All About Our Riddick!

We’ve had a rough few months with our Riddick! Wow!

Around July, Riddick’s diabetes was no longer under control. We’d been going great guns till then, but things were going downhill fast.
We went back to the vet to do a sugar curve – as we do every month or so, just to make sure he’s still stable – and we had to make the decision to switch to the special prescribed diet for diabetic dogs. We didn’t switch when he was diagnosed as Riddick wasn’t overweight, and we didn’t want him to be starving while we worked to get his blood sugar under control.
We did a nine-day switch from the Supreme Pet Elite to the Hills Prescription Diet W/D, and while we were switching – I ended up in hospital for a week and my poor husband had to take over everything!

Riddick's

Riddick’s “log book” for his blood sugar readings, this goes with us to the vet too. On the right I track his blood sugar readings and on the left I note fits, when I start a new glucose bottle, and any other changes or incidents!

Once the switch was complete, everything seemed to go so well for a while… And then his blood sugar was dropping way too low, and he was having seizures.
Unfortunately, it turned out some of the seizures were epileptic seizures, not just due to low blood sugar! We’d sort of been expecting this diagnosis, having seen one or two fits in the last few months, but now he needed medication for that too. Putting him on the Phenobarbitone tablets made him dreadfully groggy and unstable, and recovering from a fit made him groggy and unstable, and it made him thirsty and it made him pee more – just like diabetes symptoms… It was a dreadful few weeks! 😦
I was so worried about him! He couldn’t find his way around the garden or the house, after his worst seizure one Sunday night, he didn’t even recognise me! 😥
Here’s one of my Facebook updates from that time (I took this picture on one of his worst days – he barely moved that day).

I spend half my day in tears and the other half stressing... watching my precious Riddick, my bouncy, noisy hooligan stumbling around, falling over his own feet, trying to play but doing everything in slow motion... 😢💔 I pray with all my heart that he'll adjust to his meds soon and be seizure free and back to his old self again. 😔

I spend half my day in tears and the other half stressing… watching my precious Riddick, my bouncy, noisy hooligan stumbling around, falling over his own feet, trying to play but doing everything in slow motion… 😢💔 I pray with all my heart that he’ll adjust to his meds soon and be seizure free and back to his old self again. 😔

When he was coming out of a fit, I was trying to support him and help him find his water and have a pee, but I wasn’t coping – he has no handles! Then I did some late-night Googling and found a harness that would come in real handy for him, but the one I found at a local supplier cost R900… And then our friends blew us away by “crowdfunding” the cost of the harness! We are extremely grateful, and it made such a huge difference! I could actually help him walk, find the water bowl, have a pee – without breaking my back or hurting him!

Here's Riddick in his Holisticvet harness! I'm not using the back half of the harness at this point - its detachable, so if he needs it we can use it too. I've already had to use the harness, he had a bit of a twitchy-fit when we got to Doggy Paddle - Animal Hydrotherapy Centre, so we had to wait for him to come out of it to fit it properly, and then they had to help me get him in the car again. :( When we got home he was still very wobbly, so I had to help him walk to get water and have a busy, then I put him on his bed. The harness is made to be worn for extended periods of time, so I'm going to leave it on during the day and take it off at night.

Here’s Riddick in his Holisticvet harness! I’m not using the back half of the harness at this point – its detachable, so if he needs it we can use it too. I’ve already had to use the harness, he had a bit of a twitchy-fit when we got to Doggy Paddle, so we had to wait for him to come out of it to fit the harness properly, and then they had to help me get him in the car. 😦 When we got home he was still very wobbly, so I had to help him walk to get water and have a busy, then I put him on his bed. The harness is made to be worn for extended periods of time, so I’m going to leave it on during the day and take it off at night.

Guide-Dog-puppy Xander was very concerned about Riddick, and tried to stay close and comfort him after his seizures.

Guide-Dog-puppy Xander was very concerned about Riddick, and tried to stay close and comfort him after his seizures.

It took a few weeks for the side effects from the Phenobarbitone to settle down, and to get his sugar back on track. He had back-to-back sugar curves that left his ears full of little pin-prick holes from the glucometer blood tests – its the best place to get the little blood sample needed for the glucometer test strip!

Riddick's ears full of little holes from two days of sugar curves!

Riddick’s ears full of little holes from two days of sugar curves!

Thankfully we’ve now reached a point where I don’t have to put his harness on when he wakes up anymore – I have mastered clipping it on the second he shows signs of a seizure!

There was one Sunday we had to work, and I couldn't leave Riddick home unsupervised, so my sister looked after him for the day and he had a wonderful time! It was such a weight off our shoulders knowing he was being watched!

There was one Sunday we had to work, and I couldn’t leave Riddick home unsupervised, so my sister looked after him for the day and he had a wonderful time! It was such a weight off our shoulders knowing he was being watched!

The other time we spent the day away from home, we took Riddick with us. He's very vocal and fidgety in the car, unless I sit in the back seat with him, or he's in the front footwell with me! When we picked up my mom to go with us, I sat in the back seat with Riddick, and he happily lay down and napped!

The other time we spent the day away from home, we took Riddick with us. He’s very vocal and fidgety in the car, unless I sit in the back seat with him, or he’s in the front footwell with me! When we picked up my mom to go with us, I sat in the back seat with Riddick, and he happily lay down and napped!

We seem to be finally on the road to normality… His weight is holding steady at about 35.5kg, which is perfect for him. Apart from when he feasts on fallen mulberries in the garden and pushes his blood sugar up, it seems to have normalised. We now have not had a seizure in 12 days. His blood tests showed the Phenobarbitone levels at the lower end of the scale for his size, but no seizures means its working.

I had to redo Riddick's name tag to add the epilepsy diagnosis, and I had the one with the heart on it made for the people who donated money for his harness!

I had to redo Riddick’s name tag to add the epilepsy diagnosis, and I had the one with the heart on it made for the people who donated money for his harness!

We also got him a big Nylabone to chew on and play with, because he can have it as much as he likes without affecting his blood sugar!

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About Angel

We have 4 cats who live exclusively indoors, we have 4 dogs live mostly inside, and we are Guide Dog puppy raisers for SA Guide-Dogs!

Posted on October 12, 2016, in canine diabetes, Canine Epilepsy, illness, Riddick, the dogs, vet visits. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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