Monday, February 27, 2012

The Best Laid Plans



I certainly meant to be blogging before now, and all about India. But on our return from our trip ten days ago, we both had one of the longest periods of jet lag we've ever experienced. Just when we were over that, our dog developed a health problem that has had us really worried. So this post is about our dog, Cezar.


My husband and I have always had pets, but Cezar stands out as our most loveable and amazing one. Maybe because we've had him longer (he's fourteen years old.) Maybe because we could give him more attention, given that my husband has had his home business for several years, and I took early retirement from teaching a few years ago. Maybe it's because training classes made Cezar easier to communicate with.  Whatever the reason, this dog is special. 



Cezar wandered into school where I was substitute teaching for a friend thirteen and a half years ago. He would have been sent to the pound if I hadn't taken him home instead. He looked like a baby pup, but actually the vet determined he was about six months old then. He's really a "little old man" of a dog, now. Fourteen is old for a dog.


So when he started falling while walking last Friday evening, we thought of some unhappy scenarios. Saturday morning it was even worse. Every time Cezar tried to walk, he stumbled and fell. He listed to one side, with his head titlted at an odd angle. We got him into the vet right away after going online and reading about strokes and brain tumors in dogs. The vet was a bit more reassuring. A third reason for Cezar's behavior could be a middle ear infection. Just the same, a blood sample was taken. (We'll learn the lab results today.) Meanwhile he was given an ear wash and a prescription of antibiotics that should take effect in a very few days if his problem is, in fact, an ear infection.


Before we gave him his first pill, however, his symptoms got worse Saturday evening. He didn't appear to see anything he looked at; he couldn't track my finger when I moved it from side to side. Was he blind? (Another stroke symptom). The vet's office was closed, so we took him to the emergency vet recommended by the answering service. After a thorough exam (poor Cezar's second one that day, complete with pokes, squeezes, and a rectal thermometer), the emergency vet told us the same three possible reasons for his symptoms; an ear infection still was a strong possibility. Cezar's unseeing stare could be due to disrupted balance and an effort to bring a whirling world into focus. Cezar is not blind, thank goodness. 


After administering a "sub-cutaneous" water injection to keep Cezar hydrated (since he hadn't been drinking any water or eating anything), she sent us home with anti-nausea pills to ease his disorientation.


Yesterday and today brought encouraging signs. He's able to walk without falling, although his head still tilts; and we help him on stairs, since he has a stumbling gait. But he's eating a little wet food, and he's been drinking a little water both days. His eyes follow us when we move around. He lets us know when he needs to go out. When outside, he takes an active interest in reading the lawn newspaper with his nose.


Today we'll learn the results of the blood tests. But we think he's going to be okay. True, he's fourteen, so we should be prepared for the fact that something more serious will eventually come down the road. And maybe this incident is helping to prepare us. But we're very hopeful that time isn't here yet.


How about you? Do you have pets? Have you had old pets? Have some pets been more special than others? Do you have any thoughts to share about ailing pets?



18 comments:

Alleged Author said...

I hope your doggie is okay!!! I have a dog, and his name is Solomon. We rescued him three years ago. He means the world to us.

Kimberly said...

I hope he'll be okay too!

We have a dog (going on 3 years) and he is like your dog now - really a great dog and I don't know what I'd do if he got really sick. Although his life started out with all kinds of problems. But he's healthy now and my writing buddy. :)

Rachna Chhabria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachna Chhabria said...

I have never had pets at all. I know your attachment to him, we discussed your pets when we met.I am sure he will be okay.

Rosi said...

We had a wonderful little Shih Tzu some years ago who suddenly went blind. Unfortunately he did have a brain tumor and we had to put him down. Very sad. I'm glad your result with Cezar is better. He is very cute.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Here is his present state: Now he can walk almost normally and his head only has a faint tilt. I think it's the antibiotics kicking in. Compared to Sunday he looks GREAT. Compared to his normal state, he doesn't look so hot. He's drinking water today. But . . . he's not eating. So I have to talk to the vet about that tomorrow. He may be feeling nauseous from his medication. Sigh. But I'm just glad he's even a little better.

Nick Wilford said...

He's certainly a handsome boy. I hope he pulls through.

We don't have pets ourselves, but growing up we had a cat who lived to fourteen, a good average age.

Now my parents have two cats who are sisters who are nearly 11. Strange to think they could be on their way out in a few years!

Emailman said...

Awwww, I'm so glad to hear he's getting better. It's such a terrible thing when you lose a 'special' pet. We had a cat called Ludo that sadly died last year. He was a legend! I could tell you so many stories about him. He was eighteen-years-old when we lost him. It was like losing one of my children. I'm welling up just writing this lol My three children had never know life without Ludo, so they took it quite hard. Yes, Ludo was very special indeed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8QtepPMhVg&context=C33e2fdaADOEgsToPDskK1Yl2Dhw6wb3Z1Tj6LFXb7

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

We had a cat years ago that was 19 years old when he died. Had a stroke and we had to put him away just a few weeks befor he would have been twenty. As you can imagine that was a deeply felt loss. Meanwhile ,Cezar seems to be on the mend. This morning was the first day his tail started wagging when we talked to him, and he's eating more.

Emailman said...

That's awesome news, Elizabeth :)

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I'm so glad to read that Cezar is doing better. I've always had pets and lots of them. It's incredibly difficult when one is sick or injured. And yes indeed, there are those very special furry friends that hold an extra special place in our hearts.

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

Thanks for following me Elizabeth. So you just got back from India. Wow! I've always been a bit uncertain about travelling there so will look forward to some posts.

Meanwhile, Cezar. Don't pets just rip your heart out when they are unwell. I hope he is fine now. He looks lovely. I have a little mini foxy/chihuahua cross and she is delightful. I miss her when I have to leave her when I come down to the city to work.

Do you know google has put virtually unreadable captcha codes on your comment system? I usually don't comment when I see them, but I'll make an exception this time.

Denise

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Oh, dear, thanks for the heads up about the captcha codes. I am such a non-techie, how does one address that? Who would I complain to?

On another note, do come back because my dog is better and I'm getting ready to blog about India. :-)

Glynis said...

Ah, we have a 14 year old and he is getting a little slower on his legs. His teeth are nearly all gone, but he is happy and healthy still. I see in your next post he is much better, that is good.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Glynis, thanks for your concern. These dogs have a way of grabbing hold of your heart, don't they!

Julia Hones said...

I hope your sweet dog will stay comfortable at all times. I lost my Golden Retriever a couple of years and I still miss her. The most important thing when I had to say goodbye was to keep her comfortable. Hugs to you and your beautiful pet.

Claudia Del Balso said...

Aawww, Cezar is a handsome boy! I absolutely love dogs. I've had dogs all my life. I'm so glad to hear Cezar's doing well despite his age. My last pup was 14 years old. We all loved him so much. I still get teary-eyed when I think of him. He was our joy. He died of old age and kidney complications. On his deathbead, I whispered in his ear, "Thank you for so many wonderful years." I know he's in doggie heaven ;)

S.P. Bowers said...

Sorry this is a late comment but I just found your blog. We have cats and about a year ago one of our cats started having muscles spasms. She could barely walk and it was more of a sideways lurch and her head would sway and jiggle and it was really sad to watch her. The vet gave her steroids which helped the symptoms temporarily but he was also amazed at the symptoms. Basically he said there wasn't much he could do, it was most likely a neurological disorder or cancer. We ended up putting her down, which was a horrible decision but I believe she's happier and pain free where she is now.