Scully Returns from the Dead!
Scully Returns from the Dead!

Scully Returns from the Dead!

In Nov. 2004, our first and most wonderful dog, Nonny Newby, suddenly got sick. Two days later he died of acute  IMHA (Immune-Mediated Hemolymic Anemia). It was a very traumatic experience for all of the StinkyPups.  Nonny was the kindest alpha dog you’ve ever met.

In mid Sept. 2009, Scully was diagnosed with chronic IMHA. I was sure she was a goner.

For several months Scully seemed “not her usual self,” but was going on walks, eating, and waking me up by pouncing me and biting my next (a perfect alarm clock).  I kept telling Greg that she seemed a little off and that I was going to take her to the vet. I put off the vet visit because she wasn’t really exhibiting anything too wrong. I should have trusted my doggie-motherly instincts.

One day Scully stopped waking me up and she couldn’t keep up on walks. It was a Saturday of course, and all of the vets were closed except the most expensive in town. I managed to get her an appointment (with a $65 bonus charge because I didn’t have a scheduled appointment that day), and I brought her in.

Scully HATES the vet’s office because she’s been there so many times after being beat up by munkin (munkin are the evil sisters– Pumpkin and Monkey-Tail). I explained the Scully’s situation to the vet and she dragged Scully away from me, promising Scully that she wouldn’t stay the night. Ha.

I came back later that day to find out that Scully had rocks in her stomach, hence the occasional vomiting, but the vet wasn’t concerned with her belly full of rocks. She was concerned with her Hematocrit – (HCT) was 12%. Normal is between 37-55%. Scully needed to stay the night.

Needless to say,  I was freaked out because of Nonny. I was sure that Scully was a goner. The vet explained that in a chronic case, the dog’s HCT slowly decreases. Eventually, if untreated the dog will die. We agreed that it would be a peaceful death…because you sort of just lose energy, slip into a coma, and go to sleep.

Scully was treated with a blood transfusion from the vet’s dog and huge amounts of steroids (Prednisone) and fluids. The next morning her HCT was 16%. This was an improvement–but not by much. The vet said at around 12% she’s the “walking dead,” and 16% isn’t much better. She stayed the night again, and her HCT increased a little more.

I took her home and had an appointment to bring her back in a week for a blood test. She seemed to be getting stronger every day. Her gums were still extremely pale, but she wasn’t sleeping all the time.  Her blood test revealed that her HCT was 18%. The increase meant that the blood transfusion helped and she was generating red blood cells on her own. Yippie. I was very happy.

Two days later she seemed very sick and was sleeping a lot. I noticed a HUGE area of swelling on her right elbow. It looked like an abscess.  Of course, it was at night and the vets were closed. I called the office of the vet where she was treated and spoke to the answering service. I wanted to see who the vet on call was. They told me it wasn’t a McKinley vet, but an Aurora vet. I told them I’d call back. I had wanted to bring her to McKinley since her records were there. I called the After Hour Emergency vet, but they were closed. I called the vet who was treating Scully at home to ask her if she thought Scully should be seen. Normally, I wouldn’t be concerned with an abscess– but being that Scully was so sick, I needed professional advice. The vet said yes, I should take her in.

I called the answering service and made an appointment to bring her into Aurora. After looking at Scully and doing aspirations and blood tests, the vet told me it was a good idea that I brought her in.  She had some type of infection, possibly staph, in her elbow. She was treated with a dose of Baytril via IV.  When the medication hit Scully, she fainted. Both the vet and I thought that perhaps she had a reaction to the meds and that she was going to die right there on the table! I remember saying “Oh Shit,” and the vet said, “Don’t do this.” Scully came to a few minutes later, but was just laying on the table, not moving.  I hung out with her while the vet tended to some other cases. After the IV fluid was all gone, the vet came in and Scully was a little more perky, but not too much. The vet told me that this would be a critical time, and that if it was a staph infection, it could be bad.

I took Scully home with Baytril, Cephalexin (two antibiotics), and her demeanor and health improved! When the results from the vet came back, the infection wasn’t Staph, but e-coli. I always thought e-coli was a gastrointestinal disease, but apparently not.

Since Sept. we’ve been taking Scully to the vet every two weeks to check her Hematocrit level. She’s been at 30% for a while, and just last week (Dec. 7) we started to decrease her Predisone to 20mg 1x a day and stopped giving her the Azathioprine.

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