Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Deep Thoughts…nicknames

Recently, many commented on The Daily Puglet that they didn’t always have the same name. And then in Chicago, I met a rescue pug “officially” called Major, but not only did he have a pervious name, he now has so many nicknames that he’s so confused and only comes when called Puppy Puppy. I have to admit that I have my fair share of nicknames (some quite embarrassing) which don’t much resemble my real name.
  • Miss P
  • Little lady
  • Toot McGee
  • Cone the Destroyer
  • Honey Bunny
  • Angel of Love
  • Turd Ferguson (SNL Jeopardy reference)
  • Pugita
  • Stretchy Stretcherson
I could probably go on and on.  And our humans wonder why we [sometimes] act like we don’t understand a word they are saying! So what are your craziest and fondest nicknames?


Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

To all of those who have served,
To all of those who are serving,
To all of those who will serve,
To all of those who have died in service,
Thank you!

Thank you for being so brave.  Thank you for ensuring our freedom.

Regardless of your political views, please support our troops and their families!

Visit the Humane Society of the United States for more information about Dog Bless U.S.A.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Flashback Friday…Wiggly Field

Hopefully this post will cheer up my dad. He’s a Cubs fan, and they are just horrible this year…again. One of his most favorite pictures of us is at a doggie park in Chicago called Wiggly Field.

Mom and dad took me there before I got sick (look at all that hair I used to have!), so I was only a couple of years old. At first I liked it, but then all these big dogs came up to me wanting to play. Even though my best buddy was a giant schnauzer, I was nervous around these strange dogs, so I stayed super close to dad, not leaving his side for one second!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Turns out not all mail people steal...

At least not the IL ones.  But before I talk about the good news, let me first talk about the crime.  You may have seen me in the Daily Puglet.  Pug and Dutch tried to send me some brain drugs, but somewhere between CA and IL, they were stolen!

Here I am filled with anticipation - my very first package!
Rip, rip, tear, tear...I can't wait to see what's inside!
This is such a nice card, but where are my brain drugs?
Come on, who would steal such a sweet pug's brain drugs?  It's just maddening.  And after Pug and Dutch went to all that trouble and everything.  The nerve!  Despite the mishap, I'd like to give a HUGE shout-out to Pug and Dutch for being such good friends and thinking about me!

Now onto the good news!  I guess the mail people in IL are on the up and up because one of my other new friends, Tiffy, sent me some brain drugs and the package arrived just yesterday...in tact...with the pills!  YEAH!

Hmm...something smells good in this box.
I needed some help opening this one, so mom got out the scissors and showed me what was inside.  Mom was happy the drugs made it, but I was more interested in these two things:

What a nice card from Tiffy, and she sent me some cookies!  Oh, let me tell you the smell was just intoxicating...peanut butter!  I couldn't wait until my mom gave me one so I started attacking the bag!

These are going to be so good!
And let me tell you, they are delicious cookies!  Tiffy, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and generosity - you're the best!

It has been so awesome to get packages in the mail!  And making such great friends!  Thanks again Pug, Dutch, and Tiffy!


A VERY IMPORTANT PS.  Cookie is a pug who lives in Charleston, WV.  I got an email from her parents, and they think she might have PDE.  Please send all of your good thoughts and prayers Cookie's way!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chicago shopping spree!

There are so many things to do in Chicago. My all time favorite thing is to eat out on the patio at some yummy restaurant. Coming in at a close second is going shopping. Yeah, I’ve been in many of the “made for human” stores, like Pottery Barn and Macy’s. Those are nice and I like checking them out, but they pale in comparison to the stores my mom and dad took me to on our trip a few weeks ago – where I do the shopping!

My mom can’t blame dad’s Blackberry for loosing photos this time…she totally forgot to take pictures of me in the stores. So here’s a shot of me at home with all my booty!

I had so much fun getting lots of attention from the store clerks and sniffing around to find the best treats and toys. I try to get mom and dad to stop at Two Bostons every time we go to Chicago. I met an eight month old puppy pug (Major) at Wet Nose. It was my first time in Sam & Willy’s, but I hope to get back there sometime.

Ok, I better go now…time to unpack all the goodies!


Monday, May 23, 2011

In memory…

Today I’d like to talk about two puggie angels, Josie and Stubby.

Josie, one of Anakin Man’s sisters, passed over the Rainbow Bridge late last week. She was a founding Sunflower Sister, and I was just getting to know her better. It is so touching to read the tributes posted already. It is clear that Josie was loved and will be missed by everyone. I will be saying extra pug prayers for her family this week.

Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Stubby, Tiffy’s brother, but my mom and I were so touched by the life he led. He seemed like such a great pug. His last blog entries were sad, but through the tears, my mom was comforted and didn’t feel alone any more with all of the struggles we face with my PDE. In fact, it was the inspiration that pushed us over the edge in wanting to start a blog of our own…to make others realize that they are not alone.

It is clear that Stubby's impact is great, and his memory still lives on in this bloggie community. I wanted to find a way to honor Stubby, to make sure his family knew how much he meant to a complete stranger. And then it came to me. While in Chicago recently for my check-up, I asked my mom and dad to take me to one of the suburbs' many forest preserves.

As I soaked up the sun and smelled the air, I thought of Stubby and his family. It was an extra special day.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicago vacation May 2011…and some flashbacks

I had such a blast in Chicago with my mom and dad last week! The drive is never my favorite part since mom makes me sit in the back seat with her so I can wear my seat belt. Doesn’t she understand that I should be in the driver’s seat with all the action? I make sure to give her a look that could kill when ever she does let me up with dad.

Anyway, our first stop was actually to Long Grove Village. Mom had to pick up some garlic infused olive oil from The Olive Tap. While she was doing that, dad took some extra cute shots of me in front of some tulips. Unfortunately, dad’s memory card shorted and those (and many other pics) are lost. I think mom is still shedding tears over it. Thus, I give you the first the flashback of this post.

me in front of the Apple Haus at Long Grove Village circa 2008
Next stop was the hotel downtown. We got a free upgrade to a one bedroom suite! Boy, did I have fun exploring. Again, those pictures are gone too. It was cloudy and threatening to rain almost all day, but when dinner time rolled around, almost like magic, the clouds began to part and the sun came out. YEAH! This means we got to go to our favorite restaurant. Scoozi! This picture was awesome…dad made it look like it was just mom and I out for dinner and we were talking and enjoying ourselves. Gone. You’ll just have to check out this similar flashback when we went last summer.

me and mom waiting for food at Scoozi 2010
The next morning I knew something was up when I didn’t get my breakfast. I was not happy, but then I realized we were on our way to see Dr. Podell. Mom took some cute shots of me in the lobby, but…you guessed it…those are gone too. After my appointment was over and we had breakfast/lunch, we drove to the suburbs. And to my surprise, dad’s parents (grandma and grandpa B) joined us later that night! The weather wasn’t always cooperating, so sometimes I had to just chill in the hotel room while mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa played board games.

staring out the window at the hotel
But we did get to spend lunchtime one day eating and shopping in Downtown Naperville right by the Riverwalk, and we went out to eat at a yummy restaurant (DOC Wine Bar) near our hotel. Our pictures are gone, but here’s some from grandpa B’s phone.

Quigley's Irish Pub was yummy!
The riverwalk was beautiful.
me (making sure no food/crumbs are left on the table) with dad and grandpa and grandma B at DOC Wine Bar
With all of the excitement of the vacation activities, I was totally pooped on the ride home as you can see below.

snoring all the way home
I was happy to be home and made sure I said hi to all the toys I had to leave behind, but I can’t wait until our next trip! Chicago is my kind of town!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kicking some PDE butt!

Thanks so much to everyone for their well wishes!  I have some AWESOME news!  Dr. Podell continues to be amazed by me - not only did my liver enzymes not increase, but for the first time, they actually decreased slightly and got BETTER!  Woo-hoo!  I rock!

Pppllllbbbtt!  I stick my tongue out at you, PDE!
I can't wait to post about the rest of my Chicago trip later, but mom is furious with dad cause he lost a bunch of our pictures when his blackberry memory card shorted...oops!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

PDE check-up…paws crossed

Hey everyone, please think positive thoughts as we wait for the results of my recent PDE check-up in Chicago.  We are hoping that my liver enzymes are stable and have not increased, at least not dramatically.

Payton at Dr. Podell's office
Mom is getting our Chicago pictures together so I’ll be posting about all the fun we had vacationing for an entire week. YEAH!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Payton’s battle with PDE…after the diagnosis

Christy here. I just want to thank everyone for their kind comments on my previous posts.  Before continuing with the details, I feel a warning and another disclaimer is in order. As you may guess, Payton’s fight has not always been easy, and cramming a bunch of issues from the last 5 years into a page or so of text makes it seem even more intense. But if you think about it, this only makes her survival even more of a miracle. We know there will be a time when it will be in her best interest to say goodbye, but we know without a shadow of a doubt (and Dr. Podell agrees) that now is definitely not that time. Payton isn’t just living, she is thriving! She has such a zeal for life and long stretches of “normal” pug life, so please remember that the moral of this story is hope and overcoming obstacles.

