Sunday, August 1, 2010

My poor Rags

I'm very worried about Rags.  He will be 13 in November.  I lost my last 2 Lhasas at 13.

And he's sick.  Very sick.

He was at the vet in June for annual boosters.  Since he is geriatric (the nice way of saying 'old'), they did a blood workup.  Slightly high liver proteins, probably from too many 'Meat-in-the-middle' rawhides, but other than that he was in good shape.

I cut back on the rawhides and bought some low fat treats.  But he's been lethargic the last couple weeks.  Normally he follows me everywhere I go.  But he's been staying out until he knows I am not coming back to the room.

I attributed it to the humidity or his arthritis, until he wouldn't eat his morning treat.  So Wednesday I took him back to the vet.  They did a bunch of tests, but since the results weren't conclusive, they sent the blood work to another lab for analysis.  We left without any medication.  

I felt helpless knowing he was hurting.  Friday morning I remembered I had some leftover canine antibiotics and I gave him one in the morning.  In the afternoon, the vet called with 2 prescriptions of antibiotics.  His liver numbers were better.  The urinalysis came back normal.  But his white cell count was double normal.  With no indication why, they suggested I bring him in yesterday for x-rays.

So he spent the whole day at the vet.  The x-rays were inconclusive.  They did show he has bladder stones again, so surgery is in his future, but since the urinalysis was normal, they aren't the cause of the white blood count.  There was a slight shadowing on his lungs, like a fluid build up, which would maybe indicate Valley Fever.

They reran the blood work.  His white count was now triple normal.  They are sending the blood work to be analyzed more thoroughly.  Since a simple infection seems to have been ruled out, at this point, the best case scenario would be Valley Fever.  The worst case would be cancer - again. 

In the meantime, he sleeps a lot.  He is sweet and loving and I wish I could fix him by waving a magic wand.

Updated - 8/6/10
The test results came back high positive for Valley Fever.  He's on 5 different medications for 2 weeks, then down to 3.  And since he won't eat, I have to force feed him.  Peanut butter on the roof of the mouth works.  And using a syringe-like utensil to squirt pureed dog food down his throat.  Poor baby.

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