View Full Version : Charlie had a good day today

Cathy Moon
28th October 2007, 01:26 AM
Charlie had a very good day today - no pain episodes so far, and it's after 8:00pm. This is our best day since he arrived Tuesday night. This morning he slept in later than usual because we had to give him a dose of Metacam last night to help ease his pain. At noon he was out in the back yard for a little while with India and Chocolate, chasing leaves as they fell from the trees and barking at the squirrels in the trees - he doesn't seem to mind the cooler temperatures. He was more steady on his feet than I had ever seen before. Then we took him to his first vet appointment - his regular vet, not his neurologist.

Dr. Hutch saw him (Sandy, you know Dr. Hutch:)) and was very compassionate. He said we will address Charlie's most immediate needs to make him more comfortable, then he would like to see Charlie again next week - after Charlie's neurology appointment.

I explained what medications Charlie is currently taking: 200mg of Gabapentin every 8 hours, 10mg of Prilosec every 12 hours, and a Metacam dose every 24 hours for extra pain coverage.

He examined Charlie's skin and said his scabby, itchy painful rash is from the fleas. (We discovered Charlie had fleas two days after I brought him home. Thursday night I rushed to the vets for a Capstar tablet and a bottle of prescription medicated shampoo. All his fleas are gone now, but his resulting skin problem has been torture to him!:() Charlie is now taking two new prescriptions for his skin, Zubrin for the pain and itching and Clavamox antibiotic for the infection. The Zubrin will replace the Metacam for the time being, because Charlie's skin will benefit from it. Then Dr. Hutch examined Charlie's ears, and he gave us a prescription of ear drops to help them stop hurting. He looked at Charlie's sore foot and told us the Zubrin and Clavamox would help his foot as well. He also told us we'll need to bring additional fecal samples in case the fleas gave Charlie tapeworms.

Then he told us there are more things that need attention, like Charlie will need a Lepto vaccination, but he'd like to wait until after Charlie's neurology examination this coming Tuesday.

Charlie came home from the vet and had a short outing in the backyard with Geordie. Then he came inside, ate his dinner, played with his toys, had a 'barkfest' with Geordie, and is sleeping soundly in his crate. :slp:

According to his drug chart (we could never keep track without a chart), all he needs tonight is another 200mg Gabapentin at 9pm. And we'll pray he has a good night! :)

P.S. Does anyone have suggestions on how to get the ear drops in Charlie's ears? His ears are very sensitive, and he can't stand having them handled. He jerks his head and tries to stop you from doing it. He also shakes his head. The ear drops have a warning not to get them in his eyes. I'm worried this is going to be a major problem!

28th October 2007, 01:55 AM
Cathy, Charlie is so lucky to have you in his life. What a great person you are.
The best of luck with your endeavours and I hope the changed medication helps Charlie.

28th October 2007, 01:05 AM
I am so glad that he had a good day today. He is so blessed to have you.

Wow Cathy. I had no clue as to how many meds sweet Charlie was on! I also had no idea just how much love and care this little guy needed!!!! I hope and pray that you do not become overwhelmed with his care. It must break your heart when you see him in pain. I know it does for me just reading about it. May God Bless you and give you strength each & every day.

Thanks for keeping us posted.

28th October 2007, 02:10 AM
Cathy, you are a saint for taking on this monumental care for Charlie. I hope this additional medical help will alleviate his discomfort and give him a better life.

28th October 2007, 10:36 AM
Ah, it sounds like you are getting at all together for Charlie. Re their ear drops. When Beau was a baby he got an ear infection and he hated having drops in his ears. I would first warm the ear drops to body temperature & I would sneak up on him when he was napping & slip the drops in. Because they were body temperature, he didn't even feel them.

I wonder if that would help with Charlie?

28th October 2007, 10:44 AM
Cathy, glad to hear what good care you are taking with Charlie. I like Caraline's idea regarding the ear drops. Let us know how it goes.

28th October 2007, 08:50 PM
Sounds like Caraline's method helped. :)

Whatever about his SM, his situation has surely been greatly aggravated by these other, simpler problems that could so easily have been addressed. :confused: An SM dog really does not need anything additional bothering him, especially anything that would cause him to have to shake his head (head movement can be excruciating for them) and scratch unnecessarily. Also that scabby skin must be so uncomfortable and cause him to have to twist and bite at himself, more distressing movements. I've no doubt that as these 'minor' poblems are alleviated it will vastly improve his comfort level generally. :)

Leo takes two pills twice daily for his SM and I find those human pill boxes really help. For Charlie I'd get those really big ones where you can put all the medications into the timed slots as he needs things three times daily. At first, as giving pills was a novelty, I easily remembered to give them. Now, I find I forget if I've given them because the norm is giving pills! :lol: Sometimes I think I definitely gave Leo his evening pills and find it is still in the box so obviously I didn't. The boxes are a real blessing -- available at any drugstore. :)

Dr Hutch sounds like a great vet.

