14 May 2012
Gustavo is a science project.
Gustavo is a science project. Last week he got blood pulled again, the only way to monitor how we are doing duping his non functioning liver into thinking it's a useful organ and cleaning up his blood.
Gustavo loves to go to the vet. I can happily hand him to any doctor, tech, receptionist, or random person in the waiting room and he greets them like long lost kin. Most times he's in a vet's office, he gets blood drawn, but this doesn't phase him. Maybe the moment of needle sticking he does, when he screams bloody murder like a herd of wee wee wee pigs being attacked with machetes.
Sorry about that, friendly vet tech.
But in a flash, it's erased forever from his mind, and he's happy to tour the back with a tech and greet all his pals. This is from a dog who still can't recover from being anywhere near a cigarette lighter or match. Who thinks pedicures are Satan's way of welcoming you to hell. Who freezes up in terror when a bus drives by. But poke him with a needle, within seconds, life is good.
As usual, there was good news and bad news. This week's results finally put his bile acids within the realm of a normal dog. Which means his diet and the meds are keeping ammonia out of his brain. That's a big thing and it should keep him from having his fuzzy little seizures and hallucinating. Did you see Roger Sterling take LSD on Mad Men? Imagine being Gustavo.
His brain has to be feeling a lot better. It might be permanently messed up from so many years of being attacked, but for now, no ammonia penetrating the boundaries.
There were some other things out of whack though, which means we tweak and adjust and try to make him feel better. Let's be clear. He cannot eat protein, ever. Only things made of plants and every so often some dairy goods. This is unnatural for dogs, just so wrong. No meat EVER. To save his liver and his brain, other things might go kaplooey in his tiny little innards. It's hard to know how he really feels. I actually think in the 4 days since I adjusted some of his medicine he seems to feel a little better, so this is good.
It has been a year since he was diagnosed with micro vascular dysplasia, AKA Ammonia Brain. He has his ups and downs, but I think he's doing really good. Most importantly, his life is being prolonged. I think his agility career may be winding down, though. He has a date to run in Team in a few weeks, and after that he may just make occasional appearances in Jumpers and Pairs. Short courses and courses just made only of jumps seem to suit him. We'll keep practicing and going to class, because we really like agility.
I'm not sure if this is giving up or doing what is best. I can tell you this though, competing in agility when your parter doesn't feel right just feels wrong. I learned this with Ruby. And I suspect Otterpop has been trying to tell me something, too. I will always do what is best for Gustavo, and this makes sense right now.
by team small dog at 9:01 PM