Follow by Email

Sunday, May 8, 2016

This is Kooper

Kooper is a boxer.

He's 9 years old. About a year ago, he suffered his first seizure. You never forget witnessing a beloved pet go rigid and piss the floor. Neither does he.

We tried a number of things to keep them from coming back. Nothing was perfect. Phenobarbital seemed to settle him down but eventually they came back, and this time in clusters -- several of them in a row. Our previous dog, a collie named Samu, suffered from seizures and went into a cluster and never came out of it. We thought it was happening to Kooper. In fact, the vet gave us an emergency dose of phenobarb to inject up his bottom should another cluster hit. Hitting a puckered butthole during a seizure is like throwing darts in a hurricane.

Did I mention this is the best dog ever?

Eventually the right balance of phenobarbital and gabapentin worked. It's been several months since he last went through the ringer.

Problems remained.

Kooper began dragging his back legs after the first seizure. It wasn't anything alarming, just occasionally noticed his nails dragging the concrete on long walks. As the seizures continued, the lethargy increased, his paws occasionally knuckling over. He began scuffing the fur off the top of his back paws and his nails were wearing down to bloody nubs.

We bought him booties, but the dragging got so bad that he wore holes through them. We duct taped the holes before every walk. This only worked for so long. The progression of symptoms seemed to hit a fast track and soon he was crumpling to the ground. His walks rapidly shortened from around the block to the end of the driveway. By the time we stopped, he could barely hold himself up to pee. Instead, he assumed an odd kickstand sort of stance to relieve himself.

All in a matter of months.

It seemed to be a condition called degenerative myelopathy, a genetic disorder in the boxer breed.

The question becomes... well, you know what it becomes. But he wasn't in pain. He had an appetite, wagged his tail when he saw us, barked at the front door and whined when we took our other dog for a walk. He spent all day in bed, venturing outside a couple times with assistance to drop a number one or two before returning to bed. What old dog doesn't do this?

We can't put him down.

It's not time for that, not yet. He still has some years in him, just needs a little helps living them. So we found some.


Excellent music performed by Madeline Walsh 



Get your free downloads
  


21 comments:

  1. What a great dog. He has such a will to persevere through this difficulty. My heart goes out to you. It is hard to have someone you love go through this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard, yes. Will bawl like a baby when the last day comes.

      Delete
  2. A couple of years ago, I lost my great dog to seizures. I did what I could to make his last years good ones. He was happy and loved until the end. I'm so glad to see you doing whatever you can to make your sweet Kooper happy and give him as much wonder in his life as you can!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are family. Just happy that he's got a few more decent days in him.

      Delete
  3. That is so awesome! I had an older dog that I originally brought home as a rescue that went through the same thing. Seizures, dragging back feet, etc. Sadly, as she got older she became mostly blind and deaf on top of it. We did all we could to make the last bit of her life as good as we could and I hope she went on knowing how loved she was. You're doing the same for Kooper and it's wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blind and deaf is even more difficult. It's hard to know when it best when the end is near. We're not there yet.

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful but sad story....but Kooper doesn't seem sad at all. Oh, the wonder of dogs!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's quite touching the way your family has supported Kooper.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can see that Kooper gets all the love and support he needs. Way to go! He seems to get around well with his flashy set of wheels! What a touching story. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see such a sweet family! I

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see such a sweet family! I

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sorry for repeating myself. Still trying to figure out how to use the social network!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sorry for repeating myself. Still trying to figure out how to use the social network!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see such a sweet family!

    ReplyDelete
  13. It broke my heart to see Kooper dragging his legs behind him. I'm so glad he has his cart now and is able to get around and play with his doggy friends. My husband and I have had to make that terrible decision too many times for old and ill pets. It's devastating, and I sincerely hope that you will not have to make it for several more years. Go Kooper! Good dog!

    ReplyDelete