Daisy and Bertie, Update April 2013
If you’ve read the other articles written by Pat Debley on here about Daisy and Bertie, you’ll know how important her dogs are to her. Pat and a good friend of hers have busy recently knitting and selling scarves which you can see on another page on this website, in aid of Lafora research in Canada and the Dachshund Breed Council’s Health Fund. She’s sold via her local vet, on this website, through the Dachshund Forum and various other social networking sties. The middle of Pat’s three dogs was diagnosed with Lafora several years ago and Pat has worked hard to keep the impact of the condition to a minimum, although she has had to live with seeing her dog gradually deteriorating, and she and her husband have to plan with military precision every time they leave the house Daisy is now upset by any change to routine. In the last couple of months Pat had two very bad pieces of news and below, she has written a moving update:
Living with Lafora – Daisy and Bertie: Latest news April 2013
I am writing this latest update with a very heavy heart. Since I last wrote two years ago, Daisy’s condition slowly deteriorated and with the advice of Doctor Clare Rusbridge, Daisy began taking chemical medication in addition to the homeopathic ones she had been prescribed. Thankfully the drug seems to suit her and I am pleased to say that she has responded well and has not had a grand mal seizure since March 2012.
However, in September 2012 she had to undergo a routine dental and unfortunately, due to several unplanned circumstances, did not come out of the procedure at all well. In fact, immediately after the dental, she did not know me at all and had several petit mal seizures during the following 4 days. She sat in our sitting room staring into space and looked as though she were a stuffed toy dog. I did not begin to get ‘my Daisy’ back until the fifth day. As I write I can honestly say that she is not quite the same little dog as she was before the dental but has improved considerably and that is some consolation. She is showing signs of ataxia now but copes well. When Daisy saw Dr Rusbridge in December last, she felt she was doing quite well.
The devastating news I have to tell you is that Daisy’s son Bertie, who was tested two years ago and confirmed as ‘affected’ had his first grand mal seizure on 14th March. It was a very serious fit. He had shown the first signs of Lafora the week before Christmas when he began myoclonus jerking. Although I had known that this scenario was likely but I had hoped and prayed that he would only show mild symptoms of the disease and be spared the seizures.
When Daisy was first diagnosed, I kept my spirits going by hoping that within a few years, some medication might become available to at least halt the progress of Lafora, if not cure it. Sadly no such treatment is as yet forthcoming. I now have two dogs with the disease and that is hard to come to terms with. I lost my only non Lafora wire in February this year aged just under 16 years old.
Daisy and Bertie both have reasonably happy little lives, and of course, being dogs, accept what happens to them without worrying. I do all the worrying for them.The work that the Dachshund Breed Council is doing regarding Lafora’s disease is highly praiseworthy, but even when a fully guaranteed test for affected, clear and carrier dogs becomes available, they will still need the co-operation of breeders to eventually eradicate Lafora, and I feel sure the majority will have their breeding dogs tested because they would not want to perpetrate this devastating disease in the litters they produce.
Not only has Lafora made a tremendous difference to the lives of Daisy and now to Bertie, but the impact on the life my husband and I lead is incalculable. We both accept it because not only do we love our dogs, but dogs in general.
I send my warmest wishes to the owners of all mini-wires, but especially to those who own and care for Lafora dogs.