Dog Collapses

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I’ve been prompted to write this little post because of the number of times “dog collapses” comes up as the search term people have used that have led them to this blog. I can’t help but worry that all these people also have a dog who has collapsed suddenly for no apparent reason. If you have stumbled across my blog because of this search term, please, please keep an open mind as to what might be happening to your beloved dog.

For the longest time I thought Bossdin’s collapses were due to Border Collie Collapse Syndrome……  And I stopped looking for other possible causes.  It was by sheer chance that I feed him a little bit of food (that a doggie friend had with her) when he collapsed after only 10 minutes of walking, that I realised he might be hypoglycemic.  If only I had considered that possibility earlier I could have saved Bossdin from experiencing some awful, awful collapses and seizures (thankfully not Grand Mal though).

So please if your dog is collapsing at random, strange times, and nothing else seems to be wrong with him/her…. please read through some of my blog posts. If I can help one dog and one person from going through what we went through that would be great.

 

Funny wee moment

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This morning, sitting up in bed, I was surfing the net looking at all the poor, lovely dogs up for adoption who desperately need loving forever homes (unfortunately one dog is all my small house, and bank balance, can accommodate). BB was lying at the foot of my bed dozing. After looking at some lovely tri-coloured heading pups I said out loud   ” I still can’t believe you chose to come back as a Huntaway Bossdin ”   and I swear to god BB woke up, turned around and gave me the most incredulous look ever (picture a person raising one eyebrow only) as if to say  ‘not this AGAIN’   ‘ I don’t have to do the ear thing AGAIN surely’.

It really was the most amazing thing. And for the record, I don’t doubt it is Bossdin back again, but still get amazed he came back wearing this gorgeous fluffy ‘suit’.

He’s back! He truly is!

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Yes, Bossdin is back with me. Happy, healthy and glowing in his new Huntaway body. He’s now 7 months old and starting to take an interest in playing golf. Yesterday while out on the golf course with his ‘regular’ playing buddies he delighted all of us by finding John’s un-find-able wayward, totally hidden golf ball (just like he used to do). It was quite something.

Back in May I wrote this post on my other site:

Saturday 9 May 2015.
Up at the crack of dawn (before that actually if truth be told) I’d finally written another post and got it online. I’d played with ‘his lordship’, cleaned up the chaos he’d created in the kitchen, and done some gardening outside. By 11.30am I was exhausted again (I suffer from the chronic illness ME/CFS) so went to bed for a wee nap. BB also needed his mid morning siesta and happily took himself off to bed too.

As I was drifting off to sleep, thinking about the blog post I’d just written and how I’d seen BB twice carry his ears exactly as Bossdin’s ears were all the time, I suddenly received a telepathic message from Bossdin. Yip, I truly did. In my half awake half asleep state I heard him talk to me as clear as day. It was freakily wonderful!

He said he was aware I was still that teeny tiny bit worried that he wasn’t actually back, residing in the new Huntaway body. He knew I was struggling somewhat with his new ‘look’ and the lack of white on his coat. He said he obviously couldn’t change his colouring but he could change the shape and carriage of his ears (abet briefly) to let me know once and for all it really was him. He said he knew I would immediately recognize the significance of his ears suddenly changing style.

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He was right. The second time it happened I leapt up and went to get my camera thinking, ‘I’ve got to get a photo of this ‘cos no one will believe me when I tell them’. But then of course the moment had passed. I haven’t seen it happen again. I now doubt I will ever see it happen again. I have no idea how it happened in the first place.

Immediately after he told me this I felt immense joy, love, peace and happiness and drifted off to sleep. I feel like our connection has deepened enormously since this happened.

I’ve experienced a few ‘odd’ things in my life but I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before, something So clear and So definite. Who knows if it will happen again. I hope so!

As each month passes BB does more and more things that Bossdin used to do. It is fascinating to watch. This whole experience has been, and continues to be, awe inspiring.

