Monday, January 19, 2015
Despite the fact that Henry can not see, he has been enjoying his walks. We have been walking him around the neighborhood each evening and getting him used to certain navigation cues. As he has been getting better and better walking on the leash, we have been venturing out to some of our favorite parks.
Last weekend, we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the lake. Henry loved getting out and smelling all the smells. So many trees, so little time!
Monday, January 12, 2015
We don't have official confirmation from our eye vet yet, but I think it is pretty safe to say that Henry's cataract has taken almost all of his vision. I'd venture to say that it has taken all, but he might be able to see a bit of light.
The last few weeks have been difficult as Henry has adjusted to not being able to see. But, one thing I must say is he is learning so fast. Each day he seems to adapt by leaps and bounds.
He is learning his way around the house very well. We have closed the doors to a few rooms because there is nothing that Henry needs in those rooms. And the smaller we can make the house for him the better. Plus, its one less place he can get "lost" in. The kitchen seems to be his home base. Sometimes, when Henry gets really confused and can't seem to find his way, we carry him to the kitchen as a reset. From the kitchen he seems to know where everything else is. Leave it to a pug to set the kitchen as their home base!
Sometimes, I think that we are taking things harder than Henry. He'll bump into the wall or patiently stand in front of the window to get into the house thinking he is by the front door and it can be just heart breaking. But, Henry doesn't seem to care at all. He wants to keep going and if that means bumping into things or waiting for windows to open, he's just fine with it. I think we have a thing or two to learn from him.
We are working on ways to simplify things to make it as easy as possible for him to get around. Sticking to a routine seems to help a lot. We'll keep you updated!
Friday, December 19, 2014
Henry and I were working in the office and when I glanced over this is how he was sleeping. I think he was doing his best Super Pug impersonation. Now, if he wrapped those presents in the boxes behind him, he would indeed be Super Pug!
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
For the curious, here are snapshots from Henry's MRI. The area I circled in red is the spot of the hemorrhage. In the picture of the scan you can also see two other, much smaller black areas. Those are also small hemorrhage areas.
The area highlighted in red, also has some inflammation around it. You can see the inflammation in a different view. The white area is a bit of swelling which indicates that the hemorrhage is fairly recent. With time, the inflammation should subside.
Despite these scary images, Henry seems to be doing OK. So far, Henry has not had any more seizures since Thursday. Which is so relieving, but we are still a bit on edge and are watching him ever so closely. His vision does seem to have taken a turn for the worst, but we are working with him on that. We are so very lucky that Henry has weathered yet another storm!
Monday, December 8, 2014
Last Thursday, Henry gave us quite a scare. I was working from home and Henry was in my office snoozing away when he woke up with a start. He stood straight up and his face was twitching a bit. Thinking he was dreaming or something, I gave him a quick pat on the head and that seemed to snap him out of it. He promptly laid back down and went back to sleep.
A little later, I gave him his breakfast (it was an early start to the day for me). He was happy about that and came back into my office and went back to sleep. About an hour later, he got up and threw up.
Henry settled pretty easily after throwing up, but about an hour later he woke suddenly with the same facial twitches. This time, I knew something was not right and off to the vet we went.
They gave Henry an anti nausea shot and no one was really sure what to make of the facial twitching. Looking back, I also did not describe his facial twitching well at the vet. I described it more as a teeth chattering, which it clearing was not.
Henry acted like his normal self while at the vet and seemed fine when we got home. I went back to work and he settled once again at my feet under my desk. Once again he awoke with a start and had another episode of the weird facial twitches. By this time, I was on high alert and worried. But, Henry quickly settled and went right back to sleep. About an hour later, Henry woke up and had more facial twitches, but this time he went into full seizure that lasted 2-3 minutes.
I was pretty panicked by the situation. I have no experience with seizures in dogs or humans for that matter. I got Henry on his side and made sure he was safe in his surroundings. When Henry came out of the seizure, he could walk and seemed to have all of his functions. He was panicked and started to frantically pace about the house.
Once I felt like Henry was stable, we immediately left for the vet. Once we got to the vet, Henry had a shot of an anti seizure med and our vet referred us to a veterinarian neurologist. We were also warned that given Henry's age and history of cancer that a brain tumor was a high possibility. Luckily, our vet was able to get us an appointment with the neurologist the next morning. So we didn't have too long to worry about all the possible reasons that Henry suddenly started having seizures.
But even though the appointment was a mere 18 hours away we still had to worry about Henry having more seizures. After all, he had 3 petite seizures and one grand mal seizure in the course of 4 hours already that day.
Henry was well medicated when we left the vet and did well for the rest of the night. He did not have any more seizures before we made it to the neurologist about 90 miles away.
