Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yeah, Yeah

I know, I am waaaaaay behind on this. I’ll try to get caught up, one critter at a time. Let’s start with Duncan, since he always has something going on. Since his last update, he’s done some agility, started training for a draft test, lost weight, joined an epilepsy study at NC State University Vet School, and had a whole lot of seizures.

Duncan earned his VALOR Intermediate Jumpers title in November, and started working on Snooker and Perfect 50. There are a couple of VALOR fun days coming up and Nationals will be in late April. If all goes well, he’ll have a lot of qualifying runs, add a few more titles and have a ton of fun.

We’re planning to attend a draft workshop in early March to help us prepare for a draft test a couple of weeks later. Duncan’s been practicing his maneuvering and working on his weight training, since he has to pull a 20lb load during the off-road portion of the test. Granted, 20lbs isn’t much for a big fellow like him, but he still needs to get used to it. The hardest part for him is backing up, although he only has to move the cart 12 inches at the Novice level. I’m sure he’ll be ready for it by mid-March.

Now for the not so fun stuff…

Thanks to the Phenobarbital, Duncan packed on about 24lbs between January and November. That’s a lot more weight than is healthy for him. I started weaning him off the Pb in November, and he was completely off by late December. He’s now taking Zonisamide twice a day, instead. Being done with the Pb has been wonderful for him in the sense that he’s back to being the dog he used to be. Unfortunately, his seizures are coming more frequently and have been getting more severe. His last set was 7 grand mals in 21 minutes a couple of days ago, with 6 in 20 minutes just a few days before that. He had 10 grand mals in 31 hours over New Year’s. We’ve started a new cluster-buster protocol with Keppra that really seems to work, but the meds make him extremely ataxic so it takes a couple of days to recover from the treatment. We did get the great news in January that he’d lost 12lbs since November 1st. With luck, we’ll have him back down to a sleek 115lbs in another month or so.

Duncan was asked to participate in a study being done by the vet school (well, I was asked if I’d put him in the study, but you get the idea). They’re testing to see if external electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve will help increase the time between seizures and decrease the severity. I have a small device that I put against his neck two to three times a day for 90 seconds. We’ve been doing it for a few weeks now, and so far I’d say its not helping at all. Maybe after a little more time… One thing we have discovered is that Duncan really hates the thing for about 24 hours after a seizure. I think that’s pretty interesting, especially considering he’s actually slept through the treatment before.

Other than the seizures, Duncan’s doing pretty well. I’m going to give him a run at barn hunting in the next few weeks, and I’m hoping we’ll be able to attend a rally trial in May. It just all depends on how his noggin is doing, since he’s pretty much comatose for about 48 hours after a cluster. Paws crossed for the big pup!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope Duncan does get to do the VALOR fun days and Nationals and have a lot of qualifying runs, add some more titles and definitely have a ton of fun !!!! And I hope his new meds help him !!!!
:) Love you, Mom