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Lilly Update from Friday, Feb 3, 2012

A massive snowstorm kept us pinned on the mountain Friday. We had about 20 inches of snow when we awoke, and the local weather folks are saying we might get another 20 inches of snow before this storm is over Saturday morning. As much as it broke my heart, we did not risk making the drive down the canyon and over to the veterinary hospital. So, this update comes from phone chats with her neurology team. Not great news.

More Seizures

I’m bummed to report that Lilly had another seizure after our visit on Thursday. That makes a total of FOUR seizures in one day (really about 12 hours).

I’m even more bummed to tell you that Lilly had TWO more seizures this afternoon that the staff described as “short, but violent.”

Our neurologist doesn’t want Lilly to come home UNTIL she goes at least 24 hours without a seizure.

Lilly is now taking THREE drugs for seizures.

Other Vital Health Stats

NO fever. I’m happy to report that Lilly’s fever is gone for real. They keep a close eye on her temperature during seizure activity because dogs can easily overheat (dangerously so), but her temperature has been steady. So, that’s good.

Lost weight. Lilly has dropped 1.5 pounds. Oddly, she isn’t eating well for the hospital team … even though steroids typically make dogs quite hungry.

Snow happy. The neurology nurse told us that Lilly was VERY excited to see the snow Friday morning. So, that’s nice for a couple reasons:

  • It means she got to go outside to potty at least once.
  • She was aware enough to enjoy the brisk air and snow.

Bath / Massage. The nurse was also kind enough to give Lilly a good bath and massage because she was getting yucky and smelly after 5 days in a cage, often having to potty right there.

Coming Home Preparations

I washed our two round dog bed covers. They are green, so we call them “Lilly pads.” Then, I wrapped the actual beds in a trash bags and put them back in the covers. That way, if Lilly loses bladder control either in general or due to a seizure, I can just wash the cover and protect the bed.

I also dug out the box of puppy pee pads we had left over after our Dalmatian Penelope Grace died in 2004 so that we have some to put under Lilly, if she is messy.

We’ll need to figure out something (sturdy and washable) that we can use in bed at night because I’m sure we’ll have Lilly sleep with us for a long time as she recovers, and I don’t won’t to be doing massive loads of bed laundry every day.

Hope Amid the Worry

Lily is facing a LONG recovery. This isn’t something Lilly will bounce back from in just a few days. These seizures might be a lifelong risk, if there has been permanent damage to her brain.

This whole experience has been 10 x worse than any other emergency we’ve had with Lilly over the years. Devastated doesn’t even begin to convey how we feel that our perfect-perfect-perfect girl could take such a horrible turn with her health like this. 

We try to stay strong, even though our reserves are low after 3+ years of medical and caretaking dramas throughout our families. Let’s just say … there is a LOT of crying going on … pretty much every day and every night.

Thanks to everyone who has posted notes on the blog, emailed us, posted comments on our Champion of My Heart Facebook Fan Page, etc.

It means so much to have your love and support.



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.

Max - February 14, 2012

Hi Roxanne, I’m really sorry to hear this, wish Lilly all the best. You should know that we are with you 😉 Hope everything turns out OK.

Max - February 14, 2012

Hi Roxanne, I really sorry to hear this, wish Lilly all th best and you should know we are with you 😉 Hope everything turns out OK.

Eva Harris - February 4, 2012

have not written before but I have been with you and Lilly all the way. I wish you all good luck and less tears. I just lost and old lady dog a few days ago and am still crying.

May Lilly have a full albeit slow recovery and roll around making new snow angels!

melF - February 4, 2012

Oh Roxanne. It just breaks my heart to think about all you guys have been through and now this. I am so, so sorry for you,, for Tom and Ginko and little Miss Lilly. Seeing your dog suffer like this is such agony.
I keep her in my thoughts and prayers and hope for a bigger and better recovery than anyone expects. Please know that we are all with you and hoping for the best.

Janice in GA - February 4, 2012

I’m glad the fever’s gone.

We kept Breyer’s vanilla ice cream in the freezer to give our Sasha after her seizures. We’d put a little honey and Rescue Remedy on it, partly to cool her down, and partly to calm her. She’d be very agitated for a while in the post-ictal phase. I think it helped her a bit.

