Friday, August 21, 2009

Stupid parasites

Nelly's gut is rife with a parasite that doesn't normally affect healthy adult dogs. So no, the vet said, we shouldn't have to worry about Toby getting sick too.

Ha! Within four hours, that assessment was proven oh so wrong. We spent all night letting Toby out. He was one uncomfortable puppy.

So after a second trip to the vet, our kitchen resembles a pharmacy:

And I am once again home-bound for the day. With neither dog able to go more than 2 hours without a bathroom break, and two dogs...well, you do the math. Until the meds kick in, somebody is always poopin' around here.

Unfortunately, this particular parasite never leaves their system. It's a nasty little single-cell bugger, and if I understand correctly, it gets inside the cells that line the intestines and literally causes them to explode. My poor dogs' intestines are being dynamited from within. It's often present in dogs, but usually only makes them sick if some other illness or stress weakens their system. Their bodies need to learn how to keep it under control on their own, once the meds help fight back this onslaught, and for the rest of their lives, we'll have to pay attention to the health of their digestive flora and immune systems. So in a weird way, it's good news to have Toby sick too, because that indicates an unusually virulent form of the bug, not an undetected immune system problem in Nelly, which would have been more worrisome. Silver linings!

We also got a chuckle out of the chart notes from Nelly's ER visit. The emergency vets are awesome, but you can tell they're working fast, and this leads to the occasional unintentional humor in the chart notes:

Pertinent History: Nelly presented for evaluation after having diarrhea for the past 2 days. She had multiple episodes of diarrhea in the house today. She traveled to Canada for a month of camping recently. The other dog in the house is not having diarrhea. Nelly is otherwise an apparently healthy cat.

Who knew! She's been a cat all along. It sure explains a few things.

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