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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it seems life never stays good for long.
I picked up Hemi tonight at 7:15 and while driving home, he seizured. This wasn't the grand maul type he had been having, it was more a gerneralized seizure to his head and face, but still disturbing with all the sudden foaming at the mouth. It happened only 25 minutes since I picked him up. I immediately turned back around and, while on the way back to the vet (which turns into an Emergency Clinic after hours) he had 2 more of the same type. After his last one, however, he began a constant "tick" in the muscles of his ears and right up on top of his head. He would howl his head off, his leg would start shaking and then, boom, another seizure.
I ran into the office and was immediately taken to the back treatment area (I get special attention, I guess, since I was a vet tech).
As soon as I set him down, I heard his breathing rapidly increasing and I knew another seizure was coming. I yelled for some phenobarb and for an immediate dose of diazepam (which can stop a seizure almost instantly). I gave him his dose right into the muscle of his hind leg, and about 10 mins later you would have never known what had just happened (besides the foam bubbles on his chin and chest).
So he's back in his little doggy hospital with an IV tube (I recommended that they put a cone on him if he comes around) and the last I saw him he was just about comatose (like I had found him yesterday).
I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. A tech tipped me off that the specific vet that had "cared" for Hemi is a downright theif. He charges for things you can't disprove that he didn't do, but he doesn't treat symptoms right. With the ticking in the head that I noticed, I'm now scared to death of Distemper. If that's the case, I'll be signing Hemi's Death Certificate. If he keeps having these because he's hypoglycemic/diabetic (which the vet told me he wasn't but a tech told me he was), then I guess he'll be getting insulin the rest of his life. If it's Epilepsy (basically lay-man's terms in dogs for saying "we don't know why he's seizuring") then we'll have to see what course of treatment will work.
So, as it is right now, Hemi's life is now in the balance between quality of life and cost of treatment (as much as I hate to say it, I still have a 1 year old that I need to think of first before the puppy). Of course, if this is Distemper or something that I cannot afford to control, I'll be writing Hemi's obit very soon it seems.
I may not seem like the religious person, but I think Hemi can use all the prayers you can send his way.
 

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Sarah Hall said:
Well, it seems life never stays good for long.
I picked up Hemi tonight at 7:15 and while driving home, he seizured. This wasn't the grand maul type he had been having, it was more a gerneralized seizure to his head and face, but still disturbing with all the sudden foaming at the mouth. It happened only 25 minutes since I picked him up. I immediately turned back around and, while on the way back to the vet (which turns into an Emergency Clinic after hours) he had 2 more of the same type. After his last one, however, he began a constant "tick" in the muscles of his ears and right up on top of his head. He would howl his head off, his leg would start shaking and then, boom, another seizure.
I ran into the office and was immediately taken to the back treatment area (I get special attention, I guess, since I was a vet tech).
As soon as I set him down, I heard his breathing rapidly increasing and I knew another seizure was coming. I yelled for some phenobarb and for an immediate dose of diazepam (which can stop a seizure almost instantly). I gave him his dose right into the muscle of his hind leg, and about 10 mins later you would have never known what had just happened (besides the foam bubbles on his chin and chest).
So he's back in his little doggy hospital with an IV tube (I recommended that they put a cone on him if he comes around) and the last I saw him he was just about comatose (like I had found him yesterday).
I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. A tech tipped me off that the specific vet that had "cared" for Hemi is a downright theif. He charges for things you can't disprove that he didn't do, but he doesn't treat symptoms right. With the ticking in the head that I noticed, I'm now scared to death of Distemper. If that's the case, I'll be signing Hemi's Death Certificate. If he keeps having these because he's hypoglycemic/diabetic (which the vet told me he wasn't but a tech told me he was), then I guess he'll be getting insulin the rest of his life. If it's Epilepsy (basically lay-man's terms in dogs for saying "we don't know why he's seizuring") then we'll have to see what course of treatment will work.
So, as it is right now, Hemi's life is now in the balance between quality of life and cost of treatment (as much as I hate to say it, I still have a 1 year old that I need to think of first before the puppy). Of course, if this is Distemper or something that I cannot afford to control, I'll be writing Hemi's obit very soon it seems.
I may not seem like the religious person, but I think Hemi can use all the prayers you can send his way.
By "not" grand mal, and having a facial tic (and ears), or chorea, do you mean the rest of his body was not becoming rigid or spastic? You are thinking that the first phase (fever, coughing, nasal discharge) of distemper may have happened and been survived when you did not have him yet, and that he is maybe now into the neurologic phase?

