|I wrote recently about my mother’s Golden Retriever, who turned nine in September, being diagnosed last month with Lyme disease and experiencing the rapid antibiotics-induced improvement typically seen in dogs and people in whom the illness is caught early. Unfortunately, she’s really fallen apart in recent days and is now in a Portsmouth veterinary hospital.
I haven’t seen her since last weekend or so, but evidently she had some lethargy that quickly went from mild to incapacitating, and, alarmingly, had an eye went from normal in appearance one day to 100 percent bloodshot the next.
My mom rushed her to the vet, who drew blood and took X-rays an in turn sent them along to where she now rests. In addition to the ophthalmological issue, she was found to be anemic (very weird since she was recently placed on an all-meat diet), febrile, and dehydrated. She also had abdominal tenderness, and the X-rays revealed some arthritis in her spine (possibly unrelated to everything else, given her age and breed).
From what little knowledge of medicine still lingers in my chemically damaged brain, I would have to think that a multisystemic problem like this is almost as likely to be autoimmune as infectious, but the seemingly rapid onset and the fever still point to something infectious. The fact that the doxycline she’s on obviously hasn’t cleared things up suggests a misidentification of the causative agent, an idea supported by a few things Nubble’s vet mentioned about the blood test that resulted in a diagnosis of Lyme.
Anyway, she’s in good hands know and being seen by various specialists. This poor dog, naturally, is the sweetest animal you could ever meet and never objects to the various tests she is subjected to or behaves in a surly way even when she is clearly under duress. And it’s a shame she can’t vocalize exactly how this has all progressed from a subjective standpoint.
Why can’t things like this, if they have to happen at all, strike animals like Michael Vick instead?