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[personal profile] spiceofbroadway
When I come home after work, I can usually hear Bella whining softly in her crate as I walk up the hall towards my room. After I open the door, she explodes into a frenzy of delight and careens around the house, sliding on the hardwood floors and bouncing (literally) off the walls because she can't put the brakes on. Eventually, she pinballs herself to the back door and runs and jumps and spins like a happy crazed thing in the backyard for another several minutes.

Tonight, though, there wasn't a sound as I walked down the hall. She was sitting up and waiting for me, but it looked like she'd just woken up. She bounced for a few seconds after I let her out of her crate, but then followed me out into the backyard at quite a sedate pace. She ate her dinner without any hesitation, but she's been very quiet and lethargic all evening, and she seems just a little shaky when she walks.

The last time a dog of mine did this was when Linus's hemangiosarcoma tumour started bleeding out. Twenty-four hours later, he was gone.

I'm pretty sure Bella doesn't have hemangiosarcoma (she's not old enough, for one thing), but after watching her acting just not Bella-like for an hour, I called the vet and took her in. Her nose is running a little--just clear fluid--and she's on the brink of having a fever. The vet listened to her heart and lungs (both normal), and checked her lymph glands (normal) and her vulva (also normal) in case she had a uterine infection related to her false pregnancy. Her muscous membranes are a normal colour (unlike Linus's; his were a very pale pink from the internal bleeding). The vet took some blood and is going to do several tests, like red and white blood cell counts.

Jim and I stopped by the drugstore on the way home and picked up a thermometer. We're on Bella watch now and will take her temperature in a while to see if it's gone up.

The vet's best guess was that she has the start of a doggy cold, possibly picked up at daycare yesterday.


Ooops, the phone just rang--it was the vet with the results of the blood tests. Most of the parameters, including her electrolytes, platelets, and white blood cell count, were normal. The only ones that were off were one of the proteins, and her red blood cell count is at the low end of normal, meaning she's very slightly anemic. I have to keep an eye on her urine and feces in case there's any blood in them. The vet doesn't think the low RBC count is a bone marrow problem because other cells (like white blood cells) would be affected by that too, and they're fine. So I'm going to take her temperature a few times tonight and tomorrow morning, and if she's not better tomorrow, bring her back in the afternoon for a repeat blood test to see if anything's changed.

Amazingly enough, I emailed myself a copy of the report I'm editing to my home account, so I can work at home tomorrow. Technically, tomorrow is my day off anyway, although I was going to go in and finish this thing before leaving for the cottage. But I can do that here, so I can stay home tomorrow if I have to.

Bella doesn't seem uncomfortable or anything--she just doesn't have much energy. She's alert and interested in what's going on around her, but she's lying down and watching instead of getting up to investigate things. She still follows me when I get up and move around, though.

Don't be sick, Boo. Please just have a doggy cold, and have it go away really soon.
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