Hypoglycemia and diabetes -- can you ask for the blood test lab results that led the vet to say he had neither? Those blood sugar levels are not something a vet can make up (unless he refuses to hand you the lab report.... then I'd wonder, for sure).

This is all very distressing, I understand, but the things the tech is saying sound a little like a tech who is angry with a vet, or a tech who thinks he knows a lot and isn't being paid enough attention to.

Sarah, I know that you completely understand that the kindest and best thing all around may well be to put the pup down.

I want to say that if you decide to do that in the absence of a pretty solid diagnosis with a good prognosis tomorrow or Saturday, I for one will think that you have done the right thing. I've never been one to force a dog to live as an invalid, or in pain, or, as you say, with no quality of life.

It would NOT be premature after all that has happened if you made this decision tomorrow or the next day. This is only my opinion, but I have seen people waver and vacillate for days and days, only to finally make what was really the inevitable decision many dollars later (and many hours of puppy misery later, too).

I hope you can get some sleep tonight and then tomorrow ask for a consultation and the test results from the last go-round......... maybe there will be a strong clinical diagnosis and prognosis. If not, I know you have the strength to make a decision.

I will be thinking of him and you and wishing very much for a good outcome. Either way, you will have done the best you could do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, Connie.
With the seizures he was having tonight he didn't become rigid (although his rear legs would very faintly twitch right before it became full blown). With the facial tic, he acted almost normally, however he was still becoming more and more disoriented after each seizure. Having gotten Hemi from such a shady place, you never know what could have happened before if he did survive the first phase of Distemper. I've seen it happen before in older dogs, but haven't seen a pup in any of the practices I worked in with Distemper at all.
I am going to request the lab results tomorrow (since the clinic was "officially" closed and the records are all locked up. I know how to read bloodwork, so it won't be a problem for me to decipher any unusual values or those that may be linked.
The tech that told me about the vet actually didn't even work for him. The emergency clinic that she will be working at is just renting the facilities now until all their equipment arrives and is set to go at their new location. She just has seen case upon case of HIS patients coming back seemingly untreated. Plus, you have to think, this vet didn't reccomend I get an opinon on the seizures by a veterinary neurologist. He didn't even send me home with any meds besides a vitamin supplement. He said he, nor his staff, witnessed any seizures, but how can you explain the pup having a seizure almost immediately after we left? We kept the car quiet so as not to disturb him (he slept all the ride until about 3 minutes before the first seizure, then would seem to drift in and out of conciousness, or maybe even sleep, between seizures until that 3 minute mark where he would throw his head back and scream and howl) so I don't think he got bombarded by sounds or lights (we kept his head under a sheet or he would nuzzle it under my fiance's arm to sleep) to cause his seizures.
Reading through the 3-sheet adoption paper, I found a VERY small section that says "This pet is being sold AS IS and the Florida State Pet Lemon Law WILL NOT apply or uphold in the court of law". I wouldn't have signed this if I saw it, and I really hate that my fiance signed the papers without reading them. If a place puts that on their papers, they obviously have something to hide. I'm calling my uncle (an Attorney) tomorrow morning to see if this is even legal to do in the first place. The woman already violated many of the Lemon Law rules, so if she is not legally able to waive that law she will be in serious trouble no matter what the outcome is. I've spent $300+ already on treatment (not counting the huge emergency bill I'll get tomorrow). I think we need one of those "Con Artist" pages because I have 2 places I can quickly put on there.
 

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Poor Hemi! Healing thoughts & prayers his way!


