Saturday, January 31, 2015

Weather in winter - Cold, Dark and Dreary January

Yes, it is that time of the year. I am writing this on the last day of January. The first month of this year (2015) has been dark and dreary though I have to admit that we did get more than a couple of sunny days in this month.

January is never a good month for me, never memorable either. My father, God rest his soul, always dreaded the snowy months and once said that he feared dying during the winter. Well, he never made it that far, dying in December many, many years ago.

Backyard in January
I have never cared much for the month of January even though it is my birth month. My Psyche is always better once January passes. I always see February as the beginning of spring even though it can be a nasty month weather-wise but the days are longer and the sun is higher in the sky, both of which are good things, in my view.

Here is a shot of our backyard taken at 5:00pm on the last day of January 2015. January 2015, you won't be missed!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Canine Degenerative Myleopathy - An Insidious Disease

 First of all, if you are looking for any definitive information concerning the medical condition of your dog, this might not be the right place. I am not an expert and I am only interpreting what I have researched on the net to the condition of our family pet, Mader.

Mader in January 2015
Our dog Mader has been a member of our family since 2007 having been adopted by us thorough a local rescue agency. We think that he was between one and two years old when we got him which makes him about nine years old today.

Mader in 2009
Throughout his life he has been a pretty active dog and one of his endearing qualities was his ability to love and protect our family and that he did to the utmost, but we did not really trust him much around strangers, he guarded us so well.

He was also a great retriever. I say "was" because he cannot retrieve any longer. Mader has what is called degenerative myleopathy which is a degenerative disease found in dogs of his breed. DM is a progressive and insidious disease of the spinal cord. Simply put, the nerve cells are dying.

One of the earliest indicators is an almost imperceptible unsteadiness in the hindquarters and later, the dragging of one hind foot.

In his prime
Mader is in the middle to late stages, we believe. He has difficulty getting up, difficulty squatting to use the bathroom, his tail droops, the rear legs cross each other and split out on hard surfaces and the now he is beginning to lose his balance; toppling over if he tries to go quickly around corners. He spends much of his day sleeping. By the way his condition has been confirmed by our vet.

Soon he will not be able to bear any weight on his hindquarters at all. When that day will come we do not know. We began noticing his condition last May 2014 and according to my research the disease progression is between six months and one year from onset. It is indeed sad seeing him change almost from day to day.

Mader's favorite place is the family cottage which he will unfortunately never see again. He loved the boat rides, swimming daily and long walks in the woods. In the meantime however, we will enjoy Mader until that fateful time comes.