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Kodiak Update

Many of you saw our initial posts on our Facebook Fan Page, but we wanted to give you a more comprehensive update.  First and foremost, Kodiak is resting comfortably beside me as I type out this post.

Cheoah and Kodiak walking down the beach Sunday.

Amazing how quickly things can change.  Friday dawned with clear skies and cooler temperatures, destined to be the best weather day of the week.  We put the dogs out on the picket line in front of the RV while we got ourselves ready, and then took The Herd on our morning walk down the beach at Huntington Beach State Park.  About half way through our walk, Kodiak screamed and dropped to the ground.  He never lost consciousness, but it was very clear that he was unable to stand or use his legs in anyway.

We scanned the ground to see what he stepped on (the dogs can be quite dramatic about getting a sand spur in the paw, but Kodiak is notoriously stoic about pain, so that was not his style).  The beach was perfectly clear – no jellyfish, no crabs, nothing but clean, white sand.

Understanding that Kodiak was not going to walk out on his own, we realized that precisely what we liked about Huntington Beach was now our enemy – miles of pristine, undeveloped beach with only a few paths over to any road – and very few people on the beach at all.  One of us stayed with Kodiak while the other ran the rest of the dogs back to the RV, secured them safely, and drove the Jeep back to the nearest entry trail.  We then carried Kodiak up the beach and to the waiting Jeep (trust us, 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of dog is quite the challenge to carry up a beach and across a marsh path).

Kodiak, center, getting attention from some young fans on the beach.

Next challenge – where to for a vet?  We stopped at the ranger’s station and were directed to Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital.  We can not possibly say enough great things about the terrific team there.  Kodiak went straight into an exam room and, despite three other emergencies arriving at about the same time, we were seen quickly by a professional, polite staff.  Dr. Chip Jackson and team were superb.  Every time we went back into the hospital itself, the staff was gently caring for other patients and several technicians made a point to stop by, call Kodiak by name, and tell us how much they were rooting for him.

What always impresses me about a great vet is when they acknowledge what they don’t know.  Like our own terrific vet, Dr. Jackson was quick to say what he knew, what he suspected, and, importantly, what he did not know and wanted to consult with someone else.  No one knows everything and I always have great faith in people who admit when they need input from others.

Which leads us to where we are tonight – still guessing.  We have ruled out a lot of things, but have a couple of possibilities.

1)  A stroke.  The initial signs all pointed to a stroke, but as the day wore on, we are less inclined to believe this was the issue for a variety of reasons.

2)  Fibrocartilagious embolism – Basically a spinal stroke, or the deprivation of blood from a part of the spinal cord.  A great article can be found here.  Very strong possibility.

3)  Lesion on the vertabrae or other vertabrae issue – We think this may be a high likelihood, but need a good scan to rule this in or out.  And that means transporting Kodiak to a hospital with the scanning technology.

To continue to narrow down the cause, we are transporting Kodiak back home Saturday to have more extensive scans done.  He remains alert and responsive, though he can not stand well on his own (can take several steps before falling) and has no use at all of his front left leg.  He does have pain and sensitivity reflexes, including in that front leg.  And, importantly, he wolfed down food Friday night when Dr. Jackson cleared him to see if he would eat anything (boy, did he).  Mostly, he just wants to see and, preferably, touch me.  He has spent much of the evening with his head in my lap.

We will certainly keep you posted as we learn more.  In the meantime, we really appreciate everyone’s prayers and concerns for Big Red.  Thank you.

We did learn a few things today and wanted to take a moment to mention them.  We will probably do a post on each of them later:

1)  When you travel, do you know where the nearest emergency vet is located?  I am so thankful for a great referral today but want to make sure I am ready no matter where we are traveling.

2)  When hiking or out with the dogs, do you know how you will transport them in an emergency?  Carrying Kodiak across a beach and over a marsh path was challenging to say the least.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

55 thoughts on “Kodiak Update”

  1. OMG, this is frustrating to not know but nice to know the vet is thorough and open for help when he doesn’t know. we’re anxious to hear what it is. but hope Kodi feels better soon. this is just too shocking and our paws are crossed for kodi and the entire herd…

  2. Paws khrossed here – as they have been since we saw the news on FB –

    Khome on Kodiak –

    The HuDad really didn’t need more material for the blog –

    SERIOUSLY, we will be pulling for a full recovery SOON!

