Tuesday, April 7, 2015

4/7/2015 - Questions are Welcome!

4/7/15 - I have noticed a growing interest in Cletus' blog in recent days/weeks/months.  If there are any questions I can answer, please feel free to post your question to me privately or publicly or please leave a comment.

This blog has been seen by over 13,000 visitors from over 60 countries.  Please feel free to share where you are from, what brought you to this site, and how we can make the site better for you.

I would love to know what brought you to this blog, what I can do to help advance the understanding of schizencephaly or Cletus' condition, or what I can post that would answer questions you may have.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


                                                                 Puppy Cletus pic!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

4/20/2013 - 10,000 Visits!!!

4/20/13 - Cletus' blog received it's 10,000 visit last night.  Thank you so much for allowing us to reach this milestone, it means a great deal to us.

Even though Cletus is no longer with us, his message of schizencephaly awareness is still going strong and through his blog, the papers that have been written about him, and with his beautiful memory in our hearts, Cletus will continue to live on.

Thank you again and love to all,



Saturday, February 16, 2013

2/16/2013 - Cletus' Necropsy (Autopsy) Results

2/16/13 - Cletus' necropsy (autopsy) came back the other day and the conclusion, to everyone's surprise was not, in fact schizencephaly, but rather porencephaly. 

I spoke with Cletus' neurologist at the University of Florida and the difference between schizencephaly and porencephaly is all grey matter lining the opening with schizencephaly and some white matter lining the opening with porencephaly.  Animals, including dogs have been known to have porencephaly although Cletus' case was pretty severe.

I asked about the CT Scan which was performed by this same doctor and other doctors where they "confirmed" the schizencephaly and the response was that it is truly impossible to know if it is porencephaly or schizencephaly until an autopsy is completed.

I then asked if we knew of his true diagnosis, would the treatment have been any different, could there have been anything we could have done to help Cletus that we did not do?  I was told no, we did everything we could possibly do and his treatment would not have been different.

What I am upset about is that I wrote to his neurologist back on February 3rd of 2012 bringing up porencephaly as a possible diagnosis for Cletus reather than schizencephaly. 

This is what I wrote (email dated February 3, 2012):

"...In addition, I have been doing research (as always) and have come across porencephaly as a possible alterior diagnosis for Cletus which I would like for your team to look into. Not that I disagree with the schizencephaly diagnosis, just that it is possible that porencephaly could be confused with schizencephaly at times."

And here is the neurosurgeon's response (email also dated February 3, 2012):

"...Porencephaly is just a hole in the cerebrum and there is generally normal brain tissue on all sides of the defect. Porencephaly isn’t really a diagnosis per se, it is the result of a local death of brain tissue; e.g. it is a just a descriptor of a gross anatomic lesion. The causes seen in veterinary medicine are generally viral infections in utero. Skull malformations are not generally a feature of porencephaly either."

They then performed the CT Scan on February 6th, 2012 and confirmed their diagnosis of schizencephaly. 

Part of my thinks the University was looking to make a "unique" diagnosis so they could write a paper which now they are not going to write because their diagnosis is proved wrong.  I just hope they did not cause Cletus any harm in doing so.

Love to all,


Sunday, February 3, 2013

2/3/2013 - Cletus featured in Our Dogs Annual 2013

2/3/13 - I received the magazine with Cletus' article in it yesterday... I am now a published author... made me sad and happy at the same time. Miss you TeeTee...

You can order the magazine, which is over 500 pages from https://www.ourdogs.co.uk/acatalog/ANNUALS.html



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1/22/2013 - Cletus' 3rd Birthday would have been tomorrow

1/22/13 - Tomorrow, January 23rd would have been Cletus' 3rd birthday.  Although I think about Cletus every day, I know tomorrow will be a day where Cletus will be forefront in my mind.  I plan on lighting a candle for Cletus tomorrow night after I come back to the hotel after work.

So much has changed in the past month since we have lost Cletus.  We have sold our house.  I have started working in a new city and although I am already in the new city, I am living in a hotel.  The family and I will be moving into our new home the beginning of February. 

