Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Sidney!

Above is Sidney's first time in his Bailey Chair as a newly diagnosed Mega-E puppy and what he looks like today as a full grown, healthy, happy Labrador Retriever.

Well I guess that month or so of life expectancy wasn't so accurate. I remember the overwhelming feeling or dread when we received the "Diagnosis of Doom." I also remember how worried we were that we couldn't maintain a routine with both of us working full-time jobs. I also remember how overly concerned we were in the beginning with getting his weight up - in fact I weighed him every single day. I also remember worrying that he could die any day.

All of those concerns were a long time ago and a distant memory. Everything we do is just, well, normal. We enjoy our time with Sidney the Healthy Lab, not Sidney the Mega-E Puppy Doomed to Die. Sure we're always worried about Aspiration Pneumonia and concerned when Sidney has his "bad periods". Trust me - we aren't getting lazy or complacent, we just don't spend our time worrying about what can go wrong and are instead enjoying life with our fur kid. I know a lot of people with dogs. They have the same worries about their dog's health, just about different things. My dog ate a rope (yes a friend's Lab ate an entire rope) or my dog got sprayed by a skunk, etc.

The fact is that all dogs need special attention. The 2 years we have spent with Sidney and managing his Megaesophagus condition has really been a blessing. I think the problem, if any, was more emotional than anything else, especially in the beginning. But through Sidney we have been able to help so many other people that faced the same diagnosis in the beginning with their dogs. We've heard from people about our blog and how it helped them. We've built several Bailey Chairs for people who were in need. Local TV News and Newspapers have covered his story and educated so many people.

I know we got Sidney for a reason. Happy 2nd Birthday little buddy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Routine for Megaesophagus When Traveling

During the months of September, October and November I am required to be working and out of the house for almost 15 hours a day. So I take Sidney with me. But this basically takes us out of our comfort zone for THE ROUTINE. We do bring his Portable Bailey Chair and his travel bag with everything we need, but he is not in his crate with his head elevated, etc. We also make sure to have Knox Blox on hand in the refrigerator for him as well. I found that they will melt into liquid if you leave them in the car. DUH.
While we are working - mainly outside - Sidney is tied up near us so we can keep an eye on him. But the problem for us is that it's OUTSIDE. Take a look at the photo. There are acorns, sticks, leaves and all kinds of stuff on the ground that he can chew on or eat. End result is that most likely his esophagus gets irritated and regurgitation follows. This is my main worry. He has regurgitated a few times this weekend from grazing, but for the most part he has done great. Maybe he is getting a little older and becoming less of a chewer. He will be 2 years old September 26th.
So our routine has changed a bit - basically the TIME OF DAY he gets his Bethanechol pills and also the TIMES OF DAY he gets his meals. I was worried that this change in timing would have a bad result, but so far it isn't affecting him in any way that I can tell. I think as long as we keep the meds and meals on a decent schedule - it won't matter as much. At least that's what we hope.