Cassie the Corgi, who (thanks to an unholy combination of fluconazole and prednisone) has been pounding at Death’s Door for the past three months, has apparently decided they won’t have her in those precincts and so has given up. She’s still pretty feeble, but over the past three days she’s experienced a kind of Resurgence. She’s almost sprung back to normal.
Noticed that when she did not sleep well — which was most of the time — she seemed much worse the following day. For awhile there, most nights she struggled to breathe and occasionally enjoyed seizures violent enough to alarm Ruby the Corgi Pup and, most certainly, the Human.
Along about the second week of October, it occurred to me to drug her with Benadryl to see if that would help her to sleep. Yes, I know: highly problematic. But I figured if it killed her, it wouldn’t much matter because she was about to die anyway.
On three separate occasions, I felt pretty certain that she was about to die. On a couple of days, I had to leave and couldn’t get out of it, and thought very likely she would be gone by the time I got back. And more recently there was a fourth occasion when I doubted she would see the next day’s dawn.
The Benadryl, oddly enough, did seem to help. Her breathing got somewhat easier. Though she might have a spell during the night, it wasn’t terrifying to the onlooker. And it (or something) did seem to stop the seizures. She certainly wasn’t well. But at least she wasn’t keeping me and her roommate awake all night with her miseries.
Now, over the past few days, she’s suddenly taken a turn for the much better. On December 9, both dogs and the human were sick. I rated Cassie’s condition as a “4” on a scale of 1 to 10.
The following day, she was up to about an 8 by 6 a.m., and as the day progressed she rose to a 9. She’s had a couple days of 9s, but regresses on the 9th after a bad night. Still, by 10 a.m. on the 12th she seemed to be back up to the level of about a 9. A-n-n-d…she’s stayed there for the past while.
Seeing that she was no longer suffering distress at night, I tried easing her off the Benadryl. This seems not to have caused any harm, and indeed may be contributing to her recovery. Dogs, like humans, are knocked for a loop by Benadryl.
Can’t say she’s back to normal. She certainly isn’t. But she’s a lot better than she was.
She still looks and acts like an OLD dog.
But… She was looking and acting pretty grizzled before the present horror show descended upon her. She is, after all, at least 12 years old. She may be significantly older than that. All we know is that 10 years ago the Humane Society claimed she was 2 years old…and if you’ve ever watched an animal rescue worker, you know how those estimates are arrived at.
Uhhhhhhh….mmmmm…. Thisyere dawg is about two years old. I reckon…
So…she could be 11 years old. She could be 15 years old. And if she’s either of those…well…looking and acting like an old dog is entirely within reason.
I wondered if iatrogenic renal dysfunction might pass on its own, if the dog were allowed to rest and recuperate long enough. Nothing that I could find anywhere indicated that might be the case, except for an occasional mention that negative side effects of Prednisone would pass after the drug was stopped. But Prednisone alone was not the problem. The problem was interaction of Prednisone and inappropriately prescribed fluconazole in the presence of an unrecognized adrenal tumor, whose malignancy or nonmalignancy remains to this day unknown. Whether the victim of this combination of circumstances could throw off the effects unaided: also unknown. Possibly even a question that has never been asked.
She still wears the Tragic Expression most of the time, though occasionally she perks up enough to look almost like her old self. More significantly, though, she’s stopped shitting and pissing all over the floors. I haven’t had to clean up a puddle or a pile in the past three days. And that does feel like some kind of miracle.