The boy we are all fighting for. Please read our appeal and help if you can. I have attempted to get this in order with the correct dates, apologies for any errors but sleep deprivation is my excuse.

This picture was taken before his seizures started. Things began with some very small seizures. Initially we seemed to be getting somewhere, then BANG it all went wrong.

He began again to have these  mini seizures, simple facial ticks, pupil dilation, neck stretching and ‘absences’lasting a few seconds, they came in clusters,  and led to status epilepticus, a life threatening state where one fit follows another with no return to consciousness in between. with a speedy race to the vets were he was dosed up to the eyeballs with drugs and we waited and waited. He did recover and came home, but now on phenobarbitone and Potassium bromide. Poor Bingo was  very ataxic and spaced out.

We are fighting to interrupt these clusters.

Bingo and me in the vets cage

Bingo’s diary

October 18th 

Please spare a few thoughts for our lovely boy Bingo. He is having repeated small fit like episodes, not sure why at the moment. The vet is looking at various possibilities, and treating for as many as possible. He is a four year old boxer / gsd x. So both epilepsy and brain tumour are both  likely diagnosis.

He is disorientated, anxious and having head nodding, teeth chattering and nystagmus episodes when still but not sleeping, slightly better when moving, but gets stuck by even minor obstructions, a corner or, the bar under a table for example.

November 9th – 13th 

An update on Bingo our newly epileptic Boxer & Gsd mix. After some short petit mal seizures a few weeks ago, all hell was let loose this week
Bingo has had a hell of a week. He spent Monday to Tuesday evening in the vets, heavily sedated, after being found in status epilepticus in his bed early Monday. On Tuesday night he came home, very ataxic, and with only two half front legs belonging to him, (the bottom half, with no connection in the middle), the other two and two half legs clearly belonged to another dog, he was very anxious and twitchy, (and heavy, carrying a 35kg dog is hard work- who needs the gym?) but after realising the nagging, gnawing hunger was his around 2am, and a good meal and more diazepam he settled to sleep, with me on the floor beside him

Wednesday  morning began at 6am with a very anxious, and confused Bingo, (due to all the drugs), needing to constantly be touching me. Another meal and he settled for half an hour. He found the missing bit of his front legs and was desperate to walk. However with someone else back end this wasn’t going to happen. I managed to support him while he rediscovered has bladder, and I got to rediscover how a steady stream of urine warmed up cold bare feet! Oh and how stiff my neck was after a night on the floor.

Wednesday was tough. He became increasingly anxious during the afternoon, extra clingy, then he started climbing me – literally climbing. Next he began to lick my hands, arms & feet, moving on to gnawing on whichever appendage he was licking – ouch! I began to feel something was brewing, how right I was.

We then had dilated pupils, and head twitching lasting 20 to 30 seconds. At this point I called the vet and we doubled meds, ephiphen, libromide and diazepam. (The maximum he could safely have). Eventually he settled, it took 4 hours, and he had 35 episodes in total, the time between gradually decreased stoppings totally at 1am, and as long as I lay with him he slept comfortably.

Today Bingo is still very ataxic, due to the drugs, but so far so good. He will become acclimatised to the drugs over the next few days, and we hope once he has the libromide in his system (this takes 2-3 weeks) we can reduce the dose of ephiphen.

Bingo update November 18th

Bingo is relatively stable at present. No more seizures, but still somewhat absent and very ataxic.

November 18th & 20th

An evening dash back to the vets with a very absent and ataxic Bingo. He was  somewhere else, hardly able to respond, and not maintaining his temperature. During the night he stayed more or less the stable. But next morning he went from eating at 6.30 am, to basically shutting down, his temperature regulation went, and the vets struggled to warm him up,his pcv dropped, oxygen sats dropped, it was as though someone was shutting his central nervous system down bit by bit.

Right now he is hospitalised, I am currently in a cage at the vets with Bingo, and have been since lunch time until almost 9pm, On my arrival he responded for the first time, and whoever was playing with his switches began to switch things back on, gradually as the day progressed he improved. By the evening he was well enough to come home, although we still remained with him most of the night, eventually feeling able to go to bed and do hourly checks. Thank goodness for the video baby monitor- Thank you Vernon and Anna.

He didn’t have his potassium bromide today .

The neurologists at Fitzpatric referrals have said they want him stable for at least 72 hours before travelling, so we are keeping everything crossed we meet that milestone. However our vets felt that they don’t really want Bingo, and were not overly comfortable with their manner. So we may end up elsewhere.

We have so far raised just over £600, ( £200 of that from one lady- thank you, you are an angel.) though we are delighted to have achieved that sum, and cant thank our supporters enough, it doesn’t even cover his bill at our vets. I’ve already paid them over £600 and there is at least £800 with hospitalisation and blood tests on top.

