Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Dog Had a Real Problem

Xiao and Brina Share a Blanket
       The above picture was after Xiao, the Chihuahua, came into the family. I thought there would be jealousy but found that Brina only wanted to share the blanket, so she pulled down half of it from the hammock Xiao was sleeping in and went to sleep below the hammock. She knew the little one would not hurt her and Xiao, the little one, knew that Brina was a friend.
         Brina was afflicted with seizures. And I had begun to hear that most times, an animal with seizures had to be put down.

        Through a friend who had studied acupuncture, I learned that a  major epileptic fit could be averted by a simple finger pressure directly under the partition in the middle of the nose. It is a safe Chinese acupressure pressure point and does no damage, even if it is done once or twice more. 

        I thought he was joking. However, my dog had been given phenobarbital, a heavy duty drug that got her addicted. She needed six of those pills per day.

        My vet advised me to get a prescription which the pharmacist told me that it had been taken off the market three years earlier.

         Having seen human epilepsy with the tense but flailing legs and arms first-hand, I figured the acupressure might help but did not know about it when I asked the pharmacist about meds for leg cramps. I was a bit disappointed that the medicine was under aspirins and such.

         That non-intrusive item is an over-the-counter, non-addictive pill costing about $6.00. It is called Leg Cramps. It comes in  two sizes, one for day time and one for over night. 

        Too simple a med I thought. Brina, the dog, really goes under for almost two hours of strain. But I was willing to try it if it might help the dog. I gave her one LC in the morning with a potassium pill and the same in the evening to help with the cramping. After one or two days the potassium was rejected. I dutifully put it back into her mouth and she took it in. The next day she did the same thing, but I figured there had to be a good reason for the rejection so did not give it to her again. 

       Then, one day, I forgot the evening LC pill.  I found that she was fine with one pill a day. The pill contained quinine and was a homeopathic med. 

        I heard from a person who had similar leg cramping seizures that he used Quinine water that helped him immensely.

        By that time I had learned about the acupressure point, but had never used it.  One evening, Brina dropped to the ground about three blocks from our apartment.  I, knowing I would take a bit longer to get back to her, I pressed her nose, then rushed my other dog home.  I grabbed her "taxi" (a laundry basket with a rope) and sped back to Brina.

         I  pressed her nose, one more time and I sort of dumped her into the basket upside down and started pulling the basket home. After a block or so, I heard her breathing normally.that was strange, I thought. But, curiosity got the best of me and I turned to see if it was true. She was sitting up in the basket with both paws on the front edge, happy as can be.

       After 4-1/2 years, we returned to the vet for something else. The vet was very disappointed I did not use her prescription. She said: "Well, it was good for you, and good for Brina;  but it was not good for us" [meaning the clinic.]

         In other words the prescription given me by the vet was just a way to get more money and probably less help to dog [or even to a human] than the phenobarbital, had.

          Once in awhile, when later Brina knew she was going to have a seizure, she would hop into bed with me. and trap me between my blankets. I would not be able to get up easily, so I would press her nose and do it one or two times more. Eventually she would snuggle up on my arm and stay for about 15 more minutes or so until she knew her seizure was definitely over, and then she would hop out and go to bed as usual.

        I was so glad that the one daily pill and the once-in-a-while acupressure helped both of us have a very pleasant time together.

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