I have sad news to share. My greyhound Django has been very ill for more than a week with a mystery illness.
He spent two days at an animal hospital last week due to an extremely high fever. After running every test imaginable, they weren’t able to come up with a diagnosis. They wanted to keep him at the hospital and see if the meds they were giving him helped. But he was not doing well there–I witnessed this when I visited him. He’s used to being in a calm and quiet environment, which is not an animal hospital. Plus, this hospital essentially gouged me on costs. To have him there for two days and have tests run cost nearly as much as what other friends paid to have their pets at another animal hospital for longer after going through major surgery. I basically had to fight this hospital to come get him–they made it seem like he would die if I took him home. It was a really bad experience, on top of being worried sick. I’m very upset at this hospital for a number of different things that happened.
I brought him home, and after a day of seeming to get better, his fever skyrocketed. I took him to the other animal hospital in the area. They pretty quickly came to a potential diagnosis. The first animal hospital suspected a bacterial infection–a tick-borne disease (though he is vaccinated for Lyme) or leptospirosis, which is from bacteria in pond or puddle water. But all the antibiotics they gave him did nothing to bring down his fever. The second animal hospital suspected Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA), which causes join inflammation and pain (and fever). They kept him overnight, gave him a low dose of the steroids that are used to treat IMPA, and by the next day his fever was gone and I was able to take him home. I had a much better experience at this hospital.
The test results aren’t back yet, but we are proceeding with giving him the meds to treat IMPA. While his fever is gone, he has extreme pain, and it hurts him to move around. Plus, he lost his appetite a week ago when he had the fever and has not eaten much in a week. He has lost more than 10 pounds and is skin and bones. It’s so hard for me to see him like this.
If he has IMPA, he should start feeling better on the meds this week, though it can take up to two weeks. The full treatment can take up to six months, and recovery is very slow. It’s a lifelong condition that will need to be managed. If he doesn’t start feeling better, then we are going to have to run even more diagnostics. Or, he may have IMPA and not respond to treatment, which happens in some cases.
Today he seems to be feeling a tiny bit better. He’s drinking and peeing a lot and taking his meds, which are the most important things. And he ate a few spoons of peanut butter plus even a few small bites of ground meat–his first solid food in a week. But he is still very sick and in pain. He’s getting pain meds on top of his other meds, but the only other thing I can do is keep him comfortable on cushiony beds until he starts feeling better.
Poor Django. This whole situation breaks my heart. I’m trying to keep my thoughts positive and always talk really positive to him. But I hate seeing him like this. This is one of the hardest, saddest things I’ve ever had to deal with.
So I have not been blogging, running much, or really doing anything besides scouring Google for everything I can read about what he’s going through. Please send positive thoughts our way!