Well, this has not been a good month for Merlin, lots of downhill "progress". It started when he wouldn't eat or walk in early April. I took him to the vet and they did blood tests and said his ALT was high. Probably the phenobarbital, which affects the liver. So after some discussion we did a bile acid test, where you fast him, then draw blood, then he eats, and two hours later has another blood draw. The idea is to see if the bile acid that is released for the meal is reabsorbed by the liver afterwards as it should be. Not only was it not, but his fasting bile acid level was too high, meaning that even after overnight it wasn't absorbed.
Liver damage due to phenobarbital is reversible if you quit phenobarbital, so since then he's been transitioning to KBr. As of Wednesday he's down to half the phenobarbital he'd been on (which is possibly why he's sleeping less and less soundly) and his KBr should be starting to reach therapeutic levels. In a week and a half we get it checked again and recheck his liver.
Anyway, his initial not feeling well made me pull out the four-wheel cart, as he would not move at all in the counterbalanced cart. He walks in it on walks, for treats (the front extension cart) but not in the house, it is too hard to maneuver over or around things. So he walks at most two blocks a day and I carry him out to pee and poop and set him in the stationary cart.
If he ever seems more energetic again I'll try the counterbalanced cart again but I'm not hopeful, he isn't that thrilled to walk at all.
The sleep issue goes on, again, possibly worsened by reduction in his phenobarbital dose. He sleeps at most about two hours without turning, often more like 30 minutes. He usually wants out during the night and won't let me just express him lying down on a pee pad. In the morning, once he gets his pills, he starts barking and does that non-stop until breakfast, then he would keep barking except I put him out in the car to sleep.
Same thing in the evening- he barks from coming in until going to sleep. He wants food, he wants to go out, he wants something, he's anxious- who knows?
He's happy in the car, he's sort of happy walking for treats, he loves riding in the stroller. But he sure acts miserable inside, whether he is or not is another story.
The upside of all this is that, being less mobile, he doesn't pee in the house. Well, also, he has more trouble peeing on his own- he needs a manual assist. So diapers are no longer an issue- if I put them on they stay, if I don't, he holds it anyway.
We leave in just over two weeks for the summer in Washington, where he can sleep in the car all he wants (windows rolled down when it is warm) and where he will (hopefully) sleep on the bed. I am hoping he will have a good summer and maybe even be motivated to try the Eddie's cart again, but he was stumbling in it and lying down a lot even before this.
The problem with the K9cart (west) with front extension is wheel size- they won't go over even a small bump. It's very easy to put him in and out, great to use when expressing him, and great on the sidewalk, but it isn't going to work to walk in Washington as is unless I take him somewhere with sidewalks. (Nearby towns- but hard to find level sidewalks in any of them.)
When we get up there I may take his cart over to K9carts and see if there is a larger caster they use for larger dogs. I did order some 4 inch scooter wheels that should be a bit better than the 3 inch ones in the video or the 4 inch flat spoke wheels.