Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Last Saturday, after we were back from our evening walk and have had our dinner, Buddy suddenly started shaking. Just like one does when one is cold. It has been raining and the temperatures were down. But not enough to really make us shiver.Besides, we have had a particularly active walk, trying our best to get away from Daddy to chase two cats and a pack of strays. (But to no avail, sadly)
There was no way Buddy was shivering from cold. And that fact got us all very, very worried.
Mummy wrapped him in a shawl, just in case, and asked him what the matter was. He responded by licking her face but seemed a little confused about what was happening.
He had stopped shivering by now. It had lasted for just maybe some 30 seconds and then for a few more seconds, his head and ears kept twitching.
What was worrying Mummy was the thought that he might be having a petit-mal seizure.
Petit-mal seizure is a milder form of seizure where there may be twitching of focal groups of muscles. It makes you feel dazed and confused for some time and there maybe some changes in the size of the pupil. There may be a bit of limp and unsteadiness when you try to walk. Apart from that you seem fine. But the danger is that you can have major fits and have difficulty in breathing if the seizure activity continues.
Mummy instantly lowered the TV volume, dimmed some lights and sat down talking to him, watching him, trying to decipher what was wrong. His pupils were fine, he was breathing fine, was responsive and very much conscious but seemed confused. He also felt a little warm to touch, at least warmer than I was.
And then, he tried to get up and walk to the bedroom and he wobbled and we all realised he had developed a limp. That got Mummy and Daddy really worried.
Daddy tried to make him lie down but Buddy seemed very eager to go to bed and limped to the bedroom. Finally Daddy just picked him up and took him to the bed. All this while, I was watching him from a distance with rapt attention without as much as blinking an eye-lid.I knew something was wrong.
Mummy felt his legs. Had he injured a ligament somewhere? Is there something in his paws? He is, after all. always on his paws, always active, always ready to chase any and everything chase-worthy!
Yes, Buddy did winch when Daddy palpated his left front paw. The joint was fine, no dislocation. So probably he had injured a muscle or torn a ligament. That was much better than having a seizure, however mild the latter may be.
By now Buddy was sleeping peacefully, with me lying next to him to keep him warm and safe.
But Mummy was worried stiff.
Seizures were not very common, just about 4 in hundred dogs. But those statistics were true for episodes of grand-mal epilepsy. Petit mal seizures and such minor focal fits often go unnoticed and can be seen in many dogs following stress, trauma, food allergies or even without any inciting factor when it is called idiopathic. These can recur and the worst part is, there isn’t any test that can detect any abnormality because there isn’t one in most cases.
We are all just hoping Buddy hasn’t had an episode of petit-mal seizure induced by probably that injured ligament and the following pain. Let us just hope it was just the pain and fever that caused him to shiver.
He seemed better the following morning. he still had a mild fever, was still unsteady on his legs and kept lifting his front paw but seemed very eager to go out for his walk.
I took it upon myself to look out for him. It is usually he who chases the squirrels and cats and lizards, checks behind the large bushes and trees, often disappearing into the tall grass. I prefer to run alongside Daddy and keep to the road at most times unless something really interesting appears.
But that day, Buddy wasn’t inclined to pursue his usual activities with much vigour and I tried to keep his tradition going. Mummy and Daddy were rather surprised, but a girl has to look out for her brother when the need arises.
Even with his limited activity, Buddy was tired when he came back. It breaks our heart to see him so quiet and subdued, He is usually a large bundle of energy,so athletic and so very aware of his surroundings. Now he just wanted to lie down and watch the world, holding his favourite toy, unwilling even to come up to the table to smell the food.
It was so endearing that he still wanted his toy and wanted to cuddle up to Mummy and Daddy and me. He walked wobbly pawed to the toy basket, picked up his favourite toy and came sat down at Mummy’s feet under the table while she had her morning-tea.
He has been taking his medicines, eating well and doesn’t have a fever today. And his limp is much better. He even tried to chase a cat and stand up on his rear paws to scare away the lizard who lives on our living room wall.
But Mummy wouldn’t let him. she wouldn’t let me play with him too in case he injures his paw further. It makes me very sad because I do enjoy my daily bitey-face game with my brother.
But I want him to get well soon too. So, for now, I am just concentrating on being a good, gentle girl.
Hope he gets well soon. Mummy says she will take him to get a CT scan done to rule out any lesion in his brain, just in case that was a seizure. But that is after he is back to being his usual active self. It wouldn’t be good to expose him to unnecessary tests when he is already stressed about his paw.
I really don’t want anything to be wrong with him. He is such a good brother all the time, always so loving and indulgent (he lets me win all our games though he could easily over-power me) and really looks out for me.
Get well soon, Buddy. We love you.