Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 20

Well, I've put it off long enough. I have to mention how grateful I am to have my Leo in my life.

As you may know, Leo has had some challenging health issues. Ever since I recieved his a year ago in July, he has been on one type of antibiotic or another for an upper respiratory problem or pneumonia, or at least that is what we assumed it was. I'm having second thoughts on all of that at this time.

We recently had another bout of illness, but I decided to just ride it out rather than rush to the vet, just to see how he faired. I also started thinking about what happens prior to him getting sick. For the longest time, I would blame it on Petsmart, because I would take him to get groomed and within 24 hours, he would be sick. However, I started thinking and realized that he has been to the groomers and NOT gotten sick, so was it possibly something else?!?

I then realized that on the first weekend of the month, the weekend that he normally goes to the groomers, I also give him his heartworm pill. Ding Ding Ding Ding!! I decided to do some research on possible side effects of giving him this medication, which is basically a pesticide that he ingests. It turns out that there are some side effects (the following is taken directly from drugs.com):

Adverse Reactions

In clinical field trials with Heartgard Plus, vomiting or diarrhea within 24 hours of dosing was rarely observed (1.1% of administered doses). The following adverse reactions have been reported following the use of HEARTGARD: Depression/lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, mydriasis, ataxia, staggering, convulsions and hypersalivation.
Well, upon reading this, I made the determination that his issues may lie more in his medication than in his bath. He experiences a number of the symptoms, including vomiting, lethargy, anorexia (loss of appetite - not the psycological issue), and probably some ataxia or convulsions, because he does have more leg and foot spasms during this time than normal. With this being said, I'm going to perform an experiment next month and NOT do the hearworm and the grooming on the same weekend. I'm also going to go ahead and start researching what options are out there for preventative heartworm medications that are not administered orally.

I just have to think that we know he has an impaired immune system due to his childhood illnesses, compounding that with giving him a strong pesticide has to make me reconsider everything that I've done for this poor baby... How can I give him something that causes him so much distress?!?

Oh, and as a funny story... Leo is no longer being put into his crate when I leave the house. Since he is in daycare at least 3 times a week, he has a lot less energy and boredom, so I feel comfortable with the knowledge that he isn't going to destroy anything. However, I still do not allow him to just roam free throughout the house. Instead I gate off my kitchen, which has tile floors, and close all of the doors along the hallway. This gives him plenty of space to roam up and down the hall, I also leave him with water and food, if he hasn't eaten it for the day, as well as his bed (unless he starts tearing it up). He seems to be okay with this, he doesn't enjoy me leaving him behind and he has started refusing to eat his treat and/or his food until I return. I feel a little guilty over this, but he has to learn that I will always (I hope) come back to him. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I left to go to dinner with a friend and he was alone in his space. When I returned a few hours later, I opened the door from the garage and expected to have him come flying down the hall to greet me, which is the norm. Well, he wasn't there. The house was completely silent and he wasn't in the kitchen or garage. I started to panic, until I opened the door to the pantry (one of 2 doors that are off of this hall) and he comes shooting out of the dark in a complete panic. After hugging on him and calming him down, I took a look in the pantry. Now, there is no telling how long he was actually in that pantry, I mean did he find his way in there as soon as I closed the door and pulled out of the garage or was it right before I returned home, no matter, though because he did not get into a single thing...even though his treat bag is on the floor, the trashcan is in there, he was within grabbing distance of any number of things....nothing was touched. I figure the door hadn't been latched tightly and he bumped it with his nose in his sniffing around and when he went in and sniffed behind the door it was pushed shut. Since he does not have opposable thumbs nor the understanding of pulling the door open, he was trapped.....poor baby. He has been avoiding the pantry ever since that event.

1 comment:

Sara said...

lovable Leo!

I hope we have determined root cause :)