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Monday, July 30, 2012

Teddy back on the job.

Teddy continued to do poorly despite the meds, although they were helping.  She stopped eating completely and I became pretty good at force feeding her.  The trick is to get the food not too forward and not too far back in her mouth and then hold her mouth closed just enough so she can't spit it out, yet she can swallow it without it going down wrong.

The vets from W.S.U. called and informed me that she didn't have worms and her other tests came back okay...although still waiting on cultures.  They concluded she did have asthma and prescribed steroids.  I immediately gave her the prescribed dose of my steroids thinking they would take a few days to work but she slept through the night cough free for the first time in weeks.

I was so grateful to not to be woken up by her desperate hacking.  Poor little dog.  She's doing much better now.  There is definitely something on the farm that she's reacting to because she did better at Pullman.  

Here she is back in her own 'bedroom'.  She normally has more toys around her because she likes to carry a squeaky toy upstairs to bed most nights.  She sometimes squeaks herself to sleep.

Yesterday the cows got in to the timothy field and gorged themselves.  Teddy was able to do her job for the first time in ages.  The cows know she's all bark and no bite and so they are not really intimidated by her.  Brad said at first she was so excited to be back working cattle she ran around barking with joy.  She did finally get behind them and brought them home.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Teddy is a bit better...I think

Teddy had an appointment at the W.S.U. vet clinic on Wednesday for her bronchoscopy and bronchoalveoler lavage.  The vets couldn't fit her as planned and so she was scheduled to have the procedure on Thursday morning, right after rounds.  Brad finally got his alum discount (lol).  Because it wasn't our fault and we'd made a over 200 mile round trip, they said they would keep her over night free of charge.  So we had to return to Pullman on Thursday to get her.

I have been exhausted by all the driving to and from Pullman....even though Brad does most of the driving.  I must say that I think the countryside is beautiful in the Palouse region.  I would love to own a farm there.  It has a much higher rainfall and so there's no irrigation to mess with.  I noticed there are no rocks and none of the nasty weeds we have to contend with in our neck of the woods.  I bet there are no rattlesnakes either.  I did notice a lot of deer though.  There was even a cheeky deer grazing on someone's lawn in the middle of Colfax!

27 + years ago I was a hospital lab tech.  I enjoyed doing WBC differentials manually using a microscope.  We didn't have an instrument to do it automated back then.  I found the report below interesting, so I'm including it.
Results of Diagnostic Evaluation:
Bronchoscopy:  The trachea was unremarkable in appearance.  The mucosa appeared unremarkable.  There were no masses, foreign bodies, or parasites observed.  There were mild to moderate amounts of mucus with the right caudal (rear) lung lobe being most affected.  A bronchoalveolar lavage was performed and samples were obtained for cytology and culture.

Broncho-alveolar lavage with culture and cytology:
Description:  Slides prepared from the submitted fluid are cellular, containing nucleated cells and small numbers of red cells.  The nucleated cell population is composed of approximately 87% eosinophils, 7% macrophages, and 6% neutrophils.  Occasional basophils are noted.  No microorganisms are seen.

Interpretation:  Eosinophilic bronchitis - see comments.

Comments:  Eosinophilic inflamamtion within the respiratory tract typically indicates a hypersensitivity response.  Disorders such as allergic broncitis/pneumonitis, lungworms or other parasites, heartworms, and eosinphilic bronchopneumopathy can be considered.

So we have to wait for the cultures and wormy poo thing.  In the meantime she's on Theophylline twice a day and good old benadryl...which Brad came up with and worked recommended by W.S.U. for Teddy.

I love the W.S.U. vet hospital.  They have so many vets and are so caring.  I still think our regular vet is top notch as well.  We have been going to him for almost 30 years.  I can't believe it...30 years!!