The referral vets have told us the first consultation, MRI etc. will be £2,500 to £2,800 and hospitalisation will be £250 per night if he has to stay in after that.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart everyone who has donated.

November 21st

The ataxia seems worse today as the day progresses. I’m hoping this is the potassium bromide, which seems to have a terrible effect on him, although the blood test showed it hasn’t yet reached therapeutic levels. But has been reduced because he seemed significantly more with it without. The vets don’t want to completely stop it as the phenobarbitone was not sufficient on its own.

We had a terrible day today, as the day wore on Bingo became unable to control his legs at all, he was anxious, depressed, struggling to keep warm, and seemed to be sliding away from us. Intensive nursing throughout the day and nigh, t kept Bingo safe, and Sam & I exhausted. BUT at 6am he started to come back to us and was so much more in command of himself. I knew then the potassium bromide simply didn’t suit him and unable to get hold of the vet,  I took an executive decision to take him off it. ( when the vet phoned back a couple of hours later he agreed this was the best course of action).

We kept the woodburner going all day to ensure he stayed warm, and someone was with him, or monitoring him via the monitor all day. The others enjoyed that too.

November 23rd – 24th

Last night Bingo had improved so much, I felt able to rely on the then video monitor, this allows us to see, hear and speak to him, with the added bonus of  giving us the room temperature too.  with just a 1am check to ensure he was fine.

This is his second day off the potassium bromide. Bingo is more mobile and closer to his normal self, we now wait with baited breath to see if the seizures return, or if the phenobarbitone, now at therapeutic levels is sufficient.

I would like to Bingo’s  brother Jack deserves an award.  They have  been together since birth, never parted before. Jack has been tremendous in helping us nurse Bingo, he has shown nothing but concern for Bingo, and not one ounce of jealousy to all the extra attention his brother has been getting.

Head Nurse Jack

November 29th

Today its Bingo and Jack’s 4th birthday. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could start to get better, what a perfect birthday gift that would be.

IMG_4958 Bingo and jack

Thursday 3rd December

Bingo may have had a small seizure last night, but if so was silent and still as it didn’t set the monitor off. But he was drowsy this morning as he is a few hours after the phenobarbital, and not overly interested in his food, though did eat. Most worrying is that he has some sort of neuropathy in his right back leg, not walking on it and not bothering to try. Hard to tell if it seems worse due to the drugs. Vets insure how to treat, normally would be steroids, they are finding out if this is ok for him and seeing him tomorrow. Also going to find out where to use a tens machine to stimulate the nerves- they are not sure where to best position the patches.

Initially it was thought he has slipped and hurt himself, he is so ataxic on the phenobarbine, but we can’t attempt to reduce it yet. We are only on day 10 post Kb, (potassium bromide), and it takes around 24 days to clear. We have seen improvement over last couple of days, but today is an enigma.

Friday 4th December

Bingo did a bit of walking this morning pre-tablets, but his right hind leg is just a dangling appendage. We were back at the vets, where after some. Overnight boning up on their neurology, (I think we had been reading the same books!).

After a set of X-rays to rule out fracture or dislocation, a tentative diagnosis was reached. It seems Bingo has a fibrocartilaginous embolism. (A fibrocartilaginous embolism, or FCE for short, is a blockage in a blood vessel in the spinal cord).

Steroids are not a good option for him because of his phenobarbital, so he has an alternative anti-inflammatory to take. I have to now take off my veterinary science research hat off, and don my nurse’s cap, bodybuilder hat, (he weighs a tonne), and very importantly don my physiotherapist uniform and devise an exercise program. The more we keep those leg muscles stimulated over the next 21 days the greater the chance of recovery

Any suggestions from those with experience of these types of problems are very welcome

December 9th – 11th

First an enormous thank you to everyone who has donated. We have raised £845.

We still. Have a long way to go. You wonderful people on Facebook recently raised more than £11,000 in about 48 hours for Kayak from Many Tears Rescue, what amazing effort.

Well now I’m begging you to do the same especially for Bingo, but also to allow to continue helping the other special dogs we are constantly asked to take into the Sanctuary from members of the public, and from other organisations.

Wednesday saw us at the Smart Clinic.

Bingo at smart clinic 1

Not a success, even though I had called previously and explained his position, they had said they could help, but when we got there we could see they went through the motions, whilst wondering why we were there. I was shocked at the shabby facilities, a twisting flight of stairs, and no lift – in a very expensive long established rehab clinic for dogs recovering from illness, accident and surgery? Broken life jackets, no harnesses just awful luggage straps in the water treadmill, and no proper drying facilities, we were sent off with an ill and wet dog. Oh and the car park is a s far as possibly be from the entrance, a very narrow hall, – (yet there was a side entrance much closer, with double doors into a very spacious hallway, locked and with a huge sign saying staff only). The day seemed to exhaust Bingo and he slept most of Thursday with just food, toilet and cuddle breaks.