If you haven't read the previous posts this series [diagnosis and medication/treatment], please check them out.  Ok, getting back to Payton’s story…I left off bringing her home after seeing Dr. Podell for the first time. 

It was great having her home. We had hope that we could take on this nasty disease, but as Dr. Podell warned, it was going to take a while for her little body to get used to the drugs. I’d say for about the next 3 months she was very lethargic, sleeping almost all the time. She would grab a toy and want to play, but ended up just taking it to bed realizing that she didn’t have the energy. Then slowly she began to get her spunk back! She wasn’t the high octane puppy any more, she had mellowed and slowed down, but the expressive, loving personality was still there. In fact, I don’t think there’s been a time in the last 5 years that Payton hasn’t shown a drive to fight and live. She is my hero.

Since her diagnosis, she has had only an average of 1 relapse (of varying severity) per year. The first one was the worst. Only about 6 months into treatment, she started the stereotypical PDE circling and then started having cluster seizures (ones that start and stop quickly). After that, things were going so well I thought we’d never have to use that Diazapam (aka valium) stuff again. One of the mildest relapses was a constant twitching of her left back leg. Throughout all of these problems, Dr. Podell has been there for us and adjusted her medications to successfully fend off the disease. In fact, she has such good stretches in-between issues, that it’s easy to forget that she’s sick.

Over time the disease has left lasting scars, some of which we deal with daily. Her left side is gimpy having taken the brunt of the seizures. She is blind and deaf on her left side (although her right side isn’t much better), and her left legs have nerve damage like Walter the Miracle Pug. In fact, thanks to Walter's mom, Heather, we are looking into making our own Pug Ugg. Payton's low/compromised immune system makes her prone to infection and cancer, and she has become a very slow healer. She’s had a handful of bladder infections and one nasty fever ridden sinus infection over the years, and it took a lot longer for an eye scratch/lesion to heal. Our vets always say, it should be nothing, but with Payton, we better check into it further.

She still goes through periods of shedding, but not as often as most pugs, and her hair doesn’t grow back at the same rate so there are long periods where she is fairly bald. As a result of the buildup of the drugs in her system, she developed calcium deposits on her skin that look like scabby blisters. At first, they flared up like wildfire and had to be treated with nasty smelling DMSO (something used at U of I in the horse stables), but fortunately those have kinda gone into remission. Also because of the drugs, she had to have her gall bladder removed. Boy was that scary! Luckily we were already in Chicago for one of her routine, quarterly check-ups. Payton didn’t show any signs until it was about to burst, so we caught it just in time. Told you she was tough! Anesthesia is always a risk with her, so it was not fun waiting for the results of her surgery. At the same time, Payton had a weird mole-like lesion on her side that we had removed and analyzed. Turns out she developed a rare skin cancer.

This pic shows off Payton's bald chest and some of the calcium "scabs" on her belly

Here's what the skin cancer looked like - the red ring only lasted a few days and part of the "mole" fell off before the biopsy.
 Despite all of these issues, for the first 3 years since her diagnosis, we were extremely lucky that Payton did not have seizures in between relapses - which we think is rare. On any given day, she looks and acts much like any other pug. However, about 1 ½ to 2 years ago, she started having single seizures that appear to be triggered by the extreme cold and by going “outside” as we call it. We have since purchased an indoor Porch Potty for use in the garage during cold months and nights. This has helped a great deal, but she still has these “bathroom” seizures once in a while. There is so much of the brain that is a mystery, so Dr. Podell thinks that something about the act of "going" (or even thinking about it) triggers or activates the part of her brain affected by the disease.

Around the same time as the onset of these “bathroom” seizures, Payton had a seizure that affected her right side. This had never happened before. We wondered if the disease had spread to the other side of her brain…was that even possible? A totally unrelated (non-PDE) incident on one of our trips up to Chicago would shed some light. For the first time after all these years of being sick, this was the first time that Payton didn’t want her food and she began to shiver violently in pain. We didn’t know what was wrong, and X-Rays weren’t conclusive. So, Dr. Podell had to perform another MRI. He took the opportunity to take another look at her brain. Turns out Payton developed a bulging disk in her back (the reason she was in pain). Since the surgical fix for a bulging disk was not an option for Payton (surgery itself and the risk of infection are too great), we had to hope it would fix itself. We had to restrict Payton’s activity and she is no longer allowed on the furniture, but it worked! And as for the PDE, well, the MRI showed it had indeed spread to both sides of her brain. But so far, it has not had additional impacts on Payton’s life. In fact, oddly enough, it’s been in these last few years that Payton’s personality and energy has come back more than ever! She wants to play a lot more and is always up for an adventure or another vacation to Chicago.

