01.02.2013 - 05.02.2013
Our sweet Sunny has been seriously sick. I noticed that she was subdued and a bit less active over the course of a few days, and thought it was due to the heat. But then she showed signs of serious fatigue, and lost her appetite. She gave me a look with her sweet, earnest eyes and I could tell she was saying, "Mommy, please help me feel better." I checked her temperature, and it was 105+! Into a taxi, with a big Panama City phone book, searching for a recommended clinic that was open on Saturday evening.
We were the only clients when we arrived, and the receptionist called the doc, who apparently lives next to the clinic. She arrived immediately.
No habla inglés, so my Spanish skills were called into action. She took Sunny's temp and confirmed my finding. Then she drew some blood and analyzed it, diagnosing Sunny's condition as Erlichia. This is an infection caused by exposure to ticks. Sunny's platelet count was nearly non-existent, and her red blood count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit were all low. The MCHC--mean cell hemoglobin concentration--was also drastically low.
The vet explained that she would give Sunny injections (antibiotic and anti-inflammatory), and then we would need to return with Sunny the next day (to their other clinic, which is open Sundays) for repeat injections, and then give Sunny antibiotics for 21 days and anti-inflammatories for 5. After 21 days, her blood count will need to be checked again. I can only hope that the infection did not progress to the chronic stage, which involves a compromise of the bone marrow. Sunday's good news was that her temperature was back to normal.
We reviewed the anti-parasite medications that I diligently give to the pups, which already double some protections. Trifexis and Vectra. Apparently, these are not enough for tropical ticks. So, now the pups are sporting tick collars. We have pulled a few ticks off of Sunny over the course of our trip. Obviously, those demons pack a punch.
Most importantly, Sunny seems to be feeling better. There is nothing better than seeing her smiling, happy face! Her appetite has returned, she comes to greet us at the door, and wants to go for walks. I do notice that she tires more quickly, which is no wonder, given her anemic state. I happily carry her when she slows down.
So far, Cricket is her usual crazy self.
This is why you have not heard from us for a few days. I will try to update you on our other adventures later today.