In Praise of Elder Dogs

This blog is created in celebration of the elder dogs, of any breed, who've touched our hearts. You are invited to add your own reflections, or, if you wish, track the progress of your own elder dogs. ("Elder," BTW, is defined here as 10 years or more, except in breeds known for shorter lifespans, such as the Great Dane.) Send your stories and photos to me at branta(at)

My Photo
Location: Hunt, Texas, United States

I've been privileged to share my life with five unforgettable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. This blog was inspired by Cooper, my first, whose indominatable bright spirit triumphed over his limitations. Every day of his life, till the very end, he woke joyously, happy to greet the day. I would wish the same for all of us!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Another Pre-Dawn Seizure for Tessie

SEIZURE: IT'S HAPPENED AGAIN. Again, in the early hours of morning, as we all lay sleeping, I wake to hear Tessie snoring very loudly. I wait to make sure it's unusual snoring, then get up, turn on the room light, then pick her up and put her on the bed. Yes, she's lost urine (not typical for her) and is panting and salivating foam, eyes fixed on a distant nowhere. Yet this seizure seems less deep than the one before: she's not "gone," but is somehow aware that I am with her. We wait for it to pass, just five minutes or so. She's back ... and the pacing begins. Different from previous episodes: she stumbles as her front legs splay before her. Two or three times, I help her stand. She walks the length of the house, twice walking around a life-size plaster Sandicast sort of dog figure we keep on the dining room floor. I take her outside, but she seems puzzled, so we go back inside and she continues pacing. Again, it's not like before; her pacing this morning lacks the "driven" quality of previous seizures. But she visits her favorite spots, as before: the bathroom wall, her sleeping area, out to the other end of the house, up and down the galley kitchen, and back again. Still, she's not transfixed by invisibles as before.
She seems to get headaches, and the right side of her head often feels warmer than the left. She engages in head-rubbing so insistent that she's marked the wall and the back of the couch. (I'll post photos later.) This points to the possibility of terrible, virtually incurable disease. We're not sure what to do. The vet doesn't want to start her on anti-seizure meds till they become more frequent. A neurology workup, with MRI or CAT scan, will be very expensive. She's 13. What do we do now?


Post a Comment

<< Home