Addendum to Part I

Go back – I digress.

I found an email I sent to Joe & Tracy on Wednesday the 16th. They were headed out of town, and knew Josie wasn’t feeling good. I didn’t want to put a damper on their trip, but I didn’t want to NOT tell them something was going on. They love Josie almost as much as I do (if you haven’t figured out by now,  no one loves Josie like I do.)

There are some details here I left out (or couldn’t remember)  in Part I –

… Tuesday morning I had to take her, reluctantly, outside. She just wobbled, and sat down. I knew something just wasn’t right. She was pititful. I took her straight to the vet. Lee did a complete blood panel. When the blood work came back, her red blood cell count did not look good. He showed me one of the simple tests they do – put 2 drops of blood on a glass slide, and let it slide down. Usually, the blood would be somewhat transparent. Josie’s looked like her blood had sand in it – from the red blood cells and antibodies sticking together. They x-rayed her tummy to see if she had swallowed anything (swallowing a penny – zinc –  can be a culprit for these blood results). But there was nothing there out of the ordinary.

Josie has been diagnosed with Auto-immune Hemolytic Anemia. For some reason (unbeknownst to anyone) her red blood cells started attacking themselves. Her body can’t produce red cells to keep up with the rate her spleen is destroying them. It’s kind of like Lupus, except her red blood cells are being attacked instead of her joints (as in lupus). Also, it is prevalent in middle aged females – just like Lupus in humans. Josie spent the night last night in the “CCW Hospital.” They did another blood work up this morning, and she had not gotten worse, which at this point, is a relief. Her bilirubin count was down. The normal range for a dog’s hematocrit (or PCV) is 35-40. Josie’s was 21. Task for today was to get her to eat. She has eaten twice today, and thrown up twice. She is drinking water though, and loving licking on ice cubes. I am mostly frustrated that she is not eating, and that worries me the most. David assures me she can go days without food, but not without water. So it is somewhat comforting that she is at least getting water. We go back Friday, if not before, for another round of blood work to see where we are with improving.

The sad thing is Josie’s disposition. Number one clue – everyone at CCW was commenting on what a sweet dog she is (note to my blog friends – at the top of her chart at CCW – Culbreth, Carr, Watson –  it says in capital letters: BITES!) We all know she is sweet to us, but know better about other people. She has not snipped, barked or shown her teeth to anyone at CCW or at my office when I took her back this afternoon. You know she feels bad. She is like a limp rag doll. She has no energy. She did wag her tail and gave me kisses when I went to pick her up. She was equally glad to see David when we got home. And she did growl at Petey when he and Jack walked by! Otherwise, she is just lying around. Right now, she is lying on my chest. Her heart is beating 90 miles a minute, and her breathing is somewhat labored – due to the fact she is trying to increase her oxygen since her red blood cells are not doing such a good job at that right now. Bed rest is in order, but that is so not like her. We need to keep her separated from the puppy as much as we can because he wants to play, and she can’t.

Trolling the internet is not usually a good idea, but this is one website that has helped me the most. I’ve used some of their verbiage here trying to explain it to y’all.  (this is a great website, and Joanne was great to me throughout all of this. She is a total stranger, but took the time to answer my emails, and check up on Josie & me.) 

One of the factors of the sudden onset is stress. I asked both Lee and Jeff if the puppy could have stressed her out. They both doubted it. Since she had recently had a bout of vomiting and some poopy issues, it was probably more related to a virus, if we could even begin to point at something, because it really is unexplainable how this comes about. The good news for Josie, since she usually dislikes the vet, is she will never have another vaccination – including rabies. The bad news, since she hates pills, is she will probably be on prednisone for the rest of her life. I’m going to have to work on making medicine time a joyous time a la Tracy 😉

I just wanted y’all to know what was going on – and put Josie in your nightly prayers! As much as it sounds dire right now, I am thinking positive that she will pull out of this. She is the most precious gift, and I will be eternally grateful to y’all that we have her in our lives.

Hugs and Josie kisses –
Ann & Josie

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