Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Overnight Guest

Look at who's spending the night with KatDoc! Heidi has seizures and her daddies didn't want to take her home tonight, in case she had a seizure at home. They asked if we would keep her at the hospital overnight, but I don't have 24 hour staffing to monitor her. They promised not to hold it against me if anything happened to her while she was alone, but I couldn't stand the thought of her having a seizure without someone being there to help her.

So ...

We took a little car ride to the country. She is now set up in a crate in my bedroom, and is resting comfortably, thank you very much.

"Can I stay with you, KatDoc?"

"No, Heidi, it's just for tonight."
Sept. 6, 8pm - Update on Heidi:

Sorry, friends, but this one doesn't look like it will have a happy ending. Just as I was posting
last night, Heidi had another seizure in the crate in my bedroom, her 4th in less than 24 hrs. I gave her an intravenous anticonvulsant medication (I had an IV catheter in place for just such an event) and she recovered OK. This morning, she was great - acting completely normal.

However: She was supposed to be the replacement dog for a couple who recently lost their 16 year old dog after a two or three year course of illness, with many vet visits and a lot of medication and TLC. They don't need (and aren't equipped) to handle an ill and potentially expensive dog right now. They need a happy, healthy dog who will hike the Nature Center with them and be normal for a few years. This dog is not the one for them. (Please don't judge these guys - they are the sweetest people and the best dog parents I know.)

Heidi has been returned to the "no kill" shelter where she was originally adopted from 2 weeks ago, and we hope that the shelter's vets will be able to work her up for the cause of her seizures. It depends a lot on how much money the shelter can afford to in invest in her, as neurological work-ups can get costly quickly.
If her condition is treatable, the next step is to find an adoptive family willing to take her on. That's a lot of "if's" and I don't hold out much hope.

This is a hard situation to be in. The dog is wonderful - very sweet, lovable, easy going, good with other dogs (mine) and doesn't freak out over cats (also mine), quiet in her crate, a good car-rider, and so sweet and loving. EXCEPT when she has a seizure. I was there for 2 of them, and it is awful. If they are controllable, she could live a fairly normal life, but in my experience, four grand mal seizures in less than 24 hours spells heavy "doom and gloom" time.

To be honest, I'm rather depressed over it all, and sorry I even posted about her last night. I should have waited to see which way it went before involving you.


Lynne said...

What soulful eyes! I sure would like to rub those silky ears.

Holly said...

What an absolutely sweet face!

So, is this like a sleepover? Popcorn and girl talk and stories about bloody hooks on car handles? Or are y'all going to to talk about that infuriating poodle up the road who thinks she's just the cat's meow whenever a German Shepard walks by? :)

Anonymous said...

Heidi is beautiful. I just love her eyes. Can she take medication for the seizures? Kathy

Anonymous said...

Oh, are you a sucker for a pretty face! Great pictures and great post. We always knew you had a really big heart.

KGMom said...

Love that face. Is Heidi a doxie? Since I can't see her whole body, I can't tell.
Poor baby--let us know if she is ok.

KatDoc said...

She does have the silkiest ears - I couldn't stop stroking them on the car ride home.

Both my dogs checked her out in the yard, then pretty much ignored her, EXCEPT when she had her seizure. I heard her start (her nails were scrabbling on the hard plastic crate sides) and Holly was watching her very intently - not barking or freaking out, but with worry wrinkles on her forehead. They stayed out of my way while I treated her, then watched her through the crate door while she recovered.

After the seizure, the "pajama party" attitude pretty much vanished.

Whether or not she can take medications depends on the cause of the seizures - poisoning (not likely in this household), organic disease (liver shunt; brain disease like infection, parasites or mass), epilepsy - too many to count. The problem is finding someone with the money to get a diagnosis, and the time, finances, and understanding to work through her problem, if indeed it even can be treated.

You can't tell from just her head, but Heidi is a small hound-mix dog, about 40 lbs. She is sitting up in the front seat of my car in those shots, and she could look out the front or side windows with ease. She is relatively tall, but lean.

Thanks, all for your inquiries about my little visitor.

~Kathi, feeling a little blue tonight

KGMom said...

Ah Kathi-so sorry about Heidi's continuing seizures. She sure looks like a sweetie. We will all hope the meds help and she can live a good life.
And hope the couple finds the right dog to fill the void in their lives.

Anonymous said...

Do not apologize for bringing us the reality of life with dogs. We share your blue feelings and all of us hope Heidi finds the right home.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I hope she will be able to find just the right home with people who care. She seems like such a sweet dog, so I'm hopeful for her. Kathy

Holly said...

No judgments here. We had to euthanize the dog that Robert had from before we got married. He started having what were apparently epileptic seizures one day. We took him to his doc's, they said we'd just let it ride and see if it ever occurred again (heck, I had a seizure once while driving, never had another one).

But over the next week, they became more and more frequent and over the weekend he was having one every couple of hours. It was hard to watch, I know he's in no pain, but his scrabbling would tear huge chunks of floor out and he'd lose control of bladder and bowels. Then when he recovered, he'd act disoriented and sometimes more aggressive for awhile. Being the parents of a then-3 month old baby, that was a concern for us. They could do tests etc but I was just returning to work after unpaid maternity leave - heck, we had no insurance for ourselves.

The vet said euthanizing was a reasonable choice under the circumstances but boy, was it a hard one.