The dogs in Cheesetown are not having a good run of things right now...In the past couple of months no less than three of Ned's five regular walking companions have gone through the door of the vet's for the last time...
Remember Jock? or Old gentle George? Yeah last week saw another beloved old family hound put down.
Now it's Ned's turn to get the qualified diagnosis from the vet.
Not the full death sentence! Not a terminal diagnosis... but the writing's on the wall.
The Nedster started taking fits last autumn. Nothing to worry about yadda yadda, come back if they become frequent said the vet. How frequent is frequent? I asked being uninformed about all this. More than once a fortnight said the vet.
Within a week I was back.. because he was having attacks twice a day or more..
And the vet was relaxed about this, and Ned got put on drugs. And the drugs worked, until they didn't, when our relaxed vet upped the dosage. To cut a long story short for the past nine months we've been raising the dosage everytime he has more "breakthrough fits".
He's currently on six times the level of drugs he was on last September.
Which is not a Good Thing.
Last week our vet was sounding a bit less relaxed. Ned had had to be taken back after yet another major episode. The vet phoned me with the results of his blood tests.
"Well the good news is that we've still got some scope for increasing the dosage"
"But we are approaching the limits he can be given...How old is he again?"
Four and a half.
"Ah.. mm and it's been 9 months since the first episode... I think we may have to accept that we won't be able to control the epilepsy. This does happen I'm afraid".
I'm waiting for the usual "Lots of dogs have fits and live to a hundred" routine.
It isn't forthcoming.
So his fits will keep getting worse?
"Yes, that's entirely possible."
"At the same rate?"
A deep breath from the vet, "Yes, we may have to look at quality of life issues. "
The Nedster and I are currently contemplating the meaning of Quality of Life Issues.