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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sick Bay Calls: Back in the Harness Again and November's #LiveGibStrong Epi-Tip #6

Gibson back in lift harness after a set back.

Having an ailing pup can be a rollercoaster ride for sure. We enjoy the exhilaration when things are looking up, then just as quick as a blink of an eye, we are whipped around into a direction of fear and uncertainty. Then it's back through the loop-de-loop on the road to whole health once again. The last we updated progress on Gibson's rehabilitation since his fall on Christmas Eve 2013, he was doing pretty well after eight months of rehabilitation via Conservative Care Treatment (also referred to as Conservative Care Management), which is a non-surgical holistic option for healing. In Gib's case, it was for a torn CCL and an injury to an already weakened hind end from the Epi-medications. At first, it did not seem like anything was happening; not too much improvement to report. Then he started getting a little stronger each day, until I had reported he had all four paws back on the ground solo! It was a huge achievement!

And then it happened. Two days ago Gibson wound up on the floor in a prone position. Whether his legs gave out and fell down, or he slipped and fell, I'm not sure. I was in the living room when I heard an extra loud "thud" to the floor. Now Gibson is a big wooly boy, weighing in at about 95-98 pounds, so he's not quiet when he decides to lay down on a good day. Not thinking much of it, I went in there to see if he wanted to go out. Then I saw it. He tried to get up, but could not get his footing. I saw an all-to-familiar favoritism going on with his left left. I went and retrieved the lift harness and helped up with a bit of a struggle and absolutely no weight down on his left leg. I cried. A day before he was bouncing around on his own, being filmed for my Election Day video, walking around me while I was in the kitchen, and just being all-around interactive and self-reliant. A fantastic place to be, especially after he was absolutely lame 10 months ago. I thought, no way!

Gib snoozing after laser treatment.
It's too soon to tell if he tore his old injury some more, or if all the stress of two blown CCLs over the past two years is taking its toll on his body and we need to start thinking of surgery (which as a canine epileptic, his vet and I decided that would not be the approach at this time, but may need to now re-evaluate). It could also be a strain/sprain. Canine Epilepsy is a mysterious beast with so many tentacles. While a dog may be managed by medications, those very same medications can cause harm in different, sometimes silent ways. Example - causing a weak hind end that could lead to slips and falls, which can lead to injuries. It's two sides to the same coin, and it's not always an easy think to decide. I go by what my heart and gut tells me. I research everything I can. Then I make the best decisions based on the best information and options I learn about. To top it all off, he has arthritis, which set in pretty quickly after his falls. I, too, have arthritis (RA). I also had a blown meniscus and injured ACL and went with no surgery route. So I know if I was to slip on the floor, I'd be sore and limping for a few days, too. I'm praying it's the latter. Time and laser treatments will tell. I am thankful for a great network of supportive family, friends, vet staff, and the many wonderful modern day options for whole pet health.

"My tummy hurts. I was worried about Gib."
And the old adage, "When it rains, it pours," is quite accurate. The morning after Gibson reinjured himself, Harley's IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) flared up - to the tune of bloody diarrhea all over. She was lethargic, grumpy, and had no appetite. We've been down this road before as well, at first fearing it was hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. After a vet exam, thankfully, it's just gastroenteritis. But seeing the raspberry-like blood, and so much of it, is quite alarming. But after a 24-hour tummy rest, and another few hours of disinterest, Harley is finally eating small bites of boiled chicken, rice, and pumpkin every couple of hours. Today, I added a little of her special vet-prescribed GI kibble, and while she's not back to being all better, there is a slow, steady improvement. What suddenly brought on the attack? Given how close she and Gibson are, it's no doubt in my mind she was stressing about him when he suddenly couldn't walk. 

There is such a connection - not much different from us humans. We continue on the path hopefully toward healing...and we persevere.

Here's our sixth Epi-Tip of the month for
 November's Epilepsy Awareness Month:



  1. Sending lots of prayers and POTP to Gibson and Harley...and Mommy too. You have your hands full but giving it our all is just what Mommies do. Quick recovery wishes to both of you with love.

  2. Oh I am so sorry to hear this.
    Poor sweet Gib and Harley for being so caring. It is a truly amazing bond, but on such sad terms. Sending you healing husky kisses and thinking of you all.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  3. Oh dear, here you go again. All paws crossed for Gibson to mend well and for Harley to feel better.

    Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

  4. Gibson, we are sure sending purrs and prayers to you. Get better soon Harley.