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Lilly Setbacks: Meningoencephalitis, Vomiting, and Seizures

We were prepared to share moderate news (not worse, not better) about Lilly from Wednesday afternoon (and we will below), but a crushing early morning call brought a report that Lilly began having seizures overnight. Our neurologist called about 6:20 am with the news. He was en route to the hospital. While it wasn’t unexpected, we’re still devastated and worried 10 x more Thursday morning than we were Wednesday afternoon. Photos and video below from that visit. We won’t be able to see Lilly until about 1 pm today.

The ONLY plus is that this happened at the hospital, where Lilly gets 24-hour care. If she’d come home Thursday afternoon as we’d hoped and had her first seizure here, that would have been wildly scary for me. (I’ve never had a dog with seizures.)

Her cage is about 3 down from their main ER treatment area, so there were staff there to jump in and start medications to control the seizures right away. So far, she has had two … that we know of.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Lilly feeling really sick

Weds (2/1) After a short burst of energy when we arrived, Lilly sacked out in Tom’s lap for most of our visit.


best dog blog, champion of my heart, Lilly with her favorite dog toy

Weds (2/1) We brought her much-loved toy “lambie” for comfort.


best dog blog, champion of my heart, Lilly looking depressed

Weds (2/1) Unlike Tuesday when Lilly seemed befuddled but not daunted that she could not stand or walk … Lilly seemed to say @#$@# it. I can’t move. She looked VERY depressed to us and didn’t budge when we had to leave … as if she didn’t expect to be going home with us. It’s a good thing we kept the Ultimate Trail Pack … without the backpack part clipped on … the underlying harness is really helpful for supporting Lilly safely when she needs to move.

Lilly went in a bit of a hunger strike with the staff, after vomiting a couple of times over night (Tuesday into Wednesday). They say it isn’t from the chemo drug, but more just because her brain is so affected by the rampant inflammation that is meningoencephalitis. They asked us to try and hand feed her, and to drink a little more.

I’ve heard from others who’ve been through this that the chemo drug (cytoxan) is VERY hard on the bladder, so good hydration is key. Lilly is on IV fluids, but I’m always glad when she drinks even a little … because her warm / dry nose is too, too sad.

So, we try to get her to eat in this video from Wednesday (2/1) afternoon:


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.

FiveSibesMom - February 4, 2012

Just catching up on Lilly…she is in our thoughts, and so are you.

Barbara D. Brill - February 3, 2012

Roxanne and Tom,

My heart goes out to you over your deep concern for your darling Lily girl. Please know that we’re all keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

Best wishes to all of you.


Laurie Luck, KPA CTP - February 3, 2012

Oh Roxanne, I do hope Lilly improves. It’s a helpless feeling, isn’t it, to have one of our dogs sick? Sending you all good thoughts…

Bassetmomma - February 3, 2012

Lilly is in our prayers!

melF - February 3, 2012

Oh Roxanne. Seeing the video made me cry. Poor Lilly. I have been sending her healing light and prayers every day. Just makes me sad to think of her and about of you going through all of this.

Chris - February 2, 2012

We are so sorry to hear about Lilly’s illness and will keep her and you all in our thoughts that she improves.

Saoirse - February 2, 2012

I keep you all in my thoughts throughout the day. And love my Jasper all the more.

Hawk aka BrownDog - February 2, 2012

Hi Y’all,

Oh poor Lilly. I am so sad to see how she is suffering. My paws are still crossed for her and my Humans have promised to keep her and y’all, her humans in their prayers.


Samantha - February 2, 2012

She seems to really perk up when she realizes you’re going to feed her. Maybe it’s not that she has no appetite, but that she’s just so zonked out and doesn’t know what’s going on that she needs/wants you for support? Poor girl. The video is just too heartbreaking since the Lilly I know is the agile, fiesty girl.

Stella - February 2, 2012

Its wonderful to see her in her Dad’s arms and I am sure this helps her along with the hand feeding. Dogs just don’t know where the magic has gone when they get so sick, and the comfort of their family means everything to them.

Contined prayers and our very best wishes,

Stella, Zkhat and their Mom, Jo

Becky Wells - February 2, 2012

Having had a pup with a seizure disorder I know it can be scary. Hope it will go away when the swelling does! Love to Lily and hope you and Tom can keep your spirits up. Lily sure loves you and is doing her very best.

Janice in GA - February 2, 2012

I’ve had two dogs with seizure disorders. It’s really scary the first few times, and you NEVER get used to seeing them like that. You just learn to adapt.

So scary. Hang in there, Lily.

Pup Fan - February 2, 2012

I hope that she improves soon – you and Lilly are in my thoughts. ((hugs))

Susan - February 2, 2012

Keeping Lilly in our thoughts!

Maery Rose - February 2, 2012

That certainly did tug at the heart strings and remember similar times with ailing animals. You must be physically and emotionally exhausted. I hope you see more progress soon. My thoughts are with you.

Karen Friesecke - February 2, 2012

The no eating/drinking is really strange since you said that Lilly is on massive doses of steroids, it’s a major appetite/thirst stimulant. When Jersey was on steroids for summer allergies, I couldn’t keep her nose out of the water dish or the food dish.

Wishing the best for you and wishing a speedy recovery for the lovely Miss Lilly.

    Jana Rade - February 3, 2012

    It doesn’t sound very strange to me, Jasmine didn’t eat anything the entire week she spent in icu. She wouldn’t eat anything during any other of her hospitalizations, even when we brought her home-made food.

Angela - February 2, 2012

So sweet to see her eating for you! Keeping her and you in my thoughts.

Theresa - February 2, 2012

So sorry to hear of Lilly’s setback..Hang in there, things get worse before they get better..She will turn the corner very soon! You will look back at this terrible time with tremdous relieve to encourage others. All dogs should have owners like Lilly’s!

Caron - February 2, 2012

I’m so sorry she’s having seizures. I’m really hoping she’ll start to turn around soon. The medicines, especially seizure meds., will make her feel out of it for a while. When Zephyr couldn’t eat I puree’d some food and we put it in a big syringe with the tip cut off to squeeze in his mouth and he would swallow it. I’m really thinking of Lilly a lot and praying for her recovery. She is so sweet in the pictures.

Leslie - February 2, 2012

You and Lilly are still in our thoughts here. Sending all good vibes your way.

It is very difficult to see our pups so vulnerable and confused. Just know that you’re doing the best you can for her and, while she might not understand that right now, she will forgive the separation once she’s home again.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

Hilda - February 2, 2012

Hand feeding a sick or aged animal is one of the purest acts of love I can think of. I’m keeping all of you in my thoughts. HUGS!

Merr - February 2, 2012

Keep the updates coming, Rox. Love to Lilly, prayers. xo

Brette Sember - February 2, 2012

Continuing to keep Lily in my thoughts. So sorry to hear things are better as you hoped.

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