Whew! I think I covered all the relevant events. Hopefully this has helped you all to get a feel for what Payton’s battle with PDE has been/is like. As warned, I talked about a lot of serious issues, so I want to remind you that Payton has a great quality of life and is happy – despite the disease.

The great news is that all of these relapses and related issues probably add up to only a couple of weeks of “bad” days out of nearly 5 years. Again, she’s as happy, playful, and loving as any pug you’d meet. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to notice she’s at all sick if you met her (well, aside from the balding spots!). So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation (and we hope that you do not!), don’t give up. With the right treatment, patience, love, and prayer, you could enjoy a much longer, quality life with your baby than you might think.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section, or contact us privately via email. Although we are here to shed some light on this disease and answer any questions you may have about our experiences, please, please make sure to consult your own vet if you have fears that you or some dog you may know is ill.

I’ll be back with one more post next week. I’d like to continue “keeping it real” and talk about what a dramatic impact this has had on my husband and I. Payton’s PDE diagnosis has changed our lives in so many ways.

Christy (and Payton)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Payton’s battle with PDE…treatment

If you missed the previous post in this series, please check it out.

Hi! It’s Christy. Payton has been gracious enough to have me back to continue her story. So let’s talk treatment and medication. First, I’ll explain our interpretation of the treatment philosophy. This is the key to keeping a realistic expectation. I remember asking Dr. Podell over and over how long she would live. The problem is that despite the hope we have, there are still so many unknowns. As destructive as the disease is, the medication that helps can have some bad side effects. So many drugs, at such high levels, can take its toll on the rest of her body. The key is to finding the lowest levels of drugs to minimize the impact on her body’s other organs (specifically the liver) yet keep away the disease in her brain. If the disease doesn’t progress beyond treatment, then eventually the medications (or at least some of them) will cause organ failure. So the sad news is that Payton is not likely to live the “normal” 12 to 15 years for small dogs. We are still shooting for that though and so far our prayers have been answered!

When developing Payton’s treatment, the very first thing Dr. Podell did was take her off of the potassium bromide given at U of I. He said that it was more harmful than good and no dog really should take it when there are so many other options available. Aside from that fact, I don’t think I can remember how exactly Dr. Podell’s prescribed medication list has evolved from day one, but I can say that we have only added meds and/or changed dosages over the last 5 years. Everything she was on from the beginning is still part of her routine. As such, I’m just going to list all of her current drugs by category or purpose. They are all human grade and it was surprising to find out that my grandfather takes (or has taken) many for his epilepsy.

Payton’s drugs (aka “legal dog pharmaceuticals”...you crack me up Puglet):

Levetiracetam (generic for Keppra)
Diazapam (aka valium, for emergencies only)



Liver supplement
Vitamin E

Upset tummy
Famotidine (generic for Pepcid AC)

***updated January 22, 2012***
Muscle supplement
Coenzyme Q-10
Quinicarn (L-Carnitine, which according to a few websites is also helpful to combat liver disease)
***updated January 22, 2012***

As you can see from the picture, this is a lot of drugs! She has to take them throughout the day (and even at night). My husband and I don’t know what we’d do without the alarm clocks and pill tray! Luckily, Payton looks forward to taking them and gets excited if she hears the alarm. She thinks they are treats.  (ssshh! This has to be our secret!) We just wrap them in bread and put a dab of peanut butter on it if she get’s a whiff of one of the pills.

One minor side effect of certain drugs is an increased hunger. Pugs are already food obsessed dogs, so it may be hard to imagine a medically-induced food-coma pug! To help her cope, with the advice of Dr. Podell, we changed her food to the Science Diet prescription weight loss formula (WD) so she can eat more of it and more frequently. The last thing worth noting is that because of Payton’s compromised and suppressed immune system, she can’t take any of the normal vaccines, but she is still on a once a month topical flea/tick/heartworm treatment.

Like always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments sections, or contact us privately via email. And my disclaimer…I am not a vet so please make sure to consult your own vet before giving your dog any of the medications listed above if you have fears that you or some dog you may know is ill.