BB (Boston Breeze)

Hi Everyone

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Boston Breeze here (but you can call me BB, my Mum does). SONY DSC

I’m now happily settled into home life with Mum down in Dunedin. Mum’s place is certainly different from the farm I came from. I’ve got pillows to sleep on….. inside the house !!  (I’d never been inside a house before). And toys! I’ve got some toys. I have to confess I looked at Mum strangely when she gave me the first one, I had no idea what to do with it *blushes*. But being the super intelligent Huntaway that I am, I cottoned on pretty quickly.

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Back at the farm I only had stones to play with and Mum’s now constantly telling me off when I revert back to chewing on the small stones I’ve found around Mum’s garden. There are some amazing plants and shrubs in Mum’s garden and I like sneaking off when Mum’s not looking and breaking bits off them to chew. I especially like the Hebes cos they have purple flowers and often there are bumblebees flying around the flowers and I like trying to catch the bumblebees. Mum really gets her knickers in a knot when she sees me doing this….. can’t think why….. ???

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It took a while for Mum to find me. I was 3 months old before she finally came to the farm to get me. Mum’s story is over on here: https://deeinnz.wordpress.com/…/hes-back-my-christmas-gift…/ Need to warn you though, Mum’s pretty deep and has some fairly intense esoteric ideas…..  just as well I’ve arrived to make sure she keeps her feet firmly planted on the ground……. 😉

Christmas Time……mistletoe and …….?

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Well……. Santa cometh and rather than giving…… Santa taketh away.

I thought this blog post would be about me expressing my gratitude that Bossdin had had no hypoglycemic episodes for almost a month, and, had even been able to do short (very short) runs to find and hold the golf ball when it landed close to him.

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Things had been looking so much further UP that what transpired on the evening of 21 December came as a complete shock.

The morning started the same as every other one, bouncing outside for a sniff around and toilet stop. Then it was back inside and straight to the place in the kitchen where I feed him. But today, for the first time ever, Bossdin didn’t want his breakfast. He stood there, looking for food, but when I put it down for him he just turned his head away.
‘Ok’, I thought, ‘you are sick of this for breakfast, let’s try something else’. So I gave him something else and thankfully he did eat it, and also most of his next 3 small meals, but it wasn’t with his usual gusto. This was totally abnormal for him. He’d never been a fussy eater and had never turned his head away from food before.

But, come early afternoon, he was still looking to go out for his daily constitutional to the golf course, so we did. And everything was fine. Unfortunately it was a different story in the evening. He wouldn’t eat any of the 3 different kinds of food I tried to give him for his dinner meal.

I eventually got him to eat some cooked sausages and rice….. but, an hour later he wanted outside and started throwing up. Then there was more throwing up and all his food from the day, bar possibly his breakfast meal at 7.30am had come up. It was also hardly digested at all.

I rang the emergency vet, got some advice and attempted to get him to drink some honey water I made up for him. He wouldn’t. The only good thing was he definitely seemed more comfortable and happy once he’d had the big throw ups.

I was worried of course, with all that food now out of his system he might have a hypoglycemic attack. But, I kept reminding myself that Boss will always go looking for food when he feels a hypo attack coming on, so I left two lots of food out for him, and two lots of water he could drink if he wanted to.

We made it through the night ok and the next day I spoke to my regular vet on the phone and explained what had happened. From my descriptions of the food he had thrown up, and the fact it wasn’t remotely digested, my vet thought it sounded like a blockage or obstruction between his stomach and intestine. He asked me was there any chance Bossdin could have swallowed something he shouldn’t have….. ie like a stone…. ‘Nope’ I said, ‘he’s not a scavenger by nature’.

By the time we got into the vets consult room (22nd December) Bossdin was incredibly subdued, yet prior to that he bounded into the car happily. It’s weird how they can have bursts of normal, happy behaviour at times, despite being so incredibly unwell. It was like while he was at home he was putting on a brave face for me. He was being staunch for me, but once in the clinic room, it was like all the fight left him and he finally showed us all how bad he really felt. Oh my poor darling boy.

