Sweet Colette has kept us all on our toes for the last two weeks. Between preparing for Hurricane Michael and all of the pups we have that are still critical, there has been no time to post which is saying a lot. I am ready for Fall to arrive and the Hurrican Season to be behind us.
Colette has ended up back at CVRC in ICU twice in the last couple of weeks with inflamed legs and a very high temperature. Dr. Kristin Welch has taken over her care to give her the best possible chance of surviving her illnesses. When Colette first arrived months ago, she was a hit by a car and needed surgery. Surgery was done, but she did not improve.
Colette has three Tick-Borne Diseases that are significant. If we do not get them under control, she will die based on how sick she has been. She has tested positive for multiple tick-borne diseases including Bartonella, Rickettsia, and Ehrlichia. Based on her antibody levels, Dr. Welch suspects that her Bartonella and Rickettsia are the primary causes of her chronic intermittent fever and recurrent joint effusion (accumulation of fluid) and pain.
Each Disease requires a different antibiotic for an extended period. We have just started our third antibiotic for this beautiful pup. When her joints swell with fluid, her fever returns, and she has to go back to ICU and have her joints tapped. The more times we tap the joints, her chances go up for getting an infection in the joint. If we can get her fever down by not tapping the joints, we have made progress. The problem is that even on IV fluids, we have had a hard time getting her fever down.
When Colette's joints fill, she has terrible pain and no longer wants to walk. She will get up, take a few steps and then lay down. She feels awful because her legs hurt and her body aches from the fever. It breaks our hearts for this amazing dog. She will have a few good days when she returns, and then the cycle begins again.
It has been about ten years since we have had a dog this bad with multiple debilitating Tick-Borne Diseases. Colette has one which we have never treated for, Bartonella. Dr. Welch assures us that if we stay the course, do precisely what she says and bring in the minute her fever goes up, they can get her on the other side of this. It is just going to be costly and time-consuming.
It is always amazing to me how we can rescue a dog for one injury and find out they have so many other diseases that surpass the original diagnosis. That is one of the reasons why I ALWAYS remind rescues to be prepared for the unexpected when it comes to these neglected, abused dogs. Most have never had the primary medical care that each pup requires.
We have substantial Medical Bills for Colette that are not going to go away any time soon. Please, DONATE every time we post for her so we can get her through this. She will DIE if we do not stay the Course of Treatment based on what we have already seen.
Thanks for checking on us during Hurrican Matthew. We got lots of wind and rain and were very fortunate the Hurricane hit us as a Tropical Storm.