I really hope this information is useful. I’ll be back later this week to talk about Payton’s life since the diagnosis.

Christy (and Payton)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

Don't forget to give your mom lots of love today and tell her how much you appreciate all she does for you.  Some extra snuggle time never hurt either!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Payton’s battle with PDE…diagnosis

If you missed the previous post in this series, check it out.

Christy here again. Today I’ll begin Payton’s story. Please know that this is just one dog’s tale and may not be the same for everyone. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments sections, or contact us privately via email. Although we are here to shed some light on this disease and answer any questions you may have about our experiences, please, please make sure to consult your own vet if you have fears that you or some dog you may know is ill.

Because there is suspicion that a pug’s immune system may play a role, I thought I should first share 2 incidents that may (or may not) have played a role or been a warning sign. During Payton’s first year of life she developed a skin rash/mite/mange condition that had to be treated with cow de-wormer (I still get the shivers every time I think of that stuff). Our local vet said that only dogs with compromised immune systems are vulnerable. Then only a month before the onset of PDE symptoms/diagnosis, she had a bad reaction to some normal vaccines and didn’t bounce back right away as she usually did…which leads us to the very beginning of August 2006.

Early in the week, Payton had some neck and upper back pain. I think she has only whined/yelped like twice in her life and does not typically show any signs of pain or discomfort until it is very bad. The vet thought it was due to Payton’s constant jumping on (and off) the furniture. She was put on a steroid, kept off the furniture, and seemed to be getting better. Then on Thursday, her left ear caught my attention. It was gently twitching. Like a mild muscle spasm. And that’s all we thought it was, but when we got up the next morning, it had progressed into her left eye. Needless to say, I stayed home from work and called the vet as soon as they opened. They said she was having a focal seizure and the steroid she was already on should help.

She still wasn’t herself Friday morning, so I decided to stay home again…and thank goodness I did. By Friday afternoon she worsened and I was introduced to the most horrible nightmare of my life. Payton went into a full seizure – legs kicking, body convulsing, foaming at the mouth, twitches all over her face. I felt helpless as I rushed her back to the local clinic. They stopped the seizure with diazepam (aka valium), but they kept coming back just as violently as the first. Quickly they realized that if we wanted to give Payton the best shot, we should drive up to the University of Illinois for more specialized care.

I’m not going to lie to you, the car ride was miserable. When we finally got there late at night, they rushed us back and the doctor on-call performed another neurologic exam. They scheduled an MRI and spinal tap in hopes of finding out what was going on. It was risky, but the only way to know how to proceed. We were so relieved that she made it out of the anesthesia after the procedures. They started Payton on anti-seizure drugs to include potassium bromide (which I’ll talk about in a later post). The next day we came to visit and get an update on the test results. We could tell they did not have good news.

And that’s when we were told about 3 little words that would change all of our lives. Payton has Pug Dog Encephalitis and there was no lasting treatment let alone a cure. I remember that the doctor said our goal should be to try and make her as comfortable as possible as she would likely only have days or weeks (maybe months) to live. After we asked/begged if there was anything else we could do, he told us about a doggie neurologist in Chicago that the university has partnered with in the past. It was a long shot, but if we wanted to get a second opinion, Dr. Michael Podell was the person to see. So, we made plans to extend our trip and drive up to Chicago.

This car ride was even worse than the last. She was seizing about every ten minutes. We arrived to the emergency and specialist clinic on Sunday which meant that Payton had to stay there until she could be seen by Dr. Podell on Monday. She was just in such a fragile state that we could not provide her with the care and 24 hour monitoring she needed. We took this opportunity to research this disease on the computer in the hotel lobby. After absorbing what little information was available and reading stories of pugs whose lives ended tragically early as described by those at U of I, we felt pretty hopeless and were wondering if this trip was a waste of time. And then we met Dr. Podell early Monday morning.

After reviewing the MRI and spinal tap from U of I, he confirmed the diagnosis of PDE (that the right side of the brain and its lining was inflamed and being attacked by her own immune system), but quickly snapped us out of our funk. He didn’t down play the seriousness of the situation, but said that he had successfully treated PDE before and he has no reason to think it couldn’t happen again. He warned us that we would likely have to test different combinations and dosages and there were no guarantees that the drug regimen would work for Payton. However, there was no reason to give up just yet; we should still have some hope. We stayed in Chicago the rest of the week while Dr. Podell developed the treatment, and each day we saw our little girl come back a little at a time. By the end of the week, he was confident she was stable enough to go home.