Bossdin was SO unwell he let a catheter be put into his leg with just me holding him. Unbelievable! We all knew that fact alone was incredibly significant.
Because of the anorexia and vomiting I was prepared to do the Addison’s test as a last ditch hope it may not be Insulinoma. I hadn’t done the test previously because his symptoms and initial blood work didn’t fit. They analyzed his blood at the clinic and said it didn’t look like an Addison’s crisis, the bloods still weren’t indicating that. So we didn’t do it.
The bloods also didn’t indicate Pancreatitis either. Shit! Anything, anything, would have been better than what I knew deep down to be true. Insulinoma. His glucose level was very low….no surprises there.

We put him on an IV drip of 50% glucose I think it was and he started perking up within 10 minutes. This was done in the consult room, as opposed to him being admitted to the hospital. I said there was no way he would cope with the stress of me not being with him in the hospital area and they agreed. So I sat on the floor with him (and my friend stayed with me too) for 3 hours while we pumped vital fluids into him.

Because of his immediate reaction to the glucose drip my vet said this makes Insulinoma even more likely (remember, we did the fasting blood insulin test and ultrasound in August but they were inconclusive). It was possible that he now had a blockage between his stomach and intestine, caused by the tumour(s) spreading that was stopping his food passing from his stomach into his digestive track. This could account for why he was throwing up food, basically whole and totally undigested.

OR, the other possibility was a stomach ulcer brought on by the constant stress on his body of having permanently low glucose (despite the constant meals). We gave him a Losec pill in the hope that that might settle his tummy. I also took more Losec pills for him to have at home over the next few days….. if he would eat. When we left the clinic my vet thought that Bossdin would eat when we got home. He didn’t. But he did drink some water so that was encouraging.

Another weird symptom I’d noticed over the last couple of weeks was his breath. It was bad. Not foul but different and not his normal breath. I kept checking his teeth and gums but they were fine (I clean them with a soft toothbrush). Once he’d been on the drip for an hour or two, his breath went back to normal. So somehow the glucose directly into his system is tied up with his breath….. I mentioned this to a friend who has unfortunately lost two dogs to Insulinoma and she said, “yes you get this in human diabetic patients when their sugar level drops (ketosis occurs) the breath is often described as smelling of acetone.” I have no idea what acetone smells like but can only assume this is what was happening to Bossdin.

What scares me now, thinking about it, is that I was feeding him high quality protein and complex carbohydrates 4-6 times a day, he had had no visible signs of hypoglycemia so I thought things were at least under control for the time being. But his breath being as it was, and suddenly resolving and going back to normal while he was on the IV drip indicates that despite all the meals and complex carbohydrates he was getting it was clearly not enough. The insulin in his body must have been gobbling up all the glucose as fast as I could get it into him. Well that’s my take on it anyway.

The other telling sign to me was; he should have been putting on weight. With all the extra food he was getting and the now incredibly limited exercise sessions he was having, he should have at least put on some weight I would have thought. But he hadn’t.

23rd December

The short version as I realise this is becoming a really long post.

Bossdin starts eating little bits of homemade yoghurt in the morning and by the evening will eat small pieces of cheese and even managed two cooked eggs. Halleluiah!!!!!!!!!    He was taking honey, licked off my fingers (ok’ed by my vet) and had drunk water during the day. He’d gone out to the toilet and everything was normal. He didn’t throw up. Double halleluiah! He was perking up.

24th December Christmas Eve 2014

At 7am he was looking for his breakfast, but wouldn’t take sausage, honey, yoghurt or any of the things he had previously eaten. I tried cheese again and he ate that. I cooked him some eggs and he seemed keen on the yolks but not the whites. At 7.30am he went a bit ‘funny’ with me and this time when I offered it to him he would eat the honey. He seemed quite bright, definitely on the mend.

I spoke to my vet on the phone who was surprised by this development and said I was to let him eat anything at all, anything was better than nothing, the key was to get calories into him for now. He suggested potato chips, and I asked about sports drinks, for the electrolytes in them. We discussed Bossdin’s situation and I promised that if there were any changes or if he suddenly went down hill or started throwing up again I would know it was time. I knew we were already on borrowed time, and I was determined that he would not suffer a grand mal seizure or go into a coma. These things are possible with Insulinoma.

