We were a bit apprehensive because we tried hydrotherapy about 6 months ago and Cory was extremely stressed out by it. But yesterday’s session was just awesome. We were instructed to leave for session, which was about 40 minutes. We came back at the appointed time to find Cory in the arms of the owner/therapist, in the heated pool, with his eyes closed and his body completely relaxed. He was getting a massage and obviously enjoying it very much. I spoke softly to the therapist and Cory did not even open his eyes at the sound of my voice. He got out of the pool reluctantly, and didn’t make a sound the whole ride home. I have never seen him that mellow except for when he was on pain medication. We have sessions scheduled once a week now through the end of July. Although it’s too early yet to see any direct benefit of the hydrotherapy on Cory’s body, I have every expectation that it will do him a lot of good. Thanks for your words of encouragement for Cory’s continued recovery!
Yesterday marked the 4th week since Cory’s surgery. Over these past 4 weeks I have taken him for “little” walks which have not amounted to more than about 50 steps beyond the top of our driveway, just to keep his muscles moving. But on Sunday Cory and I went for our first real walk through the neighborhood, probably about a mile. Cory did very well! He did not lose his balance even once. Although he still walks on his hind knuckles occasionally, that has improved. The vet’s assistant says that the knuckle walking is the last thing to go on the road to recovery from this kind of operation, so we are not concerned about it. Cory drew a crowd of wide-eyed children on our walk, who were fascinated with his shaved back and healing scar. I let them touch the scar and rub the peach-fuzz that is growing back. Cory loved the attention, and the kids loved the experience. We start Cory in hydro-therapy tomorrow afternoon, and are looking forward to his further recovery!
Periods of abnormal electrical activity in your dog’s brain will trigger a seizure. There are different types of dog seizures. They include petit mal, grand mal, staus epilepticus, and cluster. Let’s take a look at these types of dog seizures.
The first type of seizure is the petit mal. They cause little uncontrolled movement. Your dog will simply have a blank look on his face. Some dogs blink will suffering a petit mal seizure.
Grand mal dog seizures are a bit more serious. Most dogs stiffen their muscles and lie down on their sides with their legs out. This usually progresses into jerking movements with the limbs and chomping their jaws. These dog seizures can also cause uncontrolled urination, salivation, and bowel movements. After the episode is over, he will likely be disoriented for a short time.
Cluster seizures are even more serious as they can be life-threatening. Cluster refers to the fact that multiple seizures occur within hours of each other. You dog will suffer another one before he has had adequate time to recover from the previous one.
Like the cluster variety, status epilepticus refers to multiple seizures within a short time frame. The difference is that they never stop, but occur as one continuous episode. This condition is an extreme emergency and requires veterinarian assistance quickly.
These are some of the different types of dog seizures. The petit variety only cause blank stares, while their grand mal cousins cause uncontrolled movements and loss of bodily functions. Cluster dog seizures are life-threatening as multiple episodes occur within a short period of time.
It can be a difficult experience to watch your dog have a seizure. Make sure you stop by dog-illnesses.com to learn about other dog illnesses that can affect your pet. So stop by today to read all about conditions such as canine kidney disease.
I recently got done sorting each blog post thus far into appropriate categories. Since Cory’s story is all about canine epilepsy (and more recently, cauda equina syndrome), I wanted to make this blog an easy resource for anyone else who has dogs suffering from either affliction. There are two new navigation buttons at the top which allow you to filter blog posts by cauda equina, or dog seizures. I will be adding new content to each of these categories regularly with the hopes of this blog becoming not only a way to update you all on Cory’s condition and the progress of the book Sandy is writing, but also a valuable resource for all dog owners.
I visited home this weekend and was delighted to see Cory. I can tell that he has made progress, and I took a video to show you all his condition so you can see for yourself. I will post the video very soon =)
Cory was depressed and even hesitated for a few moments before deciding to eat his chow Wednesday morning and so I decided to see if St. John’s Wort could help. I bought it in pill form, 300 mgs per pill. I gave him his first pill with his Wednesday evening meal, and within 30 minutes I could see that he had his sparkle back. He brought a toy to me and wanted to play. Since then, I have been giving him one pill in the morning and one in the evening, and to my delight it is continuing to help him. When I got home last night I took him outside to walk around in our yard. He was slow but willing, bless his heart. I have a call in to the lady that runs the hydrotherapy spa to request that if she gets any cancellations between now and April 29th, (Cory’s first scheduled session), to call me so I can get him in sooner. I am concerned because he doesn’t seem to move about during the day (when we are at work), and his hind-end muscles are getting weak to the point of shaking while he is standing. A heartfelt thank you to all of Cory’s fans for your prayers and good wishes! I have made a commitment to myself (and to you!) to get the writing part of the book done by the end of this month, so as to get it to the people who have so graciously agreed to read and edit it by the first part of May.
Hi everyone! I spoke with Sandy today, who told me that Cory got his stitches out yesterday, but that he’s having some unusual symptoms which may or may not be related to the surgery. She said that he wasn’t very excited about breakfast this morning, and even thought about it for a while before actually eating. This is very unlike Cory. Fortunately, once he decided to eat, he gobbled it up just like always.
She described his mood thereafter as somber and seemingly wanting to be left alone. He has been napping in the guest bedroom recently, which is rare for him, considering that he usually loves to be wherever everyone else is. I suggested that his brain chemistry may be a little off (he may be feeling symptoms of depression) due to all the stress he’s been going through, so I wondered aloud if there is a “happy pill” for dogs.
A light bulb went on in Sandy’s head and she went to the store and bought some St. John’s Wort, which purportedly is best known for it’s antianxiety effects, but can also be used as a pain reliever in conditions such as intervertebral disk disease. We’ll do a test run with it and keep you all informed on whether or not it works.
Now, just for fun, here are some more pictures from Cory’s glory days =)
Since I don’t live at home with Cory, I rely on updates from Jay and Sandy for how he’s doing post-surgery. Sandy told me that she has begun taking Cory on mini-walks to help strengthen the muscles in his hind end. She sounded absolutely thrilled over the phone as she explained to me how she took Cory up a rather steep hill and back down several times, as well as had him take a single step up and down, and he was able to do it all without any apparent pain or difficulty.
Though his front shoulder arthritis is not related to the surgery, Sandy told me that he didn’t have any apparent pain in his front shoulder during the exercise. We hope that his pain medications are starting to kick in for him so he can enjoy being pain-free =)
Sandy did mention that today she had him performing some exercises taking steps one at a time, and on one of his attempts, he lost his balance. So, progress is going to be slow, as expected, but nonetheless he is showing great progress.
Here’s that video I promised. It shows Cory on his first day back home after spine surgery for a herniated disc caused by Cauda Equina Syndrome.
You can see him limping on his front legs, which is caused by arthritis and is unrelated to the surgery. Before the surgery, Cory was losing control of his hind legs due to the herniated disc pinching off the nerve in his spine. His hind end is still a little wobbly, as you’ll see in this video, but it’s a vast improvement over what it used to be. Furthermore, the doctor says that it’ll take 4 weeks for the benefits of the surgery to really kick in, since there is still a ton of swelling in his spine from the surgery.
The really big wow factor about this video is that just 24 hours earlier, we visited Cory at the hospital, and he was unable to move any part of his body except his eyes. We were all horrified by that experience, and expecting the worst when we picked him up from the hospital. You can imagine our surprise and delight when Cory was bright-eyed, cheerful, and mobile when we picked him up.