Friday, April 23, 2010

Digby dozes, plays and then dozes.

The good news is that the infection seems to have responded to the treatment Digby received on Wednesday. The uncertainty remains over what damage has been done to his organs. The wee fellow is still running a high temperature and is very anaemic and weak. He'll play with his big brother for a few minutes but then gets quickly tired out. His gums and the inside of his eyelids are almost white. He has no appetite but a chronic thirst - he drank two bowls of water first thing . 'The font' thinks this manic drinking might be a sign of liver problems. In addition to the antibiotics the vet has prescribed a supplement to help his kidney functions. He's also on a strange gel like food substitute which provides him with all the basic nutrients and vitamins. The supplement has to be syringed into the extremely unwilling patients mouth while the gel is wrapped in a sliver of enticing ham to get him to swallow it.

Thanks for all your comments yesterday. I too had thought that Frontline and the tick collar together with the finger tip checks would be a good defence. Apparently not. The infection from these brown ticks is passed on when the tick first bites the animal. Frontline will kill the tick but by then its too late. The only solution is to keep your dog in the garden . No more morning and afternoon walks for Wilf through the village until the peak of the tick season passes.

Do any of you have any tips on dealing with anaemia ? Any tips would be very welcome.


  1. Sorry I don't have any tips on anaemia, just to say we're still thinking about you, and we know that you're doing your very best for poor Digby.
    Best wishes,
    Gail and Bertie.

  2. how anemic is he? has he been diagnosed with Ehrilicia? i have seen this disease many times, usually with a good outcome, if on doxycycline for at least 1 month, and his anemia should start to regenerate within a couple weeks......sounds like you caught it early....
    all our paws are crossed for you!!

  3. Since "kks" is a trusted expert, I won't add anything else. I've had dogs that have been anemic and it sounds to me like you are doing all possible--I also know that rest is very important too, and not letting them get worn out. Maybe it's the meds making him thirsty??
    We will continue to send prayers in your direction and cross all paws that he feels better very soon!!

  4. Thanks for your help and advice. He seems to have taken a turn for the worse and his breathing has become very shallow, he's slipped back into semi-conciousness and his uncontrolled trembling has started again. Will post after we get back from the emergency room.

  5. Dear Angus,

    All I can offer are my prayers. I know how you must be feeling.

    Hugs all around,

  6. Digby is one very sick pup! I had no idea that dogs could still be infected after all the defenses we use to protect them. Tootie barely weighs four pounds. Imagine how quickly a disease such as this would take her down! My prayers are with you at this point and many hugs go out to sweet Digby!


  7. I am so sorry to hear he's not doing well! We'll be thinking about you and Digby. I don't have advice about anemia, but milk thistle may help with his liver.

  8. Hello, I am visiting from Ninny's Notes blog. My Halle, who is now 11 (standard poodle) was infected with Lyme disease when she was a year and a half old. At the time she was infected she was my mom's dog and living in New Jersey. After massive treatment she is just fine and has never had any further complications from it. I will add that she does still drink a lot of water once a day, like practically the entire water bowl, has done this for years since the Lymes. After that for the rest of the day she drinks normally. Sending best wishes to Digby! xoxo

  9. I just read your update...When there's a moment, please let us know how Digby is doing!! I am fervently hoping and praying for the best!!

  10. I am so sorry to hear about Digby's health. My best wishes for a happy outcome. The following are links to 2 websites that a friend (A vet) recommends to clients who want reliable information from the web. They may answer some of your questions:

    Sophie's human

  11. I'm afraid that I don't have anemia experience but lots of water is a good thing.

    I don't know what kind of tick collars you use. I mentioned that K is severely allergic to ticks so my vet wanted her treated with a collar that would prevent the ticks from biting. She said that the collar that was best for that was the Preventic collar. I don't know any more than what she told me but K hasn't had any more allergic reactions since starting to wear the collar.

    We have all our paws crossed for you.

  12. I cannot stop thinking of Digby, and praying all the time.
    Unimaginable for all of you.

    I do remember our last dog drinking tons and tons of water after being given a strong steroid, so perhaps that in itself is not a worrisome thing.

    Do update us when you can.

  13. Hi, I read about Digby on Ninny's Notes...I just wanted to send healing, comforting thoughts!
    Take care,
    in Georgia

  14. i'm praying for digby...i wish there was more i could do.

    the booker man's mama

  15. We've been away and thinking about Digby -- so the first thing we did on arriving home was to check your blog -- and are so distressed at the news.

    It's so hard to comprehend how a tiny brown tick can have such a dreadful effect -- but then so do bacteria and viruses. Our thoughts are with you Angus and the font. And we're doing what we terriers do when our pals are ailing" Sending wirey vibes and zen, and invoking the power of the paw!!!

    Wirey love,

    jake and Just Harry (and Joan)

  16. Checking in to see if you posted how the Digby boy is...please let us know. I know we're the last thing on your mind, but lots of paws and fingers are being crossed right now. Zach always drinks lots of water when on steriod type medicine.

  17. We're hoping things look up soon. Very worrying!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  18. In the past I used a liquid iron supplement for one of my Beagles who had chronic anemia. It actually seemed very similar to Geritol for humans. I will ask my vet in the morning what it was. It helped Buttons a lot till she died from a ruptured splenic tumor :(. Nothing could help her then.

  19. Sorry Angus - only just read this - fingers crossed. How terrifying for you both! I think France looks lovely, but at least here in NZ we don't have your ant and tick problems... bt where ticks are around, as with the paralysis tick in Aus, reliance on any products is a problem - manual checks are essential and I think avoiding the grasses in future etc will pay off.

    You asked about anaemia -

    My lovely Saffy has Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia (AIHA) of unknown origin and lives permanently on immune suppressants with regular blood tests to watch for a flare up of her anaemia - she destroys her own red blood cells.. Initially when she collapsed, we used steroids - yes they made her drink and lose muscle mass and become weak but we have phased them out now - and lots of rest. In the first week she had two blood transfusions. She is lucky to still be with us three years later. I might be a vet, but my own animals hit an occasional crisis as well and I react like any other owner!

    Hope they use a blood transfusion for Digby..
    Thinking of you

  20. i HEART Digby (&Wilf of course).....

  21. We are praying and crossing paws and fingers for Digby
    This is so terrible. Please Digby, stay stwong my deaw fwind and heal.

    I destest that howwid Tick and all his diseases.

    We send ouw love and stwength
    smoochie kisses
    ASTA and mommi