So, like many of us dog owners, I wear my heart right on my sleeve and Harrison is my whole world (aside from my better half, of course!)
To learn he has epilepsy and see him endure these seizures again and again is the kind of thing I wouldn’t wish on anyone, dog owner or beloved dog. It is truly horrific! Worst of all, I feel an overwhelming sadness for my oblivious little pooch, who aside from those terrible phases immediately before and after a seizure (during which he is absolutely terrified and I am just heartbroken) is perfectly happy and his usual self. I wish I could explain to him, make him understand that the awful feeling will pass and that he’s safe and we’re there and we’ll do all we can to help him whatever happens. But I can’t and that’s one of the worst things. If he was my child I might be able to explain when he reached a certain age, it might not make it any less scary but it would be worth a go.
The best thing is that the seizure itself he is unconscious and has no idea what’s happening – thank goodness! This part is worse for us, having to witness that and feel so helpless.
So today, our poor little H had a cluster of 3 seizures within about 20 minutes. Completely out of the blue and BAM! It hits like a sledgehammer. In the event of a re-occurring seizure or “cluster” we’d been prescribed rectal diazepam by the vet. It’s meant to bring them round, as of course the risk with multiple seizures is over heating or more long term damage, brain damage etc. I seriously hoped I would never have to use it. I knew I’d feel like I’d violated my poor little doggy by doing that. At least he was unconscious, eh? Could do with a diazepam myself after that ordeal.
Then when he finally comes round, you watch him stumble round like he’s had one too many shandies and that is, in a way, the absolute worst part. He is scared, pacing, restless, nothing seems to comfort him or soothe him and it seems nothing works – you just have to let it pass. You worry about all the extra damage being done to his already wonky donkey brain by all this repeated head banging, as he stumbles around like a drunken muppet.
So on top of all of this, I feel really sad for us too. What was meant to be a fun, life-changing experience making us feel all warm and fuzzy as we did a really good thing by giving a dog in need a home, has ended up being much more challenging than we had ever imagined. It has NEVER, EVER crossed my mind that we would throw the towel in and take him back to the dog’s home. Even though its been very tough and at one point I was an emotional, blubbering, pessimistic, tired wreck, I knew that we wouldn’t just give up like that. We are privileged enough to be able to afford extra costs for him and breathed a huge sigh of relief that he’s covered anyway for his lifetime for any newly emerging conditions. Phew. Cannot rate Petplan highly enough!
He’s part of our family now and we will do everything we can to help him. Then I feel so incredibly sad for him too, he had a bad start in life and we were all set to give him the best life ever – his first ever and forever home and then this has gone and happened to him. So unfair! Poor little mite, he doesn’t deserve this! Not that any dog does.
The main purpose of this blog is for therapy for me really, to get my thoughts down and to share experiences as for any pet owners going through the same, I feel your pain. It’s truly horrendous and I don’t think many people can really understand fully unless they have encountered something similar with their animal.
All we know is we’re going to do everything possible to manage his seizures, try to keep them under control and give him the most fun-filled, happy, exciting and loved life possible.