I shot out to the supermarket to get chips, sports drinks, custard, wheetbix, cottage cheese and anything else I thought I could tempt him with. When I got back he bounded up to me happily. Everything seemed fine. And then I saw the big pile of sick on the floor in my bedroom. The cheese and eggs were not remotely digested. They had come up whole.

I lost the plot. I went into denial for a wee bit. Saying to myself, ‘know one else knows’, ‘you are the only one who knows he’s been sick again’. Eventually I slapped myself round my head and said ‘get a grip girl and do the right thing’. Despite my best efforts I knew the situation was beyond hope. I knew Bossdin could not survive long just living off the honey he licked off my fingers every 20 minutes or so. I also knew it was not remotely fair on him to drag his life out just because I didn’t want to be without him.

I loved him enough to let him go. He went to sleep (sedation) lying beside me with his head resting on my legs at 3.35pm. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 3.55 pm Christmas Eve. I buried him in his favourite spot at the bottom of my garden, over looking the lagoon, on Christmas Day.

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He was not yet 8 years old. Rest in Peace my Beloved, Beautiful Boy!

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Driving Mr Bossdin

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Yes, that’s what I’m doing a lot of now. Bossdin is a very willing, eager, back seat passenger. I’m driving him around to different places so he gets to see new and different things. His most favourite drive is when I take him up the hill to see all the sheep and lambs in the paddocks. I stop the car, wind the window down and he sits there ‘eyeing’ the sheep with incredible intensity. Although never having worked sheep in his life, he knows what they are and what he’s meant to do with them. Bless his heart.

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He seems to know, most of the time anyway, that he can’t run around like a crazy thing anymore. Unfortunately now, 10 minutes of quiet walking is all he can really do at one time.

I ended up cancelling the vet visit I had planned for a few Wednesday’s back because events unfolded on the Sunday night that pretty much confirmed his condition had to be due to hypoglycemic attacks…….(as opposed to a problem with his heart).  I was feeding him as if he had Insulinoma and most of the vet recommendations are to feed a high protein, some also say high fat, complex carbohydrate meal 4-6 times a day. Well on the Sunday, everything had been great and because I thought I’d probably given him enough carbohydrate with his earlier meals, I gave him cooked chicken for his dinner. Only chicken….which he totally loved.

We were upstairs watching TV…. well I was and Bossdin was happily snoring his head off lying next to my chair. At 7.30pm he woke up and wanted to go out to the toilet, nothing unusual in that, but when he came back inside and we were upstairs again he suddenly went ‘funny’. He wanted to play crazily with his toys. I let him for short time, knowing I had to be careful as sometimes what seemed like innocent play was actually the beginning of an altered ‘episode’. Sadly so it was in this instance.

He started getting confused and bit disorientated and I saw some funny twitches in his muscles. I knew then we were in trouble. I tried to calm him down and distract him from his desperate attempts to run around in the lounge and while holding him still looking out the open window, I had my hand underneath his belly and could feel his heart going like a freight train. Yet nothing had happened to upset him, stress him or overly excite him. I suddenly realised he was probably having a hypoglycemic attack and it had to be because he had had no carbohydrates with his evening meal. I rushed down stairs and quickly smashed up some cooked potatoes and mixed them with a bit of chicken broth. He gobbled that down greedily. I hoped that would be enough to stop the attack as by this stage I had also read that giving them honey can of course trigger the pancreas to produce even more insulin (exactly the thing we are trying to stop). But the potatoes were not enough and he started to mildly convulse (what I’ve previously called ‘the chest heaving thing’) so I rushed to get the honey. I had to let him lick quite a bit of the honey before the convulsions stopped. It took half an hour to get this episode under control. And this was an incredibly mild event compared to what happened on Sept 24th.

