Monday, March 24, 2014

"A list of all good things"

So before Bella blew up a disc in her neck, we were chatting happily about the behavioral path we've been on with her since just after Christmas. I told you about how she had flipped out on me just before Christmas and our conversation with Dr. Dodman and his staff and what treatment option we chose to pursue with his team. Tonight, I'll finally get around to telling you how it's been going.

When we last spoke, Jan and I had chosen to add Gabapentin - a neurogenic pain medication with anti-convulsant properties - to Bella's treatment regime.

As a recap, Bella's still on Soloxine (for sub-clinical hypothyroidism) as well as Fluoxetine (anti-anxiety) but we've taken her off the Clonidine (our original wonder drug) and switched it for the Gabapentin. She still gets a tiny bit of Clonidine for especially noisy situations like snow-blowers, thunderstorms and snow falling from rooftops.

So how has it been going? Well, here's a list of things Jan and I have said to each other about Bella over the last couple of months:
  • "She slept through New Years' Eve fireworks without so much as a blink."
  • "She closes her eyes when I pet her."
  • "She actually fell asleep when I was petting her!"
  • "Wait, did she just come in to bed without the usual histrionics?"
  • "She comes and gets in her own bed as soon as the lights are out."
  • "She sniffed a fly! Come here, watch!"
  • "She slept right through me stepping over her in the closet."
  • "She slept through the morning squirrel crossing!"
Also of note:
  • Her ears are up and happy.
  • Her face is softer and eyes more relaxed.
  • And she requests petting sessions.
I still don't really know what's going on: has she been suffering from nerve-pain and twitchy-tingling for oh these many years and has finally found relief? (I have reason to believe she has...) Or is she really experiencing a seizure-like episode? I'll go deeper into what we believe is going on in our next chapter.

Whatever it is, we'll figure it out. Because, if you haven't guessed already, we're in this for the long haul. Whatever it takes, whatever she needs. Bella is ours and we are her forever family.

We see the neurologist again on Thursday and hope to be making some decisions at that time about her neck problems. Thank you for all the kind words and helpful suggestions on how to entertain her in the meantime. We will keep you posted.

Snoopy's Dog Blog


  1. Sounds like all good things. I hope this is the answer.

  2. Perhaps the breakthrough ? It does certainly sound good!

  3. Jan K, Wag N Woof PetsMarch 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Oh, I'm so happy for you all that things are going well, and maybe you've finally found some answers that are going to work. You all deserve it after all you've been through, and for sticking together through thick and thin.

  4. Sounds good! Love your sweet list! ("Sniffed a fly")

  5. My ipad froze mid-reply. Anyway, very sweet about sniffing the fly. And the morning squirrel crossing? Are they on their way to work? The squirrel commute? :)

  6. Paws crossed that you find the answers. Although it sounds like you are in a very good place.

  7. WOW - those are some drastic improvements. Whatever you decide it is, you'll need to bottle it up and send me some doses for my two girls. :-)

  8. I'm glad to hear Bella is improving! You guys are so wonderful for sticking by her side now that she's injured.

  9. LOL, I realize some of those bullet points will require explanation. ;)

    In short, we have a squirrel that, for reasons we have yet to suss out, crosses over our bedroom roof every day around 5:45 am. Every. Single. Day. Winter is a blessing because we can't hear the little guy when there's snow on the roof. I don't imagine we'll make it through to next winter without her wigging out over this but if I can get a few days where I can sleep past 6 am this spring/summer/fall, I will be elated.

  10. So... it *is* the squirrel commute. That little critter obviously has somewhere to be every morning. Good luck with the sleeping in!

  11. So glad to read all of this about Bella! It's good to focus on the positive things our dogs do and the progress they make, rather than the negative/annoying things they do on a regular basis. ;)

  12. I so wish more people were like you. Recently I have seen one too many people get a dog without thinking and then decide, the time is wrong or the dog isn't right after a few days. I assume that (most) people don't send their kids back because they are a bit inconvenient or less than perfect, so why do they feel it's okay to do it to dogs? If people do their level best and really can't make it work, I understand, but make a rash decision and then aren't prepared to be an adult and deal with the consequences after a matter of days....... That's what makes me angry. A dog is for life and all that. I wish more people would remember it. Okay. Rant over. I'll get my coat.....!

  13. I am so glad that you have found something that is working for you! That must me a huge relief for you.

    And I can sympathize with you on the keeping her quiet deal. I still have 9 days until Sampson's staples come out and keeping quiet is challenging!