Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rugby ~ Our Seizure Dog

Warning, super long post ahead. I just need to talk about my dog.

IMG_8425 Rugby & K.D. his best buddy

No, I’m not talking about the cool kind of seizure dog that can tell when someone is going to have a seizure. I’m talking about our dog that has seizures. Rugby needs a seizure dog.

A couple years ago we had some issues at our house believing someone had broken in and our neighbor caught a graduated teen lurking between our houses in the wee hours of the morning.

So, my estranged husband surprised us with a puppy on my daughter’s birthday. Rugby is a Border Collie mix, a farm dog. He was the scaredest (yes, that’s a word today) puppy I’d ever met. He was terrified of me taking his picture. LOL If I raised my voice, he would run to his kennel.

But he was amazing at fetch. He instantly knew the boundries of our yard and where to do his “business”. He’d come immediately when I called. Never has growled at my kids for taking his toy right out of his mouth.

Rugby was nearing 2 yrs old this past May when my youngest son came down to my bedroom Sunday morning before church telling me Rugby was growling at him. What? Not even possible.

So, I went to check him out and he was freaky looking! He was all glossy eyed and slobbering. I knew he couldn’t see me and he was growling. Doodle was so scared I sent him to his room and told him to shut the door. From the crazed look on Rugby’s face I figured he had rabies. Think Cujo!

I started doing research online immediately and realized he’d had a seizure. It finally started happening so often he had to get on meds. He now takes Phenobarbital 2x a day.

I can not tell you how easy this dog is to give medicine. I’ve never seen anything like it. All I do is call him. He comes right to me, sits down and I pop the pill in. It’s crazy easy. There’s no holding his mouth shut. No rubbing his throat to swallow. Pop them in and walk away.

Well, this morning at 5am was THE. WORST.

He did what I call his “seizure scream”. I can’t even begin to describe it. Imagine a dog who has just been run over by a car. NOT KIDDING. It’s terrifying when you’re sleeping.

IMG_1892 I immediately started talking to him, letting him know I was there, throwing the cats and the blankets off me to get to the light switch. All the while he’s kicking and shaking and chomping. Oh, and peeing. Always peeing and sticky slobbering. He came out of the seizure…almost…when he started seizing again. I just talk to him through the ordeal and pet his hind quarters. WARNING: Never put your hands near a seizing animals mouth. They chomp uncontrollably and could possibly bite off a finger. Again, not kidding.

Well, he finished that seizure so I started the clean up. After his seizures Rugby wanders around aimlessly often times bumping into things and tripping over stuff. I can’t contain him. So he wanders around and lays down by me.

All of a sudden he goes into another seizure. I run to close my door because I don’t want him to wake the boys. His screaming was so loud this time. I don’t know if it’s because I closed the door in my room, the smell, or what, but I felt so sick to my stomach. Watching the dog I love suffer like this is overwhelming.

He had a double seizure again. It was terrible. I ran upstairs to get valium. No, not for me (don’t I wish), for the dog. It’s supposed to relax him so it reduces his chances of having another one.

I wasn’t able to go back to sleep because of having to clean up again. Then my adrenaline was so pumping my brain wouldn’t shut off.

We headed off in the morning knowing I had no choice but to go to work. I called the vet to let her know what was going on. We have been tracking his seizures to have an idea about raising his meds. At this point he has room for upping the dosage.

jake and rugby My oldest son got home before I did and he said NOT to go in the front door because Rugby had pooped all over. I was guessing from having seizures during the day. When I got home I guessed he just had a yuck tummy because of how the “business” was all over instead of in a single location.

Unfortunately, his seizures weren’t done for the day. Right before the boys’ bedtime he had another one. Because he did it in his kennel his bodily functions soaked into his fur. Sigh…that means he needs a bath. The stench from seizure urine is really intolerable. It wafts through the entire house.

As soon as Rugby finished his seizure I popped another valium into him and gave him his meds. He has been wandering around the house like a druggie.

It’s a very sad thing to watch. I know we can only go so “high” with his meds and then have to make some tough decisions. He’s only 2 1/2 yrs old. Still just a pup in my eyes. He’s a cool dog, when he’s not eating books, items on my knick-knack shelf, or boys toys. He’s my doggie and I won’t be happy when that day comes.

Thanks for letting me get this out! Sorry it was so long!


Mimi said...

My mom had a seizure dog and it was heartbreaking. He took pheno 3 times a day and finally it stopped working for him.

He lived to be about 10 before that happened, though.

I'll add poor Rugby to my prayers & Oskar is sending him pawsitive energy!

Hugs & love,

Unknown said...

So sad - glad he has an owner that knows how to take care of him.

Wining Mommies said...

So sad. I have two dogs of my own, so I know how attached you get to them. Sending positive thoughts your way.

Anonymous said...

I use to work at a specialty animal hospital in the surgery and neuro department. We saw LOTS of seizure cases.

Honestly, on a day like he had, he should be taken to the vet for monitoring. I know it's costly, but your vet would be able to have a better understanding of whats going on. PLUS, with seizures like that happening so often, he could eventually not come out of it... and that would be awful it happened when nobody was home.

I'll keep the little guy in my prayers.

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