An update on our pup!
For those of you who have been following my blog or Twitter, you’ve probably heard of my dog Lilly. For those of you newbies, feast your eyes on the cutest pup in the world:
Unfortunately Lilly has become a bit of a medical anomaly.
Lilly recently became very sensitive to the touch on her lower spine and was having muscle spasms in her lower legs. These were very painful for Lilly. I took Lilly to the vet and we set her up to get x-rays. Lilly’s x-rays looked grim. The vet said there were lesions on her spine and some of the vertebrae looked “moth-eaten.”
Worried about an infection, we ran basic bloodwork just to be sure it wasn’t an active infection. The bloodwork came back normal.
Under the recommendation of our vet we headed to the neurologist. There Lilly did an MRI, which revealed significant inflammation in her discs and spine.
After blood cultures and additional testing we finally had an answer. Lilly has an infection in her spine and Brucella-canis (not to be confused with the human version). This is weird on multiple levels. 1) Brucella-canis typically impacts dogs that are still intact and Lilly was spayed at a young age, and 2) the infection in her spine appears to be a different strand of bacteria than the Brucella (usually it is all just Brucella).
(For those of you wondering why her basic bloodwork was normal, apparently Brucella doesn’t typically change the white blood cell count. I’m not sure why the other infection didn’t show up though.)
This was pretty sad news. There are three treatments I’ve come across in my research. 1) Fix your dog (Lilly is already spayed, so this option is already out/done). 2) A treatment plan of antibiotics (Lilly is currently on two, that should, in theory, attack both the Brucella-canis and the infection in her spine). 3) Euthanize the dog.
From what I’ve read, Brucella, while treatable, is hard to treat. Antibiotics have trouble actually clearing the Brucella completely out of the dog’s system and often times Brucella ends up reoccurring.
Lilly went on multiple antibiotics in addition to the pain meds she started when we first saw our regular vet. She stays on two of the antibiotics for 12 weeks and we do x-rays every 3 weeks to ensure that things are going alright along the way. Then in 12 weeks we will redo her blood cultures and see if we were able to clear everything out of her system.
We are really worried for Lilly but are taking it a day at a time. We are also ensuring that she gets the BEST care possible. Lilly is our baby and it has been one of the hardest things we’ve experienced to see her in so much pain.
The good news is that the vet seems to be confident about the combo of antibiotics that she is on. We’ve also got Lilly’s pain under control now. Poor girl just occasionally gets a bit nauseous from the medicine.
Mostly though, she has been acting much more like herself now that she has been on the antibiotics and pain meds for awhile.
I’ll keep you updated on Lilly here and my Twitter. Please keep our sweet baby girl in your thoughts and prayers! We love her so much and just want to see her healthy and pain free again.
I just got back from an academic conference in Minneapolis for journalism and public relations. It was a great conference and I thought Minneapolis was very nice! Here are two pictures:
Other than that I’m studying for my comprehensive exams. I can’t wait for these things to be over!!! First exam is in the beginning of September, which is going to be here before I know it. So on that note, I’m going to the library to study!!!