Friday, 9 November 2012

09:46 – Barbara’s dad is supposed to be released from the hospital this afternoon. He’s adamant that he won’t use a walker, despite the fact that everyone from his wife and daughters to the doctors, nurses, and physical therapists are telling him that he needs to. I told Barbara the solution is simple: just put the walker beside him and take away his cane. She says this latest fall really scared him, but apparently not enough. I’m afraid the next fall might kill him. And if he continues to use that cane, there will be another fall, probably sooner rather than later.

My search to find a way to prevent iodine solutions from outgassing continues. The problem is that iodine vapor really, REALLY wants to be free. The bottles aren’t leaking, but they are allowing tiny amounts of iodine vapor to escape. I’ve tried different bottles and caps. I’ve tried various types of tape, including stretched vinyl electrical tape and even Teflon tape. I’ve tried several different types of LocTite. Most of them kind of work, most of the time. But if we make up 30 or 60 bottles of iodine solution and stick them in a ziplock bag, at least one of them is almost certain to allow some iodine vapor to escape, which stains all of the labels dark brown. It’s only a cosmetic problem, but I’d like to solve it.

So I ordered a pint (473 mL) of Elmer’s original rubber cement, which is essentially pure latex rubber dissolved in n-heptane. Yesterday, I filled a 30 mL bottle with the IKI solution, brushed the bottle threads with a cotton swap dipped in the rubber cement, and screwed on the cap. So far, it appears to be working, at least for that bottle. I guess I’ll make up 30 or 60 bottles of the IKI solution with the rubber cement seal and see what happens. The bottle is LDPE and the cap is HDPE with a PP liner, none of which are severely affected by short-term exposure to n-heptane. But I do want to make sure that the solvent doesn’t weld the cap to the bottle. I should probably have gotten Obama to do this for me. Bastard.

11:31 – Nothing is ever easy. Barbara gives Colin a heartworm preventative called Interceptor. Heartworm is a horrible disease, and Colin gets a pill every month, 12 months a year. She gave him the last pill on the first of this month and asked me to order more. The problem is, Novartis has had some severe problems at the factory, starting last January, and Interceptor is no longer available and may not be available for several months.

There are alternatives, of course, but none of them are good. Except for one thing, the best alternative would be HeartGard Plus, which costs around $72 for a 12-month supply. That one thing is a showstopper, though. The active ingredient in HeartGard is ivermectin, which can kill some Border Collies as well as some other herding breeds. The problem is a mutation in the MDR1 gene. We don’t know if Colin has that mutation and, if so, whether it’s heterozygous or homozygous.

The other alternatives are much more expensive, twice to three times as much as the HeartGard. But that’s the least of the problem. The real issue is that their active ingredients are also avermectin-class drugs, albeit not ivermectin. And the multidrug sensitivity caused by the MDR1 mutation includes all of the avermectins. Fortunately, there’s a genetic test available from Washington State University. I just requested the test kit. All we have to do is get scrapings of Colin’s squamous epithelial cheek cells, send them back to WSU, and pay them $70. They’ll tell us if Colin has the MDR1 mutation and, if so, whether it’s heterozygous or homozygous.