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Merlin The Wizard Had A Stroke

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Hello! I haven't had a chance to post here for some time - too busy with a million other things - but I know that Merlin has a few fans on Greytalk who are not on Facebook, so I wanted to let you know that he had a stroke last month. When we got home we heard banging and when we walked into the house we saw Merlin frantically thrashing about on the floor in the spare room in a panic, unable to get up, his tongue sticking out. It looked as though he'd been there a while, because he looked exhausted. :cry1


We rushed him to the emergency vet in rush-hour traffic (which was so not fun) and it was really horrible. I arrived and jumped out of the car to let them know we needed help, and by the time I walked back to the car DH had opened the back and picked Merlin up twice and twice Merlin fell on the ground on top of him, because he was moving about and panicking so much that his 75lbs felt more like 100lbs. I yelled for help and two vet techs came running out with a guerney, but realized that they couldn't strap him down, he was moving about too much. So they carried him in, and within seconds there were 5 people over him, trying to sedate him, while I watched in disbelief before being ushered away to reception by another vet tech. It was one of the most terrifying days of my life. We left him there and went home to Sagan and a long, sleepless night.


The next morning we went back and met with the neurologist, but not before she called me at work and told me that she suspected a brain tumor that had metastasized to other organs. I stopped breathing. You can imagine what state I was in when I left work. Those of you who know me/ remember me know that he is my heart... The sedatives had finally kicked in when we got there. He seemed calmer but was mostly unresponsive. Couldn't stand on his own, could barely eat. His head tilt was extremely pronounced.






Merlin stayed at the emergency vet for three days. On the second day he had improved a bit - which ruled out a brain tumor. By then the neurologist had examined him again and diagnosed him with vestibular disease caused by a massive stroke. I visited him twice a day and the vet techs got used to me staying for long periods of time, I didn't care where it was, as long as I could be with him. He was still urinating on himself and has cuts and gashes everywhere, and a rash in his groin area. :( One night, after visiting him, I drove home in tears because he just didn't seem to be there anymore. Of course, by then the stress and the lack of sleep were making me worry that the worst was yet to come, and I was feeling deflated, discouraged, and worried about my boy.




Finally we brought him home. We were told that he wouldn't be able to walk for at least two weeks, maybe more. We rearranged the furniture, some kind friends donated extra blankets, time off, a harness and a sling, and even a beautiful wizard-themed belly band. You all know who you are, and I will never ever forget your kindness and support. It was a frightening, extremely emotional time and the money worries from his hospitalization and treatment have added to the stress, so the kind words and encouragement and everything else meant so much to us.




I took time off work and nursed him around the clock. I was getting about 2 hours' sleep a night by this time, so the house was a mess and I felt gross most of the time, because taking care of Merlin was a full-time job. But he was home, and I wouldn't have been anywhere else for the world.


And then...


His ears did funny things:




... He started looking like Merlin again:




His voice returned... well, sort of :lol::blush




.... THIS happened!!!.... :gmark




And eventually he walked again:




He started to wag his tail again (he bashed it really badly and it was sore for a long time), and started eating better, and his walks resumed. He had been extremely bored and as soon as his voice returned, he let it be known that the Wizard found the frequent but boring and uneventful outings to the front lawn unacceptable. He wanted to go farther, and explore! :P Silly hound. His attitude returned, including his notorious stink-eye. And this morning he trotted for most of his walk!


His neurologist saw him for a follow-up exam and she was very impressed at the way he has bounced back. I am so happy. He will likely continue to display hypermetria (high-stepping gait) for a long time, maybe for the rest of his life, due to the damage in his cerebellum. And his head tilt, though amazingly improved, is still there. But it's not impacting his quality of life. And of course we have spoiled him rotten in any way we can (which isn't saying much, as he has IBD and can only eat a special diet).


Thanks for reading! Merlin means the world to me and I wanted to share my optimism for the future with those who remember him, even though I only post in C&F these days.






Edited by MerlinsMum


Kerry with Pippin (Paid Vacation), adopted 4/15/2017
Missing the best wizard in the world, Merlin (PA's Paris), the biggest Love I've ever known, and my sweet 80lb limpet, Sagan (Leon B) :brokenheart :brokenheart, every single day.

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Merlin! :wub: What a terrifying ordeal, but the Wizard still had some magic tricks up his sleeve apparently. Very happy for you all that he has made so much progress in his recovery.


Rachel with Doolin, feline rivals Tootie and Richard, and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly

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I'm just delighted to hear about his continuing recovery. "Trotted for most of his walk this morning" is music to my ears, and I can't imagine how happy it must make you all! What an ordeal to go through. Sending tons of good wishes for all of you.

Kendra, devoted walker of Lucia (Larking About x Anastasia) and her son Henry (Tom Jones: Great Son x Lucia), plus Grandpa Grey the Galgo/Greyhound cross.

Missing Badger (Vf Get R Done: Quicksand Slip x Ll Tee el See), 5/7/04 - 2/20/14, who opened our hearts and our home to greyhounds,
    Kenzie (Slatex Kenzie: Randy Handy x Slatex Chrisy), 4/16/03 - 10/29/14, who really knew what a good dog she was,
    and Falcon (Atascocita Sabat: Dodgem by Design x Atascocita Barb), 9/13/10 - 1/31/20, who was grumpy and snarky but eventually a little bit cuddly, too.

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Glad you boy is getting better.

He looks a lot like Miles


Miles October 4 2002-Novembre 19 2013 Mommy loves you big boy

Tatum December 1 2004-January 23 2015 Love you Miss SiSi Bums

Rowdy October 26 2001 -November 5 2015 Miss you Bébé Lou

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I'm glad he's doing so well. From everything I've heard, vestibular disease always looks like the end of everything--and rarely is. But he really has had a hard time. (And so have you.)


His high-stepping doesn't look too extreme, and it's actually better than the alternative: not picking his foot up high enough to prevent scraping it when he walks. (I have a friend whose dog did that and had to wear shoes. She hated the shoes, and in outrage picked her feet up like a majorette on the football field. Mission accomplished.)


Best wishes to all of you. Keep up the good work, Merlin! (And Kerry!)

Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Kerry, my heart hurt to see what you have been through with Merlin. It's wonderful to read and view the photos of Merlin "looking like Merlin again". With your dedicated care for him, he is regaining his health. Every step, every day that you find him a bit stronger is a positive thing. Trotting for most of his walk must have brought joy to your heart. What a gift to have your boy with you.


Merlin, keep up the good work!


Hobbes - April 2, 1994 to April 9, 2008-----Tasha - May 23, 2000 to March 31, 2013

Fiona - Aug 29, 2001 to May 5, 2014-----Bailey - March 22, 2001 to Jan 20, 2015

Zeke - June 1, 2004 - Jan 26, 2016----Callie - July 14, 2006 to July 27, 2019

Forever in my heart: Chooch, Molly, Dylan & Lucy

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Aaaaaaaaaah, I was hoping for an update and am so glad to see it's a good one. Hugs and high fives to the whole family.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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My heart nearly stopped when I read your post title. A long dark tunnel you've been through, but his recovering is the shining light at the end.

I'm so glad!!!!! You go Merlin!!!! You just can't keep a good wizard down!

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Wow, so glad to hear about his recovery!! What a special boy, with a special mom to take such good care of him!



Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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I was on pins and needles reading your entire post! I'm so glad he has bounced back. :D I do love me some Merlin. Give him a kiss for me.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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The Wizard is KNOT yet out of spells. Wonderful update, Kerry.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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