I woke up this morning filled with thankfulness knowing how much support, prayers, and encouragement Ruth, Beth, Bud & I are constantly receiving ... not only through this challenge, but everyday, all the time. In addition to G & P, my sister chats with me daily, throughout the day and evening, checking in on how Ruth is doing, and how we are holding up. She continually offers suggestions, thoughts, and prayers. Amy (Bud's daughter) and Leasa & Leslie, my nieces, chat/email as often as their busy schedules allow, but I know they constantly lift us all up in prayer. Robin and other friends call or email, "touching base" now and then to let us know they are praying for Ruth, and us. Even people I've not met, like Lexi's mom and Donna (a MySpace and Facebook friend) sends puppy prayers to Ruth all the time.
We are blessed.
Bud & Beth slept in the living room with Ruth & I last night. This Texas weather ... was 80+ degrees Friday, then never hit 40 yesterday... keeps us guessing what the next day/night will bring! I know the network's "weather person" guesses as well!
The morning Doxy. was given about 5:45. Ruth didn't like it getting smushed in her mouth too much! Her daddy had given her bunches of water while I was getting it ready, so she was all lubricated and tongue was in it's proper place... ready to lick, if she wanted! And, she did "want" for the second helping of plain peanut butter!
6:30 a.m. - Ruth got exercised good! While in the "Sphinx" position, we've been folding a pillow and putting it underneath her rib cage, the fold side underneath her armpits. This seems to help her naturally bend her arms. I'm on the butt end and keep her hind legs/feet in position evenly balanced and toes outstretched. Sometimes she's moved one or the other to readjust, but not often, and not much. Again, I offered her water bowl, but she didn't have any interest in lapping water. She's holding her head up nicely, and she pants (not heavy, just "normal") while in this position... while we scratch, massage, and rub her all over!
After Bud picked her up to change sides, and I readjusted the bedding underneath her, he placed her back down, then leaned her up on her elbow for a few minutes longer. She moving her head around, tracking with her ears and eyes, but she doesn't lift her head off the pillow unless something really gets her attention - or when she's looking for one of us! (We should be having kittens in six weeks with all the commotion going on outside on the porch all night long! Not to mention when Beth starts barking and carrying on and it's "something" like a "big bird" - aka buzzard!)
Ruth is not moving her legs on her own, except to stretch. It doesn't appear she's even trying to make the motions... it's like the spark plug in her brain is not firing correctly, or at all. The vet originally mentioned a neurological cause to her condition... maybe that's what is wrong with Our Ruth Girl, not Coonhound.
7:30 - we just finished a successful breakfast! Ruth had 1/3 cup of canned food and about 90% of it, she licked up off my finger!!!! She then got a couple of "tasty" squirts for dessert and I got a licked cleaned finger!
10:15 - Bud & I decided this time when we "Sphinxed" Ruth we would take my Pilate ball, deflate it some, and put it underneath her ribcage, rather than the towel. She was in this position for about 5 minutes, during which time, she never tried to use her hind legs, and she kept her front legs stretched out.
When Bud picked her up, to change sides, she started pooping!!! I managed to get a washed baby wipe and catch in time... it wasn't near a black as it has been. She didn't poop yesterday, so change in Prednisone dosage, and an increase in canned food may have helped tremendously in the poopy department.
Now, she's laying comfortably in her new position.
About 11:40 I tried giving her some cottage cheese... oh, she hates cottage cheese! I wasn't too found of it either until a few years ago, so I'm not pushing it on her. I then gave her about 1/8 cup of canned food (wanted to give more, but she just wasn't cooperating).
I've been doing more research and came across this article about the neurological aspect I've been trying to ignore. At my questioning, Bud reminded me today that was what the vet originally said was most likely wrong with Our Ruth Girl and that the vet didn't offer a positive prognosis.
When we Sphinxed Ruth a while ago, it seemed to cause labored breathing (more so than usual) so we didn't hold her in the position for long. Bless her heart, the muscles in her front legs are basically gone. We see her hip bones very distinctly, not much muscle back there as well. Since her paralysis began in the front and progressed (albeit rapidly) to the back, it's not surprising her front muscles have wasted so drastically.
I snuggled with Ruth and took a short nap this afternoon. Occasionally she would sniff my nose, but never offered me a kiss.
I leaned her up and got her elbow in place, but she couldn't hold that position on her own so I got up next to her, letting her lean her body against me. We sat like that for a while, until Bud & Beth came back in from the barn. I'm sure, she enjoyed being able to see them come through the door in an upright position.
About 5:00, we got Ruth on the ball again... literally! It went much better this time... practice makes perfect! I think Bud & I were better at it than she was!
THEN, after she rested for about 20 minutes, it was Peanut Butter Prednisone time! She licked it off my finger! THEN she ate about 1/3 cup of canned food!! THEN she licked about 5 squirts of the "tasty" off my finger!!!!
Bud has put her up on the couch, Beth's on the other end... like "usual" in our household. She'll stay up there until it's time to go to bed.