I knew then the only other thing I need to ascertain was; could a dog going into a hypoglycemic state suddenly get a racing heart beat? I contemplated emailing once more the lovely staff at Martin Referrals in the UK to ask just one more question, this one. But in the end I didn’t because I found this on the website ‘Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology’

http://www.vsso.org/pancreatic_insulinoma.html

Clinical Signs

•clinical signs are caused by hypoglycemia and resultant neuroglycopenia:

•hypoglycemia due to increased insulin production by the tumor

•catecholamine release secondary to hypoglycemia

•common clinical signs include weakness and ataxia in the pelvic limbs, muscle tremors, dullness, disorientation, and decreased exercise tolerance

•hypoglycemic convulsions or collapse are also common (67%)

•type and severity of signs is determined by rate of glucose decline rather than absolute or relative glucose levels

•rapid decline: catecholamine release causing weakness, hunger, and tachycardia

•slow decline: neurologic signs

•clinical signs usually intermittent but become more frequent as the tumor progresses

•poor correlation between feeding and onset of clinical signs

•paraneoplastic peripheral polyneuropathy has been described in dogs with insulinoma with a clinical presentation of severely depressed to absent spinal reflexes (worse in the thoracic limbs) and extensive axonal degeneration

symptoms insulinoma

Suddenly, frighteningly, everything made sense and all the pieces of the vexing puzzle fell into place.

“The clinical signs of hypoglycemia often seen after fasting, exercise, excitement, and eating, and are rapidly alleviated by the administration of glucose. Symptoms become more frequent as the disease progresses and are the result of both decreased glucose supply to the brain and stimulation of the counter-regulatory sympathoadrenal system[7]. Signs include those related to hypoglycemia (lethargy, seizures and ataxia)[8] and adrenergic effects (tachycardia, tremors, nervousness and polyphagia).”  From   http://www.vetbook.org/wiki/dog/index.php/Insulinoma

But…….. as awful as all this is the last 19 days have been totally free of all episodes, even mild ones now that I have re-adjusted his feeding schedule and actual food. More to come soon……..

November Update

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Good days and Bad days. Yes that’s how life has been since my last blog entry.

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After Bossdin had the awful collapse of Sept 24th, we then had a period of relative calm as I greatly reduced the amount of physical activity he was allowed to do. Gradually over time he seemed to get better and better and we were able to resume his golfing duties….. abet not for as long as in the past….. but, playing 2-4 holes was better than 0 holes with his mates.

But then the collapses started again. Sometimes very brief, other times longer and with the ‘heaving thing’ and him getting into an altered mental state as well. Hours and hours spent online researching focal seizures, complex focal seizures and heart conditions kept my brain in constant overload.

My brother arrived down for a visit and brought his Sony Handycam for me to borrow so I could video Bossdin’s episodes. These have now been viewed by my vets, specialist vets at Massey University here in NZ, my wonderful ‘support crew’ at CIMDA (online dog forum for dogs with auto-immune issues, which Bossdin also has) and the incredibly kind staff at Martin Referrals in the UK.

We are still not sure what is going on, but….. unfortunately…… Insulinoma is back on the table again. Most probably it was never off the table, but because I’d already had an insulin/glucose test done, and a full abdominal ultrasound of his pancreas and surrounding organs I thought he was in the clear. I’ve since learned that insulinoma can be incredibly difficult to catch via testing.

So, early next week Bossdin is booked in for another glucose/insulin blood test (this means fasting him for 16 hours) and will be fitted with a cardiac holter monitor to go home in so we can monitor what is happening to his heart when he gets excited and collapses. I don’t know which would be worse…. Probably the insulinoma as surgery is not an option for Bossdin.  Fingers and toes are all crossed that we get an answer this time.

Bossdin is still happy as, most of the time, as shown in these photos taken this morning (28th Nov).  I’m just loving him to bits every single day and enjoying every moment I have with him (except when he goes nuts at the postie LOL 😉 )

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Dee Boss selfie

Hello again

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Hi everyone,

Bossdin here,

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Mum’s been a bit under the weather with a chest infection and she’s been getting a bit stressed out with my health issues so hasn’t written a blog post for a wee while now. Hence me coming to the rescue.

I had a bad turn (collapse/seizure? episode) on 24th September and really scared the crap out of Mum (scared the crap out of myself too if I’m honest) so since then Mum hasn’t let me play much golf 😦   What we’ve been doing now is going to a different place on the golf course and just sitting and watching all the golfers golfing.

