Sunday, November 04, 2007

Valley Fever

It was officially confirmed on October 26 that Sammy has Valley Fever.  Its a relief in some ways, as he was getting sicker on the antibiotics that the vet started him on, thinking he had a bad bacterial pneumonia.  FIrst he kept vomitting teribly with the generic Keflex, and then he just got worse with the Baytril and Centrine.  Bill drove to Youngtown to get the itraconazole last Saturday rather than wait for it to be sent out, and I have been giving it twice a day since.  He doesn't have much appetite, but is always happy to accept a treat from your hand, and that makes it soooo much easier.  Robin, on the other hand, has to have an antihistamine pill every day, and you just cannot fool her into taking it in a treat.  She spits everything out and thoroughly inspects it before eating it tiny piece by tiny piece, so I just have to put them down her throat and then follow with a treat for allowing me to do it without struggling.  Sammy struggles at anything of the sort , so we are doubly glad he takes the pills.
The disease seems to go something like tuberculosis, or lots of other chronic diseases, as he feels better and worse depending on many things.  Sometimes he acts almost normal, and other times the coughing just tears your heart out.  At least he isn't vomiting anymore.
The poor dog is only 7 months old, and before he got sick, was just a bundle of lovable joy with tons of energy.  He used to run Robin ragged, to where she would start trying to discipline him for real, to make him leave her alone.  Now she is just bouncing off the walls and wants him to play with HER so bad.  I end up taking many extra trips up the hill and around the property with her to burn off energy, and leave him in the house.  He does want to walk with us morning and night, but doesn't range very far out.
The vet and the websites say 6-9-12 months of meds to be cured, if that can be done.  Sometimes it can't be done, but we have high hopes for him, since we caught it so quickly.  THe medicine isn't near as expensive as I was led to think by other people who had dogs with Valley Fever, only $28.80 for a month's supply at this dosage.  We'll have to see if it is helping at his next appointment for blood work in a month.

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