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Adverse Rabies Vaccine Reaction: The Year in Pictures, Part 4

After Lilly’s massive vaccine-induced brain inflammation relapse in August 2012, we began again to rebuild her strength and her life. This time, we added a chemo drug called cytarabine … in addition to all the other immune-suppressant and seizure drugs. Lilly gets 4 injections over 2 days every three weeks. She will have her 8th cycle of chemo this coming weekend. At this point, we suspect she may need these injections for the rest of her life — however long that is.

Before Lilly’s adverse vaccine reaction relapse in August 2012, her prognosis was good. Afterwards, it became unknown. We truly do not know if she will be OK long term, but for now, she is perhaps 85% of normal and happy.

August 25, 2012

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie face

Our veterinary neurologist gets sad when I use percentages. He thinks I’m a BRUTAL Olympic judge. I suspect he would say Lilly is more like 95%.

Either way, Lilly was very happy to be home from another week-long hospitalization. Here she sits in the evening sun.

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie sitting in the sun

September 8, 2012

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie face

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie sleeping flat

September 15, 2012

Lilly’s face still shows the ravages of her illness, but she most days she is content, if not outright happy.

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie face

September 22, 2012 (second chemo weekend)

Notice the muscle wasting in Lilly’s head from being on massive doses of steroids for so long. Parts of her body became quite boney. Other parts got blubbery since steroids cause muscles to waste away and fat to be stored.

Her new pot belly isn’t so much from fat (though, that’s part of it). Steroids cause the abdominal wall to weaken, so her belly pooches out now.

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie face

October 14, 2012 (third chemo weekend)

As we joked at the time, “Does this chemo make my nose look big?”

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie face

October 2012

Nom, nom, nom … pumpkin … goooood!

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie eating pumpkin

Thanksgiving Weekend 2012 (chemo weekend #4)

Crazy clouds at sunset made things look a little apocalyptic outside the veterinary hospital windows.

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie in front of crazy sunset

December 2012

We started walking again around Halloween — just 1/8 of a mile at first. Lilly can now walk 2 miles. It takes an hour to do 2 miles when we used to do 3 miles in the same time, but Lilly can do it. She likes to walk and sniff and be out of the house.

Her world has gotten quite small since she got sick. No dog training classes. Very little at-home agility training. No herding lessons. Very little time in public since her immune system is somewhat squashed.

As weather allows, then, we walk near our home.

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie wearing thundershirt

best dog blog champion of my heart border collie

Tomorrow, in our final Year in Pictures post, we’ll reflect on how far we’ve come in this unexpected and MOST unwelcome medical drama.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

MyKidsEatSquid - January 30, 2013

Sending hugs to you and Lilly too–what a year. You really can see a difference in her face.
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Donna Hull - January 29, 2013

I know that you can see the ravages to her body from chemo and the illness, but to me she looks like a happy dog. Hoping that somehow she overcomes the need for more shots and therapy.
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Heather - January 27, 2013

Lily is still a beauty and I don’t think she looks fat at all.
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Jeanine Barone - January 26, 2013

What a year. But she looks so cute. I’m glad she’s doing better. Wishing you both all the best.

Jane Boursaw - January 25, 2013

What a year you all have had. I know today was rough from your FB post, but much grace and health in the coming year.
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Alisa Bowman - January 25, 2013

Aw, she looks so happy in all the photos though. Such a beautiful girl.
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Living Large - January 25, 2013

I cannot believe it has been a year. I’m so glad Lilly is recovering.

Irene - January 25, 2013

What a beautiful love story~

Christinegl - January 25, 2013

Hang in there, dear Lily! It has been such a long journey for the two of you.

merr - January 24, 2013

What can I say? That girl is a beauty and a little love!

Sheryl - January 24, 2013

Lilly is a real trooper!
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Saoirse - January 24, 2013

I’ve been following all the way through. Thank you for the review. I take lessons for my own life from your experience. Thank you for that gift.

Alexandra - January 24, 2013

Thanks for posting this summary. I’m so glad Lilly is feeling better.

Brette - January 24, 2013

I’m glad she’s doing as well as she is. So good to her happy face in these pics!
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Pup Fan - January 24, 2013

It’s hard to believe that you have been on this journey a year now. Sending lots of hugs to you and Lilly.

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