Friday, May 7, 2010

Hope or idiocy ?.

Yesterday was great day and after two weeks of constant battling we thought there was hope. But at what point does hope become idiocy ?

Temperature is soaring again - was 38 yesterday but 39.6 now and rising. Not even freshly poached fish will tempt him into eating. So off to the vet with Digby in the back of the car to ask :

1) whether he's in any pain ?
2) whether the disease is now in a mode where it recurs every four or five days ?
3) How much damage has been done to his organs and is likely to be done by the recurrence ? and
4) whether it's professionally advisable to try the antidote for a third time ?.

Depending on the answers the path we have to follow will be clear. 'The font' with a practical Swedish Lutheran attitude to life has been the one who has felt that despite all the odds this can be cured - that nordic certainty is now under pressure. This horrid haemmoragic illness scorns moments of joy with a constant, unstoppable drumbeat of malice .

Update - A huge surprise - the down to earth, no nonsense vet has said that as he should be dead there is no harm in trying the treatment again. The little fellow clearly wants to fight so why not let him ? As he's not in pain the vet doesn't think the time for a helping hand is here yet. On the way back in the car we've agreed that this is the third and last time.


  1. Hang in there all of you! You guys are being truly amazing! Digby is a fighter! Just know that our love and thoughts are pouring across the seas to you all!
    With love from us all - and thanks for the faithful updates. We are all with you in this.

  2. P.S. And hopefully, three's a charm!

  3. Clearly Digby is heeding the advice of Winston Churchill, : Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.

  4. So many times - and in so many ways - we've all rekhognised much of the choices hinge upon Digby's decisions -

    Keep listening to him - and watching his eyes and his tail -

    They hold many of the khlues -

    We are still thinking of all -

    Khyra & Phyll

  5. Praise God for down to earth vets and, a little more time.

  6. Dearest Digby, Our love is with you and our family. You are an amazing little guy!


  7. We are soooooo hoping the third treatment works! Sweet Digby, you are a fighter, for sure! You are surrounded by the paw circle and we're sending lots and lots of healing Aire-zen. We are very happy to know that you are not in pain!

    Penny & Patches

  8. ♥♥♥ Here's hoping and praying that this third time is the charm. ♥♥♥

  9. For whatever reason -- Digby is to be here....what a fighter! I can't help but cry when I think of him....

  10. Lets so hope that this is third time lucky. You clearly have a fighter there. Come on little one you can win this.. Hugs GJ x

  11. My Sweet Hewo
    You awe the bwavest doggie I know!

    We all stand by you , twying to send you stwength wif ouw love..
    It not time yet..
    I hope today is anothew day of welaxing in the sun without pain, sorrounded by love

    smoochie kisses

  12. Ah, bless him. He is a real little trooper isn't he. It can't be an easy ride for you two either. Still got everything crossed. Sue x

  13. We shall keep our fingers crossed and our hearts open...
    Susan x

  14. Digby will tell you when it's time to go and he clearly is a fighter. Everyone keeps telling us that with Bishop (that we will know), and we know him enough to know that he isn't ready. I have asked around and some advice is vitaminK injections. And the reason for a blood transfusion is to replace the bad red blood cells, in humans they use PACKED RBC's. Dearest Digby you are loved and whatever decision your wonderful parents make it will be with your best interest. Hugs

  15. If one has a totally rational approach to life, than hope might always seem like idiocy. But without hope, life itself would be too idiotic. So we're here for hope!

    After your last post, I searched the disease on the internet -- and found indeed that it is one given to frequent relapses -- which is what you've been experiencing.

    But brave Digby has come out of it several times, -- each time somewhat better -- so we're glad you're trying once more. Here's to hope! Here's to Digby! And here's to you and the font!

    xxxx Joan and Jake and Just Harry

  16. Great news! I am trying to be quietly, cautiously optimistic, but really inside I am thrilled. Come on Digby, we're all fighting your corner. Maybe, just maybe...

  17. FINALLY_please email so I can give you info!!!

  18. I hope I can post a comment. If so please email me at the texassundog at g mail dot com. I found a site of a British couple living in France that have been down this road. Am hoping they can help you like none of us can. Have tried to post half dozen times. Go Digby

  19. whew, it made it. I hope they can help you!

