Friday, October 21, 2011

This was not the intent

AP here:
I started this blog to be a lighthearted, feel good kind of place to tune in and learn about how normal a blind dogs life can be. It has now morphed into more of a medical blog about the extreme (not normal) genetic mutant that is my boy Tonka and his varied and continuing medical problems. This was not the intent and I truly wish that he would never have another problem and we could go back to fun and silliness. I do hope that what I write about at least helps someone looking for information or direction. I know with some of his issues I could not find a lot of personal accounts from people going through the same thing and it would have been helpful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

lumbosacral stenosis - say what?

AP Here:
Tonka and I have been to see a Neurologist, Dr. Harris at Veterinary Neurology of the Chesapeake . His left hind leg is still not right and he is walking sideways. While he was there he was also seen by Dr.Burgess as an orthopedic consult.  The presumptive results were-

Assessment and Diagnosis

Neuro Localization - Spinal lumbosacral cord (L4-S3): Tonka's neurologic exam is revealing subtle lower motor neuron deficits in his left pelvic limb. Given these findings in association with pain on tail elevation, the most likely location for the problem is at the lumbosacral junction. Possible causes would include lumbosacral stenosis (Type II disk disease, arthritis of the articular facets, and enlargement of associated ligaments and soft tissues). Other possibilities would include neoplasia (primary or metastatic cancer) or infectious/inflammatory diseases; however these are thought less likely.

The best diagnostic test to determine the exact cause for his defecits would be an MRI /- a spinal tap and electrodiagnostics (EMG, MNCV, etc.).

Tonka's mild neurologic deficits are further complicated by concurrent orthopedic disease. An orthopedic exam revealed discomfort on manipulation of both of his hips (left more than right) and radiographs of his pelvis reveal evidence of hip dysplasia and osteoarthitis of the left hip. Tonka also resisted manipulation of his left stifle (knee) and there is concern that there may be a meniscal tear. There is no evidence of cruciate ligament rupture at this time.

Since Tonka had his heart surgery this year and just had the rhinoscopy a month ago we are opting to try medication for a few weeks to see if there is any improvement. If not then we will have the MRI to rule out the Lumbar Sacral problem. I am hesitant to put him back under anesthesia so quickly after the last one and we are just now getting the prednisone out of his system and he is acting more alert and like his old self. We have known about the hip since 2009 and it has never been an issue until now so I am not sure what to think. We will just have to deal with whatever comes our way like we always do. I know he is tired of being poked and prodded and I don't blame him. If you are curious as to what an MRI for your dog costs these days in the Maryland area try $1750.00 and that does not include any additional items like a dye test or spinal tap.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sylvia Swims

A long time ago AP and CM took me to the canine fitness center and took me swimming. I really didn't like it much and prefer the ocean over a pool. My friend Sylvia who had hip surgery has had a rough time getting all the mobility back in her leg so she has taken up swimming. AP stopped in to see her at the canine fitness center pool and took a little video of her paddling away. She is much better at than I am and it is really helping her hip.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


On Sunday AP and I got to go to a really cool park and meet some new friends and some of our old ones. The new friends were dogs and kids that all have had heart surgery like me. It was a great day and I got to forget about my medical problems for awhile. It was put on by the great people at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children and the Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates. 

I met a Collie named Annie

A Newfie named Bouy
Bouy and Annie are also therapy dogs.
I got lots of love from everyone.
The kids were all great and some of my Doctors were there. Dr. Rosenthal was there along with Cari who took really good care of me and AP got to meet Dr. Schmitt who was also in on my surgery
A really cool kid liked my bionic eye.

 It was a really fun time and I loved all the head pats, ear scratches and belly rubs from all the great kids.
Thanks to CVCA for inviting me and to Bouy's mom for the chicken.

p.s. AP borrowed 2 of these pictures from the CVAC Facebook site - we hope that is OK

Friday, October 7, 2011

The hippy hippy shake!

In 2009 I was diagnosed with a problem in my right shoulder and my  left hip. The x-rays of the left hip showed a gap between the ball and socket of  the joint. This means that my hip can slip a bit - the humans call it subluxation. Well my foot slipped off of the step downstairs and I sub-luxed something and now it is really hard for me to lay down. AP and Dr. Woodburn talked about it and they can't give me anything for inflammation because I am just weaning off the prednisone that I was on for the nosebleeds. Dr. Woodburn gave me Tramadol for pain and I have to take it easy. I am supposed to go to the Cardiac, Pediatric picnic this weekend so hopefully I will be feeling better in a day or so.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ray the Blind Dog

Tonka and I have never met Ray the Blind Dog but we follow his adventures closely. There are alot of similarities in their behavior and they both have Aussies as best friends. Ray's parents put together a video montage of Ray's first two years with them and we loved it so much Tonka is re-posting here:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fredericksburg Dog Fair

We got up really early to go to the Fredericksburg Dog Fair. AGPR reserved a spot at the adoption park at the fair and my friend Donna organized our part in the event. She has her own boarding kennels and helps AGPR by fostering some of my friends before they find forever homes. Two of my friends Charlie Bear and Snowball were with her today and I got to hang out with them. We setup a tent with a table and chairs and got ready for the dogs and humans from the big downtown dog parade to show up.

Ready for the day!
I met a Mastiff puppy who will one day be bigger than me.

Monster Puppy

Snowball is a great guy. He whispered me the secret of looking really cute so humans will give you more treats.


Not sure of this Dog

I met a really big dog but he smelled an awful lot like a human.

My friends Tom and Mindel showed up in the afternoon with two puppies Ziggy and Micky. They are very smart and already know how to sit and shake paws.

Mindel and Pups
Tom and Pups
My new friend Emily took care of Charlie Bear and after lunch he tried to take a quick nap.

Emily and Charlie Bear

Charlie Bear

Then around lunch time my Uncle Charles, Aunt Brenda and Aunt Texie came by. I had never met them before and it was awful nice of them to come see me. My cousins Betty, Virginia and Chris came as well and bought some of my younger cousins to visit. It was great to "see" them.

Brian and Kaelyn
AP and Aunt Texie

Chilling with Brian

We had lots of people come by and meet us and talk about adopting a Pyr fromAGPR. It would be great if the humans would open up their homes to  one of my many friends that AGPR is taking care of.
Every dog should have a forever home.