Late last November, I took both dogs to the dog park for an hour or two of exercise in the cold crisp weather. It was a gorgeous day even if I was bundled up and looking like the Michelin Tire Man. But in red instead of white.
There was one other lady at the park with her dog. We chatted while the three dogs ran around chasing each other. Cosmo and the other dog (sorry, Nice Lady, can’t remember your name or your dogs). We had been at the park for about 45 minutes when I looked over to see Cosmo on his back in the dirt. He never rolls in the dirt and it was after a few seconds before I realized he was having a seizure.
I ran over to him and got down in the mud to hold him still. His eyes were huge and his tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth which was foaming. His feet were flailing and he was seizing. The Nice Lady kept the other two dogs away from Cosmo and after what seemed like an eternity, he started to come out of it. The twitching stopped and he lay there for a few seconds more. Oh, yeah, did I say that I was kneeling in mud the whole time? The Nice Lady said that she timed the seizure for me (she obviously had some experience with this type of situation), and told me that it lasted just just under 3 minutes.
Oh, yeah, I think I mentioned that I was kneeling in mud, right? Well. Cosmo starts to come around, I’m totally freaked out, and my knee is killing me, and I’m stuck in the mud. Now. If I had been by myself, I would have crawled a couple of feet in the mud to the bench and hoisted my fat ass out of the muck. But Nice Lady, who was probably 1/2 my size and short and a bit older says “Here, lean on me, I’ll help you up.” My knees kept sliding in the mud, Cosmo is pulling me one way, and I’m at face licking level for Clover who thinks I’m the one who needs mouth-to-mouth.
Nice Lady helped me up. I grabbed Clover and Cosmo and headed for the car where I called the Vet’s office and told them I was bringing Cosmo in. Cosmo never had a seizure before, and I don’t know who was more scared, me or him. He was very shaky on the way to the truck, and I had to pick him up to put him in the back seat. It took me 30 minutes to get to the Vet’s office and the whole way there Cosmo looked like he was in a trance.
My vets are really wonderful. They met me in the parking lot and helped Cosmo right into the observation room where he got a catheter, the tech cleaned him up and wiped all the mud off of him (Hey! what about me?) and Clover and I sat in the waiting room for about 10 minutes before the nice doctor came out to tell me that they wanted to keep Coz for observation and they would call me with any updates. “Please, Mrs. (they always call me Mrs. even though I’m not) .. don’t worry, Cosmo will be ok. We’ll call you in a couple of hours.”
I got a call a few hours later that I could come pick Cosmo up. After more than $500 in fees for diagnostics and blood tests and liver tests to make sure he hadn’t been poisoned, the Vet determined, “Hmmm. Not sure what happened, it could have just been a one-time seizure.” Not exactly what you want to hear when you spend that kind of money and your dog has just scared you spitless.
When I went in to pick Cosmo up, the vet gave me a “Seizure Kit.” It contains a vial of Valium, a needle, and a syringe. The instructions were, “If Cosmo has a seizure that lasts longer than 3 minutes … take the needle and put it on the syringe .. stick the needle into the vial of Valium and pull the plunger to put all of the Valium in the syringe. Then take the needle off .. take the syringe and put it in Cosmo’s butt and push the Valium.” The explanation was that the Valium will be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract quickly and it will calm or stop the seizure. The next step would be to load him into the car and bring him back to the Vets.
When I said to the Vet, “You know, Doc, Cosmo is not going to like me putting anything near his butt”, the Vet looked at me and said “Mrs. M., Cosmo will be seizing and he won’t ever know.” Hmm. Ok. I gave him that one. But, here is another flaw in this Valium thing .. if the dog is drugged into oblivion, just how the heck am I going to lift 70 pounds and carry him to the truck? Doc told me to lay him on a blanket and just tug the blanket all the way to the car and then lift him in. Yeah, right, so the neighbors call the cops and tell them that they just saw me load a dead body rolled in a blanket into the truck?
Here is the plan. I carry the seizure kit with me when we go to the park or on an outing with Cosmo. I understand about the “remove the needle” thing before sticking the syringe in poor Cosmo’s butt. I am currently on the lookout for a nice used wheelbarrow so I can maneuver Cosmo to the truck, that is of course if this happens again.
All the while, planning for the worst and hoping for the best, I can’t help but think, “Hey, what about me? Where’s my Valium?”