28th October 2007, 09:20 PM
I used to pop the bottle of ear drops in my bra to warm them up! You'd be surprised how cold that little bottle was and how long it took to warm up! :eek: Dylan was the same, all over the place, I thought I'd never do it. It does get better. I also found popping him in the bath good as he couldn't run away so stopped trying to. Treats every time helps too. I couldn't get them in his ears when he was asleep but in the end, he would jump on the sofa and wait for me to do it when he saw the bottle.

Cathy Moon
28th October 2007, 10:04 PM
:thmbsup::thmbsup: Two thumbs up for warming the drops beforehand! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Caraline. Pauline, your method sounds great. I put the bottle in my waistband to warm it up.

The vet gave us prescription Synotic ear drops for the relief of pruritus and inflammation associated with acute and chronic otitis. There is a warning in the instructions that you're not supposed to let the drops get on your skin or in the dog's eyes. We had to put 1/2 dropper full into each ear and I was worried he would shake his head during the process. Believe me, Colin and I plotted, planned, and strategized on this one. I thought if we can get through this, we can get through anything.:xfngr::xfngr:

We laid him on our bed on a thick towel and some puppy blankets. Then we wrapped the thick softness around him so he wouldn't struggle. He was laying on his side, and Colin put his hand over Charlie's face to protect it from the drops. Then I put half a dropper-full in; he didn't scream, just moaned. :( Then I massaged his ear for a bit, and we did the other ear the same way. At least he was resigned and didn't try to struggle. We had to put a snood on him to protect him from getting the medicine out by shaking his head. He got lots of teensy treats for having to go through this. I held him for awhile, and he was shivering a little, but he licked my face so I felt he'd forgiven me. Then we went outside so he could get it out of his system. India came out with us and let him sniff her all over. She's a true therapy dog in every sense of the word, so I have been having her go outside with Charlie. I think she knows he isn't well.

He had one pain episode outside and one in his pen afterwards, so I gave him an extra 100mg of Gabapentin.

His skin and ear problems are making him way more miserable than he needs to be. It is just heartbreaking to see him go through this. :cry*ing: The only thing that makes us able to do this every 12 hours for the next 2 weeks is the hope that he'll feel much better.

28th October 2007, 11:02 PM
Cathy, I think you and your hubby are very special people for taking this boy under your wing. I too believe that once these other irritants stop plaguing the lil boy that he may be able to settle a bit.

Is this the Dr. Hutch that you and Charlie went to??

That is one great set up

Cathy Moon
28th October 2007, 11:10 PM
Is this the Dr. Hutch that you and Charlie went to??

That is one great set up
Yes! Dr. Robert Hutchison. Now they have a physical therapy department with hydrotherapy. If Charlie gets the decompression surgery at Metropolitan Animal Hospital, we're going to take him to Northview for physical therapy after his convalescence.

28th October 2007, 11:15 PM
It seems like a state of the art veterinary hospital. Dr. Hutch is wonderful to talk to. If my vets here had any issues with our girls reproductive health-- HE is the one I would direct them to. Ironically, one of our girls was there on October 15th.

Cathy Moon
29th October 2007, 12:11 AM
Their new building has space for an MRI and CAT scan, and I'm sure they will have a neurologist there someday. :xfngr:
They have a large practice, and every vet we've met or seen there is as kind as Dr. Hutch. That is one special place - we love them all!

We saw India and Geordie's breeder there one Saturday, and they live out near Philadelphia PA!

29th October 2007, 08:08 AM
Cathy, just want to let you know you're doing an amazing job!

Your accounts of how Charlie is getting on are bringing me to tears. You are truly angels to help Charlie and, although he doesn't realise right now, I'm sure he'll be grateful for the things you are doing to reduce his discomfort.

It's right what they say about the ear-drops. I always warm ear-drops or eye ointment under my arm pits ;) :).

29th October 2007, 09:58 AM
So good to hear Charlie had a good day. He is truly one lucky little guy to be in such a loving and caring place and to have you in his life. I often think of him and how is he, as with all dogs who are ill, one feels for them so much. You must be feeling much relieved today and can relax a little. Enjoy some quality time and be good to yourself.