Monday, April 17
Flick has just kept getting worse. He has been trembling. He
holds his head out straight in one position, not moving from side
to side. He yelps when Dart brushes his inflammed nose. She tries
to greet him each morning with a gentle bite to the neck. But
he won’t play with her. And, he keeps bumping his nose because
he's blind. He yelps and cringes every time his nose brushes something.
He won't get up to greet me when I come home. Yesterday I gave
him a quail. He would not open his mouth to take it. He turned
away. Now I see he cannot open his mouth to yawn.
Friday, April 21
I finally got the referral to Purdue. I called Purdue this morning.
He needs to stay there (in internal medicine) for 1-2 days. They
will ultrasound and maybe CT scan his head. We've got an appointment
on Monday and pick-up on wed.
This will be a long weekend.....
Friday night had to be the worst night. You could hear every
breath he took that night. You could almost hear a faint moan
each time he inhaled. I know it hurt him. He could not find a
comfortable place. I don’t think either of us slept that
night. He seemed better on Saturday. He slept in the sun. But
he had trouble finding his way around the house and finding the
back door form the back yard. Saturday morning he fell down the
stairs. I carried him down the stairs after that. On Sunday, he
did not seem to remember how to go to my bedroom. He’d go
to the rug in front of the door, but instead of turning left,
he’d turn right. He was miserable. I was anxious watching
him. I could comfort him, which was the only thing that made me
Well....I'm back from Purdue. I left Flick there...although I
don't know exactly why.
Our appointment took two hours.....mostly because the resident,
Dr. Thompson, was too busy. The student did an OK job....nothing
to write home about. She kept forgetting to ask pertinent questions.
Anyhow, it is possibly one of two things....cancer or fungus....a
50%-50% chance of each.
They are doing a chest x-ray, bloods and aspirating his lymph
node today. BTW, his lymph node on the involved side is "huge"
(in doctor terms).
If they find cancer in those tests....he's coming home. I'll
know by 5:00 pm
If not, they will do a CT scan & scope the nose tomorrow.
In any case, whatever it is, it is in his brain. He started showing
"neuro" signs last week. He fell down the stairs. Lost
his balance. And becomes disoriented in walking normal patterns
around the house....bumping into walls he never hit before....turning
the wrong way. Also, the way he holds his head is "neuro"....not
sinus pain like I thought it was.
If it is fungal, the neuro damage may be reversible....maybe
If it is a tumor, it is inoperable....must be treated with chemo
...it was a long trip home....
I was working out in the field with Dart when Dr. Thompson called.....1.5
hours late. Dart had just gone on point. She held it though our
The most current word is Cryptococcus fungus has been found in
his lymph nodes:
This turns out to be the same disease Czardas, his half sister,
died of about four years ago.
Tomorrow they will do a CT scan to see the extent of it....and
see if there is a tumor with it......as well as a spinal tap to
see if there is any other neuro involvement....no scope of his
nose in the plans now....maybe surgery to remove most of the fungus
...they told me he was fine.....not, how can he be fine?
The results of the CT scan and spinal tap: he has involvement
in the right nostril & sinus with no destruction of the bone
into his brain. BUT, he has major inflammation of the spinal fluid.
That means it has crossed the blood/brain barrier and is what
is causing the brain/neuro damage. His prognosis is "Grave".
He is not coming out of the anesthetic.....more like a brain
damaged dog...but he cannot evaluate his pupils because of the
PRA....so he cannot confirm damage behavior. So he is giving him
manatol and steroids.... assuming brain damage. He will be trying
to "get him through the night."
We talked about CPR etc. I told him he was a "DNR".
In the meantime he has only seen a few worse cases for the spinal
fluid involvement. He would expect a high inflammatory cell count
to be 800....Flick is 1700. He guaranteed me that the treatment
would make him feel worse....and the worse would last for at least
two weeks to two months. He would keep him there for the worst
of it. He guaranteed me the treatment would probably cause more
brain damage before it reversed the inflammation.
I don't think this is going to happen. He is a 10 year old blind
dog. He has had a good life. He was miserable when I took him
up there. He does not need to be more miserable....and I know
he has been miserable with all the poking and prodding...and sleeping
on a hard floor. I should not have put him through that. I believe
I will go get him tomorrow so that he can die at home..... my
Bloomington vet, Mary Alice has agreed to help me on her day off.
I picked Mr. Flick up around 10:30 this morning. He was in great
shape. Dr. Thompson told me he was in better shape than I had
left him. Steroids are great. He also assured me that Flick would
be worse once they wore off tho. But I had asked him to help Flick
feel better for the trip home...and he did. He could move his
head...wag his tail. Dr. Thompson said he had not seen his tail
wag the whole time he was there...until he saw me.
He slept so peacefully all the way home. His peacefullness made
me relax. I was OK. He sat up as we made the turn onto Robin Rd.
He knew he was home. I put him in the back yard. He walked around.
He knew where he was and how to get places. He found the back
door and went inside and right to Dart's crate to greet her.
I put him back outside...then let her out. She ran right to him
in play mode. She was so happy to see him...and he was so happy
to see her. She did a few play bows....he responded in a stiff
stand-up big-boy pose. She then brushed him in play....and knocked
him over. She stopped playing. I let her stay out a while with
him....but then put her back in her crate in the house.
I brought a blanket out for him to lie in the sun. He wanted
to walk around the yard before he lay in the sun.
I had my dog back. His eyes were Flick. He could hold his head
up. His trembling was gone. He was not moaning on every breath.
He wagged his tail. He was Flick. His balance was still a little
off. He looked kinda drunk when he walked. And he had a big bald
spot at the base of his head where they shaved him for the spinal
tap. But he still was Flick. We lay in the sun together. He wanted
his face rubbed. He wanted to snuggle so close this time. Then,
he heard some squirrels playing on a nearby tree and stood up
to try to find them.
I soon called Mary Alice....and she came over. She thought he
looked good too....but I told her I did not want him to feel the
way he felt before. He did not need to feel that way again....and
I could not handle that. I'm not sure if she understood....but
she helped anyway. It was very hard for her. She truly liked him.
She could not understand how this whole thing could have happened.