I love my dogs, in fact, I absolutely adore them. They are loving, sweet and always there for me. Cody, my black lab, who is famous for carrying as many toys in his mouth as possible, and entertaining all of us, suddenly became ill last week. We know as Moms of our fur babies when something isn’t right with them.
The signs that Cody was showing me were not clear cut and didn’t seem to indicate anything serious at the time. He was not coming when I called him and walking slower than usual, but it was very hot and humid outside, and Cody spends most of his day on the sofa anyway. The only other sign he gave me was not wanting to walk on our wooden floors, like he was afraid, I thought, “Oh his nails are too long, he’s due for a nail trim.” He was lethargic, sleeping a lot, but he was eating.
OMG, I couldn’t have been more wrong. After taking another look at Cody, we decided to take him to the local emergency animal hospital. Cody checked in with 104 degree temperature and dehydrated. He was put on IV fluids and checked out from head to tail. I thought I knew my dog.
By the next day his symptoms had worsened.Blood tests were run, exams were done, and still no answer. They called in a surgeon/specialist, he advised that Cody may have meningitis. What? Yes, dogs can get this too.
“Meningitis is defined as inflammation of the meninges, which are the membranous layers that cover and protect the outside of the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis is painful and can be caused anything that triggers inflammation, including viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections. Other causes are exposure to chemical toxins, infected bite wounds on the head and neck and bacterial migration to the brain from infected sinuses, nasal passages, middle ears or elsewhere. Dogs with meningitis have a high fever, stiff muscles, muscle spasms, hypersensitivity to touch and a stilted gait. They become depressed, lethargic.” nauseous.
Upon hearing this, my world came crashing down. If it weren’t for the support systems of my family and friends, I think I would have went off the deep end. Cody is a family member to me, right in there with my kids, he just has fur, and is the sweetest dog you can imagine. Why was this happening to this innocent dog?
At this point, they decided to perform a spinal tap and start the treatment for meningitis. This consists of two antibiotics and prednisone. His temperature still had not returned to normal. We could only wait and hope that this once vibrant, comic dog would begin to respond to the meds. This was on Friday, he was taken in to the hospital on Thursday night.
By Saturday, he was stable, still had a temp. but the vet told me that I could take him home where he would be more comfortable, and as long as I checked his temp every six hours and it continued to go down, he could stay home. We were glad to have him home so that we could baby him and get him on the road to recovery.
By Monday he was doing much better and the spinal tap came back negative. No infection, no cancer, no inflammation, no answer. So now we are moving on to blood titers to test for more tick related diseases.
In the meantime, he continues to improve, and is back to his old tricks stealing toys and showing off! In fact he’s right here by my side begging relentlessly for my dinner. I will be sure to post more when I get the results back most likely on Facebook. We just never know what’s around the bend. Always kiss your dogs and cats goodnite!