Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kizzy vs Lyme Disease

Poor Kizzy-monster. I felt so terribly bad for her yesterday.

As I wrote last time, Kizzy and Secret got into a tiff on Sunday when their play session escalated a little too far. Secret nailed Kizzy in such a way that while she had no visible injuries, she was not wanting to use her right front leg at all. By the time we went to bed she was getting better at hopping around, but was still a bit mopey.

I gave Kizzy another aspirin before bed that night and hoped that there would be improvement when we got up in the morning. Unfortunately she was as three-legged as the day before and seemed pretty stiff when we first got out of bed. She was getting around better when I left for work, but still hopping on three legs. I elected to crate her during the day to limit her activity, but mostly to segregate her from the other dogs as she had a bit too much of a "woe is me" attitude going on and I feared the other dogs could turn on in her a wounded bunny scenario. Who knows. Better safe than sorry.

I hurried home from work, feeling bad that she'd been stuck in a crate all day. I fully expected that after a day of rest SURELY her leg would be feeling better and she'd come bouncing out of the crate. Instead, what I came home to was a dog who would barely prop herself up into a sitting position and wouldn't walk.

I grabbed my phone as I carried her outside to go potty. It was 4:59 and my vet's office closes at 5:00. Thank god, I got through before the answering service was turned on. I was asking about getting an appointment first thing in the morning or leaving Kizzy there all day if I needed to, but while the associate was checking the schedule and talking to the doctors I realized that things were worse than I'd thought.

Kizzy would NOT move. If I propped her up she would fall over. She just huddled in the snow shivering. When the girl came back on the phone (I feel so bad, my vet's office has several new faces and I don't know everyone anymore...) I butt in on her and said, "I'm sorry, but can I just bring her in right now?" There was no way I felt comfortable waiting until morning when I realized just how bad it was. Was it neurological? Had something more happened the day before than I'd realized?

We zipped right over to the clinic and they got us in right away. I felt bad when Kizzy fell over on the scale... By the way, the little porker is up to 13.3 lbs now.  ;o)  Dr. Randy came in pretty quickly and started checking her over. I explained the fight from the day before and gave him the back story. Then as I was talking it suddenly popped into my head -- is this Lyme? I know it can flare up in times of stress and she had that positive test back in July that we opted not to do anything about at the time.

Randy took her temperature and it was over 102 even with aspirin on board. He found a bit of swelling in the hock joint in the right hind and she was tender/reactive to manipulation back there. After a bit of poking and prodding Kizzy also decided that it hurt terribly when you touched her front feet. Pretty much all you could do was rub her belly while she laid on her back (yeah, I think that one might have been planned by her, lol).

With everything we knew and what we saw in front of us, we figured it was a pretty safe assumption to go with the Lyme diagnosis. Randy didn't see any reason to jump to x-rays or blood work at this point and we decided to go forward with Tramadol, aspirin and 4 weeks of Doxy. Kizzy just laid out on the table while we waited for her pills to get put together for us. What a sad, sad Klee Kai.

I gave her the first dose of everything when we got home around 6:00. I couldn't get her to stand up to go potty, so I gave up and we went inside and laid under a blanket together on the couch. Around 8:30 I tried to take her out again (because mind you, she hadn't gone to the bathroom since before I left for work that morning!) and she managed to totter out, using the fence to help her balance, and went potty. We went back inside to lay under blankets again with the plan of staying on the couch until around midnight, when Randy said I could hit her up with more pain meds to get her over the first hump.

Of course I fell asleep, so it was about 1:00 a.m. when I woke up. Much improvement! Kizzy was starting to put her hind leg down a bit more and was able to stand on her own and hobble around outside. She was just eating snow when we went out, so I decided to leave her for a bit to see what she'd do and she found her way back inside through the doggy door. I gave her another dose of Tramadol and aspirin and we went to bed.

This morning she was back to having full use of her hind leg again and was starting to use the front leg again and put more weight on it. She was moving so well by the time I left that I decided to leave her out for the day. The roads were really bad from a snow storm blowing through and I knew my day would be a long one, so I didn't want to worry about her not getting out all day again. She got another dose of meds right before I walked out the door.

Tonight I came home to a spunky, sassy, FULL of energy Klee Kai. She was running around like a loon while I shoveled (we have a good 8" so far....) and then was back to chasing Luke while I threw the Jolly Balls around in the snow a bit for everyone. She's pooped now and back in my lap, but I think she's feeling pretty good again. It's amazing to see the turn around from just 24 hours ago.

I hate ticks and I hate Lyme disease. How ironic that a fellow blogger just wrote on the subject, just in case any of you aren't terribly familiar with this stupid illness. You can check it out here!

This episode has given me pause with regard to Secret's positive diagnosis. Kizzy literally thought she was dying. Kizzy weighs 13 lbs and is easy to scoop up and carry to the vet. Granted, Secret is 47 lbs and that's not the end of the world, but still considerably more difficult to get around if she decides she cannot use any of her legs. It just amazes me how fast and hard this hit Kizzy and with how sensitive Secret is it would not surprise me if she did the same.

Alas, I'm recovering from this bill right now, so I think I'll push off treating Secret right away.... My vet has a compounded form of Doxy since the prices are still nuts, but Kizzy's dose was still $50. I remember when I could treat Luke for less than that!  :o)  But if we go with that, we're still looking at $200 for Secret. Hmmm. Yeah. We'll see how long we can push that off.

The one good thing about Lyme, I will say, is that it responds to treatment incredibly fast. It's still scary, though, to see them that miserable.


  1. Yikes! I'm so glad you caught it really quickly and she's already back to normal.

  2. Do you need to treat Secret even without a flare up?
    Tramadol huh? I hate that stuff. HATE it. It does horrible things to me.
    I'm so glad Kizzy is better! I can't imagine, having met her and seen her exuberant personality, how hard it is to see her like she was.

    1. Kizzy got Tramadol after her spay and my immediate reaction was, "No, can we have something different?" My only experience with Tramadol is with the shelter cats -- and let me tell you, if your vet ever tries to give you Tramadol for one of your cats, say NO. It is the most horrible experience on the planet. It's super bitter and the cats just hate it. If it get stuck on their tongue at all you get an instant frothing, foaming mess. Thankfully it's much less traumatic for the dogs because I encase it in canned food -- although a small bit of one of the pills must have poked out yesterday because Kizzy did make a bitter face on me. lol Nasty stuff.

      Treating with no symptoms is a tough decision. Because even if you treat, it can still live in their body and you could deal with a flare up at a later date. That's why we figure it makes more sense to wait until you see symptoms. Truthfully, the best thing to do would probably be to send in the $80 titer test to see just how much of it is in her blood and make a decision to treat based on that. But when you figure that's half the price of treatment, then you start to think, "Why don't I just treat?" It's a guessing game.

  3. That was a good catch on your part, and great timing just getting into your vet before the super expensive emergency vet trip kicked in. I havent dealt with Lyme before but it sounds nasty. Another reason to be glad we dont see any ticks around here. Glad she seems to be on the mend!

    1. Oh, don't worry, it was after 5:00 when we went in so we still got to experience the luxury of paying the super expensive emergency vet trip. It was $80 to walk in the door -- which is probably cheap compared to other areas, though!

  4. That is ironic! Glad she's feeling better though.