SONY DSCTo be fair, it’s not as bad as it sounds. From this new vantage point I get to see a lot more of the course and therefore, often a lot more golfers, so it’s not all doom and gloom. And being an ‘eye’ dog as you know, watching things move is what it’s all about for me.

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Mum’s starting to feel better she tells me and will write a ‘proper’ blog post soon. 🙂

Just when I think

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Just when I think I’ve made a breakthrough in trying to figure out and be forewarned of Bossdin’s weird collapses, the goal posts move. Again!!!!

We had had a good run (no pun intended) of me getting the temperature right and Bossdin having a wonderful collapse free time on his beloved golf course.

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Then on Sunday September 7th despite having his wet cooling coat on he collapsed unexpectedly, twice. 😦

It was a warm, sunny day with no wind and his coat was still damp so I thought it would be ‘working correctly’. I couldn’t understand how he could have collapsed as he did. I had to pick him up (not easy given he’s just on 30kgs) and carry him to some shade. While we were resting there, because he was panting normally with his mouth open (thank god), I noticed his gums were very, very pale. He was alert and wasn’t particularly distressed and after a couple of minutes he got up and walked towards the 11 Tee to see what was happening.

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I decided that even though his cooling coat was still damp I would pour water all over it to soak it totally. As soon as I did that Bossdin perked up immediately. It was instantaneous. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it.

Suddenly he wanted to run again, I didn’t let him. We sat on the hill resting and I saw his gums were much pinker again. They looked different (and normal again) compared to when he was in collapse.

I made sure his cooling coat was dripping wet for the rest of our time there and just before we went home I let him run three circles, one at a time, with a rest in between and he did this no worries at all. The smile on his face was hard to ignore.

We have another eight days of incident free outings until Monday September 15th. After being out for about an hour on an overcast day with a cold northerly wind blowing, I let him run one small circle. He was not wet, nor did he have his cooling coat on. I thought the wind would make it far too cold for that.

I made him rest as per usual after that one run and saw him walk towards the trees. ‘Ah!’ I thought, ‘he wants to get into the shade’ (the sun had suddenly made a brief appearance). He wandered around a bit and looked slightly disorientated. I went over to him and saw that his gums were totally pale again. ‘What the hell?’ I thought, ‘you’re kidding me’. He had not started to wobble, his legs had not gone funny, nor had he collapsed.

I then realised I must have stopped him in time and that despite the coolness of the wind, he must be too hot again. After resting for a couple of minutes his gums started pinking up again and he started walking around. I splashed water all over his belly area and once again he perked up immediately and started trotting towards the 12th Tee. I checked out his gums and they were their normal pink colour again.

‘Right’ I think to myself, ‘if I keep an eye on the colour of his gums, that seems to be an indication as to how he’s doing temperature wise. If his gums start going pale it seems to mean he’s getting too hot so I need to stop whatever he’s doing and make him rest. Yipee we might be getting somewhere’.

WRONG !!!!!

I knew Tuesday the 16th would be difficult to judge temperature wise. One moment there was bright warm sunshine, the next it was dark and moody, with storm clouds building up out to sea and hail forecast. A cool southerly wind was blowing but it was not nearly as cold as the northerly wind of yesterday. Knowing the weather could turn on a dime, I took his dry cooling coat with me to put on him if it cooled down too much. I knew his fleece lined winter coat would make him far too hot.

Up at the golf course I tried to judge the temperature. I decided to wet him with the hose, given what had almost happened on Monday. He did one small run, had a roll as is normal, walked around a bit, then to my horror collapsed. I rushed to him to find his gums were their normal pink colour. I was shocked. I thought his gums would be pale as they were on Monday. I put the dry coat on him to try to warm him up, despite him not actually feeling cold or even looking particularly cold. He was not a happy chappy so I took him home early. I warmed him up by blow drying him with my hair dryer, which he seemed to appreciate, stretching out on the floor so I could dry him easily. He wasn’t even that wet by that point.

So, maybe his gums changing colour means nothing? It certainly seems that a collapse on a cold day, or because of him being cold, are far harder on him than a collapse on a warm day.

