Thursday, December 18, 2014
Henry does not see very well. His vision during the day is one thing, but he really struggles at night. The biggest problem we have right now is that by the time we get home from work, it is pretty much already dark. Which makes his evening walks super challenging.
However, I think we have found a temporary solution. One of our favorite local parks always lights the trees that line the sidewalks. The decorative lights give off just enough light to help Henry be able to navigate things better. So the last few nights we have been driving to the park, then taking a small walk by the light of the Christmas lights. The best part is that this also gets Henry a little car ride!
When the holidays are over, we might also have a backup plan for lighting Henry's evening walks. We noticed that the field lights on the soccer fields light up not only the field, but a large portion of the sidewalk. So, I think we might become the biggest rec league fans and be at the fields to take Henry for a walk at every game.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Last weekend, Henry even wanted to get out and get some of his holiday shopping done. We made a trip to Petsmart so that he could pick out something nice for Cupid. After careful consideration, he decided to get Cupid a pack of mice (the kind that Benny loved to eat), some cat grass (something else that Benny liked to eat) and a few cans of special cat food (something that Henry himself would like to eat). Pretty thoughtful gifts if you ask me!
Monday, December 15, 2014
Christmas is really sneaking up on us this year. Luckily, Henry was feeling better this weekend and could supervise the tree trimming. For the most part, he kept us on track. Although, after a bit of work, he did insist on taking a snack break!
Friday, December 12, 2014
Cupid has always eaten at her own special spot in a little bar area in the kitchen. This has kept her food safe from the pugs and allows her to graze all day. However, as she has aged, getting up to her special little eating area has proven more challenging. We moved a chair over to assist her, but recently that has become too much for her. So, we bought her a small table and gave her a new setup in the kitchen. We even got her a step stool to assist in getting on the table.
And wouldn't you know that Cupid's new table is getting quite a bit of attention for hungry Henry. At first he would just stand next to the table and smell. But, now he is getting a tad braver and is using the step stool to get a better view. How long do you think it will be until he uses the step stool to get on the table and help himself to some kitty food?
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, December 4, 2014
Henry, just hanging out with Benny and Luna.