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I'm sitting here at work and getting NOTHING done. Except fretting. Oh yes, lots of fretting is being accomplished.

The vet just called. Bella's RBC count has actually gone up slightly since last night, so that rules out internal bleeding or anything chewing up her red blood cells (such as an autoimmune reaction to last week's vaccine). The x-ray didn't show anything, and there's still no vaginal discharge, so her uterus is probably fine. Her white blood cell count has increased since last night, which suggests that her body is mounting a defense against some kind of inflammation or infection. Her temperature is 40.1°C.

She fed Bella a soupy mixture of tinned food and lots of water, so she's gotten fluids into her that way. She obtained a urine sample and said that there are more casts in it than she would have expected. A "cast" is apparently kidney cellular debris. Some dogs naturally have more in their urine than others, but Bella had enough that there might be something going on with her kidneys.

The most likely cause is some kind of infection, so she's going to start Bella on amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is effective against Lyme disease and, yes, leptospirosis. I haven't seen any ticks on Bella, but I suppose she could have picked one up on a pack walk, and we were up at Jim's cottage for an hour two weekends ago. There's a plastic kiddy pool there that had a puddle of leaves and muck from over the winter. I caught Bella drinking from it, pulled her away, and showed her where her water dish was. The vet is going to initiate tests for Lyme and lepto, but it takes a couple of weeks to get the results back. I gather that lepto is hard to diagnose definitively anyway.

Linus was at Jim's cottage several times and never got sick. Katie has been going there regularly for years (Doug owns one-third of it) and hasn't gotten sick. Bella's been up twice and was there for less than a hour the second time. After all my agonizing, if it turns out to be lepto...

::headdesk::

At least it's doesn't look like an autoimmune issue. If it is Lyme or lepto, it can be cured, and I whisked her into the vet within an hour of getting home and discovering that she wasn't well. Jim thought I was overreacting a little, but he knows how attached I am to her: she's my best girl ever...

Anyway, the vet said that Bella is comfortable and alert, she still has an appetite, and hopefully she'll respond to the amoxicillin. Barring any unforeseen complications, I'll pick her up at 5:30 tonight and hear what else the vet has learned by then.

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