Jun 22, 2015

Carmeh, the ups & the downs

Carmeh had her back incident four weeks ago today.  One of us has been with her since then other than a few hours in Winnipeg.  We have done all we can from giving her the various meds, to icing her back and to finally turning our home into a huge dog pen.  Slowly she has regained movement or her hind quarters although still shaky and she can’t walk totally straight, more of a slight sideways walk.  She still falters and loses her balance.  More good then bad.

Last Tuesday was took her to our vet for acupunture.

Last Tuesday was took her to our vet for acupuncture.

She was very good and did not squirm at all.  Of course she has decrease sensation in her back half.

She was very good and did not squirm at all. Of course she has decreased sensation in her back half.

IT wasn't too long before she just had to lay on her side.  Her legs even with Colin's support could not hold her up.

It wasn’t too long before she just had to lay on her side. Her legs even with Colin’s support could not hold her up.  The needles stayed in for a good 15-20 minutes. She even had needles in her paws but they are a light blue color and don’t show up.  Cost per session is $95.00 and it is suggested it be done every 7 – 10 days.

Once we got back home, Carmeh slept all day and evening and seemed even weaker.  However by late afternoon the next day she was much more active and even tried to chase her tail.  So it seems that the acupuncture helped.  She was steadier on her feet and had some good playing sessions with her toys.

While at the vet’s last Monday we also had her blood checked.  I have noticed her increased drinking of water and always wanting more food just after she ate. I was concerned.  The blood work came back late last Wednesday.  Not such great news.  She has strong signs of Cushing’s Disease with her ALP sky high at 667.  Her last blood work 14 months ago showed her ALP at 296 which was an elevation back then but not off the charts like it is now!  Her blood work also showed slightly elevated liver enzymes as well as a severely decreased white blood count which doesn’t fit the picture at all.  Needless to say we were crushed.  The vet told us that she would not treat Carmeh for Cushing’s as the side effects of the meds would not be good for her with her back issues.  By the way this is also a human disease.

She did however suggest that we do one more test for Cushing’s called dexamethasone suppression.  Carmeh would be injected with a cortisone type hormone and then a series of three blood tests would be done every 4 hours.  The results will first confirm the disease and then more specifically if the tumor is in her brain or in her adrenals.  The only benefit of the test is in how to treat her for her back issues.  For instance the use of Prednisone which is common in the treatment of these type of back issues would be contraindicated.  Thank goodness we are using Metacam.  We finally decided that we would test her, only to know what type of tumor she has and just to know.  That test is going to be done tomorrow.

Caeli has been so good just hanging with Carmeh.

Caeli has been so good just hanging with Carmeh.

That was supposed to be my “the end” shot but sadly more has happened.  I took Saturday afternoon off and Colin offered to walk/stroller the girls on his own before dinner while I just sat with my very good book and a glass of Pinot Grigio.  As I was reading I heard thunder and realized a storm had suddenly blown in.  Big fat drops of rain were falling with increasing speed.  Boom, boom, boom!  My regular readers know that Carmeh is terrified of thunder.  I quickly jumped in the car and tried to find Colin and the girls.  I had a pretty good idea of where they would be walking but the route was not car friendly.  Finally on my 3rd attempt I saw them.  Just as another loud clap of thunder erupted, Carmeh simply jumped out of the stroller.  She had to get away.  I pulled up and picked her up in my arms.  Colin threw Caeli into the car who is now picking up on Carmeh’s phobia and becoming frightened when she hears thunder.  In went the stroller and in came Colin.  Home we went and within 5 minutes the storm had passed.  Once she stopped shaking Carmeh seemed fine.  She was able to stand and walk and ate her dinner with no problem.  She seemed just fine yesterday.

However today she is not normal.  Colin worked 11 hours Sunday and again today he was gone early.  Carmeh is Colin’s girl and she misses him so much when he is away.  Plus this morning Caeli went out for a ‘play date’ with neighbors.  She is being neglected and indicated she wanted to go visiting which was fine by me.  It was after a visit from UPS late morning that Carmeh started to act strange.  She came to me at my desk with her tail tucked right under her belly and was shaking like a leaf, even more so.  She wanted to be held which I did for a long while but every time I put her down she just stood and shook with that tail tucked under and up.  Finally I gave her Tramadol as I suspected she was in pain.

After an hour of holding her I had to put her down to go to the bathroom.  I came back to find her up on this chair.  It used to be part of my Victorian sitting room when we had our 5000 sq ft home way back when.

After an hour of holding her I had to put her down to go to the bathroom. I came back to find her up on this chair. It used to be part of my Victorian sitting room when we had our 5000 sq ft home way back when.

We kept this chair for sentimental reasons, it is a low chair that the ladies would sit on to button up their shoes in the days of past.  Carmeh never goes to this back corner of the house and has never ever jumped up on this chair.  Why did she today?  Is was obvious to me that she is upset about something.  That poor tail of her’s just kept being tucked in.  She seemed able to walk slowly but would just go a few steps and then stop and stare and not move.  She just wanted to be held.  Colin finally came home and spent some time with her but he did have to work at his computer.  Carmeh would not settle nor sleep.

I felt a definite hot spot on her spine which I didn’t feel yesterday.  She was suffering.  I did call the vet but like me it is a guessing game.  She did jump down on Saturday from the stroller and up today to the chair.  We are doing the best we can.  The vet said to just give her more Tramadol if I felt she needed it.  Now she is able to go down the ramps but chooses not to go up the ramp.   My back is already sore from all the lifting I have been doing.  So far Colin has been able to carry her up the steps from the grass when she does her business.  I fear I won’t be able to when he is at work, plus I am frightened to try as I don’t want to fall and injure either Carmeh or myself.

