Here's Astro comforting poor Zephyr when he was sick this weekend.
Get ready, this is a wordy long one. When I got home from work on Friday Zephyr was sick. He came to greet me but he was hunched over, looked upset, and didn't want Astro to bother him. His eyes definitely didn't look right, a little cloudy and not as open, and he was a little shaky. I let him outside and he went potty but it was obvious that something was wrong. Since Astro was excited and kept wanting to play I decided to take Zephyr for a walk around the roads so I could see what was going on. He was walking okay but mostly a lot more subdued than usual, only few times of picking up the pace. When we got home he again didn't want Astro to bother him and really didn't want him around his face. I took his temperature and it was a high, 102.5 to 103.
So, I called the vet's office. They asked what was going on and I explained. They asked if he was eating, I said he had in the morning. It was late in the afternoon, almost 5, but I said I was going to bring him in. Then while I was getting him ready I decided to see if he would take a chicken treat and he did. So, now the second guessing begins. I called the vet's office back and told them that he seemed to be eating and that I would just wait until the morning to bring him in. I was having a hard time deciding since I knew it was the end of their day and I didn't really know if this was an emergency. After watching him for a little bit more, I decide to call the vet's again. My poor veterinarian and her staff, I'm pretty sure they think I'm a nut sometimes. But, I also think they are used to me because I have been seeing the same veterinarian for almost 20 years and she has always had the same main office manager. This is who I talked to the third time I called and she helped me feel a little more comfortable and also reminded me that I could always call their emergency number if things changed.
Okay, I am just going to admit it right here, I get really, really, really upset when there's something wrong with one of my animals. It's probably fair to say that, although I do well when it comes to taking care of them when they are sick, etc., when I am left to sit and think about what's causing them to be sick and wonder about what's going to happen, I tend to over exaggerate and make myself really upset. So, in the course of the evening I had considered the following as causes of Zephyr's illness. First was antifreeze poisoning and kidney failure because maybe he licked some on the road when we went out for our walk Wednesday. You would think that the fact that he ate his dinner Friday night would make me feel better, but that just made me consider this second option, his eyes and ears were hurting because he had a brain tumor. Third was one of the cats scratched his eyes and that's why they were hurting and not right. That one actually seemed to calm me down because it seemed the worst out of my three main choices. Notice how I don't even consider that maybe he just got into something that has made him sick or that he might have a virus? What a nut.
So, we make it through the night and I actually slept some, but Zephyr is not any better in the morning. He went potty and I was able to get a stool sample. Another good sign was he didn't really have diarrhea, pretty normal with a little soft. And off to the vet's we go. When we get there he has a 103.5 temperature. She presses all over, on his head too, and he only has a little discomfort in his belly. But, he is clearly not feeling well and is shaking some. She gave him an injection of Baytril to get him started on antibiotics right away. While we were waiting for the fecal results I walked him around outside. He did well, but he did have a small amount of diarrhea. After a little while my veterinarian came out and said that his stool had a lot of long chains of bacteria. She didn't say exactly what kind, but that it wasn't the kind that comes from eating dead things. So, this is the suspected cause of the fever and him not feeling well. I asked about his head and she said he could have a headache, maybe from the fever. This all makes sense, and is much better than all of my ideas. So, I am much relieved and with more Baytril and something else that I can't pronounce for possible parasites, we head home.
To give Zephyr a chance to rest I decided to go back to town and take Astro because he was quite full of energy and ready to play. When we got home in the afternoon Zephyr seemed to feel a little better, but he still had a temperature of about 102.5. He did eat when we first came home from the vet's and I fed him again in the afternoon. Things were going well until later that night. Zephyr was sleeping next to me on the couch. When he went to rollover on his back and turn his head upside down he yelped and went back to his side. This got me all upset again. I had also noticed that he was doing more of this snorting, not really sneezing, more like a snorting like something was in his nose. When I pressed all around his head it didn't bother him, but then I noticed that it also hurt him when he tried to shake his head. It occurred to me that his head might hurt because he had a fever. I mean back in December I had a fever of only about 100 for a day and I felt horrible, achy all over, including ears, and a headache. But, of course I also considered other things like the brain tumor and now also the possibility of him having something like a foxtail in nose. He hadn't had any discharge from his eyes or nose though. Later, a friend also mentioned Valley Fever, but he doesn't really seem to show those symptoms either. Valley Fever is common in the more arid desert areas of AZ like Phoenix. We don't go to those types of areas much, but of course he has visited. Needless to say I managed to get myself all worked up again. I ended up giving him a Rimadyl in hope that it might help with his pain.
So, off to bed we went and Zephyr slept with me most of the night. I heard him doing the snorting once during the night. Toward the morning he jumped off the bed and then later he jumped back up. I noticed that he seemed to have good energy when he jumped. When I got up he was sound asleep and I didn't want to bother him. He's not really much of a morning dog anyway. But after awhile I had to see how he was doing so I went and woke him up. He walked down the hall and by the time he got to the back door he was wagging his tail. My heart cheered up a little. When I let him out I could tell he had more energy. Then he saw a raven and chased it and the heavy weight lifted and I was so happy. He was wagging his tail and shaking his head a little without much pain. When he and Astro got back to the deck we had a little celebration play. After going in I took his temperature and it was down to about 101 or less. He ate some breakfast and then went back to sleep. He was definitely feeling better and later when a friend stopped by he was happy to see her and bouncing around.
Astro and I went to agility practice during the day and when we got home Zephyr was doing well. Last night, while he was on the couch, he rolled over on to his back with upside down head with no problems. Today and tonight he is still doing a lot better. I have noticed that his eyes and ears are still a bit sensitive and his temperature is about 101.5, he is also still doing the snorting thing sometimes. His appetite is good. I'm hoping the ears and head sensitivity and snorting will go away as he continues on the antibiotics. But if it's still going on tomorrow night I'll be calling the vet's again on Wednesday. Otherwise, he is feeling so much better, and therefore, so am I. It was rough though. This is the first time one of my dogs has been sick and had a fever. I could just really tell how bad he was feeling and it made me feel horrible. I can't imagine how those with human kids handle it when they get sick with things, especially for the first time.