Goodbye, Riley Dog

Well, shit.

My poor epileptic Boxer dog Riley is making his final trip in the car. Some of you may recall I posted about his epilepsy. He had been prescribed pretty stiff doses of phenobarb as a consequence, and for a while, they really did seem to help him.

They appeared to reduce the duration, severity and frequency of his seizures. At least, until this weekend. He would have some smallish seizures about every 3 weeks or so.

Saturday he had a couple minor ones, but seemed to snap out of them OK. We always gave him an extra pill during a seizure so he’s a bit loopy afterward.

Sunday he had a couple more little ones. He had a really big seizure while in his crate at three this morning.

And then this morning, right at 8:00am, I awoke, walked out into the living room, Riley looked at me and then immediately went into a grand mal seizure. He has been having seizures ever since, and it’s almost 6:30pm now. He never regained his footing again. He just laid on his side, occaisonally trying to get up and falling back over. This once strong, robust dog was reduced to a bag of bones.

Goddammit, he was only one years old! My sons, especially my oldest one, are pretty upset at losing their playmate and childhood friend.

I lost it when my oldest son Andrew offered me the contents of his piggy bank if it would help to keep him alive.

When I talked to the vet earlier today she did say that a possible option is a strong valium shot that might bring him out of it, but then they want to keep him overnight, run a battery of tests, etc…we don’t have that kind of money. We are going to wait and see what the vet says when the wife gets him there (she wanted to be the one to take him, it’s technically her dog, and we didn’t want the boys to go) but I think it’s highly unlikely that he won’t be euthanised.

The last time we took him to the vet she told us that the next time he had a long series of cluster seizures that it’s very unlikely that he would come out of them again. Well, that’s happened today for nine hours straight.

So, goodbye Riley, we are going to miss you. Goddammit.

I hate that. That is way too young.

Sorry for your loss–my thoughts are with you.

Thanks guys. The rational, cynical side of me keeps trying to tell myself “it’s just a damn dog”, but then my oldest son will come to me and ask a question about him, is he hurt, will he go to heaven, etc and I can’t contain the tears.

Here’s some pics, fwiw:

Riley’s boy pals:

Awww. What a cutie he was. Are your kids managing? Is this their first animal death?

dogs love you like nothing else. i’m so sorry about your puppy. 1 year is way, way, too young.

This is their first one. I had hoped it wouldn’t be for another ten years or so when they were both teenagers.

The youngest doesn’t fully understand what’s up. He asks where the dog is and then runs off to watch more SpongeBob or wrestle with his big brother.

It’s my 7 year old Andrew that’s pretty upset, but even he, at his age, is only having small bouts of grief interspersed with long periods of play. It doesn’t seem to really be hurting them all that much, because they are so young.

That poor dog…I had to talk, soothe and attempt to comfort him for nine hours today while he pissed and shat himself, convulsed, foamed at the mouth. He never once acted like he recognized me during that whole time. I felt so powerless. I couldn’t get him to the vet myself earlier today because he’s big, I had the boys and my wife had taken the van to work so I only had my tiny Scion.

He became like a fixture in the background, having seizures on the floor, laying there.


Riley’s still fighting for life. The vet gave him a strong valium shot which stopped his seizures and knocked him out. The vet has decent confidence that he’ll recover, and that he’ll need some other bromide-infused drug going forward. He’ll stay at the animal hospital overnight, but if he starts having seizures after coming out of the valium, he’ll then be put to sleep.

Pray and/or keep my beloved doggie in your thoughts.

Really hope this turns out okay for you guys. You and Riley are both in my thoughts and hopes.

The biggest concern for the vet (brain damage) was the amount of time that elapsed before we got him to the vet while he spent nine hours having non-stop seizures.

I worry about his other organs too. His temperature at the vet was 107 degrees, and while a normal dog temperature is higher than a human’s (around 101 IIRC), that’s still a high temp to be sporting around for so long.

I’d almost rather he be put down if we end up getting back a brain-damaged dog and not the personality he once had.

Fingers tightly crossed for your pup. He’s a real beauty.

Thanks, me too. I hope he pulls through. I feel really bad for him. He’s going to wake up in a very strange environment, so hopefully that doesn’t cause him too much grief.

What a day!

Just said a prayer for him, and your family. I hope he can come home well. What a beautiful dog!

We’re pulling for him here – two humans, two dogs, four smalll parrots, and a cat.

Well, maybe not the cat.

Be strong, Riley!

Pulling for you (all of you) here, too. We had a boxer with epilepsy when I was growing up.

I’m pulling for him. He looks like such a good dog, and he has such a great looking pair of playmates.

Thanks everyone. I am so sad for him now, knowing that he’ll awaken (if he does awaken) in a strange, cold and non-familiar environment. I hope he makes it. I need him to. I love my epileptic dog, and if we can get drugs to keep him quasi-normal for the most part, he’s more than worth it.

We love him and don’t want to see him pass into the ether at the age of one. He’s barely lived and I don’t really want another dog. I want him. So do my sons.

Fuck, crying again. Fuck.

Crying with you. Riley is in my prayers and I hope with everything in me that they are able to get him stablized and on the road to recovery.

Jesus, these dogs leave deep pawprints in our hearts.

Bestwishes from me and my doggie.

Thank you PapSett and RiverHippie.