Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bandit's Meds and New Additions

For a while now we have been holding our breath and praying that Bandit will never again experience the horrible cluster episode that took his memory from us.  Seven months he was seizure free, and in our happiness and need to have answers, we thought to test the theory that his epilepsy was a result of the much vilified chicken jerky treats.  Each seizure he had ever experienced has been 12 hours following eating more than one of the things, so we were almost certain the onset of his condition was caused by these vile poisonous things. (See FDA warnings regarding chicken jerky treats for pets)

So we began to reduce his meds cautiously and watch for changes.  Ever since his July cluster episode and subsequent increase of meds, Bandit has acted like a drunk and disorderly dog after his morning meds.  He jumps on and plays with all the dogs in the house regardless of whether or not they want to play.  It is hard to say no to the biggest dog in the house, and at 80 pounds, Bandit normally gets his way or the victim finds someplace to hide.

Starting in the first week of January, I reduced his Kbr from 2cc to 1.5 cc and left his pb dosage at 90mg in the morning and at night.  After only two weeks Bandit began to act more normal, and some of his old self came back.  For the first time in seven months, he crawled in to my lap for a cuddle, and I almost cried I was so happy.  Before the cluster episode he used to do this at least once a day.  So, as the third week in January rolled around, a nasty bout of the Flu went through our house, but I had to take Bandit to the vet to get his bloodwork done.  I had also finally managed to convince Jim to purchase a show line husky pup!  Despite the raging fever, I was eager to talk to Bandit's vet about further reducing his meds and to pick up our new addition to Team Wyrd!

The vet was enthusiastic that we wanted to try to reduce his meds and gave us the go ahead after Bandit's bloodwork came back in good standing.  Instead of reducing by 30mg a day, though, I was encouraged to take him down by 60 mg a day, so he would have 60mg pb in the morning and evening, and 1.5cc of kbr in the morning.  Happy and optimistic I headed over to Shadetree Siberians to pick up Shadetree's Ghost in the Machine "Ghost", a very beautiful boy with incredible conformation, engaging bi-eyes and gorgeous markings with the pedigree to match his great looks.  Ghost will be training up and showing this coming spring.

It took all of 30 minutes to integrate him in to the pack, all of our dogs were thrilled to have a new puppy around, especially Moony.  From the moment she saw Ghost, she decided that he would be her puppy.
Ghost quickly made his way into our hearts, and is a very fast learner.  From the first day he was good about going potty outside as long as he was taken outside when he first began to sniff for a place to go.  As the week passed, he became good at pawing at the back gate to go outside when he needed to relieve himself.  He also was quick to learn how to work the dog door and how to navigate the porch stairs.

Life in team Wyrd was good except that G'kar was very visibly aging, especially since the beginning of January.  By Wednesday his arthritis was hurting him so bad, he began falling and losing control.  He would scream pitifully for help, and I would lift him up on his four legs.  Wednesday night he slept only a coupld of hours, pacing most of the time.  Thursday our vet office was closed, and we watched G'kar's condition deteriorate rapidly and debated whether or not to take him to the emergency vet.  By afternoon it was plain that there wouldn't be much they could do to relieve his suffering, only prolong it.  His arthritis had progressed too far, an unfortunate side effect of aging.  By Thursday evening we had made the decision to let him pass, so Jim picked him out a steak and I heated it enough to kill the bacteria and fed him his last supper.

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