The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘illness’

Anaplasma Blues II

A couple of weeks ago I went to see Dr. Celia. I wasn’t sick or anything. In fact, I was kind of surprised to find ourselves at the vets’ place. I felt just fine, thank you!

I was ushered into the metal platform room, and I went directly to it and sat, just like I’m supposed to. “Good girl, Stella,” said the vets’ assistant. I turned my head and looked at her. I’m always good at the vets’.

“112.7 pounds.”

Well. That’s a bit disgruntling. I was 108 last time I was in.  ~:o/=

Dr. Celia came in armed with a bunch of little bottles and stingy pricking things. She wrapped her arms around me and gave me a friendly tussle. “What a beautiful coat!”

I glowed inside. I think I have a lovely growth of wool, too, and it means so much to me when people notice….

“But you’re feeling a little bit fatty here, Stella.”

Kay would say that’s just like a cow to give a good pail of milk and then stick her foot in it.

I got all my shots up to date. That was it. No other poking and prodding, no glass tubes stuck into unmentionable places, no lights shone into my ears, no prying my jaws open ’til they felt about to unhinge…. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Stella healthy before,” Dr. Celia continued. “It’s so nice to see you when you’re not sick, Stella!”

Elizabeth says Dr. Celia must’ve jinxed me.

Thursday morning, when Elizabeth let me out of my run, she found my giant cheese and bacon flavoured cookie from the night before lying on the floor outside my house. I’d tried a couple of times to eat it. I LOVE my bacon & cheese cookies. But somehow, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it that night.

Nor could I bring myself to eat breakfast. Or to drink.

I took my bacon & cheese cookie from Elizabeth at lunch so she wouldn’t feel badly. But I couldn’t eat it then, either. She found it when she went to lock the front door at closing time.

So, she called the vet. “Wait and see how she is tomorrow,” the assistant said, after asking Dr. Celia.

Worried, Elizabeth decided I could stay in the house overnight. She thought it would be better to keep an eye on me. So, while she was in the bathroom getting ready to go to bed, I snuck into her room and went where I knew I’d feel best, lay down and waited for her. When she came in, I didn’t have the energy to move. I stayed there all night.

I really didn't think she'd mind....

I really didn’t think she’d mind if I slept on her bed with her….

Elizabeth was a bit cranky the next morning, but I felt a bit better. Even though she was being a grump, Elizabeth made a fuss over my breakfast – she soaked it in water used to poach their salmon and added some canned chicken . I made a real effort and ate it. I even licked the bowl a little. It was all I could manage that day.

Ozzie is a neutered male mixed breed that was born around June/09. He is a very gentle mellow dog that presently weighs about 80 lbs. He needs to put on about 5 lbs. He also is recovering from from wounds (from either another dog or from a wolf/coyote) He has just come into care on Jan19/13 so watch for updates as DA Dog’s Life gets to know him better. – photo & text courtesy It’s a Dog’s Life website

Ozzie is a neutered male mixed breed that was born around June/09. He is a very gentle mellow dog that presently weighs about 80 lbs. He needs to put on about 5 lbs. He also is recovering from from wounds (from either another dog or from a wolf/coyote) He has just come into care on Jan19/13 so watch for updates as DA Dog’s Life gets to know him better. – photo & text courtesy It’s a Dog’s Life website

Saturday morning, Elizabeth dropped her things off at the shop and Kay drove us down to the vets’. I sat on the platform like always. “108.6 pounds,” read the assistant, and we went back to the waiting room.

Holly, a Shih Tzu, tried to coax me to play, but I didn’t really feel like it. I supervised her play with Sparky, a hound/husky/shepherd mix whose parents are sled-racing dogs. I was ready to step in if Sparky got a bit too rambunctious for Holly – Sparky’s still just a (big) pup.

Then Ozzie came out. Ozzie is one of the dogs from It’s a Dog’s Life who is looking for a new home. He was abandoned on the highway to Winnipeg and attacked by a wily wolf. He looks much better now although he still had a shaved spot on his back. He’s a lovely brindled dog, and I hope he finds a forever home soon. I told him so, and he waggled his tail stump and said he hoped so, too. He loves two-leggers and just wants to settle down somewhere homey, he told me. He’s very grateful to all the two-leggers of Kenora who have donated to help pay his big vet bill. If you’d like to offer a bit to help – there’s still some left to go, and he isn’t finished his treatments yet – you can follow the It’s a Dog’s Life link and click on their ‘donate’ button.

Dr. Celia gave me a thorough check-up. She and Elizabeth talked together about me for some time, and they decided to treat me for anaplasmosis again.

So, I’m on the heavy antibiotics for another three weeks. The good news is that I feel much, much better again already. I’m eating my food, and last night I was excited to taste a giant bacon and cheese cookie once more. I lay out under a starry sky, and when I wasn’t dreaming about saving Ozzie from wily wolves, I was thinking about what a wonderful life I have with my own house and run and a whole bunch of wonderful two-legger friends to hang out with, look after and be looked after by. Life is good.

