Tuesday, June 12, 2012

News on Smudge

I know...it has been forever since my last post.
I also left everyone hanging a bit about Smudge and her seizures.  
I wanted to have all of the facts before I posted again and 
I have also been covered up with furniture renderings (what I do for a living). 

So...here is what we have found with Smudge.
She has been diagnosed with Epilepsy.

After my last post and many trips to the vet for blood work and checkups.
Both vets involved in helping us wanted us to watch her, document all seizures and then get 
back with them.  They wanted to rule out the fact that this could be caused by 
toxins or something else (disease) that may show up in her blood work.  

The fact is that her blood work came up absolutely perfect.
They checked her thyroid, and every other function known to man (and to my checkbook). 

During the process of all of this checking..Smudge had another seizure.  
I was home alone and thought everything was okay.
Then...she had another one...and another one...and on and on.
Rushing a dog, that is having grand mal seizures, to the vet is not easy when you are alone.
The seizures that she had were called cluster seizures by the vet. 

Once she was at the vet, she stayed overnight and they were able to get her seizures under control
with medication.  They did even more blood work and then decided that the diagnosis was indeed 
Idiopathic Epilepsy.
The idiopathic part means that there is no known reason or underlying disease behind the seizures.

Smudge is now on Phenobarbital.  
So far this is helping her and we hope continues to help her.  
She is in an adjustment period for 14 days to regulate the medication.  We go back in for 
a blood test on the 14th to see how the meds are effecting her body.
Hopefully all will be well.
Dogs with epilepsy can lead very long and normal lives if the seizures can be controlled. 

That is great news to us and we hope that Smudge can be a happy healthy dog.

One other thing that we discussed in Smudge's treatment was a CT scan.  
We, along with our vet team, decided not to do one unless it was completely necessary.
If things degrade then we will do a scan.  There is still a possibility of a brain tumor, but the 
treatment would basically be the same along with prednisone to help reduce swelling and 
slow down tumor growth.  I am just hoping and praying that this is not being caused by a 
tumor.  Plus, she seems to be doing well so far on the phenobarbital.  

So...there you have it.  
Smudge is doing well and I am looking at this in a positive way.
She can play and run and have a good time on her meds.
She is getting even more attention...if that was even possible and 
live a great life. 

The only problem she is having is that her pond time has been greatly reduced.
Because of her seizures she can not get in the little garden pond unattended.
That is making her grumpy.

We have had some wet weather lately.

Took Zippy for a walk and the storm that you can see in the distance, 
caught us.  We got stuck at a neighbor's workshop and had to get a ride home.

Love being in the woods on misty days.

You can see some of the most beautiful things when the weather changes.

The top of Elk Knob state park covered in clouds.

Another Eastern Newt.

A rare photo of Zippy actually looking at the camera. Ha!

The watch dogs.

My gardens are shaping up, but I have noticed that the hollyhocks are getting rust.
I hate that.  

This is a rare flower.....
and one that is not supposed to be in the garden!

The other day...Scatter decided to join us on our walk.

She meowed the whole way.

She had a great time.

The foxglove has been blooming like never before.

All of the plants seem out of order this year. 
I guess the strange spring that we had with all of the warmth and then 
the two periods of freezing temps in between, got things mixed up.

The poppies have been really nice this year and full of blooms.

Smudge with a lily pad that she snuck out of the pond.  
Trying to run away before I confiscated it.

Waiting for her biscuit.  

Zippy helping get the pumpkin patch ready.
Since this photo...I have planted the pumpkins and they are well on their way.

More foxglove.

I love the spots on these. 

Zippy catching some sun.  

He sits at the edge of the vegetable garden hoping that I will throw him some 
asparagus it is his favorite thing...
why my garden now has a fence.


Elk Knob at sunset.

The horses after their evening meal.

You can see the interesting color on Oracle in this photo.
He is not a true black.  
More of a dark grullo.   He has a stripe down his back that is darker.

Eco is always really bright red right after he sheds his winter coat and Danza 
a little more golden.  So interesting to see the differences in colors. 

May has stripes on her head and a few little spots.
She is still shedding and will probably not be slick until the first week or so of July.

Scatter the wild cat on her walk.  

This photo cracks me up...Just like the "Incredible Journey".  Ha ha ha..

I love this Creeping Jenny.  The color really brightens up the garden.  

While Smudge is adjusting to the medication, she gets to go with us everywhere.
Here she is on the neighbor's golf course.  Watching the ball go into the hole.

This is the view from the golf course.
By the way.....I made a hole in one that night!!!  


While we played, Smudge took a nap in the Gator. 

Moon from the golf course.
Now you know when this was taken!  

Smudge with her new teddy.
You can tell it is new, because it is only missing it's face and leg. 
Ha ha ha..

I am okay folks! 

View from the deck.

Well....here we are...at the end..
A cute little picture of Smudge and Gus.  
I will leave you until next time....or as my Grandmother would say..
"See you in the funny papers".  

Speaking of funny papers.......

This is what Smudge does when you leave her for 30 minutes.
I guess she did not like that magazine.
It was a Cooking Light magazine. 
Either that or she was hungry...Ha!  
Have a great week folks!


  1. I'm glad she is okay. Years ago we adopted a foxhound named Timothy that had a seizure disorder. He was on phenobarbitol as well. Over the years his medication did need to be upped from time to time, but he mostly did quite well and was such a sweet and loving dog. I hope the medication is effective for Smudge.

  2. We are wishing you the very best, Smudge! We want you to be happy for a longggggggggggg time to come!
    Your flowers are just gorgeous, especially the poppy!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  3. Paws crossed for Smudge! Hope the meds work.

    Your garden is just gorgeous. We love the spots on the flowers, too.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  4. One of our foster dogs started by having seizures once a month, but then after a year when he began having the cluster seizures we put him on medication for them--They worked wonderfully for him, and I know that they will/are for your precious Smudge too!

    Your garden is also so beautiful and I'm so jealous of your foxgloves!

  5. Oh my goodness gracious our poor baby beautiful girl Smudge. All our feets are crossed for you. No more seizure monsters. Thank goodness mom loves you ..... Great way to make confetti magazines
    Benny & Lily

  6. Lots of great photos. My favorite is the misty woods. Sorry to hear about Smudge and hope you can keep her on a light dose of medication.

  7. I loved all of the wonderful photographs. I do hope Smudge's medication regimen gets her stable. Paws and fingers crossed here.

  8. Jill - your garden is spectacular!! I too loved all of the pictures and become overwhelemed with the feeling of how lucky ALL of your animals are to have YOU. So, so grateful that Smudge is adjusting and doing ok. Hugs to Smudge!!

  9. I had an old Afghan Hound with a brain tumor. She was 15 at the time, so we let her go after a while. Smudge is young and doing well on the med, so I would be hopeful for her to have a long, healthy life.

    As usual, I am in awe of the beauty surrounding you.

  10. I'm so glad Smudge is doing well on her meds and in continuing to enjoy life. And, oh! Those foxgloves!!!

  11. Just popping in to tell you we are still thinking positive thoughts for Smudge. Perhaps the phenobarb will calm some of the chewing?

  12. A hole in one...flip flip....you are special really...so glad you figured out poor Smudge's condition..lots of hugs from Sophie Doodle!