So there you have it, lots of ups and now lots of downs.  Fortunately we will be at vet 3 times tomorrow so we will have some support.  I have no idea when we will get the results of the blood work but does it even really matter 😥

The rainbow after the storm last Saturday when she jumped out of the stroller.

The rainbow after the storm last Saturday when she jumped out of the stroller.

A bit of good news, she just used the ramp up to the bed…….

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22 responses so far

22 Responses to “Carmeh, the ups & the downs”

  1. Kathie says:

    Sending you all very positive thoughts. Always so heartbreaking when a puppy is in pain.

  2. Contessa says:

    Thank you! I just gave her another Tramadol for pain and a Robaxin. Colin said that she went up that ramp to the bed very very slowly. I am trying to get her to go to sleep.

  3. Sharon says:

    I hurt for you as you go through this. Our little Fancy also suffered with back issues. You feel so helpless and don’t know what to do. When Fancy tucked her tail between her legs we just thought it had to do with her spine problem. Knowing what the tests reveal may help with what the Vet prescribes. Don’t give up hope just love her and let her know you’re there for her. I’m sure she is very confused about what’s happening to her body. I think if you are calm about it, she will be also. My thoughts are with you. Sharon

    • Contessa says:

      Thanks Sharon, you are right, I believe that she is confused with what is happening to her body. One day she is okay and the next she is in pain. It is so sad to see her suffering.

  4. Sandie says:

    Oh my heart breaks for all of you. When Scooter is in pain with her back, she always acts really strange. In fact she tries to climb up onto my head. I think you had a major set back with the storm and jumping out of the stroller. She needs time to recover from that. I hope the tests give you some answers. It’s been six months since Scooter’s back went out and she still walks a little side ways especially if she’s tired. Her back legs also shake sometimes when she stands.

    • Contessa says:

      I realize that she will never be normal again but just hope that we have more quality time with her. So happy that Scooter is doing so well.

  5. Shelagh says:

    My mumsie said to me once at a super difficult time, ” In your heart of heart you know the right thing to do” she was correct and I made the most difficult decision, it hurt like hell but there comes a time that it is necessary. I hope you are not there but if you are dogs, cats do not measure how long they have been with us they only measure love. Love and devotion they have had in abundance.

    • Contessa says:

      Shelagh you are always so wise with your advice. Yes we know that we will come to a time when we have to make a decision but we aren’t there yet, at least I hope not. Things are changing day by day right now.

  6. Poor Carmeh! It’s not fun when they start to get old, I remember the things we did for Whiskey in those last couple of years. Hope that she will start to perk up again.


    • Contessa says:

      I think we all do what we can for our pets. I only wish that they could talk, wouldn’t that be great? It is so hard looking into her big brown eyes and try to understand what she needs. The vet this morning says that her spine is very inflamed again. All we can do right now is take it one day at a time. Sadly Colin is off to work and she stresses when he is gone.

  7. Dodie from N. Phoenix says:

    I so feel for you as I have gone through pretty much all of your problems in the last three months. For me I’m not worried about the Cushing’s disease for my 14 yr.old pup. if he has a brain tumor she wouldn’t operate but we would know…just doesn’t matter. I don’t want to know. Went through bad back problems about 2 years ago, very touch and go but I carried PJ out to the yard for 6 to 8 weeks ( killed my back ) but he recovered (and so did I, lol) and the surgeon said that was great ( never had to operate). I understand that vets won’t treat Cushing’s Disease without a definitive diagnosis. Our PJ is back on Valley fever meds as he has had that in the past and now is much more active. I just don’t understand the low white count either for your gal.
    My sweet boy Bobby(more dog than cat) had kidney disease and thanks to my vet we had 3 more months of quality time with him and I realized that each day was a blessing and things wouldnt get better but his life was good…..until it wasn’t. I knew it was time 2 weeks ago…but for the last 3 months I seemed to be able to handle it…you never do really handle it …all in all , just take it one day at a time and enjoy her and you just never know what might happen. She could rebound just fine, the acupuncture is wonderful, know you are doing everything possible. You might consider a rear cart for her if it ever comes to that ,our sweet dogs are way more adaptive than we are. I know this is very rambling. just understand I can feel your daily ups, downs and anxiety every moment of every day.


    • Contessa says:

      Thank you for your thoughts Dodie, I really appreciate them. We need to know about the Cushing’s as it will make a difference in how we treat her back. Cortisone may help her more that the Metacam is but we can’t give it if she has Cushing’s. We have no intention of treating the Cushing’s at all.

      Sorry about your Bobby, yes one does know when it is time. We don’t want her to suffer. She is now back on full meds and we will just take it day by day. We plan to do another acupuncture treatment in the next few days. I appreciate you support.

  8. Let hope things will keep improving for Carmeh a few prayers and positive thoughts too.

  9. Poor thing – she still keeps going though. Obviously she is loved, that plus what you are doing is all that you can do.

    • Contessa says:

      Yes she does just keep on going and will to the end. Thanks for your support. Welcome home from your vacation.

  10. Teri says:

    Sometimes I don’t even have the correct words to say, but I am thinking of you all. We love these little four legged kids so much, and yours have an amazing home. I hope that she has some good days soon, that she just feels better. I’m sending gentle hugs.

  11. Dolores tanner says:

    Thinking of you and wish you well. You are doing the very best you can. We love them so.

  12. Colleen says:

    I have been out of touch with no cell or Internet for close to a week. Hugs and prayers for Carmeh and all of you. Willy, Harley, and Gretchen said to tell her to hang in there. Hope things improve soon.

    • contessa says:

      Thank you Colleen and fur babies. Carmeh loves boys so I we be sure she gets the message. Things are a tad better today, late Wednesday them 48 hours ago.

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