Thursday, July 17, 2014

Indy's Story - 4th March 2005 - Part Two

Introduction:  In 2005, Indy was a young, fighting fit Beagle.  Over a week, he became progressively weaker, starting at his head and neck, and then progressing to his legs. He was eventually transferred to the Animal Referral Hospital, who ran a series of tests, which were all normal/negative, and concluded that he had a neurotoxin.  With time and patience, it was possible that he would make a full recovery, but it was not going to be an easy  journey. He stayed there until he was able to swallow and move his eyelids, and then he came back to Wollongong to me, for rehabilitation.

To read Part One of Indy's Story

Now onto Part Two.

Friday, 4th March

The day started with a crawl towards the front door at home to get to work. And that was just Liz. Indy got the cheats method of getting to the car by being carried by Dirk.

The grass was wet at work, so an indoor workout was the way to go. Weight is now 12.09 kg but that was before going to the toilet. Still far short of the 14.5 kg Indy was prior to his illness, but at least it is slowly heading towards the right direction.

The day was spent outside in the grass (when it dried). Indy's favourite spot is underneath the mulberry tree.  Fortunately, there are no mulberries, otherwise he would be a purple, brown and white dog.  In the afternoon, he was back inside for another massage with Nan and some more roast chook.

After Nan left, Indy crawled to the back door, woofed to be carried over the step, and Dirk supported Indy's chest whilst he was "walked" towards the water bowl.

After he came back to Liz and Dirk's home, he was spoilt rotten by some feral children (some belong to Liz and Dirk, some to the neighbours).

He is now in the lounge room watching "The Simpsons".  Hopefully he doesn't go home and say "doh" instead of "woof"

Saturday 5th March

The day started slow. It improved when Nan brought Indy some roast chook and some wonderful body rubs.

The weather stayed stable, and with Dirk heating the pool to a comfortable 30 plus degrees, meant that Indy, Dirk and Liz (plus Paige and Sean) were able to go for a nice leisurely swim.

Indy is able to swim several laps of the pool (10 m length), and go to the step.  He tries to figure out how he is going to propel himself out of the pool. He is able to try to walk on the second step of the pool and still breath. The water supports his weight, whilst he sorts out the movements with his forelimbs.  He knows how to move his forelimbs in a co-ordinated fashion, but there is not a lot of strength in his muscles to support his weight outside of the pool.

He finishes up in a heated bathroom to dry off slowly. Finished off with a bowel of fresh roast chook.

When he is dry, he is able to sit out with us in the loungeroom, and watch a video with the kids. He is currently watching Mulan 2.

Wednesday, 9th March.

Indy's current program involves massaging, passive range of motion of his limbs, encouraging him to stand and wheelbarrow.  His right side continues to be his weakest side(front limb)

His progress is steady.  Unfortunately, he will only  improve at the rate at which he deteriorated originally.  We can only aim to maintain circulation, stimulation and motivation.  Indy does the really hard work.

Indy is due for his vaccinations and flea control.  After consultation with Dr Angles, we believe that Indy should NOT be vaccinated at all, now or in the future.  His flea control should be either Frontline or Advantage/Advocate and definitely he is to have no access to organophosphates - either directly or indirectly.  Directly would be through proban or flea/tick collars.  Indirectly through snail baits, some herbicides etc.

His lack of vaccination status may make it difficult for his current guardians to put him into kennels half way thru the year.  We will make some phone calls over the next few days to see what the kennels can do to help.  As vaccination protocols are undergoing a radical change within the profession, then it may not be as difficult as it first appears.  It all depends on how open minded the boarding kennels are.

Generally, his progress is steady.  He is actually in the hard part of the rehabilitation.  He has come so far, and yet, he is still a long way off.  His frustration and his determination to overcome it, is inspirational.

Hang in there!

We should also consider/explore the possibility of further testing in regards to myasthenia gravis.  Dr Angles brought it up for consideration.

To be continued.

I am Dr Liz, the mad vet in Bellambi, and Indy was and is, an inspiration. When you read of his struggle, you will agree.