The Daily Digital Photo
Chronicling the life of Clayton, Spenser and Scooter

February 28, 2007

Clayton is, we think, thirteen years old, one year older than Spenser. We don't know for sure because he had been a stray prior to our adopting him from SOS Beagle Rescue. I almost hesitate to say that he is healthy, even though he is, because I'm afraid I'll jinx it. A little over five years ago, in November 2001, he was sitting at his placemat one morning, waiting for his breakfast when he started to shriek in pain. It was just horrible, we could barely touch him. We went straightaway to our regular vet who suspected a disk problem, herniation, whatever. Phillip wanted to get him an MRI so we were sent down to Red Bank Hospital, which is where Scooter and Spenser are being treated. The MRI did not show anything which would have caused the amount of pain he was in. The neurologist prescribed 7 weeks of crate rest and a long course of Prednisone. He made an uneventful recovery and all was well. About a year later, I think, he developed the same symptoms. They were at a loss as to the cause of his illness, and we finally had them do a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). Poor Clayton was in such pain after the procedure, but it saved his life: we had a diagnosis: eosinophilic meningoencephalomyelitis. Yes, a very big word. My best definition is that it is an autoimmune disorder in which the body tries to fight off non-existent invaders within the fluid which bathes the brain and spinal cord. My resident neurologist is not home as I write this so I hope it is accurate. Fortunately a course of steroids puts the disease into remission. Clayton has had, I believe, four bouts of it. So as I said, Clayton is healthy and happy and we hope he will stay that way for as long as possible. Clayton was my first dog and my first pet and he is my very special little guy.