I don't think anyone can "opt out" of lemon laws. That's kinda like putting that big sign up that says "Not Responsible for Accidents". Well, O.K. buddy, but the courts seem to feel differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just got back home, was called on emergency to come to the office. Hemi's vitals crashed, so I came prepared to give him freedom. As I walked in and saw him lying so lifeless in the cage I just had to ghasp "Oh, Hemi..." and at the sound of my voice he miraculously seemed to shake off his comatose state and sit up and look at me, his cute little tail wagging. Of course, at this point he can't see me, but he sure can hear and smell me. I gathered him in my arms and rocked him like an infant until he blisfully fell back to sleep. The high does of valium (diazepam) seems to keep him comfortable. He's had 6 seizures since being at the emergency vet, each one getting worse and getting close together. This last one was the worst seizure I and every tech there had ever seen. Most dogs, even very strong adult dogs, die from seizures not half as bad as that one. He began the normal facial tic seizure, but then it became a full-blown grand maul seizure. He was biting at anything and everything, and was screaming. We gave him the diazepam and that calmed him right down. It was a higher dose, .5cc, than he had been getting. It's been an hour since he's had one (at the height of that bad run of them they were almost every 15 minutes) and his vitals are miraculously almost normal for a pup his age. He's still very sleepy from the diazepam, but he'll seem to wake up for a minute or two and seems to be quite peaceful and almost even happy if he hears a kind word whispered in his ear.
We are waiting and still holding out some faint hope that he could pull through this. He's the strongest willed dog I've ever seen, and because he nor his body is giving up, I'll still have that sliver of hope. Everyone agrees, however, if he has another big seizure we're just going to give him another big dose of diazepam and then euthanize him. More than likely, seeing as how my luck runs with just about everything, I'll be writing later today a memorial for this wonderful little pup. I, also, will be looking into seeking legal action against the vet hospital for misdiagnosis causing death. I'll also see about the "rescue".
Thank you everyone for your continued support.
 

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My prayers too, with you, your family, and Hemi. It seems you have excellent insight and actions to follow. Stay strong and carry on...

and thank you for being one of the kind, compassionate ones in rescue..."being his human" is one of the best things you are doing for this Hemi dog.
 

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I'm so sorry things have taken a downward turn, but NO ONE is going to blame you if it comes to having to euthanize little Hemi. I, too, will be praying and hoping that a miracle happens. :( I'll be keeping YOU in my prayers as well. I can't imagine how difficult this situation is for you.
 

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The poor little guy. All I can say is that I understand that grand mal (which means, loosely, "very bad") seizures shut down the consciousness of the victim, so while they look horrifying to us, the victim isn't aware of the violence. Not much consolation. :(

I am so relieved for this little guy that he has someone to care for him now, whether it is or is not his last episode in this life. He needed you.

I see what you mean about the vet. :x
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I've made my decision. A visiting neuro specialist took a look at Hemi (for free, thankfully) and his prognosis is extremely poor even if we kept him going for the virus to run it's course. If he somehow managed to survive the Distemper, he would be about 95% blind in both eyes, would need assistance getting up and walking, would most likely be epileptic, and basically would have absolutely no quality of life. Thankfully, he hasn't had any more seizures since his last big one, and he's resting quite peacefully now. I'm waiting for my fiance to get home, and then we're going to go to the clinic and say our good byes and have him put to sleep. My fiance won't stay Cost of treatment is through the roof, and with the neurological damage done already... I just can't let a dog suffer because I want him alive. I already have the terrible images of his seizures burned into his head, but I also have those good times of him bouncing around acting like a lively, healthy puppy that are stronger. This certainly won't be easy on me, but I'll know I'm doing the absolute best thing for him. I'm sure he'll thank me at the Rainbow Bridge.
 

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No question at all that you are doing the only kind thing...... hard on you, but by far the easiest on the little guy.

I am always very sad when humans who can't bear to lose a canine friend decide to let the dog live as an invalid........ or even drag out an inevitable decision. It's so hard -- but it's our responsibility. You're to be applauded. All we can do is give it our best and then make the right decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of your support everyone. I'll be leaving in about 45 mins to go release Hemi from this terrible existance. I'm thinking about writing an article and submitting it to anywhere/everywhere about the importance of vaccinations and how those few dollars you spend are nothing compared to the monatary and emotional costs of treatment.
Oh, and I haven't forgotten about getting the vet back for causing my pup unneccesary suffering. As soon as the vet that owns the hospital gets back, he's going to get a piece of my mind. From what I've seen he's a very nice guy, and I've been told he'll refund the money I paid for the unneccesary treatment and let me go on a payment plan for anything that won't be covered by what I already paid. The so-called rescue is going to get it too. I won't let Hemi die in vain.
 

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I am sorry for your loss but grateful for Hemi's sake that you recongize that keeping him alive with a poor poor quality of life.

At least he lived long enough to know your love and will be waiting for you at the bridge, forever the happy bouncing puppy he should be.
 

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I am truly sorry you are going through this.
My friend went through something very similiar with his Beauceron. After visiting a vet who practices chinese medicine, he found out his dog was having a reaction to hot meats(beef).

I deem you a Saint for your efforts.
Mark
 
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