easy exit when that time comes. I believe it is both immoral and unethical to prolong a pet's life because a human can't stand to lose it. You are not cold; you are a caring and thoughtful pet owner.

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  9. Been right where you are at present with Lucy with my Golden Gracie 9 years ago. It is so painful to see your beloved friend having a seizure and you are truly helpless as far as being able to do anything other than comfort her and wait.

    I hope and pray you have found a solution and have many years left.

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  10. We had a beagle for about 12 years that had 'seizures'. We gave him the prescribed similar meds and they did greatly reduce the ocurrance of seizures and also reduced the severity of the ones he did have while in the meds, but they didn't eliminate them. Overall, we were satisfied that he got a lot of relief. Yes, once he was used to the effects after a coule days he was normal, playful, full of energy, etc. Hopefully you'll have at least as good of luck.

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  11. Best wishes to all of you
    JD

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  12. Agree with above. Hoping for the best for you. I also don't do aggressive treatments; my goal is hospice: keep them comfortable.
    ER nurse

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  13. If every dog had an owner that cared this much the world would be a better place. I claim no knowledge here but my own seizure was caused by a catastrophic drop in electrolytes. Keep her hydrated as best you can.

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    1. I keep the water bowl full, especially during the summer and she gets 150 ml of saline every few days in her neck to keep her kidneys flushed.

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  14. Sounds like she got into some tobacco

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    1. The only tobacco in the house is my Copenhagen, and it's kept in a closed can either in my pocket or on my end table. I don't spit so I know it didn't come from her licking any of that off the ground.

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  15. Great news! Wishing the best going forward.

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  16. I don't find what you said cold at all. Part of being a good master is knowing when it's time for you pet to go to sleep. I'd never allow a pet to be in pain due to selfish reasons. I had a dog on anti seizure meds for many years. She lived a good and happy life. In old age when her back legs stopped working it was time for her to go.

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  17. I lost a fuzzy buddy this week, a dog that has lived with us for 13 years. The Doc said he had cancers on his liver and spleen, and that it wouldn't get any better, and that he would be in pain right up till the end. SO, we decided to end it. It hurt, and it still hurts. Enjoy the time she has left, whether it's a week or a year. These things are never easy.

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  18. Your logic is sound. But remember, if the phenobarbital doesn't keep her from seizing (one every couple of weeks or less would be ok) see if your vet will let you do the antibiotic/steroid approach. I've had dogs I've kept around with good quality of life for years on that approach.

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    1. Ray, if she has even one more, I'll take her back in and talk to Doc Miller about it.
      Thank you once again.

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  19. I feel your pain. This past monday we had to put our Anatolian down after 12 years and a cancer diagnosis a month ago. Watching that dog lose weight and slow down honestly was almost as bad as when my wife and I lost our son. I'm still amazed she had that kind of affect on us. Probably another reason I like dogs more than people.

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  20. Hoping for the best here, too Ken.

    CC

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  21. Yeah, that late in life it's almost be criminal to put her through that.
    Damn.

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  22. I understand you being realistic about her long term prognosis. I have gotten old enough that it is the same thing for even myself, where I would have to measure my quality of life against the amount of time that aggressive treatment might buy me, of a serious diagnosis.
    Wishing you all the best, and also your lovely wife and canine family.

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  23. Ken, you sound pragmatic not cold. I'm sure the copious prayers must be helping as God works in ways beyond our understanding.

    Chutes Magoo

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  24. You're being realistic, not cold. I worked in dialysis, or glorified hospice as we used to call it, for 25 years. I've seen far too many people tortured by being forced to stay alive because their family won't let go and the government will pay indefinitely for treatment. As in "we need nana's check."
    Keeping a living creature alive past it's time is not a kindness. If it is a brain or spinal tumor, what are the odds for survival of a surgical procedure let alone a cure? Sometimes love means knowing when to let go.

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  25. Best to LL and you WC, you are a dedicated pet owner. I hope she gives you a few more years and we only get good updates.

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  26. its a relief to hear she is doing better.

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  27. Great news, sir.

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  28. Good to hear.

    When I gave my dog her first dose of the stuff during a similar rash of seizures, the results were pretty instant. Been going strong for 4 years now, only the occasional seizure.

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  29. As others have said, you're only being realistic about where LL is and maybe likely to go. No pet, especially dogs, should suffer the indignity of what happens to a lot of them late in life. Even though it'll be tough, one needs to give them the love of putting them down when it's time.