Anaplasmosis Blues


Well, at least I don’t itch as much. That’s the good news.

I wasn’t feeling very good at all on Saturday. Even Piggy was feeling sorry for me. He’s nice to cuddle with, and he always makes me feel a bit better.

I was in on Saturday to see the vets again. Dr. Celia was taking a much deserved weekend, so I got to see Dr. Roseanne for the first time in a long time. My back legs weren’t working properly – they were very weak – I was really tired and feeling pretty depressed about being sick. Again… And while I was in the examining room, my skin began to twitch. The two-leggers thought it was itching that made it convulse up my spine, but it wasn’t. I didn’t feel itchy at all. But when someone or something touched me, my skin just rode in a wave from my back end to my shoulders.

Dr. Roseanne thought my Blasto had come out of hibernation again. Then Elizabeth had a thought. This same thing happened to me last Spring when I had a bad bladder infection. Dr. Celia thought the Blastomycosis had struck again then, too. But it turned out that I had a tick-bourne disease no one had ever seen in this area before, something called Anaplasmosis.

“Trust Stella,” Elizabeth said.

Anaplasmosis is much easier and cheaper to treat than Blasto, though.  ~:o)=

Dr. Roseanne seemed to think it more likely that it was Blasto than Anaplasmosis this time, however. “I’m going to x-ray her lungs and see what’s happening there. With that wet cough (I’d also coughed once in the examining room) and one lung sounding louder than the other…. If the x-ray doesn’t show anything, then we’ll do a blood test for the Anaplasmosis.”

The x-rays were clear. But the blood test showed that I have Anaplasmosis again. My skin infection compromised my immune system enough that the Anaplasmosis, which must have been lying dormant in my body, perhaps from this Spring or, more likely, says Dr. Roseanne, from another tick, has erupted.

Dr. Roseanne put me on a stronger antibiotic and within two doses I felt much better. Elizabeth has been feeding me some really yummy food, too – soaked kibble mixed with tuna and salmon that she got from Doyle the Dog Food Man – because my throat and tonsils were really raw and so sore that I was refusing to eat a thing. But I feel much better today. For the first time in weeks, I pulled Elizabeth up the hill on our walk. She had to run to keep up, even with my paws slipping a bit on the ice and snow on the driveway! It was fun.

I must continue on the antibiotics for another two weeks at least, though, to beat the Anaplasmosis into submission, hopefully out of my system altogether. It might decide to just stay there and wait until I have another infection. It’s an insidious sort of disease, just like the ticks that carry it. No one here is very familiar with it, so Elizabeth isn’t too sure what to expect. But I know she’ll always be there to look after me, so I’m not worried.  ~:o)=

Sometimes Life is a Bummer

Remember this?

Well… I’m still ITCHY!

Elizabeth took me to see Dr. Celia on Friday, and she prescribed a different antibiotic and anti-histamine. But by the time we got out of Dr. Celia’s place, the pharmacy was closed.

Then we had the first winter storm of the season.

We were snowed/iced in for three days.

By this morning, I was going crazy with ITCH. I was scratching and chewing my elbow. I was suffering dreadfully in my, er… nether region. My belly ITCHED. My chest ITCHED. My ears were OooOOoooH, soOOoo ITCHY! Even my mouth was ITCH ITCH ITCHING!

Elizabeth phoned my friends at the Vets’ and they gave me an 11:00 appointment.

We walked down from the bookshop. It’s nice and crisp out and the sidewalks are mostly clear now. We had to wait for the lights to change at the corner of Second and Matheson streets so we could cross to the Vets’ side and walk down the hill toward the Lake. I wanted to slide down on my bum, but that wouldn’t have been very lady-like. If the sidewalks still had snow on them, I might have done it anyway, though. I’m that ITCHY!

Well, I got up on the metal box that tells everyone how fat I am, and I weighed only 111.5 pounds. I think I’ve scratched it all off. And you know, Dr. Celia didn’t even notice I’d lost weight? Oh, well…

I think she just thought I hadn’t lost ENOUGH, because the next thing I know, she’s got the buzzy hand-held machine on and suddenly, all my elbow wool is gone! There is nothing more degrading to a Great Newfenees than wool loss. Nothing.

Then she pried up my tail to check my, er… nether region. Well, that was really humiliating, too, because I’ve been so ITCHY there… I’m missing a lot of bum wool now, too. It just kinda came out as I chewed at the ITCHINESS. I couldn’t help it. I just. Couldn’t. Help it.  -:o(=

Dr. Celia put something called steroid spray all over my elbow and, er… nether region. That stopped the itching (Ohhhh… Thank YOU, Dr. Celia!). Then she sent for one of the assistants… who came in with…. Oh, I just can’t bear the humiliation. And everyone in Kenora saw us as we walked back to the bookshop. And while we waited for the lights to change at the corner.  People moved away from me. People gave Elizabeth knowing smiles as they passed….



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