Category Archives: Louise
Adopted in May 2010 from Wetnose – she and Thelma were rescued together after being abandoned, and had to be adopted together- which was exactly what we were looking for at the time!
We named them after the “Thelma and Louise” movie characters.
Louise was epileptic and medicated twice a day to control her seizures. A bit dense and extremely lovable, we lost her to an aggressive cancer on April 9th 2016 after a short battle.
Two months ago I took our Louise to the vet as she’d been a little “off” for about a week. She had developed a bit of a pot belly and was breathing very hard, sleeping or lying down completely stretched out on her side or on her back.
The vet found a large mass in her chest, not in her abdomen as I had suspected, and it was squashing her lungs which was why she was breathing so hard. It didn’t look good since it had grown so fast – Louise and Thelma had their annual vaccs a month before and they were both fine!
I know what it feels like to battle to breathe, but we took her home with a course of cortisone, because apart from her breathing she was still okay and enjoying her food, and she wasn’t in pain, but the vet didn’t think it’d be too much longer, and we watched her closely.
After a week on the high Cortisone dose she was less swollen and her breathing is easier, then we dropped the dose a little for another week and continued to watch her like a hawk, but she was still enjoying her food and behaving normally. We had decided that when that changed we’d take the next step.
After three weeks Louise had made a recovery that surprised even the vet!
The growth was still there, of course, and her breathing was still laboured, but it was much better, she wasn’t working as hard to breathe. Her swollen tummy was back to normal, she was still eating like she was never going to be fed again, and she still came running if she thought there was a treat to be had, so it looked like she may be with us for a while yet. At this point she was on the low dose of Cortisone and skipping a day inbetween, and we were hoping she could stay on that dose.
Once she finished the first course, she was still loving her food, and behaving pretty much like normal, but the last two nights she was up every hour again, asking to go out, and her abdomen had swollen a little again, so we started the Cortisone from the beginning to get her back to normal, and planned to taper it off till we were on a dose and skipping a day like we did for the previous two weeks, but the smallest dose would be slightly higher than the one she had just finished to try and maintain her “normal”.
It was amazing… A month before we thought we were about to say goodbye to her!
On the last day of her smallest Cortisone dose (on the second course) where we were skipping a day between pills, our sweet Louise was not herself… The Cortisone worked but soon as we reduced the dose she started to decline again. On Friday and Saturday morning she didn’t eat her breakfast – a very bad sign for greedy Louise. 😦 She was also very miserable, not wagging her tail or coming when you call her without real coaxing, and she’d lost weight fast, just in the last week. Thankfully she has not been in any pain, just uncomfortable.
We went back to the vet this morning, and he could feel another large growth in her abdomen. With the speed they are forming there was no way we could make her feel better, not without daily shots and pain meds, so today was the day.
Our sweet, silly, always-looking-for-a-cuddle Louise crossed the rainbow bridge while I held her and whispered in her ear.
I will miss you my sweet little stupid.
When we brought the dogs inside after their last “busy”, Thelma and Louise went straight into the walk-in cupboard where they sleep, but Thelma slammed on brakes and at first refused to go in!
Thelma and Louise each have a cushion, and Twister was lying on one of them!
When we adopted Thelma and Louise, I trained them that the cats were out of bounds so if the cats do get on their cushions they steer clear!
Yesterday afternoon we left home at 2:30PM to deliver a cake and cupcakes to – and then attend – a wedding in Roodepoort. We left too early and got back too late to feed the animals their supper, but they got breakfast as usual…
And then Louise had a seizure this morning. A big one. One where she’s sore and exhausted from seizing and starts this panting scream towards the end that sounds like something a jackal would do…
Giving her meds to her too early yesterday would most likely have had the same effect, but the fact that she can’t skip even one dose without having a fit really worries me.
And she took a while to recover from this one too. After a big seizure like this one she’s like a zombie for a while, walking in circles and bumping into things, not responding to her name… And while she’s seizing and until she’s herself again, the other dogs are freaked out too. They bark at her and lunge at her as if they think she’s playing.
I chase them out of the room or outside so I can stroke her and talk softly to her and make sure the space around her stays clear, I don’t think she can hear me but I like to think it helps soothe her stress a little… And when she’s up and walking around again the other dogs sniff her and approach her as if she’s a stranger.
I don’t know what we can do. She’s on the highest dose of medication we can give her.
When we moved into this house at the beginning of July, I think the girls had flashbacks of being abandoned when their previous owners moved, and it took them a few days to realise everything was still fine and to start eating properly.
It didn’t occur to me that it would stress them that much, but I didn’t make a fuss and with their normal routine being followed they settled down.
Their igloo kennel is in the back garden, under the carport roof, and facing the garage door to keep out as much wind as possible.
Where I put their kennel, the ground is covered by gravel, and Thelma doesn’t like walking on it! Its too comical to see her take a long path around it as much as possible when I call her inside!
The new house’s garden is huge, and Thelma and Louise both go on “patrol” a couple of times a day.
What is very different here is that the house is all on one level where the previous house had all the bedrooms upstairs, and Thelma and Louise didn’t know how to climb stairs! Now I can call them inside and straight down the passage to the bedroom where I do all my admin and they can chill there with the puppies (who never had any qualms about climbing stairs).
I even allow them on my bed sometimes and then have Thelma and Louise AND Riddick on the bed with me!
Lately they have taken to snoozing inside the puppy crate if I don’t let them get on the bed. I don’t think they’d like it if I closed it, but they’re quite comfy in there.
They still sleep in their enclosed “box” in the diningroom at night as Louise won’t always wait until she’s let outside to have a piddle.