I keep getting asked if I will be getting a new puppy but I am not ready for that.  I have been spending as much time with Magnum as I can (when I am home) but I know that none of us are ready for another puppy in the mix.

Anyway, sorry for the long hiatus between posts... I will try to write soon.



Saturday, December 22, 2012

12/22/2012 - Cletus and his story of donation on ABC News 12/21/12

12/22/12 - Trent Kelly of ABC News WCJB TV20, who ran a story on Cletus in October, ran a follow-up story last night on Cletus' donation to the University of Florida. Trent is honestly one of the most thoughtful and caring people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Once again, thank you Trent.

Below is a link to Cletus on ABC TV20 News from October 16, 2012 if you missed it...

Local Dog Diagnosed With Rare Condition Never Before Seen in Pets | WCJB TV-20

The following is a link to Cletus on ABC TV20 from December 21, 2012...


To purchase a copy of Our Dogs International Magazine Annual 2013 in which Cletus' story is told, the link is below...


On a side note, I will be closing Cletus' donation campaign located at http://igg.me/p/217159 at the end of the month.

As far as Cletus' doctors are aware of, Cletus had the only known reported case of open lipped schizencephaly in a canine. The key word here is reported. Most vets are not aware that schizencephaly exists or they are not aware that this condition is possible in an animal. Cletus is living proof of this possibility.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are 78.2 million dogs in the U.S. (http://www.humanesociety.org/). Some sites state that schizencephaly affect 1.54 per 100,000 people. According to rightdiagnosis.com, schizencephaly affects 1 in 2719 people or 0.04% of the population (http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/lists/preval.htm). The fact is that no one is sure how many people schizencephaly truly affects. If we assume these same statistics in dogs, it equates to up to 31,280 dogs out there with schizencephaly in the U.S. alone.

Please help me to get the word out about Cletus and schizencephaly. Contact your local news organization about Cletus or have your local news organization contact me directly at dsilber27@hotmail.com

Thank you for your support,


Friday, December 21, 2012

12/21/2012 - Missing Cletus

12/21/12 - How do people do this?  How does one go from being with a loved one 24 hours a day, caring for another life, having that other heart beating in rhythm with yours, to nothing at all?

Part of the reason why I left my job was to care for Cletus full time.  Now I can't find a job.  We are losing our house.  Caring for Cletus was expensive and we had to make the choice to pay for Cletus' care, which was as much as a mortgage payment each month, or to make the mortgage payment.  Cletus' care was more important.

I have no doubt that the right choices were made in terms of Cletus' care and I am eternally grateful for the time I had with Cletus.  These last few months spent with Cletus have been a true blessing.  Cletus and I and Magnum have been able to play and run.  We have had our ups and downs but for the most part, Cletus was happy and generally healthy up until the end.

Now I feel empty... alone... sad... lost... and I know Magnum feels the same way.  We try to comfort each other.  I try to stay positive for him but it is actually getting harder and harder to do so.  I am finding myself withdrawing more and more.  I don't want to speak to anyone on the phone anymore.  I don't want to go out of the house anymore.  It is hard to get off of the couch. 

I am going out today but it is to pick up Cletus' MRI and CT Scan from the University and then his ashes from the cremation place.

An appraiser came over this morning from the bank and Magnum just barked and barked and barked at him which he has never done to anyone before.  I know it is because he was scared and confused because Cletus was not here with him to inspect this stranger in our house... what used to be our house.

There are no decorations up for the holidays this year...

I know we will go on... I have to go on for Magnum's sake... but it will never be the same... I will never be the same... my heart is now off rhythm.


Love to all,


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12/19/2012 - Thank You!! Cletus' Story will be on ABC News TV20 tonight at 11:00pm

12/19/12 - I wanted to send out a BIG Thank You to everyone for sending your condolences, well wishes, and thoughts the past few days.

We have received literally hundreds of messages via phone, email, text, twitter, etc expressing how much Cletus has touched the lives of those around him and those he has never even met.  We have received messages from doctors and schizencephaly associations thanking us for the interest, the exposure, and the knowledge we have been able to put forth into the medical community.