  20. Let's hope this works as when you comment on my blog there is no return email address. This goes to the site I told you about. It is Mar 2004, but the dog Bobby lives til 2009. I did not read whole thing, but see that it is still copyrighted 2010 so hoping and praying you can get in touch with them.

    this next has 3 antibiotics used here and references. Hoping the couple there is your best bet.
    Babesia canis was formerly called Piroplasma canis, so you may hear infection with this parasite called 'canine piroplasmosis.' B. canis is a one-celled parasite that infects dogs and other wild carnivores like wolves and fox. It can be quite common in certain areas of the southern United States, and is found most often in kennel situations.
    What is the life cycle of Babesia canis?

    Not everything about the life cycle of this parasite has been discovered, but here is what we know. The parasite lives in red blood cells where it reproduces by dividing in two. Sometimes 2, 4, or even more parasites can be found in a single red blood cell. The infected cells rupture and release the parasites that can then enter new cells. The parasite is transmitted from animal to animal by ticks.

    What are the signs of infection with B. canis?

    Unlike many other diseases, infections with B. canis are less severe in young dogs than older ones.
    The severity of signs may vary depending on the strain of parasite, the level of infection, and the immune status of the dog. In most cases, anemia occurs. If large numbers of red blood cells rupture at the same time, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and kidney failure can result. Sometimes skin lesions can be present. Rarely, the infected cells may clog some of the small blood vessels and cause nervous system abnormalities and muscle weakness. Sometimes, the same tick can transmit Babesia canis and other organisms (e.g.; Ehrlichia canis, which causes anemia in dogs) at the same time. This causes the canine piroplasmosis to be more severe.

    Chronic forms of the disease can occur. Dogs have recurring fevers, lose their appetites and can become emaciated.

    How is piroplasmosis diagnosed and treated?

    Other species of Babesia infect cattle, horses, poultry, and humans.
    The disease can be diagnosed by examining blood or tissues under the microscope and finding the parasite. This can sometimes be difficult, so often a serologic (blood) test is performed.

    Some very special drugs are used to treat B. canis infections in dogs. If you really want to know, they include diminazene aceturate, imidocarb diproprionate, and pentamidine isethionate. These drugs may successfully treat the disease, but not totally eliminate the organism since relapses often occur. In severe cases, blood transfusions and extensive supportive care are often needed.

    Other than tick control, are there any other prevention measures?

    Veterinarians need to screen blood donors for B. canis because it can be transmitted through blood transfusions. Research into developing a vaccine is ongoing.

    References and Further Reading
    Georgi, JR; Georgi, ME. Canine Clinical Parasitology. Lea & Febiger. Philadelphia, PA; 1992;90-93.

    Griffiths, HJ. A Handbook of Veterinary Parasitology. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, MN; 1978;5-6

    Hendrix, CM. Diagnostic Veterinary Parasitology. Mosby, Inc. St. Louis, MO; 1998;25.
    OK , hope this does not give me the error. GO Digs,

    Sherding, RG. Toxoplasmosis, Neosporosis, and Other Multisystemic Protozoal Infections. In Birchard, SJ; Sherding, RG (eds): Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1994;142,151.

    Sousby, EJL. Helminths, arthropods and protozoa of domesticated animals. Lea & Febiger. Philadelphia, PA; 1982;706-712,723-727.

  21. I honestly feel the power of prayer can have amazing results! I know I'm not the only other one praying for your little dog. Maybe the world wide prayer is working it's magic!

    I'm always a little scared to stop by each day, wondering what new news I'll hear and whether it'll be good or bad.

    I'm so glad the vet gave you good news that he's not in pain (the most important thing!!!). I'm keeping my fingers crossed so hard that this third time will show an amazing improvement!

  22. in reading over the website I sent to you, decided to click on the web builders. In case they are not checking, I am sending you this link which are the web builders in the UK. Am pinning so many hopes on these people for y'all

  23. Oh, hope! Not idiocy.
    How I do hope this works.
    You all have my prayers!

  24. Another couple in France from America whose dog contracted this April, 2010 They are keeping active, so maybe them??

  25. Woooos! We are trying to be hopefully optimistic. Please let there be hope, without hope, we are all in fur a very sad world.
    ~husky kisses~
    -Kira The BeaWootiful

  26. The Bougalou BearMay 7, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    One step forward, two steps back! But Digby should not still be alive and he very much is,so hope it is, oh without a shadow of a doubt, hope.

    PeeS: Ah yes, les lyonnais...
    It's all that lovely wine, you see, flowing from the Bourgogne/Beaujolais region from the north and the Cotes du Rhone from the south.
    Here is raising a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape to gallant Digby and to you...

