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Dolly

For those seeking advice on caring for incontinent pets and animals with kidney-related problems.
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CarolC
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Re: Dolly

Post by CarolC »

Does it help to sit up on the side of the bed for a minute first? I kept a walker by the bed for a while after I hurt my back. It might be an option just for standing up that first 60 seconds till you get your sea legs. I had the kind without wheels. :)
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critters
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Re: Dolly

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Poor baby! :o
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CarolC
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Re: Dolly

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Dolly says :thankyou: both! :angel:
Christine
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Re: Dolly

Post by Christine »

Sitting on the side of the bed is just par for the course nowadays! Sit a few minutes, then stand and hold onto the dresser and then I am good to go. (I am too young for this!! :mrgreen: )
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CarolC
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Re: Dolly

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Yes, you are! Maybe it would help if your husband brought you coffee in bed every morning. :wink: :wink:
:lol:
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Re: Dolly

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Dolly had an episode that occurred lying down on 7/30 and resolved in under 2 days. I kept her on Robaxin 2 days longer because I didn't quite trust the quick recovery, and we went back to normal activites on 8/4. It presented so differently and resolved so differently, I didn't think it was her usual neck problem, maybe just a cramp.

At 4:30 am on 8/8 she had a relapse that was her usual problem where she couldn't lie down. I started her on the meds I had but we were out of one and almost out of another. I tried to handle the episode with only what we had on hand, but it wasn't working so I called the hospital. Then I had problems getting her refills with a new girl at the vet, so she was unable to get refills for her meds till the next day and could not lie down a total of 14 hours. I sent an explanation of her problem to the girl that blew her off in hopes that she simply didn't understand but next time she would.

Dolly had her recheck today and the vet said her neck is fine. Finish the taper on her prednisone and she's good.

It is just hard to accept that I can't prevent this for her. I thought when I put her on exercise restriction, only outside in an x-pen, we wouldn't have any more of these episodes. She didn't have any for a year. Now she's had 2 in her crate a week apart, one during the night when she was supposed to be asleep. Maybe she got up to get a drink of water or something.

She'll be 14 in a month. I just emailed with the Las Vegas foster who took care of her for Best Friends back in 2009 when they did rescue. It was good to be in touch again.
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Re: Dolly

Post by Christine »

Oh Carol...I know how much this frustrates you and I feel for you and Dolly. When she cannot lie down, does she literally sit or stand for all those hours? I can't even imagine. Could you fashion a type of sling (almost like the ones made from the fabric grocery bags) that she could "rest" in during those times giving her enough support that she could actually fall asleep and so could you. I picture it hanging from a rod or support in her playpen just keeping her feet off the floor.
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CarolC
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Re: Dolly

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Yes, she literally sits on her bottom for hours, digging the blanket and marching in place with her front feet in frustration.

I can picture what you're saying with the sling idea. It wouldn't be too hard to do. I'm just thinking she isn't going to fall asleep until the meds address the pain in her neck. But sitting might be less fatiguing with some support.

She had her recheck yesterday and he said her neck is back to normal. Today she is bright eyed and bushy tailed.

I've had her water raised forever. I've been using a makeshift way of raising her food bowl. I just ordered 2 elevated bowls for her playpen and we'll see how that works. Pink, her color. I don't know if it will make a difference. She likes to take kibbles out of the bowl and drop them on the blanket and eat them. Not every kibble, but quite a few every meal, so she's still eating off a low surface even when I raise it.

I am hoping that after I left a letter for the receptionist who delayed her meds, and spoke to the vet, this won't happen again. For now, we have enough meds to get through the first few days of another episode if there is one.

I would like to know something that is not obvious to me. She got the neck problem at 4:30 am on 8/8. The night before when I was feeding everybody, I thought I noticed she was holding her head funny. I was afraid there was a problem. But I checked on her before I turned out the light and she was lying on her side. When she has a neck problem she can't lie on her side, so I thought, "No, she's OK". Then she got it a few hours later.

Looking back, that might have been a chance to "head off" a neck problem before it really set in. I had Robaxin (muscle relaxer) and Tramadol on hand. I probably could have given her the Robaxin at bedtime and maybe this wouldn't have happened? I don't know. I don't think she needs the Tramadol unless it starts to really hurt. I'm thinking if I ever notice her holding her head like that, and that look on her face, maybe she needs it before it gets bad. Diazepam is the one that makes her be able to lie down (when given with Tramadol and Robaxin) but if she can still lie down, then maybe with Robaxin she can avoid needing it if we "nip it in the bud". I'd like to ask about that if I could talk to a vet.
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Dolly's Day

Post by CarolC »

