Friday, October 22, 2010

A bit of history

About 7 years ago Rilley came into our lives by way of the Orangeville SPCA.  He was abandoned there by his previous owners when he was about two years old.  Since then he has been a complete terror.  Don't get me wrong, he is a very loving dog, adored by everyone in our family...but.... We have lost count of the damage he's done!  He's destroyed three seatbelts in our old van, one seatbelt in one of our current vehicles.  Eaten a cell phone (well the top of it anyway), munched on a nightlight bulb.  Devoured 400 grams of dark chocolate...leading to stomach pump #1.  Licked his way to Nutella induced stomach ache nirvana...stomach pump #2.  Hijacked toast straight out of the toaster within moments of it popping up.  I can go on....

Rilley's ad that was on the Orangeville SPCA's website.  Even before meeting him we knew he was the one!

On the afternoon of August 10th, an otherwise healthy Rilley came blasting into the bedroom as if he was chasing something.  Then, without warning, he dropped to the floor and into his first seizure right in front of Sara.  She immediately called a neighbour for help and together they rushed him to the vet.  Over the next three weeks, life seemed to return to normal.  We thought that perhaps it had been an isolated incident.  On the Labour Day long weekend we found out how wrong we were.  He suffered two more seizures within 24 hours leading us to do a late night run to a local emergency vet clinic.  When the work week resumed, we consulted our regular vet who informed us that all indications point to a brain tumour diagnosis.  Later that week we took him to a veterinary neurologist who recommended an MRI.

The MRI was done immediately, and when we were brought into the consultation room, we didn't need a medical degree to recognize a tumour on the MRI.  We were devasted.

MRI view from the top showing Rilley's brain.  The light area within the circle is the edema directly above the tumour.
We promptly booked an appointment with the oncologist who gave us a very poor prognosis for Rilley.  Rilley was immediately started on Phenobarbital to help control the seizures, Dexamethasone, a steroid to receed the edema that accompanied the tumour and the chemotherapy drug Hydroxyurea to slow the growth of the meningioma tumour.

MRI view from the side showing the tumour (round object) and the edema (flat object next to the tumour).

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