  27. Even the smallest sliver of hope is a good thing. You and the Font make the decisions that are in your hearts for Digby and then never look back or 2nd guess yourself--You torture yourself when you do that; I know this all too well! Know that we continue our prayers of hope, comfort and peace for you, the Font, Digby and Wilf too!

  28. We will be PURRaying and hoping and doing each and every positive thing we can think of to support you in your continuous efforts to help Digby. I've heard that the THIRD TIME is often a charm.

  29. Fight Digby Fight! You and the Font are amazing. So very proud of you both at what's been done to keep Digby going. You must be exhausted. No matter what the outcome, your story and Digby's journey continues to inspire. God bless you all. Holding a positive thought over here across the Atlantic.

  30. Well I'm still very young so OF COURSE I'm an optimist. I'm really really really hoping Digby gets better!
    Toodle pip!

  31. Third time lucky? We're all right there with you and Digby. Think positive.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  32. In keeping with the advice of Winston Churchill: How about the advice of Jim Valvano: College Basketball coach who was diagnosis with cancer and won the hearts of many around the world. He's often quoted for his "DON'T GIVE UP, DON'T EVER GIVE UP" quote.
    So Digby--Don't give up, don't ever give up


  33. Keep listening to Digby. He is a wise and wonderful dog, with a wise and wonderful family.

    You stay in our constant prayers.
    Jake and Fergi and Sally and Nina

  34. I think each next day that D. is with you, not in pain, shows what a fighter he is. When he gets too tired of fighting - he will let you know. And it's not idiocy.

  35. I am so hoping for the third time to be a charm! I'll miss seeing Digby's sweet face every morning almost as much as I'd miss seeing my own dogs!

  36. Great news, a glimmer of hope for you all, hang onto it. Paws crossed and prayers. Eric x

  37. Hope is never idiotic. Never, never, never. My thoughts turn to Digby more than you know. And with so many hearts reaching out to him all across the world, I can't help but believe that that - along with your loyalty and love - is somehow on some level helping him find the strength to fight. Thank you and that wonderful vet for doing so much for him. We will continue to pray...and hope.

  38. i'm glad you are continuing to treat...several things i learned today about Babesiosis: certain breeds are predisposed, it is survivable,but needs to be on immunosupressive drug therapy for several months...some respond to therapy and some don't...of course there are other things you can do to support him, give him a of those would be a blood transfusion..(not sure if that is available to you) you know nutrition is a key component to healing, a feeding tube could be placed to make sure he is taking in life sustaining nutrients, but again, this might not be a practical situation for you...i know how difficult this is for you and such a roller coaster ride...go with your gut, you'll know what is right for Dig...
    and give him a big kiss from me!
    if you want to e-mail me you

  39. Praying that the third time is the charm!!!

    Zona and family

  40. We continue to keep you in our prayers, Digby!

    Love ya lots
    Maggie and Mitch

  41. Digby is a fighter alright! sending positive energy your way.

  42. Oh Digby, you are such a brave and devoted dog to be fighting so hard to stay with Wilf and mom & dad. We'll keep checking in and sending many little prayers for your recovery.


  43. We pray the 3rd time is the charm...

    We are so inspired by all of you...What an amazing story of love, strength, hope, & faith...

    Our thoughts & prayers remain with all of you...

    Abby & her Mom xxxxxxoooooo

  44. We are keeping paws crossed. I never saw a fighter like Digby and pray that the third time is a very lucky charm for him. We are constantly thinking of you.
    With Big Hugs xoxoxo
    Sammie, Bill and Miche

  45. i am standing firmly in the hope camp and will not give it up unless digby decides he is ready to stop the fight. here's hoping that the third treatment will be successful. i continue to pray for ya'll.
    the booker man and asa's mama

  46. it's what our vetty told us, "where there is life, there is hope". it's not idiocy at all. we are sending you so much healing power. it's just not Digby's time yet. you're one tough pup. hang in there kiddo and get well. you can do it.


  47. i can only say we went through this with juno (fever up and down but she was hospitalized), although a much shorter time, and we used 3 antibiotics to fight whatever it was she had that was NEVER diagnosed. that's the hard part is not knowing what it is. i say go for it. treat again. the little guy is fighting for a reason.

    paws crossed!
    wild dingo

  48. We too are hoping the third time will help. Digby has fought hard. As long as there is life, there is still hope.

  49. We are continually pulling for Digby! Fight on little man.

    Stella, Gunther and Betty