Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 2604

Dash had another seizure last night. This episode was much milder than the one he experienced on Sunday, but clearly something is wrong. This looks more like vestibular disease than a typical epileptic seizure. Instead of falling to the ground and having convulsions, Dash appeared dizzy and unsteady on his feet, moving his head from side to side during the episode. Dot had very similar symptoms when she was diagnosed with vestibular seizures four or five years ago. We ran a bunch of expensive tests and took her to a neurologist, but we never did determine the cause. After three seizures, she quit having them and was completely normal until she developed cancer a few years later. I made an appointment to take Dash to the vet tomorrow, but I'm not terribly optimistic about finding a solution to this problem. Neurological problems can be hard to diagnose and even harder to cure. If Dash does have geriatric vestibular syndrome, there isn't a cure anyway.

Now, I'm wondering if Dash's odd behavior on his afternoon walks might be connected to these recent seizures. Sometimes Dash will just stop for no apparent reason and look confused. Often, he'll appear nervous or refuse to move forward and then we'll have to re-trace our steps to return home. Other times he is even reluctant to leave the yard. If Dash has been experiencing vertigo or dizziness, which is common during vestibular events, this would explain a lot. We'll have to be real careful about the diagnosis, since Dash already has a history of epilepsy. You don't treat epilepsy and vestibular disease the same way. If it turns out that Dash is having vestibular seizures, we definitely don't want to increase the amount of phenobarbital he is taking. 

I miss the days when both dogs were healthy. It seems like a lifetime ago now, but really it's just been about three years. I often forget that dogs age much quicker than we do. Measured in human years, Dot would be well over 100 now. Dash is younger, but he would still be over 70. No wonder they are falling apart. Dog years are a bitch. I really wish that our pets lived as long as we do. Janet and I have had quite a few dogs, and sometimes it feels like I've spent the better part of my life dealing with dying animals.

It definitely felt like a Monday. Things got off to a slow start and remained slow for the rest of the day. Luckily Dot didn't have any major problems today. We took the dogs on a shorter walk this morning. Janet was already late for work when we got started and we were both worried about Dash. A seizure at home is bad enough. A seizure out in the park would be even worse. I'm caught up on work, so I spent the day doing some much needed bookkeeping and marking a few things off my to-do list. I even called a tree service to come out and give me an estimate for trimming the trees in the back yard. I skipped pruning last year and there are a few dead branches on the big oak trees that need attention. I have a healthy respect for falling tree limbs. Once, a large limb fell next to me and I quickly realized that if I had been standing fifteen feet to my left, I would have been dead.

I hope we can discover what's going on with Dash tomorrow. Seizures can be frightening and I want him to be able to lead a normal life. I want us all to be able to lead a normal life. It's just getting a little harder.

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