Labrador puppy-in-training Lennox will even be allowed to lie next to them – if he behaves!
Thelma remains the healthier of the two dogs, not even picking up a bug if Louise gets sick. And she is still the thinner of the two, even though she’ll finish Louise’s food wen Louise doesn’t eat everything! And *touch wood* Louise hasn’t had a seizure in a couple of months now… I don’t want to say it out loud for fear of jinxing it!
They really are the sweetest girls, and they’re loving being able to check out the whole house – including the bedrooms – when they’re inside with us!
When we moved into the house we’re in now, I made the decision to move the animals in first so that we didn’t have to worry about them getting out of open doors and gates with the moving of furniture and such.
The new house has a completely enclosed garden so I knew the dogs would be safe, and the cats were locked in a bathroom for the day.
Throughout the day I was checking on the four dogs and three cats and cuddling them and making sure they had water, and they were fed on schedule.
Riddick and Lennox had no trouble settling in, their biggest adjustment was not being in the house with me for most of the day as they were outside. I let them into the house and locked them in the master bedroom later in the day, and once all the boxes and furniture were in the house I allowed them to explore a little.
The evening of our move, my hubby and I were sitting on a couch just taking a time out from shuffling furniture and unpacking boxes, and Riddick actually came and lay between us, half on top o us, on the same couch. It was as if he was wondering where the hell we’d been all day long! That was as far as his insecurity went regarding the move.
Thelma and Louise were very unhappy for the first three or four days. They had the same routine as always, being outside for most of the day and sleeping inside at night, but they weren’t eating all their food at first. I think they may have been afraid they were being abandoned again, but once they clicked that everything was the same except the location they were fine.
One HUGE change for us and the dogs was being surrounded by other dogs! In the complex we used to live in there were other dogs, but they weren’t right next door. And now we have dogs on all sides, and EVERY time they started barking, our dogs started barking too! It took them a couple of weeks to realise they had more sense than our neighbours’ dogs (yes I am biased) and that they are far better at judging what is worthy of being barked at and whats not.
The cats coped fine. I transported them to the new house in their kitty crates, and put them in the one bathroom with food water and a litterbox for the day.
In the evening on the day we moved in, we opened the door for them to explore.
Being exclusively indoor cats I know we don’t have to worry about Greebo, Magic and Minx trying to get back to the old house to protect or reestablish their “territory”, they’re happy as long as they house smells like us. The new house is completely surrounded by a garden thats full of birds, so the cats are loving being able to lie in the sunshine and watch the birds from nearly all the windows!
Magic has been in the garden on his leash a couple of times, just to sniff around and roll in the sand as he likes to do.
The funniest thing to me is that all three cats have decided that my son’s bedroom is now their domain for most of the day… Probably because the dogs aren’t allowed in there, and because the top of the bearded dragon’s terrarium is always warm from the heat lamps.
Have you ever moved your animals?
We saw a dog on TV that looks just like Thelma and Louise! Its a Hungarian Mudi!
Some sad news is that Louise had another epileptic seizure last Friday.
While she’s seizing she’s quiet- panting hard and foaming at the mouth- but quiet. As she starts coming out of it though, she does this yelping scream that gets the entire neighbourhood’s dogs barking! Immediately after a fit she’s exhausted and thirsty and immediately wants to go “busy”, but she’s also not all there. She’s wobbly and walking around but she’s not really seeing where she’s going. Twice before she’s fallen in the pool, just walked in as if she didn’t even see it. She also doesn’t seem to recognise or hear me or the other dogs for a while.
The lights are on but nobody’s home.
She is on medication for her epilepsy, but she’s now on the second highest dose I can give her and I am very worried about the future… With her diagnosis, a seizure every three months or so is “normal”.
Below I have put in a video of a dog seizing like Louise does.
It is distressing if you haven’t seen it before.
I have uploaded it here purely for educational purposes as I have never filmed Louise’s fits.
You’ll see and hear in this video how he talks calmly to his dog and touches him gently, I do the same with Louise but some dogs actually get aggressive during or immediately after a fit. Louise even snapped at me once! You’ll also see how long it takes the dog to get up after his fit, Louise is the same.
Last Saturday we were heading out the driveway, and parked outside our one neighbour’s house was a van from The Dog Lady. I popped over to where they were busy with a couple of Huskies, and got a leaflet with contact details on it.
They came back to my house the following Monday morning and Thelma and Louise got the full treatment! There’s a bath and a grooming table in the van, they plug an extension cord in in the house and the girls were brushed, bathed, blow dried, had their ears cleaned and their nails clipped!
So all the dogs have had it now.
Louise’s cough was a dreadful wheeze and I was more than a little worried about her, but she never lost her appetite and with cough mixture twice a day she was fine in less than a week.
All three of them will get the kennel cough vaccine in a week or so, as soon as I am sure all three are completely over it.
I knew it was inevitable after Volt had it and then Riddick caught it briefly that one or both of the girls would get it too.
Thelma was coughing a lot and I felt very sorry for her, but I dosed her twice a day with the cough mixture (Benylin with codeine) that I had left over from Riddick and Volt’s stints with the bug and by Sunday she had stopped coughing already!
I’m now waiting on tenterhooks to see if Louise will get it too…
The nature of kennel cough means that it depends on a dog’s constitution and immune system, but there is also an inoculation against kennel cough that you can have done every six months.
And its a good idea, especially if your dogs are socially “active”, spending time in dog parks and traveling with you, to have the kennel cough inoculation done regularly. Its a spray into the dogs nose so it doesn’t even hurt!
I’m thrilled that Thelma got better so quickly!