Sam - February 4, 2012

We are thinking of you. I know they do sell plastic mattress covers which are inexpensive. If not, try painters tarps (not the blue kind, the clear kind). You can use tape to form a mattress cover and put it under your cloth cover.


Jana Rade - February 3, 2012

PS: you might also want to cover up any potentially slippery surfaces (e.g. hardwood); those were a real problem for Jasmine after her horror. We got a bunch of cheap rugs and plastered the entire floor with them. I tell you that if there was a couple inches of bare floor she was able to find it and slip on it (as her muscles weren’t strong enough for that kind of stuff)

Also potentially do some “child-proofing” so there is nowhere to fall off (apart from the bed which I commented on earlier)

Jana Rade - February 3, 2012

Hi Roxanne, I know how heartbreaking and draining this is. Jasmine needed a whole month to recover. So sorry that her seizures are stubornly coming back.

No fever is certainly good news! And so is her getting excited about the snow!

There seem to be some mattress protector products out there, designed for kids or seniors, something like that might work.
Here is an example:

One thing I would worry about is the elevation of the bed combined with a potential seizure, or even impaired coordination and mobility. If you knew me closely you’d no I’m a safety freak. The potential of additional injury would increase though.

I also fully understand you want her cradled with you, my suggestions would be
– depending on how your bed is place, if there is one side against the wall (or can be moved that way), having Lilly sleeping between you and the wall so there is nowhere to fall
– think about some kind of temporary “siding/railing” so she couldn’t fall
– what we did we all slept with Jasmine in the kitchen floor where her bed was.


Caron - February 3, 2012

I’m so sorry. I know how scared and devastated you are feeling, and it’s horrible. That’s exactly how I was. Try to take care of yourself now too, I know that’s hard. I think she can pull out of it. Zephyr had 6 bad seizures in 24 hours, they had a hard time stopping them. They had to put him in a drug induced coma. At one point I told him he could go if the fight was too hard. 🙁 But, it’s true, try to stay positive for her, she knows how much you love her. I made myself stay positive, in between crying. 🙂 He was blind and could barely lift his head, couldn’t walk, for about 2.5 days. This is when I didn’t know if he’d make it. The dog, Sara, I mentioned was in the same condition. They had me bring my other dog to help motivate him. I’ll never forget them holding him up in the harness and me and Astro running in front of him, everyone encouraging him, yelling and clapping, and him moving his legs through air trying to walk as they moved him above the grass. 🙂 It’s great that she got excited about the snow! I really hope, and think, Lilly can recover from this. Zephyr was in the hospital a week. As he came around sometimes he got frustrated and upset. When he came home he could stand and walk but was very wobbly, had to have lots of help, and still had neurological symptoms. I’d never had anything like it happen to one of my pets either. I don’t know what caused it for Zephyr. I hope you’re able to get through the snow and see her tomorrow. We are really pulling for her. Zephyr sends love and licks to Lilly.

Carol Bryant - February 3, 2012

I wish I could do something of comfort. I am so very curious to know what is the cause and if that is determined; I have always been vaccine leery and now even more so. Thinking of you all. “Lilly” pads made me smile.

Saoirse - February 3, 2012

I send prayers frequently and I’ve engaged every resource I have to do the same. I know that you and Tom are the strongest couple I know, and your resources for coping are beyond what anyone else could imagine. I love my boy Jasper all the more for knowing how your hearts must be aching. I wish for you all that you need in this time of trial.

Merr - February 3, 2012

Thinking of you and Miss Lilly. When you mentioned something to have in bed, I believe they have these bed-type things for babies who sleep in the parents’ bed. It protects the baby should parents fall asleep (from accidental rollovers onto baby). As I recall, it has kind of little sides, and is a bit flexible. Not sure if this exact thing would work for Lilly, but I bet it will give you some ideas as to what you could fashion that might. I will find the link and email to you, so you can see what it looks like.

kb - February 3, 2012

Thanks for giving us this update. I’m sure that you’re feeling totally devastated – as you know, I can relate. I’m thinking of you all the time, hoping that the seizures stop and Lily can come home to her low-stress environment to really start getting strong again.

Our hearts are with you.

Sharon - February 3, 2012

For under at night, If you go to a drug store you can get pads that they use in the hospitals. They can be washed and work well, we have used them for this before. Keeping our puppy paws crossed and saying prayers.

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