Thursday, May 17, 2012

Annual Blood Work

May is always a big month for the red dog.  May 6th was her birthday - my girl is 9 years old!  That I can't believe.  When she hits double digits next year, we're having a party.  Since she's sometimes a bitch, she probably won't want to invite any of her friends.  She'd rather keep all of the cake for herself.  Oh well, if she wants a cake, she's going to have to wear a party hat too.  And I'll probably invite her friends anyway.

May is also when Iris is due for her annual exam and blood work.  Her vet said she looked great although she is starting to get some tarter on her teeth.  She'll probably be due for a dental next year since I'd like to clean her teeth before they get too bad.  Dr K thought her corneal dystrophy looks a little worse, but still not bad enough to affect her vision.  Other than that, she's looking good!  Got her blood work back today and everything was normal.  Hooray!  Even though I had no reason to think that she'd be anything other than normal, I still worried and worried.

Her phenobarbital levels are right smack in the middle of the therapeutic range, so we're where we should be on her pb dose.  We did talk about whether we should make any adjustments to her meds given that she's still having 4-6 seizures roughly once every 4 weeks.  The next option would be to try switching her from keppra to zonisamide (we'd have to wean her off keppra gradually).  It's a gamble (she might do better on zonisamide, or she might be doing better on keppra), and weaning her off keppra could trigger more seizures even if the end result could potentially be an improvement.  Her vet doesn't feel it's a necessary switch to make right now, and I don't feel like it is either.  In terms of quality of life, she has four weeks where she feels completely fine, one day that she's miserable, and then four more weeks of being totally ok.  It is nice to know that there's something else we can try if she gets worse.  We've been adjusting her dose roughly annually, so maybe we'll have to revisit this in the fall.

But for now, Iris is a (mostly) healthy nine-years-young crazy dog.  And now, we're off to enjoy spring!

Photograph of Iris standing under the cherry trees.  The trees are covered in pink flowers.