When we met with the neurologist, he suggested that the only way to really know what was going on was to have an MRI done on Henry's brain. If we didn't want to do that, we could start a general course of treatment, but if we figured out what exactly what the cause was we might be able to provide better treatment.
A brain tumor seemed to be the most likely thing. It could be metastasis from his renal cancer or a completely different tumor all together. Wanting to know exactly what we are up against we decided to have the MRI done. And I am very glad we did. It turns out it is not a brain tumor. It looks like Henry had a brain hemorrhage. A brain hemorrhage is by no means good news, but it is better than a brain tumor. There is a lot more uncertainty with a brain hemorrhage. What caused it? Will he have another one? We don't know with 100% certainty the answers to any of those questions.
The most likely cause for the hemorrhage is high blood pressure. We adjusted Henry's meds in hopes that that will help and we also put him on an anti seizure medication. We don't really know what the future will hold at this point. Will he keep having seizures? Will he have another hemorrhage? We were very lucky that his first hemorrhage happened in a part of the brain "that basically does nothing" to quote the neurologist. Had it happened in a different part of the brain or if it does happen in a different part of the brain we could have a very different outcome.
In the meantime, we are trying to make every day a great day for Henry. Just making him feel loved and happy.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
About 2 years ago, Cupid was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. We had taken her to the vet because she was eating like mad and losing quite a bit of weight.
The treatment plan was to put her on a special food with no iodine and that would get her thyroid under control. It seemed to work at first, but the biggest hurdle we faced was that Cupid hated the food.
It got to the point where she became desperate for any food other than her "special food". After Benny and Luna passed things got even worse because Henry would just let Cupid have his food. Benny and Luna would never allow no kitty cat to eat any pug food, but Henry was more than happy to oblige with the cat's wishes.
Not only was the cat ravished and cranky that she never got to eat yummy food, but her thyroid levels weren't really stable. There were times everything would be ok and she would start to gain some weight and then times she would drop weight fast.
The pot boiled over about a month ago, when Cupid started throwing about a few times a day and having diarrhea. We took her to the vet and they reluctantly recommended putting her on an easy to digest food that would help ease her tummy issues. However, while on this food, her thyroid would go untreated, so this was not a long term solution. More like a try this for a few days then we will switch back.
Cupid was thrilled to be on the different food. She was like a different cat. She was so much happier that we talked to the vet about alternative treatments for her hyperthyroidism. We knew our options from before, a pill that a lot of cats react negatively to (vomiting, stomach upset) and a radioactive treatment to be done at a specialists to zap her thyroid.
The zapping option seemed so scary to us when we heard about it a few years ago. Mainly because it was at a specialist we weren't familiar with and Cupid would have to stay there for about a week. We'll that option seems a little better now because the specialist that performs the treatment is SEVO and that is where Henry received his chemo treatments.
At Henry's last chemo treatment we talked to his Dr about Cupid's treatment and she gave us all the details. The pros and cons and stories about how other cats they have treated have fared.
We left feeling much better about our options and at the Dr's urging decided we would get a baseline blood test, start Cupid on the thyroid pill and then do another blood test after a month. Why all the blood tests? Well it turns out that the kidneys are the only organ that benefit from hyperthyroidism. With everything pumping so fast they actually benefit from the increased blood flow. So, some cats have kidney troubles once their thyroid is regulated and things stop pumping so fast.
Once her thyroid is zapped, there is no going back. However, you can easily take her off a pill. So Cupid is currently on the thyroid pills and in a few weeks we will check and see how her thyroid levels are doing and if her kidneys are holding strong with her thyroid being under control. From there we will decided if we keep her on the pill or if we zap her thyroid.
Long term I'm not sure how any of this is going to play out, but right now Cupid is happy. She is eating better food, she has stopped throwing up, her diarrhea is gone and she is putting on weight. For the first time in a while she is playing again! Check out this video of this happy girl in action!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I am very happy to report that Henry had a very good day yesterday. The morning got off to a rocky start with us worrying that he might be on the verge of throwing up, but we gave him some food and that seemed to help settle his stomach.
We are under strict orders from the vet that we need to feed Henry small and frequent meals. He went a good 10 days with almost no food so we can't just turn him loose and let him eat what he wants. This had proven more difficult than I thought it would be.
Henry has never been much of an eater. Even as a pup. Sure he had an appetite, but he never had the type of appetite typical of a pug. And he never had the appetite that Benny had. But today, Henry had the appetite of Benny and Luna combined. He was ravenous. We fed him a small meal about every 2-3 hours and he was ready to chow each time.
It was fantastic to see him ready to eat. Not just to see him eating after getting over pancreatitis, but to also see him happily eating since Benny and Luna passed. Without them, Henry has a bit lost in the food department. He always followed their lead and just ate when they ate. Today, he was his own pug, and told us, "I'm hungry!" I hope his appetite sticks around!
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