Friday, June 10, 2011


Today was my last day at school, so now it's summer!  I am so looking forward to spending time at home and with the dogs and cats, taking some agility classes, and hopefully getting out on some nice hikes.

Zephyr is doing well.  He's three weeks past his last chemo treatment.  This round of chemo went well.  His white blood cell count dropped pretty low, 1,900, but he didn't have any problems.  Just some tiredness.  I made sure that he took it pretty easy.  No walks for five days before the lowest days, and no walks for about 4 days after.  And, I'm only taking him on slow easy walks of about 30 - 45 minutes.  He and Astro do run and play in the yard and house.  I think I'll start taking him on more frequent short walks now to start getting him back in shape slowly.  It does make me sad to not be able to take him out running in the forest, or to have to leave him home while Astro and I go off to class, etc.  I have to remind myself of how sick he was and that he had a pretty big brain injury and still needs to heal.  Dr. Knowles also reminds me of this frequently.  :-) 

This past Monday Zephyr did have another seizure.  :-(  It was 31 days after the first seizure (since being home) and, I realized that both seizures happened almost exactly 2 weeks after having a chemotherapy treatment.  I asked Dr. Knowles if the seizures could be related to the chemo, she said she didn't think so, she still thinks they're likely from scar tissue in his brain from the encephalitis.  She said she had another patient with "inflammatory brain disease" have seizures a few days after the first Lomustine treatment.  She asked the oncologist, Dr. Hershey, about it then and Dr. Hershey said she uses Lomustine all the time and hasn't had seizures.  Still I wonder if it's related.  I'd rather the seizures be from the chemo because it seems like then there would be a better chance of them going away. 

This seizure lasted longer, I think at least five minutes.  I missed the first shot of diazepam.  To give it you have to put the syringe (no needle) in their bum.  It doesn't have to go in far, but he was shaking so much it was hard to get in his rear and I missed.  I think I got most of the next one in, but the seizure didn't stop.  So, after a minute I gave another.  The seizure still went on for a bit, I don't know if I did a very good job with the diazepam.  Zephyr's heart was pound so hard during the seizure I could hear the swooshing sound of the blood pumping through.  Not fun, I worried that he would have a heart attack.  So, Zephyr is taking phenobarbital again.  I was worried about the side effects so we started him on a very low dose, 15mg twice a day.  For comparison, when he came home from the neurology center after having all the seizures from the encephalitis he was taking 90mg twice a day.  Dr. Knowles said in cases like his, where the seizures aren't that often, a low dose is all that's needed control them.  After he didn't have side effects from the 15mg we did raise the dose to 22.5mg today.  We'll see how it goes.  I can guarantee you that when it's about one month from this last seizure I'll be pretty nervous waiting to see what will happen.  The good news is I didn't get sick after this seizure.  :-)  Best of all Zephyr has been just fine since!

This weekend is the Flagstaff Kennel Club's show and I am showing Astro.  I'm just going with the attitude of we're going for the experience and fun.  I've really only started training Astro for conformation again in the past 2 or 3 weeks.  He's doing really well, but I think the standing still for the exam and the teeth might be hard.  Plus, Astro is under the impression that everyone wants to play.  He'll be two years old at the end of July, but he is still total puppy and to me he still looks like a puppy too.  This is actually fine with me, and I'm sure that has something to do with his prolonged puppyhood.  :-)

In other Astro news, we started taking agility classes again three weeks ago and he is doing great!  I am so proud of him and I think he really likes agility.  He is doing a great job with his "take a bow"  contacts (two on, two off).  I was really impressed when he ran the dog walk fast and then nailed the contact last week, so awesome!  He's doing really well with his focus on me too.  And, I have to say, Astro gets the zoomies a lot less than Zephyr did when he was a little babe.

Pablo thinks that while we are out doing all this hiking, agility, and other nonsense this summer, he will just stretch out and take a nap.  Maybe he will venture out to the back deck or even yard, maybe.


Sue said...

Love the photos, especially Pablo stretching out and the one of Astro with his head on Zephyr.

Enjoy your break from school.

houndstooth said...

Congrats on getting to the end of school! The kids are done at my school, but I still have to go until Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 I will be a very happy camper!

The boys both look great! I started keeping track of Treat's seizures after she started to have them, and hers were almost perfectly on schedule. It's possible that his seizures could be caused indirectly by the chemo drugs, in my opinion. For example, say he were to spike a really high fever a few days after the chemo, that could trigger his body to have a seizure. The drugs could be causing something to happen in his body that his body reacts to with a seizure. There's too much we don't know about the body to know for sure whether it's caused by that or not. I'd say, see what happens for a while after his chemo is over and then see about where you want to go from there. Treat took phenobarbital twice a day all her life and was fine. If you're worried about long term effects from the phenobarbital, you can look into giving him milk thistle. I can sympathize on how tough it is to build that strength back up, too! Blueberry was out of commission for three months, and we're still working on getting her able to walk our whole route with us again.

We're wishing Zephyr a lot of luck in his upcoming show and class!

Bunny wanted me to mention that they are both fine specimens of houndhood!

The Barn Door said...

Thinking of you and Zephyr. I know how hard that is.

gyeong said...

Good luck at the FKC show, Astro. I'm with Pablo. What's with all that going outside stuff when there are naps to be taken.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

I hope Astro is doing well at his show this weekend:) It's great that you're doing agility with him too, and that he's enjoying it.

Sorry that Zephyr had another seizure but I'm glad you managed to stay upright this time! Here's hoping he doesn't have any more. But if he does it sounds like your are certainly well prepared, and that's a big thing!

jcp said...

Ahh Summer. It's great you get to spend a lot of time with the four-leggers. Hopefully the meds work and Zephyr's seizures will be under control.

greygirl25 said...

I am so sorry to here about the seizures.

My boy Flocko has them. We can go months without them, and once one kicks in, we can count on a cluster of seizures. All grand mal, all very violent. They are horrible.

He's been on pheno for about 4 years now and we haven't had any side affects yet.

Sending positive thoughts your direction.

Michelle said...

Sorry to hear about Zephyr's recent seizure. I hope the meds help him continue to get better! Lovely photos. We look forward to reading about your future adventures. Good luck with agility class! :)

K-Koira said...

Wow, just found your blog from Its a Greyt Day, and you guys sure are busy!

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