I will never stop missing Cletus.  I could sit here and keep asking why him? Why did this have to happen to a sweet, beautiful puppy who only wanted to give love?  Instead, I will choose to be greatful for the time we had Cletus in our lives. 

It gives me great pleasure and even some peace to know that he was able to give back to the community.  The medical community will be able to learn from him and hopefully save many, many lives, both animal and human.  It is a testiment to him that this blog has had almost 9000 visits from over 70 countries all over the world.  I will continue Cletus' fight for those with schizencephaly - animal or human.

While I am writing this, I just received a call from ABC News WCJB TV20 who ran a story on Cletus in October and they would like to run a follow-up story tonight on Cletus' donation to the University.  They will be coming over for the interview in an hour or so and it will be on the 11:00 news.

*UPDATE* Due to time constraints, Cletus' story will not be on until either Thursday, 12/20 or Friday, 12/21. I will keep all informed of the date through this post as I am told.

*UPDATE* Cletus' story will be on tonight, Friday, 12/21/12 at 11:00PM. Thank you to once again to Trent Kelly and ABC News WCJB TV20.

Cletus The Bloodhound
01/23/10 - 12/18/12

Love to all,


RIP Cletus 01/23/10 - 12/18/12

12/19/12 - For the whole afternoon I sat on the floor which made Cletus and I the exact same height - eye to eye.  Cletus kept walking over to me and pressing his forhead into mine.  He would then slide his head over for it to land on my shoulder and he would give me a hug.  It was a beautiful afternoon.

... but Cletus looked more and more tired as the afternoon dragged on... he was getting slower and slower. 

I called my partner home from work and Cletus' primary doctor came over and the three of us talked.  Even if a miracle happened and Cletus recovered a little, he still needs to take a multitude of medications multiple times a day which is going to keep hurting his liver.  After his liver, his kidneys will begin to feel the effect. 

...Cletus fought a long and strong fight but we did not want his last days to be days of suffering.

We made the difficult decision to let Cletus go... Cletus passed at 6:20pm EST on December 18, 2012

We decided to donate Cletus' remains to the University of Florida for them to do further studies into open lipped schizencephaly being that Cletus has the only known reported case in an animal.  We feel some comfort with the possibility of by studying Cletus, we may be able to save untold numbers of other animals and humans with this condition.  After study, the University will cremate Cletus and return his ashes to us.

A doctor in Italy contacted us the day before Cletus passed asking for Cletus' DNA to do a study on the condition and we were able to get a sample to send to Italy prior to his passing. 

We also found out today that Cletus' story came out in an international magazine called Our Dogs with a readership of 250,000. 

Cletus' story will continue on as he will in our memory and in our hearts.

Cletus The Bloodhound
01/23/10 - 12/18/12

Love to all,


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12/18/2012 - Cletus' Liver is Failing

12/18/12 - On Saturday night I began to pack to leave Sunday morning for a short trip to Arizona and I noticed Cletus acting a little strange. He was standing very straight, staring into space. He looked sad. I chalked it up to him seeing my luggage and knowing that I was going somewhere which I rarely do. I am usually right next to Cletus. I may leave for a few hours but I haven't left overnight for a while.

The next morning, I woke up and let the dogs out. I filled their water bowl and gave Cletus his medicine. Cletus, as big as he is, still needs to look up to reach for his pills, wrapped in turkey, but today was different, Cletus didn't look up. His eyes went up but his head did not tilt upward. After I gave Cletus his treats, he went over to his food container and stood very straight, staring at it. I called his name, "Cletus... Cletus... Cletus..." He did not turn. "I am not feeding you right now". No response. "Cletus... Cletus..." Finally, he turned, ever so slowly towards me. He then slipped on the floor and fell to his stomach. I helped him up and back into the bedroom thinking that he was tired as it was early in the morning but also thinking that he has not fallen in such a long time.

I flew to Phoenix (an all day trip) and by the time I landed received a phone call from home that Cletus has continued to stare, stand straight without turning his neck, and fall throughout the day. I asked that Cletus be given a medication that would calm him as he may be stressed but it would also make him sleepy. The pill was given and Cletus fell asleep shortly after.

