September 30, 2009 by MrBlueSkies
Dogs Can Get More Than Just Lyme Disease From Ticks
My female dalmatian, Sissy, is very sick. She’s been acting strangely for a while, moving slower than normal and just being less energetic. Heather noticed that she wasn’t eating much. She had gone 24 hours without a bowel movement and while I was walking her, she stopped and wouldn’t go any further. She was in a weird stance, with her head down and she started to drool a little. I brought her back into the house and called the vet.
The vet was certain it was Lyme Disease but all of her blood tests showed nothing. Her heart and lungs sounded healthy too. The vet explained that ticks can spread a multitude of diseases and they only test for the most common ones. She still felt it was tick related and gave me an RX for Docycycline, an antibiotic. If she doesn’t seem better in 4 days or gets worse, I am supposed to bring her back to the vet.
Last night when I gave her the first dosage, 3 pills, I mixed them with bacon grease in order to get them down her throat. Shortly thereafter, she threw up twice, and 2 of the pills were thrown up. This morning, she was still very lethargic so I decided to stay home and watch her carefully. I walked Dave separately and then took her out on the front lawn. She tinkled and then had a small poo! Yay! And barely made it up the stairs. After she came in, she seemed exhausted and started to wheeze. She laid down right where she came in and did not move for a good 15 minutes. When she did move, she only went a couple of yards and then plopped down for a rest. Eventually she made it to me and the sofa…
I feel so bad for her. She is such an active dog who loves to sit on the sofa and look out the window at the world. She barks at everything that passes the house. She’s a hugger and a kisser and loves to snuggle up. None of this is happening. In fact, when the train went by last night, she barely lifted her head. Normally, she would freak out and be trying to sit on my head.
So today Sissy and I hung out. I gave her lots of loving and kisses. I tried to get her to eat something but everything I offered was spit out. When it was time for her meds, I wrapped each pill in some liverwurst and clamped her mouth shut until she swallowed each piece. I hate doing that to her but she must have her medicine. I thought she was going to puke again but she managed to hold it down. She even walked over to her water dish as if she was going to drink, but she only looked at the water.
Dave is not sure what the hell to do while all this is going on. He has his own problems with the loss of strength in his back legs. Going up and down the stairs is not as easy as it use to be for him, but he has learned to take it slow. Jumping on the bed is another struggle for him and sometimes it takes two tries. With all the attention going to Sissy, Dave is a little jealous, yet I think he senses something is not right with her. And Dave is getting old. He will be 13 the first week of January. The average lifespan for a Dalmatian is 12 so he’s right there, if you know what I mean.
As I was walking Dave today, I started to think what my life would be without my dogs. They are such a big part of my life. I have been gearing up for the loss of Dave but I have not given much thought to Sissy’s passing. This has really put a scare in me. Although my dogs are a lot of work, they are also a great comfort to me. Yes, my house is full of dog hair. I swept my bedroom today, finally. Yes, I cleaned it up and put my clothes away. Amazing, eh? What is actually amazing is I swept up enough hair to fill a small pillow. Yikes.
So if I didn’t have dogs, the house would be cleaner, I wouldn’t have to race home to walk them or worry about how to care for them during the day when Heather and Aaron move out. I’d have more money. (Sissy’s visit cost around $235.) I could go on vacations or business trips without worrying about what I am going to do with the dogs. I wouldn’t have to race home from something I’m doing just because the dogs need to be walked and/or fed.
But I would also sleep alone. I would not be greeted with two happy and smiling faces who have waited all day for my return. I would not receive that unconditional love that only dogs seem to know how to provide in earnest. They keep me company when I’m alone and comfort me when I’m sad. So I would lose all that too.
As I was typing this, Sissy has thrown up twice. Going through it (and yes it is nasty), I have determined that there was only 1 pill that came back up, which means two are still in her. I called the vet and, of course, the vet was not in tonight. She will be in tomorrow morning and I was assured that she will call me first thing.
It is really upsetting on so many levels. First, I really love this dog and it pains me to see her sick, especially since the vet isn’t 100% sure what the hell is ailing her. Secondly, I am barely making it pay check to pay check so I cannot afford to run her to the vet back in forth, or even to pay for expensive tests and xrays. In fact, her visit meant that I didn’t pay the electric bill. If she gets sicker, I’m screwed.