Monday, August 18, 2008

Caution...Dangerous Curves Ahead

The weekend was a time of waiting and watching. Carmella seemed her normal jovial self, swaggering up to grab hold of my pants leg, and barking at the teenaged kids down the street playing football or a squirrel that wandered into the back yard and peered back at her through the protection of a window divided only by thin strips of wood.

Once outside on the leash she looked through the chain link fence into the back yard and wanted to run around back there, but the repairman who'd fixed the fence hadn't fixed it very well, as a plank fell off no more than a day after he'd been out here and pronounced it complete. It turned out that the plank had been nailed into air on the other side; not into the cross-board at all, so it was never attached in the first place fell back with the first gust of wind, and left a gaping hole big enough for a dog to escape through. It lay ineffectually with nails facing up in the yard. Having Carmella get out and end up hit by a car or picked up by the pound would be the last thing I needed. He has not been back to repair it, and the rest of the job was pretty sloppy, leaving mounds of uneven cement poured haphazardly into a sink hole that would only continue to sink. Such is life when you don't have the money to pay a "real" contractor, and I'm not in good enough health to attempt to do it myself. I had to settle for now for taking her back there on the leash and walking around with her. She really wanted to run and exercise her legs, but these days my legs aren't up to more than a few feet of that before I give out. We both came inside exhausted.

Carmella lay down and immediately her front leg started jerking again. I found that if I put my hand on it I can feel what seems to be current running through it. It's a very strange feeling. I felt it tonight too.

When I checked my e-mail today there was a message from Dr. Sears. He told me that the NDV CSF procedure would be trickier now that these symptoms (Chorea) had appeared. He believes it is in the early stages of what will eventually progress to either seizures or paralysis, and he said that this can progress slowly after periods of stability or it could progress fast depending on two factors; the genetics of the dog, and what strain of Distemper the dog has.

I called Dr. Brantly's office around 3:00 this afternoon and somebody who answered the phone said he was with a patient so she would have to give him my message when he came out. I told her that Carmella was getting worse in terms of the jerking and that it was more frequent and more obvious now.

Awhile after that a call came in from a receptionist who had not gotten the message but had been asked to call me on behalf of Dr. Brantly based on Friday's information that nothing had changed. He wanted her to tell me that he was not comfortable doing the procedure right now and that he was still researching, and that he would most likely call Dr. Sears tonight after work. He had waited to call him so that he could speak on the subject intelligently. She conveyed at this point that he was afraid of paralyzing or even killing her if he did not do the procedure just perfectly, and upon further questioning it seemed as though he had not done many spinal taps, and maybe appeared overly confident in the beginning when he'd said "I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it", asking that we come in more as a formality than anything else. As the call to action became increasingly imminent it seemed he got cold feet. The problem is, where does that leave Carmella? I hope not out of luck. The ticking time bomb in her head will not merely go away. Somebody will have to do this thing or it's just a matter of time before she dies of this horrible disease.

I wonder why Dr. Johnson didn't do it before she had these symptoms when he had the chance and the skills? If he's done enough spinal taps not to hit the chord then he clearly would have been qualified. I wonder if he ever thinks about her or wonders how she is? Surely he knows the score if left untreated.

And then there was one other vet who could have done it successfully and chose not to.

I am not going to give up. Sooner or later the right vet for the job will reveal him/herself. I just know that it is not God's will for Carmella to die. Anybody who meets her knows very quickly that she is not merely a dog. There is a purpose for her life. Who knows, maybe that purpose is to open the minds of vets to think outside the box, and to change the current thinking about what is cureable and how new medical discoveries become accepted.

Tonight I will be looking at various university vet schools' websites to see what I can find in the way of names of neuro vets. Auburn, and possibly University of Tennessee. I hope I don't have to go that far away, but will if I have to.
Please check out my Carmella Collection of jewelry and many other unique jewelry lines at , proceeds are going to Carmella's vet bill. Your help is greatly appreciated.


Apple Blossom Designs said...

What a beautiful dog! I hope she gets the treatment she needs to fulfill her purpose on this earth!
Hugs to you for being such a wonderful mommy!

Giftbearer said...

Thanks so much! I looked through hundreds of dogs and just knew when I saw her that she was the one for me.

earth and sun folk said...

i'll be thinking about carmella!! such a sweet pup :)

Walk in the Woods said...

Blessings and love to you and sweet Carmella.

Jennifer said...

Carmella is adorable ad so lucky to have you in her corner!

Giftbearer said...

Thanks so much, everybody!

blackfeatherfarm said...

This just breaks my heart. She is such a doll, and lucky to have you fighting for her. I hope you find someone who can save her.

Crysto said...

such a cute puppy... well.. i guess he's not really a puppy.

Crysto said...

Sorry, I called her a he. It's a habit with dogs.. ooh, and forgot to mention that I hope you find someone to help her. She looks like a sweetheart.

Giftbearer said...

Thanks so much, everyone! Hope you will all keep reading. I'm not giving up. Still searching night and day for the right vet to do the honorable thing and save her.