Friday, January 2, 2009
I know, I know...way over due on the updates!
Zane has been doing very well since surgery back in May. His rehab was coming along nicely but something was still off with Zane. I was sure of it but just couldn't put a finger on it. Everybody suggested that I be patient, after all the poor dog had just been through 3 major surgeries in only eight weeks time. It was his personality that seemed down. He wasn't eating well and his weight was starting to drop. He was occasionally vomiting in the morning after getting up. My intuition is good so when I had finally convinced myself that he wasn't right, I took him into my regular vet and asked to run a full blood panel and fecal. I asked for everything to be sent to an outside lab. I was a little suspicious of whipworms since I had a foster dog last summer that had them. They can hatch in your soil and stick around for a long time to reinfect your unsuspecting dog. We were pretty surprised with the results.
Zane had a major coccidia infection brewing in his gut. Generally, this is a puppy parasite problem and healthy adult dogs can keep this parasite in check. However, it can present a problem for dogs with weakened immune systems (thanks to the prednisone) and dogs that are under stress ( 3 surgeries) and are in otherwise poor health. Zane stayed on antibiotics for another 3 weeks and showed a gradual improvement after about 10 days. He started to eat again and his energy level perked back up. We did a follow up fecal check a month later and all came up clear.
I learned 2 things from this experience. First, do fecals more often than at the yearly check up. We now run them 3 times a year. Second, only do fecal checks by centrifuge. Fecal floats don't show everything and if I had relied on that method, as I had in the past, the coccidia would not have been detected.
The summer resumed and Zane enjoyed hanging out on the back deck under his giant umbrella with the misting fan blowing cool water his direction. My pack loves to play in the doggie pools so every day we would refill with fresh water. I know, a bit of a no- no in a drought but the other neighbors do it with their kids so why not with mine?
I started back up with another dane rescue after taking a bit of a hiatus from the rescue I had been with previously. This group promised more organization and an active volunteer group. I had been sending them Danes in need of rescue for months now so I finally jumped on board mid summer. I agreed to help out at meet and greets (adoption events) and was up to doing short term foster for special needs Danes.
I'll save that whole story for another post but know for now that the pack has grown!
Zane has had several follow up visits with his neurologist and all is healing well. He runs and plays with the other dogs. When he has had enough I tell him so or he just heads off on his own to my bed for a little rest time. He looks great and is enjoying life. We are enjoying it right along with him!