Just as we all thought we were getting on top of everything, we’ve had another day spent at the vets, with yet another set of worrying symptoms,


Bingo, me and Frankie

Bingo at Towy v

Having started to get his back leg moving and beginning to walk again and use it almost normally. A set of blood tests showed his phenobarbitone levels to be well up on the therapeutic scale so we were able to begin to cut down his phenobarbitone. I understand it takes time to get the balance and for acclimatisation to the drugs, , but I am increasingly disturbed at the effect the pheno seems to have on our boy, its just not right.

All good we thought. But no, Bingo was ‘odd’ this morning after his breakfast. Not quite himself. It’s too soon to see much difference with the reduction in his meds. But he seemed in pain

Right now I’m sitting in the waiting room at The Willows referral centre in Solihull. The neurologist is with Bingo, and I’m waiting to hear the proposed plan.

It’s looking like an MRI scan, bloods, thyroid panel and bile acids, with some other diagnostic imaging depending on results.

Bingo has been fighting so hard to be well. We need your help. The bill will be high. We are looking at £2,500 ish for the basics of bloods and MRI. It could rise to £4,500+ they told us. I’m sitting here wondering what I can sell to help meet the cost.

I’ve never pleaded with anyone before. I don’t believe in any God (except maybe the sun, if that goes out, so do!) So I’m turning to you guys, not for myself, I don’t matter a jot, but for Bingo, and boy is he worth it. (Just ask the vets if you don’t believe me, they, and the nurses, are all going to have sleepless nights tonight.

Please donate – if you use PayPal. Our address is;

Mark donations as a gift and there will be no charges

Direct bank payments
Our account is with HSBC
Account name: Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary
Account number: 31153064
Sort code: 401839

By cheque payable to ‘Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary’
Or good old fashioned cash.

Thank you thank you and thank you again

Saturday 12th December

He is a little better this morning, able to walk again and more responsive. So currently being assessed and prepared for the MRI team for the scan. I hope to have more news, and maybe some answers early afternoon.

They asked me to stay close, so Syd and I slept in the van opposite the clinic. Its miserable cold and wet. So after his breakfast etc sensible Syd has snuggled back under our pile of blankets, and suggested we stay there a bit longer whole we wait. Seems a good plan.

The bill is now going to be nearer £6,000.  Please keep sharing our appeal, we can’t do this without your help.


I’m sat in the van waiting to hear some news on Bingo, I’m in a real mess worrying about him. They hope to have the results of some of his tests soon. I’m going to repost the appeal, please I beg you if you haven’t donated please do.

Over 13,000 people have viewed my Facebook post last night, 3 have donated. I know it’s Christmas, and you have families to buy for. Bingo just wants a chance of life. He is fighting so hard. Please even 50p helps. Thank you from Fionna, Bingo and all the other special dogs Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary


I have just seen James, the neurologist and waiting to see Bingo. He believes the seizures were not epilepsy, and possibly not even true seizures. They are weaning him off the phenobarbitone, and will use levetiracetam, (Keppra), if necessary.

They still don’t have a definitive diagnosis, but have narrowed things down. He came through anaesthetic well. But still sleeping. He is breathing for himself and heart rate etc. all good. He could take some time to come out of it. Time will tell.

For now it’s intensive nursing. A nurse or vet is sitting with him all the time. The MRI scan was revealing, but no definitive answers. Firstly no tumours. His brain is all symmetrical and looks healthy. But there are several brighter multi focal symmetrical bright areas in the nebula. Unusual in a dog his age, more often seen in younger dogs. It’s looking likely its inflammatory disease, a storage disease or a metabolic disease. Outside possibilities are neospora, toxoplasmosis or similar. Various other blood and urine tests are being taken to try and narrow things down. The neurology team will all be meeting to discuss as results to other tests come in.

Note due to lasts nights’ crisis and the extra tests, the estimate has risen to £5, 500 to £6,000

Sunday 13th December


James has just called. Bingo was zonked out for most of the night, he had periods were he showed an interest in the world of intensive care around him, and responded to nurses and vets. At 7am he got up and wondered, maybe I should rephrase that to wobbled, around for 15-20 minutes, investigating the ward, ate and drank. But soon after he was sleeping and uninterested again. They will continue to monitor him, and await the rest of the results. They believe he has a chance so we will continue to fight for this lovely boy. He may not have his very own home, but we are his surrogate family and love him dearly.

