Tuesday, November 30, 2010

merlin's walking days are over

He looks kind of miserable in the picture but it was icy cold and windy and he wasn't getting any treats.

Merlin is still here, still barking and complaining, but recently his walking took a bad turn. About two weeks ago I noticed he was knuckling on his left front leg. The right soon followed. In DM, knuckling is caused by loss of proprioception, which is the ability to sense where one's limb is in space. in other words, Merlin put his foot down and if it was upside down, he didn't know it, and just left it.

He was still trying to walk until a week ago, but with increasing difficulty as his legs didn't seem to know quite how to move anymore. I decided there was no point continuing to worry about staying in shape if walking wasn't going to be happening much longer, so have not encouraged walking, though I put him in the cart when he wants to. The last two walks, he hasn't wanted to get down.

Now the challenge is to make his stroller rides more interesting. i realized today the beach sand is packed well enough that I should be able to take the stroller on it, so will try that tomorrow. if he can't run on the beach at least he should be able to enjoy the sights and smells.

On the plus side he is sleeping well at night, although he wants a) to go to bed at about 7:30 PM and b) for me to come to bed when he does. I usually give in about eight and go read instead of watching t.v., although now that I figured out i can watch TV shows on my ipad now that it gets 3G, I can also do that.

His appetite is still good, but he has trouble if the food isn't in reach, as his front paws are also not working for moving things towards him. I noticed he got a little frustrtaed with that last night.

I did the Scout's House Qualifty of life scale and came out a 13, which is the low end of good quality of life. (Or high end, 0-13 is in the good range, 13 up to something is decreased quality, etc.) So he is on the cusp of lower quality of life, not that life at this stage is a picnic, but I think he would still rather be here than not.

Now he is barking away saying it is past bedtime. I will try to upload a photo later, but I have to be on a real computer to do that, I think, unless I have one on Photobucket.