Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zac/Gael Update

Zac is feeling just fine though he's getting pretty bored. I'm limiting his contact with the other dogs somewhat, and he's not allowed to go out in the backyard to hang out for a while longer. I don't want the other dogs exposed to his urine since we don't know if he might have lepto, so he just gets quick trips out in the front yard for potty breaks. I already had him on restricted activity, trying to give his leg a real good rest, so i'm just going to go ahead and keep him very quiet for another 2-3 weeks and see if his leg ends up improving.

As for what the heck has caused his liver enzymes to shoot up, well, that's just not very clear. We're still waiting on test results and hopefully some answers will be found but it's a really complicated picture. It could end up being lepto, though he had been on a pretty high dose of dozycycline for 5 days when he got ill and doxy is usually what you use to ward off a lepto infection, and you would expect more actual symptoms with lepto. It could end up being a tick borne disease, but his blood work was normal. No clear picture emerges from the history and the lab work, that's for sure. The lepto titer came back yesterday but we need to repeat it in a week or two in order to interpret it - the changes in antibody titers (if they change) could provide an answer. The tick titer is still out but will hopefully be back by friday. I've also run across some (mostly anecdotal) evidence that doxycycline can elevate liver enzymes but that doesn't explain the severe dehydration and peeing problem. Yes, it's a very tangled web but hopefully with some time it can be sorted out. In the meantime, i'll be very careful about keeping his urine away from other dogs and cautious about potential sources of the initial infection.

In some good news, Gael's liver enzymes were measured yesterday and all is back to normal there! I had a lepto titer run on her as well, to see if her antibody levels are high, which would be some evidence that she had lepto. I wish titers had been run when she was sick but the internist didn't feel it was necessary. Apparently he didn't know how much i HATE a mystery. I had this lepto titer drawn in hopes it'll add another piece to the puzzle. It should be back in the next day or two.

Anyway, that's where we are now. No real answers but we're approaching this as if it's lepto, just to safe. And talk about lightning striking twice - what are the odds on 2 vaccinated dogs, one of them 5 days into a course of doxycycline, picking up lepto in 2 different states (probably) and presenting with non-typical symptoms and bloodwork?


Rebecca and Molly the Border Collie said...

I don't know anything about lepto, but it all sounds very scary to me. I know how awful it is when you have a sick dog--and we didn't even have to worry about her infecting another.

Everything crossed that can be crossed!

Robin French said...

Thanks! And thanks for the blog award too. I did see it, just have been too swamped to mention it!