Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Even vets have vet bills sometimes

I posted these photos of Jackson on my dressage blog recently.
They were taken by my friend Kate a couple weeks ago while I was riding. Jackson is my faithful companion whenever he can be, staying close (he knows he's supposed to stay out of the arena) and keeping an eye on me.

Jackson was very mellow last night. It was getting late, so I asked him if he wanted to go outside. He hopped up in eager affirmation – and I saw him bump into the corner of the couch. Such a little thing, but so atypical of our keen, athletic dog. It brought my mental eyesight into focus, making the other slight abnormalities register. I watched him more closely – and made Rick do the same. At first Rick wasn't sure there was anything wrong, and then he noted the ataxia in Jackson's movement and eyes. The investigation began while we racked our brains for a reason. The night before Jackson had been slow to return to the house after his final trip outside; when he did return it was from the direction of the gate (securely closed, we think) and he was smacking his mouth – so much so that I actually sniffed for skunk aroma and checked for porcupine quills, but found and smelled nothing.

Rick found normal gums; slow respiration; slow, irregular heartbeat. No wounds or swelling; no tenderness in his abdomen. He decided to draw blood to check for clotting time, just in case Jackson had found a poisoned rodent. It seemed very slow, but without an ACT tube and more data, we couldn't be sure. Rick called a small-animal emergency clinic, discussed the symptoms with the vet, and decided to take Jackson in.

He called me shortly after 2 a.m. to say he and Jackson would be headed home soon. There was clearly something wrong, but no reason could be found. Jackson was slightly dehydrated and clearly ataxic and subdued, but his bloodwork was normal. Rick tried to get him to eat some dog food mixed with charcoal, but Jackson turned up his nose.

This morning Jackson is unchanged – no better, but no worse. I got him to eat most of the charcoal-laced (fouled?) food by mixing in crumbled treats and fresh dog food, and he had a good drink. I'm running very late to work today, but needs must. One of our family members is in need.

That's it for now from . . .

18 comments:

C-ingspots said...

Oh, I do hope Jackson feels much better very soon! He is such a handsome boy.

I was saddened to hear about Annabelle's death. But as you mentioned, she went peacefully and you didn't have to be the deciding one. That is a blessing.

Spinners End Farm said...

Oh dear....hope he is better soon!

Diane said...

Hope Jackson is recovering from his mystery illness.
Is Jackson an English Shepherd? He looks like one, I have one. They are such a loyal breed.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Hope you find what's up,.... I had a BC a few years ago I rushed to because I saw her stumble while walking ..... by the time I got there they listed her as unresponsive .... diagnosis was diabetes. I had no clue dogs could suffer from diabetes.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Oh dear. Email sheepdreams Dianne and see if her husband has any ideas. He's an excellent dog vet!

Lisa Smith said...

Oh Michelle, I'm sorry to hear that Jackson is not feeling well. I hope you receive a diagnosis soon and he gets to feeling better.

Theresa said...

I hate those mystery things, just hate em. I hope you two good sleuths find the cause and it improves. We had a sort of diagnosis with Marigold of Vestibular Syndrome, she's better, but not 100% and still very clumsy at times.. Keep us al posted and lots of prayers and good karma heading your way.

Nancy Kay said...

Oh my, he is so handsome!

LannieK said...

Hope Jackson is feeling better real soon. That happened so sudden, strange.... do keep us posted.

Michelle said...

Thanks, all. By last night, Jackson was back to normal, bringing me and catching his indoor tennis ball. Still no clue what he got into; he acted like he was slightly under anesthesia. So strange – and scary!

Mrs Shoes said...

Our Min Pin has tried to 'commit suicide' on multiple occasions, we presume usually by ingestion (she constantly eats stuff without even sniffing it first, & who can really know after the fact?) & once by taunting a pitbull (luckily for her, good-natured), evidently she has more lives than a cat.

Susan said...

So glad to hear that he's back to normal! What a handsome fellow he is!

Fiona said...

One of my German shepherds had epilepsy...most of her seizures were very mild but she did have the occasional really bad one. Thank goodness your boy is better!

Mary Ann said...

Oh, no, saying a prayer for your beautiful boy! And now I see he is okay (yes, I read through the comments!) Prayer answered!!!

Sharon said...

I'm so sorry. It's so hard when they don't feel well and they have no way to say what hurts. My thoughts are with you in this.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Oh Michelle...praying...because I understand all too well.

LannieK said...

So glad he's feeling better. Don't ya wish they could talk at times like this! Sure would be nice to find out what happened.

A :-) said...

Saw your comment that he's better - so glad!!