The truth is...Facebook has stolen my blog. I have lots to say, and Facebook lets me say it quickly and in fewer than 420 or so odd characters. I know this because several times I've written a post on Facebook only to be told it's too long. Probably was a post better suited for a blog, but when I told Facebook to put my too-long story into notes, it didn't tell me to copy my text first - and when I got to my notes, it was a blank page. So, a post lost - lost on Facebook, and lost on the blog. Because I was not motivated enough to write it all over again.
My blog is blogging me down...even though it actually is a better forum for sharing stories accompanied by pictures. I need to get motivated again to write here or shut it down.
So, I will post some updates that will be repeats for those of you who are my friends on Facebook.
1. I was reluctant to write about Loco because I suspected something serious was going on with his health and I didn't want to write until I had all the details. The weekend after I got back from Canada (about 10 days ago), Loco had a fever, was listless and didn't want to eat. I found a big tick and a small tick (in the same spot) on his left shoulder, and feeling around, thought I felt a huge, hard lump behind his left ear. By Monday he was eating again and acting more like his old self, but I took him to the vet anyway.
The preliminary diagnosis was ehrlichiosis (tick disease), something he's been treated for before with limited success. He cannot take the monthly tick drops as he is very allergic, so my method of control is tick patrol over his body, which he quite enjoys because it's like a little massage. One big danger of this disease is platelet destruction, leading to uncontrolled bleeding and often, death. A year ago Loco's platelets were low, around 25,000 (they should be 10x that level), but after 2 months of treatment the platelet count did not go up so we abandoned the costly testing since there was nothing more to do anyway, apparently. We waited for signs of cancer, as that was the next logical explanation.
Blood tests this time showed a shockingly low level of 2000 platelets - a level where most animals quickly die. The vet had never seen a level this low before, and came right over to get Loco started on the antibiotic of choice for the tick disease. Along with diet, the only other thing to be done is to keep him quiet in an attempt to prevent any type of injury that might trigger a bleed.
Loco is horrible for taking pills, he can spit them out after you're sure he had to have swallowed them. I thought I had him fooled after I started stuffing them into the hollowed out center of a piece of hot dog, but now he's caught onto that trick and won't even eat the piece of hot dog when it doesn't have any pills. The battle continues, he will be on meds for a while, so I am going to win...
Unless you knew about his platelet problem, you would think Loco was a happy, healthy, energetic dog. His blood will be retested in about 10 days, so we'll see if the meds have worked this time. Fingers crossed.