Harvey is unwell, again

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…

7 Responses to “Harvey is unwell, again”

  1. Well, Harvey’s temperature is down markedly this morning, the shivering has stopped and he’s much more energetic. He’s still not well but seems to be over the worst of it. If it had been an iMHA relapse he wouldn’t have recovered this quickly, so I’m now certain he picked up an infection of some sort.

  2. Harvey has continued to improve all day and is quite perky this evening. He’s still up to normal Border Terrier levels of activity but that’s a consequence of the iMHA. As the steroids continue to take effect and his red blood cell count improves he should start to bounce about more over the coming weeks. Fingers crossed.

  3. Fingers crossed here too. I hope he does make it. He such a nice job and it is so unfair for your sons’s first dog to have to go through this. Am praying he will recover and will continue to do well. He is a fighter though and that is good.

  4. Poor little fellow. Border terriers are such feisty dogs. I do hope there will be good news soon. He is in such good hands that I feel very optimistic for you all.

  5. Get well soon, Harvey. Long may you enjoy the fruits of your sorrowful expressions.

  6. We are thinking of you Harvey, here “down under” in Australia. Hope you improve rapidly and get back to racing around and getting dirty etc.

    Pop, Tiger & Towser

  7. Glad Harvey is improving. Sending get well wishes to him! He is such a cutie and has “the life of Riley” on your farm!

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