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October 15, 2013

Hectic doesn’t begin to describe the last week or so. In addition to learning about Ginko’s scary heart problems, all kinds of things went wrong deep in the programming bowels of our blog site. Then, Saturday night, Lilly suddenly tanked.

Canine Brain Inflammation Surge

During the day Saturday (October 12), Lilly went from wobbly to really wobbly and weak to falling a lot … to barely being able to walk. Since she continues to battle 2 bladder infections, the wobbly wasn’t unexpected, but when the symptoms progressed so quickly, I knew something was wrong.

Springing into action, I did the following:

I gave Lilly an extra 1 mg dose of her steroid dexamethasone. She usually gets 1 mg in the morning only. I gave her an extra pill around 9:30 pm.

I emailed our veterinary neurologist, telling him I wanted to start giving her 2 mg of dex in the morning (for at least a week) and asking if I could give Lilly her cytarabine injections 2 days earlier than scheduled.

He emailed back at 11:30 pm, saying he agreed with BOTH ideas.

Having access to him like this likely saved us from an Emergency Room visit and likely an expensive hospitalization.

The overnight and Sunday were rough going with several very messy diapers, requiring major clean-up. Seriously yucky!

Lilly slept most of the day Sunday and needed our help to walk, using her harness with the suitcase handle.

Sunday 10-13-13 b

Monday, Lilly looked a tiny bit better. She still fell down a good bit and slept a lot, but she looked better … definitely NOT worse, which is all you can hope for sometimes in a neurology case.

Monday 10-14-13 a

We’ve had more cold and snow Monday and Tuesday this week, so Lilly spent part of Tuesday morning under a blanket in front of the fire — cuddling with her Daddy — while I did an early morning phone interview for an article I’m writing this month.

Her snout looks shiny because it’s going bald.

Tues 10-15-13

I’d like to point out that being able to do Lilly’s cytarabine injections myself at home saved us in this situation. Otherwise, we would have been scrambling to get someone from our veterinary neurology team into the veterinary hospital on a Sunday, and I would have been driving up and down the mountain 4 times in the snow to get her injections done Sunday and Monday.

So, yay!

We won’t know if we jumped on this relapse fast enough or not until the next weekend, when Lilly’s cytarabine reaches full effect.

Other News

Bladder Wars News: Lilly goes in Friday (October 18) for another urine culture to see if we’ve beaten the infections fully yet.

LIVE Web Event Cancelled! The planned Sunday, October 20, LIVE web event has been cancelled due to lack of interest. Only one person asked to attend, and it was someone we know in real life. Completely humbling and embarrassing, so we won’t try that again. Maybe instead, we’ll field questions and put the answers into video clips that people can watch any time.

So, to celebrate the 9th anniversary of Lilly’s adoption, we’ll soon publish a guest post from the adoption counselor who approved us as Lilly’s new family back in 2004. Look for that later this week.

Snow flurries continue here on Lilly’s mountain (4:45 pm or so on Tuesday), so we’ll sign off for now to start thinking about dinner and a full night of snuggling.





About the Author 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.

  1. I agree with Jane and Susan and Wrigs above. I, too, have read all of your posts, but am also “shy” when it comes to commenting. My heart goes out to you, your family and Lily. I really do not think that the lack of participation was due to a lack of interest.
    ~Melinda from Texas

  2. Hi Roxanne,
    I just discovered your site last Friday and read it non-stop all weekend. I laughed, I cried, and cried and cried. This is the second time I’ve wanted to give you a hug since you cancelled the Live chat. For myself, I was excited to follow it, but don’t have the equipment necessary to participate, no microphone, camera, speakers. but mostly I’m SHY. You’re so comfortable putting yourself out there everyday, I think you’ve forgotten how many more of us there are on the internet (private, shy types who wear our anonymity like body armor) than there are of you (brave and beautiful types, boldly living out loud). It’s difficult for me to even write this comment. Who knows what will happen now that my first name can be matched to an email address:? I jest. But I do struggle to share my feelings and I frequently choose the wrong words
    leading others to misunderstand what was meant as good intentions. So, in case I have inadvertently offended anywhere above, please know that I admire and respect you and I sincerely hope that you will be able to accept the lack of chat participation simply for what it is. Most people on the internet want to be invisible. Don’t let our fear of participation make you doubt yourself. Ever.

  3. Roxanne, you and Lilly are my heroes! You take each crisis in stride and just do what has to be done. I know this takes a huge toll on you, and you must be in a constant state of physical and mental exhaustion. Lilly just soldiers on–such a little trouper. You are both amazing. Will be looking for good news on both the brain inflammation and the urinary tract infections. I’m very glad to hear Lilly is no worse and possibly a little better. I also hope that sweet Ginko responds well to his heart medication.

    BTW, we love you and Lilly, but felt a little awkward about the video conference “venue.” Afraid to try something new, I guess.

    Susan (and Wrigs)

  4. Our hearts go out to you and your girl Lily. I think of you every time my dogs have to go in for their rabies booster.

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