Hard way to learn a lesson - Long
This is for all pet lovers and for those of you who know someone with pets, especially dogs.
Some of you may remember how our beautiful Boone Dog showed up at our house in the country about 3-4 years ago, looking like he was on his last leg. He's part Rottie, part German Shephard. But boy is he gentle and will bark at any stranger who approaches our porch.
And last summer I lost my beloved Gracie, an English Pointer. My dog. Boone is my dh's dog.
Well, every summer I give the dogs and cats their flea and tick meds I get from the vet. They are SO expensive. What I do is wait until I find my first flea of the summer then buy it. I hadn't seen one flea or tick this summer which is probably due to our drought.
Except Boone had a tick last week and no one told me. It wouldn't have made a difference though. It's usually no big deal. It is now because he's fighting for his life.
Rewind to Gracie. She had a knot on her shoulder and I took her to our country vet who works on small breeds and cattle. He said it was a swollen muscle, and gave her a relaxer for it. She died shortly after of cancer when another doctor looked at her.
Last Thursday night Boone was given a rib bone against my STRONG objections. It's been an ongoing battle between me and DH. During the night, B. threw up several times with shards of bones. He'd done it before, which is why I kept telling DH, "No more bones!!"
He laid around all day, just not doing well. DH took him to our country vet because we suspected a blockage in his intestines. Vet didn't do bloodwork (he never does and it never bothered me, I always thought it was a vet's way to make extra $$ for no reason.) Boone was given anesthesia, and X-rays showed no blockage. Vet said he'd be fine, his tummy is irritated, and not to feed him for 24 hours.
By the next morning (Sat.) he was practically listless. But he'd drink water, lots of it. Seemed very depressed, and hadn't eaten in almost 48 hours. We thought it was from a bad reaction to the anesthesia.
We said to he!! with it, we're taking him to the best pet hospital/emergency room in the City! Left here at 7am.
The very first thing the doc did was a blood test. This 81 lb. dog's red blood cell count was 11. Normal is 37-50. The doctor is 90% sure it's Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever! It begins 5 days after a tick has been on the body for at least 5 hours. Bingo.
Boone is still there. He's not out of the woods yet, but after 2 transfusions the count went up to 20. A bit later it went up to 21, which shows he made that extra cell all on his own, which is good. Best news ever! Plus he's on strong meds. He's walking just a bit, and will eat if he's hand fed. :) Now it's just waiting to see if his body will keep making the red blood cells, and not destroy them the same time.
I am SO angry at myself for not keeping him on the flea and tick med all year long, even though it gets frigid here.
And I am LIVID at the country vet. No matter what the outcome, I will be giving him a call just to let him know what happened. And you can be sure I'll let him know that as soon as B got to the hospital, the first thing they did was a blood test.
Had the country vet done his job, Boone would be home with us and not in grave danger.
We'll talk to the doc again tonight for an update, so keep your fingers crossed for him. We can't bear to lose our other dog one year after Grace.
Don't wait to buy meds, get them now, no matter the cost.
And if all goes well, I'm buying health insurance for pets! lol
BTW, my husband learned *his* lesson and won't give Boone any more bones.