Ok, I feel like I’ve written a book already, so I’ll break here. Next up I’d like to talk about Payton’s current medication list and treatment. I hope everyone has a great weekend, full of fun adventures!

Christy (and Payton)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What is Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)?

Hi! This is Payton’s mom, Christy. I’ve taken over the blog today so I can start to share Payton’s battle with PDE, to put a face on this devastating disease.

There is hope! Payton is thriving at 8 years old despite being diagnosed with PDE at age 3 1/2!
But first, here’s some general information about the disease for those of you that aren’t familiar with it (I am paraphrasing from on-line resources)…

Clinically, Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) is described as a Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis (NME) – and the terms PDE and NME can be used interchangeably. This means that the brain and the layer of tissues surrounding the brain are abnormally inflamed. The term "necrotizing" describes the clinical way in which portions of the brain are literally dying. 

PDE/NME is one of three inflammatory central nervous system diseases that affect the brain and/or spinal cord in the absence of an (apparent) infectious cause.  Granulomatous Meningeoncephalomyelitis (GME) and Necrotizing Encephalitis (NE) are the others.  The differences in the disease are a bit too technical for me to fully understand, but from what I’ve read, they differ in the way the disease presents itself on imaging (lesion patterns) and in the areas of the nervous system that are affected. Typically the symptoms are the same and since positively distinguishing the different inflammatory diseases can be complicated, thankfully similar treatments are prescribed; although usually, it is important to be more aggressive with medications and dosages when PDE/NME is suspected.  I found these articles, both by a doctor from UC Davis, to be good resources, http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/inflammatory-brain-disorders-dogs-gme-nme-ne-and-srma-proceedings?rel=canonical and http://www.veterinaryteambrief.com/sites/default/files/sites/cliniciansbrief.com/files/IdiopathicCNSDisease.pdf. 

The cause of PDE is unknown. Although infectious disorders are known to cause other forms of encephalitis, infection is apparently not the cause of PDE. Recent studies suggest that an abnormal response by the body's immune system may play a role in the development of the disorder. It is believed to be a genetic condition, as littermates and closely related dogs are often affected. PDE most often affects young fawn females, but pugs of all ages, colors, and genders have been documented as having it.  PDE is not even exclusive to pug dogs, other small breeds have been diagnosed.

MRI and spinal tap are the common investigative tools, but there is still no definitive diagnostic test and only analysis of the brain after death can confirm suspicions of the disease.  However, ongoing research projects have discovered some of the genetic markers of the disease that has lead to a susceptibility test (available from UC Davis) that designed to identify the risk of a pug developing PDE in their lifetime.  Right now there is no cure, but because of genetic research, new treatment regimens have been developed that are becoming successful.  Read about the possibilities in my Treatment Guide.

PDE is typically manifested through seizures.  Other common symptoms include: muscle spasms, pressing of the head against something, a staggering walk, abnormal gait, walking in circles, apparent blindness, lethargy, depression, staring off into space, and neck or back pain. 

When Payton first got sick, she did not display the entire classic profile for PDE so do not assume that the list of symptoms (like those I listed above) found in on-line resources is accurate or complete. Ok, so now that we’ve got some background, tomorrow’s post will focus on Payton’s story – her diagnosis.

Christy (and Payton)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Deep Thoughts...busted

While my mom gathers her thoughts on our first in-depth PDE post coming later this week, I thought I’d try out a new segment here on Pugnacious P called “Deep Thoughts by Payton”. It will give us an opportunity to get to know each other better by examining and sharing some of life’s more fun, light-hearted topics.

Our humans have these phrases like “caught with your pants down” and “caught with your hand in the cookie jar”…for me, I guess it would go something like “caught with your pug face in a bowl of baked potato soup”! My mom wishes she had a picture of it. I was scolded, but if you think about it, I did nothing wrong. How was I supposed to know that the pulled out chair at the table was not for me? And then there’s the time we ordered room service at a hotel. Mom and dad were so nice to pull up a chair so I could sit with them, and they even treated me to some fruit, so how was I supposed to know that the butter pats on the small glass plate right in front of me was not for me? Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with butter. My mom always seems to drop sticks out of the fridge, and I always race her to it!

Have you ever been busted for something that wasn’t really your fault and totally worth trying again even if you still get in trouble?


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stop and smell the flowers

Just a quick note to say good riddance to April's showers (and nasty storms) and hello to May's flowers.  I can't wait for the nice weather to get here so I can have some fun outside!