Dolly had a different day today. I got her a new playpen and managed to squeeze it into her old corner in the kitchen by moving the table. She is almost over her prednisone, halfway through the 48-hr taper. I had been skipping Pip's wall exercises because Dolly gets too excited, and she was supposed to be resting. (When Pip gets a treat everybody gets a treat.) We did them today, but now they are Pip's AND Dolly's exercises. He does his walking and gets his treat. Then I carry Dolly's treat to her. She did not bounce around. I used to drop it on her blanket, but now I am holding it up so she reaches her head up to get it. I think it will be good for her neck to practice reaching upward. She is also raising her head more in the playpen because it is down low maybe 10" off the ground, whereas her crate was waist level, allowing her to look out the window, and me to change her linens easily. She also got to go outside for 15 minutes in her x-pen. All in all, a good day.
:angel:
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Re: Dolly

Post by Christine »

It's the small things that make us happy, isn't it? :wub:
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Re: Dolly

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3 months later and here we are again. Dolly's neck went out at about 11PM. She was on her stomach with her head craned back and tilted, in a lot of pain. I rubbed it a little but I was scared to do more than that. It took several tries to get her to swallow her meatball of meds in that odd position, had to divide it in two. Brought in a chair and sat with her till she was able to lay her head on the blanket and seemed better, then took my shower and went to bed. She was back up at 1 AM, bouncing or prancing and crying, but not the painful crying of before. I replaced her blanket and gave her another meatball to start her on pred. By now she was able to grab it out of my hand and scarf it down. So, at 11PM she had her a double dose of Robaxin + a dose of Tramadol + a dose of diazepam. At 1 AM she had pred. So then she was still kind of crying and restless, but there was nothing else I could give her or do for her, so we had to wait it out. I went back to bed, listening to her whining till we both fell asleep.

I laid there thinking we have the melatonin treats now, but she was on too much medication to try them. The container says not to give them with other CNS depressants. I will probably give her one tonight, assuming she is off the Tramadol and diazepam by then. I should have given her one on 11/6 at bedtime, but it didn't even occur to me. That was when we had the time change.

Dolly tells time better than any animal or human I have ever known. She knows the time to the minute! When we had the time change, I fed everybody dinner an hour late so Pip would not have to hold his bladder 9 hours the next morning. At what should have been dinnertime on 11/6 (on DST), Dolly was bouncing up and down telling me it was time to get dinner. Then the next morning 11/7 she was bouncing in her crate early telling everybody it was time to get up, when we were supposed to stay in bed an extra hour. I imagine all the extra bouncing set her up for the sore neck. She seemed fine until I gave her a Milk Bone for dessert like we always do, and I put it on her blanket, and right after that her neck went out. (Her food and water bowls are raised.) She's pretty good right now. But with all the crying last night, the other pets were also awakened, so I had to give Pip a bath this morning because he was wet when we got up.
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Re: Dolly

Post by Christine »

Bless your heart...bless Dolly's heart. I hope things level out over the next few days. I always marvel at your expertise as a "layman/woman/person"! I would love to see a picture of Pip sometime.

I am headed out to the voting precinct to vote and take the poll workers sandwiches. Their volunteer work is so important right now and, unfortunately, somewhat scary during time in our history.

Prayers for Dolly...and you.
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CarolC
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Re: Dolly

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Thank you for caring about Dolly. We need all the help she can get. This is her 9th episode since 2019 and they have been closer together. I don't know what to do to prevent it. She is already on exercise restriction. This episode started after she ate a Milk Bone off her blanket. When it happens, it's so bad that I literally think I might be losing her. Then by the time the meds work, she is nearly normal the next day. Right now you can't tell anything ever happened. It's very scary when it happens because if I have to transport her to the ER it's going to hurt too much to move her. I don't even know how you would pick her up. I was afraid I would have to because I couldn't get the meatball in her mouth because of the position her head was in and I thought an injection would be the only way to get meds into her. She's the one who made a real effort to take the meatball after several tries. She knows.

I don't know how long you should continue meds in a case like this. I've got one vet that thinks it's muscle spasms and one thinks it's a disk. I don't know, I think it's muscle spasms because when it goes away it seems to be gone so fast. She doesn't seem to need Tramadol except right at first when it happens. She doesn't need diazepam after she is able to lie down. So she's off of both of those. I've still got her on the muscle relaxer and she's still on the pred. I guess we are covering both bases, muscle relaxer for muscle spasms and pred for a disk, since we don't know what it is. I left a message for the vet to call me and I didn't get a call back.

Dates of episodes (Sorry it's 8, not 9)
7/16/19
8/23/19
3/10/21
8/28/21
7/30/22
8/8/22
10/8/22
11/6/22

I bet the poll workers appreciated the sandwiches. Those people are just regular people trying to help out their community. That was so nice of you!
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Re: Dolly

Post by critters »

Would your regular vet RX liquid pred or whatever to have on hand if swallowing is a problem?
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CarolC
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Re: Dolly

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That's a really good idea. If I could get a new bottle of gabapentin to have on hand, it might work if that ever happens again. It's a liquid. She really just needs something to relax her enough so she can be in a position to take the rest of her meds in a meatball. I don't know what to do about my vet clinic. I called today to let them know Dolly was back on meds since 11/6. The gal said she'd put it in the record, but she wasn't very friendly about it.
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