Jack Health Sit Rep: It’s coming up on 1 year since the 2nd M.O.N.T eviction surgery (January 10, 2017 ). M.O.N.T. = Mean Old Nasty Tumor and Jack has endured 2 brain tumors with accompanying surgeries.
He is now scheduled for his 3rd M.R.I. a month from now (February 5, 2018).
Jack is still on a slew on medications and has not had any seizures. (YAY!)
He has not physically (and psychologically) recovered from the two surgeries (BOO!) . While walking, he still prefers only turning left, has right side weakness, drags his right paws, has an off-set walking gait and his legs easily tire. When on slippery surfaces such as hard wood floors, tile and frozen wood on decks, he can’t grip with his toes effectively and slips and falls. (there are now throw rugs covering every surface, including the deck for Jack)
Furthermore, stairs and jumping are no longer a part of his routine (Jack hasn’t seen the upstairs of the house in over a year:except when he snuck up and Dad had to carry a 90lbs Labrador back down, which Jack thought was funny) Sitting is also tough for Jack so he resists the command now and often will just lay down instead. But laying down is not his favorite either because getting up is struggle at times.
His separation anxiety is also much higher since the surgeries so a family member still sleeps each night on the floor next to Jack. Jack likes this except when someones snoring keeps him awake and someone can get him a glass of water when he is thirsty..
As you may recall before the MRIs confirmed our fears, we detected the first and second tumors by Jack’s behaviors. As you can imagine we are a bit sensitive to his behaviors. Jack has always been high energy but listened and behaved well. We learned the last times when he exhibited behaviors that were odd or he misbehaved, it was due to the tumors pushing on his brain
In case you are interested , some of the behavior that we are watching:
-PACING: We have not seen any pacing and heavy panting (even for Jack) which is indicator of pain.
-INTERNET USAGE: We watching Jack’s computer use to be sure he isn’t gambling on sports more than normal
-BATHROOM: Monitoring his bathroom behavior is important.(not talking about him leaving the seat up or replacing the toilet paper) Because last times the tumors grew, he would have trouble. Almost like his brain and body were not communicating effectively. This resulted in him running in circles for a long time and suddenly stopping to go. Or he would suddenly go in the house.
-CLOTHING:: Wearing inappropriate garments or things on his head, could be an indicator but with Jack these are normal anyway
-TEMPERAMENT: Last time when the tumors pushed on his brain he was more docile at times and overly aggressive other times. We now especially watch how he acts when we do things he doesn’t like (such as wiping off his paws)
-COZYING UP WITH SQUIRRELS: No explanation needed
-HEAD SHAKING: Jack has dry skin and it drives him (and us ) crazy. He can’t scratch himself because of his physical issues so he shakes his head, rubs it on floor and walks bent sideways with his head dipped. We call it the “funky chicken” walk. Medication has helped but every time he does these things we are reminded that he did similar walking and shaking of his head when his head hurt. It may just the dry skin, but we can’t be sure.
-REMOTE CONTROL DOMINANCE: Changing the channels too fast or watching 26 programs simultaneously is a behavior we will be looking for.
-EXCITABILITY: Jack has become MUCH more vocal, especially when he gets excited He has also started nipping at the leash when he is going for a ride or walk and despite attempts to correct it has been minimally successful.
In spite of all this..Jack is a happy boy with amazing energy. He makes his family (and himself) laugh every day. The compound remains safe from squirrels and the regular walks to check the weather and shopping trips to PetSmart keep the rest of the world safe also. (He still has not obtained his drivers license but has filed an appeal with the DMV.)
Today he is staying warm, curled up with a blanket on his bed, watching Jackflix. There might be a walk later today, if Dad isn’t too wimpy about the cold, but there are certainly Jack snacks in his future.
Thank you for your amazing support!