Where I've Been (Spoiler Alert - with a sick pup).....

Those of you who follow us on either our Apothecary Facebook page or this Blog's Facebook page know that our Emerson became quite sick this past week.  Thank you SO MUCH for all of your kind words.  They really do mean a lot to us.

You all know what it's like to see a pet in pain so you know exactly what we are going through.  I thought I would share a bit about what's going on.  Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of answers as of yet, but hopefully this coming week.

Emerson has not had any health issues except pancreatitis up to this point, but on Wednesday night he had a seizure.

We rushed him to the emergency clinic and they ran bloodwork and an x-ray.  They didn't see anything to be concerned about but recommended we leave him there overnight for observation.  I have had a pet before who had seizures from time-to-time so I wasn't sure if we should really leave him or if instead we should just take him home and schedule more medical appointments in the morning to try and get to the root cause.  Well, thankfully, we elected to leave him at the clinic.

We received a phone call from the emergency clinic doctor at 2 a.m. letting us know that Em had had an additional 4 seizures at that point and they'd just tried their second anti-seizure med to try and get them to stop.  Unfortunately he ended up having another seizure which resulted in more medications before they finally got them under control.

Later on, once they were able to consult with a neurologist, we received even worse news.  They believed, based on everything that had happened, that he likely has an inoperable brain tumor.

So, long story short, we said "yes" to the MRI but the neurologist had no openings.  He did volunteer to conduct it after hours if we transported Em to his emergency clinic.  We were getting ready to do that when we received news that the MRI machine went down.

Can you believe it?

I can't even tell you how upsetting it was.

So, Em has been seizure-free since Thursday at 4p.m. (he ended up having another minor seizure so they gave him yet another medication, a steroid) and he is home with us.

The good news in all of this is he's home.  Of course, the bad news is that we still have no idea what we're dealing with, he's completely drugged up, and he could have a seizure or cluster seizure's again at any time.  He does have an appointment with the neurologist Tuesday morning.  Fingers crossed the machine is up and running....

It's absolutely the worst part of having pets - when they are hurting so badly and you feel so helpless.  We've been through all of the emotions and, of course, are running on very little sleep.

Since Em is on a steroid, he is thirsty and urinates much more than usual.  We thought he could make it 3 1/2 hours between trips to the bathroom but looks like we'll have to get used to getting up every 2 hours to 2 1/2 hours to let him out.  He had an accident in his crate last night and started crying, the poor guy.  He was soaked.  So, at 1:30 in the morning we got him all cleaned up and back to bed for another 2 hours.  Then back out to pee....

Poor Ollie has been through every emotion as well.  He was absolutely depressed when we returned home without his brother.  I slept with him for the 2 nights that Em was gone and neither of us slept much.  Once we were able to pick Emerson up, Ollie was so excited!!  And then he quickly saw that Emerson isn't Emerson.  That something is terribly wrong.  So, he's quite depressed again.

Emerson is doing ok.  He is very confused, processes things very slowly, but still is focused (and obsessive) about food.  He's getting a LOT of snacks since he's been home.  Walking is hard and he can't do more than one thing at a time without falling.  This morning I accidentally missed his mouth with a snack and he tried to focus on where it rolled to and ended up falling down because he wasn't concentrating on standing.

We do have pet insurance for Emerson through Trupanion (not an affiliate link) and I can tell you that they've been wonderful to deal with.  What I am currently unable to share is if in fact everything will be as smooth as they claim it will be.  I'm happy to do a follow-up post on the pet insurance if it's something you would be interested in, once we've gone through getting reimbursed.

We have a $500.00 deductible and there are a few things that they won't pay for, but so far, I've spent just over $2,000.00 and anticipate at least $5,000.00 more for the next set of tests.  They have told me that one exam and the deductible are the only things not covered so far, meaning that they will pick up 90% of the remainder.

I have a few posts planned to get published this week.  Depending on how much medical I'm dealing with here, I may or may not get that accomplished.

Thank you so much again for all of your kind words.  We'll be back up and running again soon!


  1. Oh, what a blow. Praying for y'all.


  2. Our pug went through that too - she was put on medication that we were able to get at Costco for a much better price than at the vet. We also changed her diet from blue buffalo - apparently many dogs have problems with it - . to Tylee's frozen Chicken (ordered through Chewy.com) mixed with Costco Organic dry. We had her for 5 more years after her first problem. We adopted her at an older age... so every year was a wonderful blessing..The other dogs are doing so much better now too... Pugs get a lot of 'issues'.. They are well worth it, but they can get expensive. Our pug mix on the other hand is very healthy and doing fine.
    Best wishes with your sweet ones,


  3. Hi Daisy - a blow indeed. We're holding out hope that there's something we can do for him....

    Hi Pat - thanks so much for the Costco tip! Unfortunately, we don't have one anywhere around us. I miss shopping at Costco.....but I'll see what else I can find. That's interesting about the food. We started our dogs out on Blue Buffalo when we first brought them home and they did not do well on it at all. I've heard about pug issues and happy to hear that yours was able to live for an additional 5 years!!! Hugs to your pups. :)

  4. Staci - Sorry to hear about your dog. Our 16 year old beagle had her first grand mal seizure about 3 weeks ago. We, too, rushed her to the vet. We were given the same diagnosis - likely a tumor causing neurological problems. Due to her age and kidney failure, neither we nor the vet wanted to start seizure medication just yet because it would compromise her kidneys and liver even more. We decided to wait and see. Within the following 3 days, she had 2 more seizures. She also exhibited other neurological symptoms which were evident if we just watched her for sixty seconds, like she would be standing still and just fall down. She also was very confused and seemed to forget all the usual routines. My daughter did some research in the meantime and we started giving her a tablespoon (based on her weight) of organic coconut oil in her food once a day (she eats twice a day). She has not had a seizure since and her other neurological symptoms have cleared up about 95%. I am not saying it is due to the coconut oil and it could be a coincidence, but it is pretty compelling. We switched her to a better diet when she was diagnosed with kidney failure about a year ago, and the only medication she is on is an estrogen pill she gets once a week to help control bladder leakage. Now, she is old and has lived a long time for a beagle, and with her kidney failure we know it is only a matter of time, but we would rather she had quality of life than suffering through the seizures and their aftermath and not understanding what is going on. And seizure medication has its own side effects. As with anything, do your own research, of course, but it has made a difference for our dog. We recently boarded her at our vet when we went away for a few days, and took the coconut oil and gave the feeding instructions. They were happy to do it. In fact, the receptionist gave us a silent cheer and said, "That's all I'm going to say". Good luck! I really hope your little guy improves.

  5. Amy - thank you so much, I really appreciate it! So happy to hear that your pup is doing well!! Emerson actually has severe pancreatitis so, unfortunately, adding oil to his diet is out. Thank you very much for sharing your story though - there are a few alternative options out there and it's nice to hear real experiences with them.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on this post!