    Nemo

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  30. Great to hear; thank you for the updates!

    Best wishes,
    Kelly

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  31. MartinFromGermanyJuly 29, 2021 at 4:12 PM

    You are a wise and empathic man; and you are doing the right thing.
    I am wishing you and all your loved ones all the best.
    I hope Miss Lucy will stay with you many, many moons to come.
    God bless you.

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  32. That is great news Ken. All the best

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  33. I've been through this too many time to recount. It's difficult watching our furry buddies decline in their later years. The best we can do is to keep them comfortable and give them all the love they can stand as you are doing.

    Our latest dog, her name is Lucy also, Lucky Lucy, is a senior we adopted to give her a forever home when her family had to move to a place that did not accept dogs. She is now having kidney problems and may not last much longer. It sucks that their life spans are so short.

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  34. Told you knew ya'll loved her. She wouldn't be snuggled up to you otherwise. Great news here Kenny. How is Jack taking all this?

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    1. Surprisingly, he's been great through all of it. He tried to keep me from getting her when she had the first seizure though - I don't know if he was being protective or getting a free lunch, but after the first one he just goes and lays down out of the way.

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    2. Ken, I echo what MartinFromGermany said. You are a good man to step up to Lucy's care and understand that she may be reaching her end of days. It's hard, real hard when that happens. Stay strong, brother.

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  35. When I was in Vet School we had a dog come in that would have a petit mal every 5-7 minutes and a grand mal about every day. Owner opted for an MRI (which we basically had to do "in secret" at the human Medical School- Back in the late '80s) and we found a meningioma; a tumor in between the hemispheres of her brain. She was 8 and so the owner opted for brain surgery. Our neurosurgeon removed the tumor and we put the dog on KBr. That controlled the seizures (the surgery did not cure the seizures, just made sure they wouldn't get any worse) and the dog lived a good quality of life for another 4 years. The professor on the case sent me a letter about her (as I had, by then, graduated) and told me they'd had to put her down at age 12 when the tumor came back. Just an anecdote. Hope this is just a cluster.

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  36. Hey Ken, Though I didn't comment on your previous post, maybe now I can offer something. We went through a dog having seizures when my eldest was a newborn. The dog, Misty, was a sweet little mongrel we rescued from the pound where we volunteered. Misty was found on the side of the road in summer, her feet were terribly burnt. Long story short, she started having seizures. We ended up giving her increasing doses of Phenobarbital. The vet said one of the side effects was a massive increase in appetite. That turned out to be true. Once, when I hand fed her a treat she tried to eat my finger too. She wasn't at all vicious or aggressive. She was in a drugged stupor. When she started looking at our baby as if he were food, we made the hard decision. Misty was less than a year old.

    It was heartbreaking to put her down, but she was not getting better. We never new the cause nor of any cure. We did this as much for her as for us. You gave Lucy a good life. She gave you immeasurable love and joy. If I were in your shoes, I'd likely make her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. What I would not do is allow her to suffer or endure the bouts of absolute terror a seizure is likely to bring. I cannot speak for Lucy, but I know how terrifying it was for us to see little Misty literally bouncing off the walls of the hall. We knew what was happening and were terrified. Maybe that part of her brain shut down during these episodes and she remembered nothing, but how could we know?

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  37. Well in may I had to put Stella down, she would of been 16 on 6 July. Stella was an all black Pomeranian who was my moms dog. I took over her care when she was 8. Stella had such moxie and spirit, all loved her, (kind of like my mom). Stella was on heart meds and some other meds for the last four years. Heres my point, when she started to not enjoy eating i would give her anything she wanted, anything. Eventually you guessed it she just stopped eating and we all know what happens next. By the time we took that last ride to the Vet she was exhausted. I hate dogs. The stupid critters just don’t live long enough.

    And it sucks when a field grade officer, combat veteran, 32 years of service, cries in public.

    Saber 7

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  38. Thanks for the update. Lots of us out here pulling for LL to get better and be better.

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  39. I've been busy dealing with Google issues so I just saw this...sorry to hear Legal Lucy was ailing, but sounds like you've got the seizures under control....she's probably scared shitless!

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  40. Many don't like to put pets down. My heartfelt philosphy is that anyone who lets a pet suffer should be put down. Their is quality of life and when that's gone it's over. I still cry like a baby every time. Your a good man Ken and I love my menagerie of pets as much, even my chickens they are funny as hell to observe.

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  41. Good to hear she is doing better.
    jack

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