After 5 hours asleep in the same spot, my partner at home tried to help Cletus up for Cletus to go outside and Cletus yelped out in pain. This he has never done before. Getting up on his own, Cletus has trouble but does not yelp. Now, when anyone tries to help him, Cletus would yelp.

Monday morning Cletus was brought to the vet hospital for testing. I went to my interview in Phoenix. I called home several times to check on Cletus and was told that the vet and the University are speaking and waiting for results.

When I arrived at the airport in Phoenix on Monday afternoon for my return trip, I called the vet hospital to check on Cletus and I felt something odd about the phone call. Where I usually get thorough answers, I was not getting any answers. I called home and my partner answered who should have been at work. I was told Cletus was home and resting and we will talk about him when I get home. I said we will talk about it now.

In the airport in Phoenix, thousands of miles and 10 flying hours from home, I was told that Cletus' liver has begun to fail. He is holding a lot of fluid in his abdomen and his body is going to begin to shut down. My best friend is dying.

It was a very long, very horrible trip home but I am glad that I knew what I was coming home to. I broke down in tears several times on the way but kept going. All I wanted was to see Cletus... to hold Cletus.

I got home a little after midnight. I walked through the door and Magnum came running, tail wagging. I kissed him and hugged him. I waited for Cletus... I did not want to turn on the light for fear of waking up my partner. All I had was a little light coming into the hallway from the kitchen. Cletus, where are you?

After what seemed like eternity, Cletus peaked his head out of the bedroom and slowly walked over to me. His tail was wagging. I hugged him and kissed him and fell with him to the floor and cried. I tried not to but I could not help it. He looked so thin... so worn... so tired.

I kissed Cletus' face and he licked mine. We stayed on the floor with his head in my lap. On my left, Magnum laid down and let me rub his belly.

The nightmare that night (last night) was intense. It started with me and my partner driving with a real estate agent looking for a house to rent. The real estate agent and I got out to check out a house but my partner did not want to. The house was old but solid. Walking in to the house, we entered the kitchen which had old appliances. Walking through the kitchen we entered the dining room and there was paper peeling off the walls. On the other side of the house was another kitchen but this kitchen had newer appliances. The real estate agent told me that the owners used this kitchen and not the other one. Why would a house have 2 kitchens? We kept walking through rooms. The rooms wrapped back around to the old kitchen but there was a door which lead downstairs to a basement. I said to the real estate agent that I took the door off the hinges and she replied that "Yes, you did". A woman, dressed all in grey, with long black hair, and black pupils started walking up the stairs and passed by the real estate agent. I looked down between my legs and Cletus was laying there. He began to have a seizure which I tried to stop by holding him tight between my ankles. The woman in grey stepped over Cletus and behind my back. I turned to look at her and she at me. She reached out to me. I reached out to her and then realized that she was dead, a ghost. I woke up screaming, screaming, screaming, and then began to cry uncontrollably.

Downstairs was death. The door on the other side of the kitchen to the outside was life. Cletus was on the brink of the stairs, on the brink of death. I have to try to get him over to the light.

We decided to bring Cletus to acupuncture this morning for one last stitch effort to do something, anything. We got home about one hour ago and it is now up to Cletus who will either start getting better within the next 24 hours, pass tonight on his own, or start getting worse. If he starts getting worse, we have made arrangements to say goodbye tomorrow at home so Magnum and Sam can say goodbye and then we would donate Cletus to UF so the students there could learn from Cletus.

In the 2 hours since Cletus' acupuncture treatment, he has lifted his head, turned his body, and ran around the house, and has not fallen once, a 500% improvement over yesterday. I don't know what this means. I am trying not to raise my hope. One thing I know is that he is much, much stronger than I am. I am trying not to cry in front of him but I am possibly losing my best friend.

Part of me wants him to get better but then what? What is next? Is this selfish? Is he in pain? Is he only getting better to please me?

Part of me wants him to finally find peace, a peace that will last forever but I honestly don't think I can handle it. I have never been as close to anyone or anything as I am to Cletus.

Right now it is a waiting game...

Love to all,

Doug and Cletus