November 12, 2002

Pup Report

In absence of children, the dog assumes the role of royalty in our house these days. And the king is unwell. Long live the King.

The 'tick panel' came back negative. False negatives are not uncommon in testing for antibodies to tick-borne antigens. Great. Buster is not responding to Tetracycline. We took it upon ourselves to change him to Doxycycline and will try that for a week. The vet wants to start some more 'rule out' tests for autoimmune disorders. (Did you know dogs get systemic lupus? Weirder than that, in humans with lupus, there is some sign that their dogs 'catch it' suggesting there is an infectious agent involved)? Again, false negatives are common; treatment is of limited effectiveness (massive steroid dosing) and the condition rarely gets much better. We will continue for now hoping the change to a different antibiotic relieves his symptoms.

Meanwhile, Buster continues to be barely able to stand up at times... most of the time, actually. I tossed him a treat yesterday, making sure he didn't have to jump to get it. He jumped slightly anyway, and when his weight came down on the hardwood floor, his four legs splayed out from under him and he hit the floor, then couldn't stand up. Later in the day, he was totally free of symptoms and ran like the wind, his old self again. This is very bizarre and it is really upsetting to see him, not yet four years old, moving like a nursing home patient!

Four years ago, when we were researching breeds (knowing pretty well we were going to get another black lab), we read about the breed: "Labs are gregarious creatures, and like to be involved in all family activities". How often we have remembered that, and considered it an understatement! Now today, Buster isn't able to be involved in any family activities. Just so sad.

Maybe one day years from now we will look back on this time and remember that spell when Buster was sick, and rejoice that he recovered. Maybe we will look back on this time and remember when Buster's health started downhill and he never recovered. You just don't know what the next day will bring, do you? If you've got your health, you've got just about everything, as the old Geritol ad used to say (or was it Carter's Little Liver Pills, or Serutan, or....?)


Posted by fred1st at November 12, 2002 08:20 PM
Comments

Saying a prayer for Buster and family.

Posted by: Da Goddess at November 12, 2002 08:50 PM

Hope the poor puppy gets better.

Posted by: Dave W. at November 12, 2002 10:44 PM

Please give Buster some soothing pets and rubs and big dog hugs from South Dakota from me!

Posted by: Artichoke Heart at November 12, 2002 11:36 PM

I believe that was the evil "six-fingered man," Count Rugen, from "The Princess Bride":

"Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything."

Seriously, though, I'll be praying for Buster's full and speedy recovery. Give him a rub on the head for me.

Posted by: Curt at November 13, 2002 12:40 PM

There's nothing sadder than a sick pet. The can't complain properly, they can't be reassured...

On the other hand, loving and caring for them is good practice for the soul.

Posted by: Pascale Soleil at November 14, 2002 12:54 AM

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