28 November 2008

Gordo's Latest Surprise

Gordo shocked and startled us last month by having an epileptic seizure. We took him to the vet right away and he was put on phenobarbital. He had a couple more seizures, one in the middle of the night. We raced him to the emergency vet clinic at about 0330 in the morning on Saturday and they kept him until Monday morning. Then we took him to the substitute vet (our vet was away at a conference). He's now on KBr (potassium bromide) and we're phasing out the phenobarbital. The KBr is easier on his body, particularly his liver, and doesn't make him so drowsy. He hasn't had any more seizures since.

Gordo goes over next week to have blood drawn, so we can see what the KBr level is. If it's good enough, we may be able to pack up and go to Palm Desert. We have a very good vet down there and our local vet is very confident that he can hand the case off without any great concern. Apparently, epilepsy is fairly common in dogs and controlling it is well-understood.

If the blood levels aren't good enough, we'll have to go back in another ten days and do it all again. By then he'll be off the phenobarbital completely and we'll be hoping that the KBr will do the job. That'll get us out of town around Christmas. We're already into the time of year that we have to plan our trip around the weather. We have to go over three passes to get to the Low Desert, although one of them, Banning Pass, is too low for snow but does sometime have fierce winds.

This will be Gordo's first long car trip since he came from Simi Valley. I'm hoping it isn't too stressful for him, because stress can bring on a seizure. He seems to deal very well with new experiences, though, so he may well take the whole thing in stride and have no problems.

I, on the other hand, will be panicking once we get down there, as my office is absolutely not puppy proof. I'm going to have to pick a lot of stuff up before I can let him in there. He doesn't seem inclined to take books off shelves, but the yarn is at real risk. He loves balls of yarn even better than he loves his stuffed toys. Soft, good mouth feel, the excitement of the chase--what more could a puppy want?

09 November 2008

The Dangers of Puppy Ownership

I've got a very garish black eye, sort of, thanks to Gordo. We were playing around on the patio and he thunked my right cheekbone with the top of his hard little head. I didn't realize that it had bruised until the checker at the supermarket asked me how I got my black eye.

During the night it spread up under my eye, to the bottom lid. Gravity, I assume. It's also run down my cheek a bit. The only part that hurts is where the original bruise was; all the rest is just colorful. I'm fairly pale and thin skinned, so bruises really show up on me.

Gordo has finally stopped trying to chew on my watch, which he did by grabbing my entire wrist. My lower arm was quite blue and purple, to the point that the nurse at my doctor's office asked me what I'd been up to. Fortunately, no one seems to think that my dear husband is abusive toward me, so there are no funny looks or anything. Some years ago I had some eye surgery, to raise a droopy eyelid and remove the bags under my eyes (the first was necessary and the second was vanity, which I actually have very little of, but the baggy eyes really bugged me). Naturally I bruised from this. Vividly. Luridly. I had a sales clerk give me the phone number for the Spousal Abuse shelter, telling me I didn't have to put up with being abused. She was kind of embarrassed when I told her it was surgery, not abuse, but I told her she was doing exactly the right thing and should keep on doing it.

The bruising was so bad, and leaving so slowly, that I went to a cosmetologist and learned how to use concealing makeup. After she did a complete concealment job (and taught me how to do it myself, as well as selling me everything I needed), I went over to show my oral surgeon. He was absolutely astonished by the difference, which I too thought was pretty amazing. Everyone in the office, including some of the patients, had to come look, too. The surgeon started referring patients who had oral surgery that bruised to the cosmetologist (I'd brought a handful of her cards with me), which those patients found very helpful.

Now, this isn't a history of my bruising, but I was just reminded of it after Gordo got me. He gave me a split lip, too, but it didn't bruise. We were both reaching for the same toy, which is why my lip was down at his level. Fortunately, that was after I'd been to the oral surgeon and had two bottom front teeth extracted. Otherwise all that keeping my mouth open would have been very painful with a split lip. I go in on Wednesday and get my new crowns cemented. I'll also get the flipper (temporary partial plate) to wear during the entire dental implant process. Because we spend the winter in the Low Desert, the process will take longer than it normally would, probably at least a year.

So keep an eye on those hard puppy heads, OK?