Friday, July 24, 2009

I Think We have an Answer...

After almost no sleep last night, Joe and I left the house at 6:00 a.m. and headed to N. Little Rock. We picked Percie up at the emergency vet clinic. The vet tech explained that they checked her clotting ability and it was better, so they did not re-check her blood count. That was pretty good news! She explained that Percie still had her IV catheter in her leg. They left it in in case our vet wanted to use it today. We were instructed to take her to our vet as soon as they could see her and get her checked out again. They gave her doxicyclen (another antibiotic) and said it was good for tick born diseases. (I had accidentally left my cell phone at home, and the vet had called and left a message with all of this information that I got when we got home.) Well, let me give you a little background on the tick born disease question. When Percie had to have her c section in Hot Springs, the vet checked her out for tick born diseases. She had a feeling that is what was wrong and the reason her platelet count was so low. BUT all of the tests came back negative, so she did not treat her for it. She wanted our vet to check it out. But since Percie's platelet count was coming up (until last night) our vet didn't treat her for tick born diseases either.

I am not one to doctor hop, but for many reasons, Joe and I decided to get a second opinion and try a new vet. Poor Percie has just been through too much. So I called the new vet and explained the situation, and they said just go ahead and bring her by and let the vet check her out. I had the paperwork from the emergency clinic, and they looked that over. He said that her platelet count was not dangerously low, BUT it was low. He said to watch the bruising in her mouth and call or bring her by if we had any concerns. He said that he thought the doxicyclen was the best treatment and gave her enough to last 7 days. He thinks it's guess what...a tick born disease. He wants to check her blood count in seven days and see where it is. If it is going up, he wants to continue the medicine and re-check her blood count every seven days. He said she may have to be on the medicine for at least 6 weeks. (Percie won't mind. She loves getting her medicine in a piece of cheese twice a day.)
So, I think we finally have the answer......tick born disease. So, I have only known Percie to have a tick once in her life. It was last summer about this time. She was in heat, and we wanted puppies. We found a breeder just south of Bald Knob who was willing for us to breed Percie with their male. He was an outside dog only (and peed on everything) so it was not an option for us to bring him to our house. So even though I was very nervous about it, we took Percie to stay with them for a week. We went everyday to see her. She did not like Stevie, and she did not get pregnant. The day I picked her up and brought her home she had 24 ticks. I couldn't believe it! I had put frontline on her before we took her, but I guess their yard was just over run with ticks. I felt sooooooo bad. BUT she acted fine. She acted fine until 2 weeks before she had her c section (almost a year later).

I asked the vet we saw today if that was normal and he said until their platelet count gets very low, sometimes they do act fine. He said their was no reason for us to know she had anything. He said that the test they give to check for tick born diseases is an antibody test. So if her body wasn't (for whatever reason) producing the antibodies to fight off the disease, the test would come back negative even if she has it.

So, our new dilemma is that tonight (at 5:15 p.m. to be exact) Joe noticed a red spot on Percie's belly that looks like it could be more of the bruising. Of course the vet's office closes at 5:00 p.m. We have been watching it very close tonight, and it hasn't changed. So I am going to call the vet in the morning when they open and see if they want to take a look at her. We are taking the boat to Greers Ferry Lake tomorrow for the day, so Percie's grandmama offered to watch her if the vet says she doesn't need to go. When we talked to him today, he said it would be fine, but now that we've found the new spot on the belly, I don't know what he will want us to do.

So, Percie may be going back to the vet's office in the morning. (I think we may need to invest in some doggie insurance! ) I will let you know how everything goes in the morning, and then hopefully I won't have anything to report for 7 days until she has blood work again!


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