Document, Document, Document
Now that Carmella is beginning her recovery stage I've been giving some thought to what needs to be done to document her improvement for the medical journal article to come. I am so excited that Carmella is going to be a part of saving other dogs' lives and want us to do this right so that her case history will be taken seriously by the vets who will be on the review panel of whichever journals it will be submitted to, and vets in practice, after publication.
We're still trying to locate a lab in the US that can test the strain of Distemper in her spinal fluid. The portion for that test is still sitting in Dr. Muller's refrigerator or freezer while we try to work out the logistics. Luckily frozen it can stay viable indefinitely.
I spoke with the pathology lab at UGA and got a much better reception there than we had in the clinical section earlier. There happened to be a vet there who has spent most of his career studying Distemper and he was quite interested when I told him about Carmella and the treatment she had. Although he didn't know anyone but the same Italian source I had who tests for the strain, he seems to have relationships with several major Veterinary research centers around the country and he may be instrumental in pitching this treatment to them, which in turn could get somebody interested in doing clinical trials. I gave him Dr. Sears' e-mail and the link to his dog-based serum and we exchanged e-mail addresses.
He was unaware that the CDC had Canine Distemper on their list of Bioterrorist agents or that they'd documented 13 seperate strains, and was a little shocked, stating that they are mainly an agency for humans and that Distemper can't be caught by humans. I said that was my understanding too, but I have always wondered why they had that on a bioterrorist list. Who knows, maybe it was about potential threat to our food supply, not directly to us. I'm not sure if cows and chickens catch it or not.
Then I called The University of Tennessee. It took a few calls back and forth to reach the right person, but a woman vet called me back from their imunology lab and told me that they don't do the test there either but that she'd try to help me find a lab that did and that I should hear from her tomorrow. She thought she remembered something being done along those lines in Colorado. I hope she does have a good lead there because that would be much cheaper than sending it all the way to Italy!
This blog will keep an important record of Carmella's progress, but I have been thinking also that in addition to the other tests Dr. Norwood and I spoke of the other day maybe she should have regular MRIs to show any changes in her white matter that is damaged by the disease, causing the jerking. If brain and nerve tissue can be regenerated then advanced imaging techniques such as MRI could really show dramatic improvement, and one thing about pictures is they are hard to dispute.
Carmella was bursting with energy today. I think she felt better than I did as the first half of the day I was feeling very groggy, had junk draining down the back of my throat, a headache, and my stumache was churned up. I had this achey, itchy feeling too throughout my body. I needed to stay in bed to get that under control and Carmella was especially feisty and kept wanting to go out of the kitchen.
She was chewing on me again as though she had such an insatiable urge to chew that her toys and sticks weren't enough. My bare feet seemed to be a magnet for her needle-sharp teeth. Sometimes she reminds me of a shark always with her mouth open looking for some flesh to bite into.
I went out several times with her into the back yard and threw sticks for her to fetch. Eventually she grew bored with that and set her sights on chomping into an arm, hand, or leg.
She seemed to have lost her chew stick that she'd been working on for the past month, so I got out another one for her and she set about breaking it in.
That baby bird smell is gone now. It seemed to last just about 2 1/2 months. Too bad because it was a nice smell. She doesn't smell bad now, but the baby bird smell was especially sweet.
The necklace donated by Tracey sold on Ebay on Sunday night for $22.00, and another donation came in via the blog donation button yesterday too. I sent off another payment today toward the vet bill.
Those of you thinking of doing some advertising, don't forget you can purchase ad space on my blog for only $5.00. Those little banners stay there until they bump one by one off the list, and there are lots of slots left to be filled.
The woman from the rubber stamp company got back to me and I sent her the specs I wanted to see some of my pictures in round and some in square or rectangular shapes.
I'm really looking forward to getting started on my new line.
In addition to the pictorial fine silver jewelry I'm planning with Carmella on it and some other scenes I found some really neat seedpods on a tree over the weekend that are going to be covered in fine silver and made into jewelry as well. They are great for Halloween, as they look like lanterns or gourds of some sort. Their natural color is a kind of burnt sienna or burnt umber which I think I will try to re-create with liver of sulfer when I put on the patina at the end.