    Khyra and Phyll

  3. Me’n Ice and our hu-Mom are sending long “Siberwooooo’s” down to Kodiak from Dawson Creek BC Canada. Hope you are soon back on all four feet, Kodi. Our hu-Mom has promised to let us know as soon as she gets an update.
    With lots of Sibernuzzles from Ayla and Ice, and our hu-Mom.

  4. We give the hu-dad such a hard time because we feel poor Kodi is a wallflower compared to the rest of the herd! We want Kode-Red to get more attention, but not like this!! We’re thinking and praying for you buddy. Kodi sends woos and Georgia and Molly send healing smoochies. Take care buddy!

  5. We are shocked to hear about Kodiak. We all have our paws crossed for him to feel more comfortable and for answers to come soon. We are all pulling for you, Kodiak. Prayers from Mom too.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning and Mom too

  6. I’ve been following along on Facebook and appreciate the update. Everyone here is rooting for Kodiak, and thinking of you all. It is the worst feeling when one of our beloved companions takes ill. 🙁 My greyhounds all send gangly-limbed love and encouragement!

  7. Paws crossed for the best possible outcome for Kodiak. We know how scary it is to have an emergency, much less away from home!

    Sibe vibes of healing,
    jack & moo & mom

  8. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that. My heart aches for you right now & I hope you can get some answers. The scary part is not knowing and waiting to get some relief. I’m off to go hug my dogs a bit more this morning & I hope you made it hope safely.

  9. All our thoughts and prayers are going out to you and Kodiak. I hope you find answers soon and he makes a full recovery. Thanks for the Facebook updates.

  10. You’ll be in our thoughts today, and we’re hoping that a scan can yield more information. The world turns upside down when an extremely active dog can barely move. There’s no more helpless feeling. Please keep us updated.

  11. Paws are crossed here – we’re hoping for good news and a speedy recovery! (And Mom says, yes, actually, when we travel, she gets a list of every vet/emergency vet clinic from our doorstep to our destination – a hold-over from when TaiChi and Ben were still alive but sick, and could have needed emergency care at any moment. As for transporting? Yuh. She needs to think about that a little more – especially when we’re hiking on the single-track paths in the mountains….) Keep us posted!

    -Fiona and Family

  12. We’ve all got our fingers and paws crossed here, hoping Kodi makes a full recovery. After making several trips to emergency vets as we’ve traveled around we knew we had to include veterinarians on the website. Also, we scanned the dogs’ medical records to a USB drive that we carry with us – just in case. I’ve had to carry Ty a couple of times, but I have no idea what I’d do if I had to carry 75-pound Buster anywhere. We’ll have to think on that a bit.

  13. We will keep Kodiak (and you!) in our thoughts and prayers. We are sending him lots of healing vibes!

    When we took the boys to the Grand Canyon last year, Monty suddenly got too tired to keep walking. We were judging our walks by how Sam was doing, since Monty seems to be an energizer bunny. Mom picked him up and carried him the last couple of miles to our campsite – not easy since he is a 70lb boy! She is so used to carrying horsefeed and hauling hay… Luckily, Monty was just tired.

    Give Kodiak a hug from us!


  14. Oh Wow, I am so sorry to hear about Kodiak. The worst thing about an ill dog is ‘not knowing’. I do hope that your mind will be put at ease soon. Please know that I am thinking of you, especially Kodiak, and hope that he will recover soon.
    Very scary indeed.
    sending lotsaluv

  15. kodiak! oh no.

    good questions to consider about the e-vet while traveling, and how to carry a dog back.

    I hope Kodiak’s diagnosis is soon, and that his recovery is rapid. Many thoughts and prayers for you all.

  16. We are shocked and saddened at this news about Kodiak.

    Our thoughts and prayer will be with him and we will be watching for news.

