The learning and healing journey continues with Hazel.
The title to today’s post came from Dr. Jim Goodbrod, DVM. When he and I were taking a walk yesterday Jim mentioned that diagnosing exactly what an animal is suffering from is as much an art as it is a science.
Jim and Janet are close friends and neighbours who live a couple of roads away. Jim also attends the Lincoln Road Vet Clinic on a part-time basis. Off his own volition he has been speaking with Dr. Codd (Russ) about the situation with Hazel and the pair of them are showing incredible devotion to getting to the bottom of what is happening.
So, like yesterday’s post, today is being offered to you in the spirit of information. Forgive me if I repeat the caution from yesterday. (This is being written at 4pm on April 19th, 2016.)
CAUTION: The following is offered by way of information reaching out to other loving dog owners. Please do not assume I have any specialist veterinarian knowledge and please do not take the following as a replacement for seeing your own vet.
Late on Sunday afternoon Hazel was becoming so weak and lethargic that Jean and I feared that she wouldn’t make it through the night. So it was wonderful to see that she was alive and still connected to the world at 6am yesterday; Monday. Nonetheless, Hazel had not eaten since Saturday afternoon and was only drinking very small amounts of water. We made the decision to ring the Clinic as soon as they opened on Monday at 8am. They recommended that Hazel be brought in to go on to an IV drip to boost her anti-fungal intake and also to receive an anti-nausea intake to help her regain an appetite. But there was the question hanging over everyone that if this was a fungal infection, as in Coccidioidomycosis, that is not present in the Oregonian soil but is found in the drier parts of the USA and Mexico then why had it been such a long time before it brought Hazel down?
Jean also had this suspicion that Hazel might be suffering from a form of ‘Tick Fever’ that is very common in Mexico.
So off we went to the Clinic again. There were discussions about the whole situation.
Dr. Codd took a quick blood test and, bingo, it revealed that Hazel was showing that she had, or had had in the past, an Ehrlichia Infection; a tick-borne infection.
The cure for that was a course of Doxycycline.
So now we are looking at battling two separate diseases.
The blood that was taken from Hazel last Friday, when she also had radiographs taken of her lungs, had been sent for a ‘titre’ that would confirm one way or another if her lungs were suffering from a fungal infection. Those results will be available on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
Back to Hazel’s lack of appetite. One of the side-effects of Fluconazole is that it depresses appetite. Getting Hazel eating again was becoming a priority. It seemed to make sense that until we had confirmation of whether or not Hazel had a lung fungal infection, for which taking Fluconazole would be an excellent course of action, we should pause in her dose until the results were in. To speed up the return of an appetite Dr. Jim prescribed a short course of Mirtazipine.
So that’s about it for the time being. Except for Jean and me to say how much we appreciate the art and the science that is being so skillfully offered by the Clinic. (As of 19:00 PDT yesterday Hazel was eating again! 🙂 )
Their “Special Love of Animals” comes over in spades!