Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 1311

Dash had another seizure this morning. A bad one. I had almost convinced myself that these seizures were a thing of the past. Until today, Dash hadn't suffered from a seizure in over four years. We were so confident about his recovery that we were able to lower his Phenobarbital dosage and eventually eliminate it completely. Dash has been completely free of Phenobarbital now for almost two full years with no adverse effects.

Epileptic seizures can be quite alarming. At first your dog goes into convulsions, typically falling to the ground, gasping for air and twitching wildly like it has been electrocuted. There is not much you can do at this point. Vets tell me that once you make sure the airway is clear and the dog had not swallowed its tongue, to just leave it alone until the seizure subsides. When the convulsions stop and the dog tries to get up, it will often appear unsteady and even fall over like it is experiencing severe vertigo. This disorientation often causes the dog to become fearful and aggressive, and it will growl or even bite if you try to approach. Usually, after about twenty minutes, some sense of normalcy returns and you can take the dog to the vet to check all the vital signs. If you're lucky, there will just be the single seizure, but often they come in clusters.

Nobody at the veterinary hospital could tell me why Dash had a seizure today after so many years with no problems whatsoever. The violent seizure fell into the category of unexplained mysteries, just like my own elevated liver enzyme levels. It makes me nervous though. I have no idea when or where a seizure will happen again. I don't want to put Dash back on a powerful sedative like Phenobarbital again unless it is absolutely necessary. I don't want to become fearful to leave the house either. Life must go on. To add to the complexity, Dot has had her own problems with seizures. Either one of the dogs could have another seizure at almost any point. On the other hand, neither of them may ever have a seizure again. 

Since I was more or less confined to the house today while I kept an eye on Dash, I was able to get all my work finished with time to spare. Dash is back to normal now and there were no further incidents. If I didn't see the seizure with my own eyes, it would be easy to imagine it never even happened.

Since I didn't make it to the store today as I had planned, there wasn't much in the house for dinner. I found a can of Wolf Brand Chili in the pantry and heated it up. Although my nutritionist would have frowned on this meal, it tasted surprisingly good. It's probably back to Kale salads tomorrow though.

I took the dogs on their evening walk immediately after a short, but intense thunderstorm passed through the area. The air was much cooler, but the ground was still hot, creating a layer of ground fog that hovered above the roads and pathways in the park. The effect was surreal and beautiful, but it didn't last long.

Before I forget, thanks to Joan and Lynne for helping me identify the mystery plant I saw the other day as a Passionflower. I always enjoy learning something new. I now know that these beautiful vines have been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans for medicinal purposes and that they got their name because people thought that the different parts of the flower represented the Christian crucifixion story. The recent heavy rains flattened the plant I saw the other day, but I'm sure the Passionflowers will be back. I haven't seen a wildflower yet that didn't return the next year.

Beemer is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day