    Blessings on our pals of The Herd, we love them all!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  17. Our prayers continue for Kodiak! Thanks for the update. Mom would appreciate it if you’d give him a smooch on the snooter for her. Dave and I would like to do neck grabbies, but now is not the best time for that. Maybe you could just let him know we’re pulling for him!
    Play bows,

  18. I am also rooting for Kodiak. I can imagine how scary that was for all of you, both 2- and 4-leggers. Thanks for sharing because you now have me thinking not only what I’d do away from home but what about walking in the neighborhood.

  19. We hadn’t heard from Facebook so didn’t know. Last we heard the pups were making fun of your hat!

    Prayers sent and will continue. Dogs have crossed paws…

    Bobo, Meja and Mommy

  20. I just found your blog and can’t even tell you great I think the name is! Since getting my second dog last winter I have called my 2 dogs plus my parents dog “the thundering herd”. Their nicknames as part of the herd are 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3…of the thundering herd. Your dogs are beautiful. I hope Kodiak is doing better in no time.

  21. We are definitely keeping our paws crossed and sending lots of prayers for Kodiak! We know what it is like to have one of your babies suddenly fall ill with no warning. You have all our thoughts coming your way for a quick recovery for your boy and also an explanation for what happened and how to fix it! Many hugs and snooter smooches to Kidiak!

    Holly and Khady

  22. I’m glad he’s “home” with you, even if it’s in the SRV. That has to make him feel so much better! I am hoping really hard that he’s going to make a great recovery. Please know that we’re thinking of you and Kodiak!

  23. Oh no! Since I won’t follow even my own kids on Facebook this is the first I heard. Please know that we will pray for dear Kodiak and both of you as well. And thoughts also for the rest of the Herd. I’m sure they immediately picked up the big change in the hiking pattern and were a bit upset about the whole process…on the beach, waiting for you to bring Kodiak, then waiting during the hospital visit. Fingers and paws crossed here on our side of the mountain for a good outcome.

  24. Just can’t go to bed tonight without telling you that our hearts are with you. We’re sending up the most thoughtful of prayers and our very best wishes. We’re extremely hopeful, and we hope you can feel us right there with you and Kodi!!!

    with prayers, well wishes, postive thoughts, crossed paws and LOVE from the Bleu

  25. We are saddened by this news from the Herd. We have Kodiak in our prayers, Hu-Dad. Somehow it is comforting to know that he is well taken card of by the Dr. V-E-T.

    Sending lots of positive vibes and hug from the Piappies.

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & Forgie

  26. Oh my, we are thinking of you and crossing every paw and finger in the house that Kodiak continues to improve. My heart fell to my feet when I read your post. Hang in there, Kodiak, and stay close to your hu-dad.

  27. We are so sorry to hear about Kodiak. Hope the vet can find the problem soon. All our paws are crossed and we are keeping good thoughts for Kodiak and the whole family. It is a hard time of waiting.
    Love and best
    Ernie,Sasha,Chica,Lucas, Mom Barb

  28. What a scary incident, especially away from home and having to carry Kodiak. I often wonder how I would cope if I had to carry one of my dogs. Merci, a short distance. But Buddy & Sam – no way!

    Hoping for the best for Kodiak!

  29. We just came from our furiend Khyra’s blog to let you know that we are so sorry to hear about Kodiak. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Sadie, Angel, Isabella and mom Sharla

  30. My heawt is bwoken
    Fawewell bootiful fwiend Kodiak
    I’ll see you ovew the bwidge someday
    it’s mot will stay in my heawt
    smoochie kisses

  31. Ah Kodiak…..Too many lately have been or are going over the bridge. This is such a surprise to us and we are so so sorry.

    We are sending much love your way.

    Strength to you and your family.

    Bert and My Vickie

  32. I heard the sad news on Khyra’s blog just now too. So sorry about Kodiak. Sending heartfelt hugs and all our strength to you.

  33. OMG I am so sorry about Kodiak, I’ve not been around lately and I come back to hear this sad news. I am sending healing thoughts your way and moms and my paws are crossed for you.

    Kasha the Dainty GReat Dane

  34. We are with you in body and soul. We cry with you for the good times and the bad times. You are not and never will be alone.

    Hugs and love,

    John, Kelly, Ozzie, and Zozo and Sabo in spirit.

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