Massive thanks to all who have donated.

Our bill is now likely to be around the £7,000 mark by the end of Tuesday night.

Please hug your own pets, they are lucky to have real family, and if you don’t have insurance consider asking loved ones to make it your Christmas present.


Bingo has had a reasonable day. I’ve just spoken to the nurses and has been up and walked about, he is drinking and eating well. More news tomorrow.

Monday 14th December


I’m like a cat on hot bricks waiting for an update on our boy, Bingo. I think I know if there was terrible news they would have called BUT I cant settle or concentrate. Its so hard with him so far away and not being there to comfort him, knowing that physical contact is what he wants, and what settles him best.


Having had a a good night Bingo had a bit of a relapse this morning, he was walking earlier, but now cant. This happened about an hour after his phenobarbitone so is consistent with the pattern we saw, and when I described it to Sebastian , (James is now off duty), he said that was a perfect description of what he is seeing. He is sitting up, turning when he wishes to, eating, drinking and attracting attention from the vets and nurses when he wants a fuss.

Bingo is a complex case and has them all working overtime trying to interpret what is going on. They seem to be erring on the side of a metabolic or storage disease.

The bloods that have been sent off are hopefully going to tell us more about how he is metabolising the drug. They are continuing to wean him off it, and waiting on various results due in the next few days.

The bill is continuing to rise, I am worried sick about Bingo, and about paying his bill.


Bingo has brightened considerably this afternoon and is doing well, and no more phenobarbitone.


Tuesday 15th December

Bingo is still at the vets, but fingers and everything crossed is coming home tomorrow.

There are still a few outstanding test results to come in but
a provisional diagnosis of Polioencephalomalacia has been reached. Sadly this is a very rare and little documented degenerative brain condition. Bingo still has the ability to enjoy a quality life and that is exactly what he will have, for as long as he can.

We have already spent £2,000, and this Vets bill is going to be between £6,000 and £6,500. and there will be ongoing costs for his medication etc. We are not asking you to donate huge sums, just £2,the price of a coffee.

Enormous thanks to those who have already donated,you are all absolute angels. We have reached almost £2,000 now.
Please continue to share our appeal, donate and urge your friends to do the same, for Bingo.

One of his posts had over 19,000 views, even if all of those people donated just 50p it would make an enormous difference.

Please continue to share our appeal and donate, for Bingo.

You can donate via paypal, our paypal address
Please mark as a gift and they wont take fees.
Direct bank payments
Our account is with HSBC
Account name: Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary
Account number: 31153064
Sort code: 401839
By cheque payable to ‘Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary’
Or good old fashioned cash.

Thank you from Fionna, Bingo and all the other special dogs Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary help.

If we raise more than we need, the rest will go towards other needy dogs. Dogs like the elderly Shih tzu in having an eye removed today.

Wednesday 16th December

Bingo  is coming home!!! brighter again today, walking, eating like a Labrador and peeing etc.

So I’m off to Solihull to collect him.





FUEL ? check


OIL? check


Bingo here we come!!

Please continue to share our appeal and donate, for Bingo. We have not raised even half of his current bill, he will have ongoing costs for medicines and blood tests.
We also have other dogs with longing veterinary costs too.

Thank you from Fionna, Bingo and all the other special dogs Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary help.

If we raise more than we need, the rest will go towards other needy dogs. Dogs like the elderly Shih tzu in having an eye removed today.

As if worrying about Bingo’s problems, his vet bills and those of the other dogs at the Sanctuary are not enough.

Welcome to Lizzie’s Barn Island Sanctuary!

16.12.2015 a16.12.2015 b16.12.2015 c16.12.2015 d16.12.2015 e16.12.2015 f16.12.2015 g16.12.2015h

Bingo was as excited as I was to be reunited and I am so happy and what an amazing greeting he gave me, he sang a wonderful song about going home to everyone in the waiting room.

We are on our way back at last

Bingo coming home 1

Thursday 17th December

Still flooded BUT Bingo is home.

So happy our Bingo is home, he keeps remembering he is home and having to celebrate all over again.

The cheque for his vets bill will hit the bank tomorrow, that will mean we have no money left at all, I have used my own credit cards and overdraft. Those will need paying back. WE STILL need help.
We have raised less than half of this bill ( just over £6,000 thanks to a discount) and a third of his total vets bills. Bingo will have ongoing medical costs, and we have, and will have more vets bills with other dogs.

I have just spoken to the bank and the cheque isn’t there yet, so we have till Monday to raise some more. Once the cheque hits the bank I will have nothing as my overdraft and credit cards are now totally maxed out- and will need repaying

Please continue to donate, even the smallest amounts add up. Thank you