Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Morgan Magoo's Mysterious Malady

Morgan has a few problems. They're things we don't understand, but we're doing our best to help her live with them. She has always had obsessive compulsive disorder. She barks repeatedly at things that are no longer there, until we stop her , usually by distracting her. She licks anything, floors, walls, furniture, people, other dogs, herself. She licks until we stop her. On occasion she has licked herself until she licked the hair off, then licked the skin off.

For a number of years we've controlled the OCD with drugs. They worked pretty well and we could adjust them up or down as necessary.

When Morgan was about four years old she caught kennel cough. It didn't go away by itself, so we gave her some antibiotics. The meds were sulfa based and she had a severe reaction. Her liver was being destroyed by the sulfa and she spent a week in the hospital on IV fluids. We didn't know if she would survive, but her liver regenerated and she recovered.

In mid-February of this year she began exhibiting strange behavior. She would start panting and trembling, then run frantically around the house trying to climb on counters, tables, desks, etc. During these episodes, she was uncontrollable. We would leash her, but it was all we could do to hold onto her. She's a small dog, 35 - 40 pounds, but she would drag us around while trying to climb. Her vet thought she might be in pain and trying to escape it.

One day she jumped onto Rob's desk and pushed everything onto the floor, phone, calculator, files, books. We lifted her down and she immediately jumped back up. She jumped onto low file cabinets and the kitchen counter, pushing everything onto the floor. She would get into the bathtub or the shower and try to dig. We started keeping all the doors in the house shut so she wouldn't hurt herself of destroy anything.

About ten days after this started, Rob became very ill and was hospitalized. While he was away I sent Morgan and Monty to the vet to be kenneled. Les came to the house to take care of the other dogs. The day I brought Rob home, Les brought Morgan and Monty home. When we arrived from the hospital and walked into the house, I couldn't find Morgan. I went into the kitchen and I heard water running. Morgan was sitting on top of the washing machine panting and trembling. I lifted her down and she jumped right back up. I went into the bathroom off the laundry room and the water was running in the sink. She had jumped into the sink, knocking everything off the counter and somehow pulled on the knob to turn the water on. I took her off the washer again and leashed her. She went to Rob's side and never left him for the four months that he was home recovering.

Working closely with Dr B, we have found a combination of drugs that help Morgan's anxiety. She still has espisodes when she starts panting and tries to climb, but they are infrequent and she's much easier to control. We no longer have to leash her. Now I can hold her or take her outside to walk around and she calms down. She can no longer take her OCD drugs, however, and the licking and barking and other problems have returned.

Monday morning Rob and I were getting ready to go out when I offered Morgan a treat. Something didn't look right. I looked more closely and her right eye was strange. The iris was very tiny with white all around it and the white was pink and inflamed. I showed it to Rob and he put her in the car and we went directly to the clinic.

Dr B examined her and said the pupil was unresponsive in the right eye and the pressure in both eyes was low. He prescribed two kinds of drops to be used daily, and took blood. The next morning her eye looked almost normal, but we have no idea what is going on. We hope the blood test gives us some information.

We will do whatever we can to keep Morgan safe and comfortable and when we can't, we'll let her go. After losing Lucy so recently, it's very hard to accept that Morgan may not have much time left. She's always been such a sweet little animal. I don't want to think about it.





SissySees said...

Oh Sue... Morgan is in our prayers. I do hope there's something left to help her, to allow you to have more time together...

Lapdog Creations said...

I hope they can find the cause and offer a cure/solution....... hugs!