When the Big Lad came through to the kitchen first thing this morning, he found our Border Terrier Harvey lying next to two pools of vomit.
The Big Lad came to get me then cleaned up the vomit while I checked Harvey. The dog had a temperature of 40.1C, was extremely lethargic, and had periodic bouts of shivering.
Harvey had been recovering well from his latest bout of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (iMHA).
In fact, the OH and I had decided yesterday that he wouldn’t need to see the vet for at least another fortnight as his energy levels were clearly on the up, indicating his red blood cell count was improving.
And now this.
My immediate suspicion was not that Harvey had had another relapse, but that in depressing his immune system the steroids used to counter iMHA had opened him up to an infection.
If he’d been a pig with those symptoms then I’d have injected him with the appropriate dosage of antibiotics, kept him cool, calm and isolated, and monitored his progress for 24-36 hours before deciding on whether a vet was needed.
However, Harvey is definitely not a pig, no matter how friendly he is with them.
The Other Half phoned the veterinary surgery to make an emergency appointment. The vets were busy until just after lunch so all we could go was keep Harvey calm and wait.
As the morning wore on, Harvey’s temperature went higher, he had more attacks of shivers, and he grew increasingly restless. None of those symptoms are associated with iMHA, so I felt more sure he had an infection.
However, when we took him to the vet, she thought it more likely that Harvey had had a relapse and prescribed a stronger, additional immuno-suppressant drug. His red blood cell count is still half what it should be, but it’s markedly higher than it was last week.
Then, to be on the safe side, she also prescribed amoxicillin, a moderate spectrum antibiotic that lends itself to oral use.
Yes, Harvey had to be given yet another pill.
He’s very good with taking pills as we’ve trained him to consider them as treats, but even he draws the line at very large capsules, especially when they’re on top of four other pills.
We did manage to get the capsule down his throat, eventually, and he’s now curled up on his bean bag, looking very sorry for himself.
Mind you, he is very, very good at looking very sorry for himself as it gets him copious attention from more gullible Two-Legs…