Perhaps what is causing these collapses is ‘just’ Border Collie Collapse syndrome, but Bossdin has a really severe case of it? We just don’t know. My vet has approached a specialist neurologist in the UK and now we have approached Massey University Vet School here in New Zealand in the hope of finding some answers.

To anyone reading this who has a dog with similar health issues, or who knows of someone who has a dog with a similar story please feel free to leave a comment.

Am I onto something……… ??

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Having a ‘beer belly’ (Kiwi joke) now, (in reality I mean a shaved belly area due to having had the ultra sound), it dawns on me I will need to keep him warm when we get those really, really cold days with the biting southerly wind that cuts right through you. It was on days like those that he collapsed in the past.

Back on line I jump to start looking for winter coats. A few days later his brand new Hurtta Winter Jacket arrives……. woo hoo it’s flash! Believe it or not I did look for other different makes of jackets and different kinds of coats but in the end, once again, chose the Hurtta brand because they do seem to be the best available.
Bossdin now has more expensive jackets than I do.

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As Murphy’s Law would naturally dictate, we then had a spell of lovely weather and it was too warm to use the new jacket. But, as all good things must come to an end, on the 21st of August the day dawned cold, wet and miserable. Yipee! I thought, finally a chance to try out his new fancy pants jacket.

So out we go, and everything goes well until an hour later when we are walking home along the footpath. Up until now Bossdin had been trotting along nicely beside me. Then the sun came out and the temperature changed just a tiny bit. Bossdin gradually stopped trotting and then began walking very slowly. I tried to entice him to trot again but he wouldn’t. It hit me that with the sun out and the ever so slight rise in temperature he must now be too hot. We stopped, I took the jacket off him and he perked up immediately. He trotted happily home with no need for me to encourage him. The change in him was dramatic.

I sit at home and ponder all these weird events, especially the collapses and I realize that Bossdin clearly has difficulty (or no ability at all) in regulating his internal body temperature. The slightest change in outside temperature, wind (or lack of) and actual sunshine, seems to now throw his whole system out. And it can happen in an incredibly short space of time.

When we go out now, I’m monitoring the ambient temperature very carefully, trying to judge how warm (or cold) it is and how active I can let Bossdin be. And trying to judge, does he need his cooling coat on or not? This has extended to him being outside at home too. At the end of August I was outside in the garden at 10am. It was calm and sunny, a gorgeous, gorgeous day.

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Bossdin was outside with me running around a bit (as is totally normal). He went inside for a rest, then came back out and ran around a bit more before going back inside….. then, to my dismay, I saw him start to collapse inside. I rushed in to comfort him and gave him some honey (just in case his blood glucose level was low). Ten minutes later he’s perfectly fine again (but I’m too scared to let him outside now). I check the temperature, it’s 14.8 degrees C.

Up on the golf course later that afternoon, about an hour and a half after having had his lunch I have his cooling coat on him and he’s fine. I’m able to let him off the lead four times to find the golf ball and he’s happy as! We are out for two hours.

I’m now teaching him the command ‘sit in the shade Bossdin’. Bless his cotton socks, he tries hard…….

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More notes from my Dog Diary:

1 September 14
Warm, sunny, bit of a breeze maybe 12-14 degrees C in sun. Cooling coat on him. Golf course 1.30—3.30pm. Had him off the lead most of the time there. Even let him run his ‘circles’. One at a time though, with a rest in-between each one. Did 8-10 circle runs no problem. Amazing!!!!!!!!

2 September 14
Sunny, cool wind but not too cool I thought. Thought it was similar to yesterday. Put Cooling coat on him. Off lead for 10 minutes, not running just gambling along casually. Suddenly saw his right hind leg go stiff and funny, like an electric shock. I stopped him and put the lead on. Happened again! Realised he might actually be too cold. Took coat off him and no more problems. After ¾ hour let him off lead again and let him run a few circles (one at a time) and he was totally fine.

It is staggering to me that he is clearly so incredibly sensitive now to the slightest variations in temperature and we still don’t know why…………