When Teddy came into the lobby, we were sitting in a different part of it than we were the last time we picked her up, and she was coming from a different part of the hospital.  We were sitting very still to see what she did when she entered the lobby.  As she walked out she looked at the seats we were sitting in the last time and she looked crest fallen when she didn't see us.  She then looked around the lobby and spotted us.  She was tired from the general anesthesia still but managed her special little greeting where she walks slowly, head low and her lip pulled up over her teeth.  It wasn't by sound or smell she recognized us, but sight.    We love her so much.  :)

Even though she's on the meds, she still has coughing/hacking episodes and coughs up white junk.  I'm pleased to report she hasn't had anymore trouble breathing and her tongue has remained blue tinge like before.  She's up and about more, but she's not playing with her toys or eating much at all.  I give her bits of cheese and little bowls of cream ...I'm thinking of anything to get her interested in food again.  Last night she woke up hacking.  Poor little Ted.

I do think the hacking is a response to something in the environment.  I am noticing there's places she does it more and places where she never coughs.  The vets think it's asthma, but are waiting for all the test results.  If it is asthma she'll have a inhaler for bad episodes.

With asthma she can have a normal life span if it's managed and she could die during a severe attack..if it's untreated I suppose.

Here's Teddy last year when she was a baby dog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teddy home for now.

Sunday we drove back to Pullman to pick Teddy back up from the Washington State University animal hospital.  They told us she had done very well.  She had been very scared but everyone agreed she has a very sweet temperament.  They decided against worming her and stopped her antibiotics because they want to culture what is in her lungs. She had a complete blood work up and x-rays.

I have had her wormed before.  They want to rule out lung worm which is rare in this region.  They wanted me to get a poo sample, which wasn't easy.  I never thought I'd be pleased to see dog poo on the lawn.

We were told she had someone with her all the time and had not been doing much better than we had described at home.   Here is her current diagnoses;

Based on history, clinical findings, and diagnostic results we suspect Teddy has either a diffuse parasite pulmonary infection or eosinophilic bronchopneumopathy.  Despite our clinical suspicions, an infectious pneumonia and neoplasia (cancer) cannot be ruled out at this time, and further diagnostic tests are needed to determine the underlying cause of Teddy's respiratory signs.

The Australian vet said she didn't realize Teddy was an Australian Shepherd and thought it was funny because she was an Australian.  I told her that's why I thought she was picked to be her

When Teddy was led into the lobby she looked so perky and when she saw us she came right over to us..jumped on Brad's lap and piddled all over it.   Oh, how she kissed us.

I was so pleased at how well she looked.  She wanted to check out this calf.  She kept an eye on it because she knows how calves can do a quick runner.

If it wasn't for her IV bandage you'd never have known she was ill.


She suddenly froze and focused on something across the road....
Even though she's never seen one before she knew what those squeaks were.


There were dozens of them frolicking about.  She was very calm and just stared at them.

She never took her eyes off them.  She's a herder not a chaser.


In the hospital she refused to eat or drink.  When we got home she started coughing again.  Monday we couldn't stand to see her panting and hacking and gave her children's cough medicine - benadryl.   That really helped her.  She had walked slowly with her head twisted to the side and one eye half closed, like she had a headache.  I put a ice pack on her head...used vet wrap to keep it on.  It made her feel better I think.

I think it is significant that she was better at may be an allergy to something in our home.

Today she was so ill.  She just lay on her side and didn't even respond when I went in the room.  She wouldn't even raise her head when I called her name.  I have been pretty worried.  I force fed her scrambled eggs and then she drank some water.  I lay on my bed with her as she panted and made horrible sounds... her tongue gets a blue tint when she gets bad.  After another dose of benadryl she did better and I went outside with her for a little walk about.  She had some better moments when she showed interest in the other pets and weakly greeted Brad and William.

My one eyed chicken, Henrietta jumped her for no reason as she slowly walked behind me, and bit her.  Teddy yelped so loud William heard her at the shop.

Tomorrow we take her back to W.S.U. and they will put her under and take some cultures from her lungs.  The vet and staff at W.S.U. have been incredible.  The vet called to check on Teddy and even called our regular vet.  If only people doctors were that caring.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Teddy is in the hospital.

Teddy took a turn for the worse.

Monday I thought she had something that had caught in her throat and had damaged did her vet.  He put her on antibiotics.  Wednesday night she was really ill..not eating or drinking and seeming like she was in distress.  Thursday morning I took her back to the vets.

He knocked her out and looked down her throat and saw nothing but great masses of white cells (puss cells).  He x-rayed her and saw her lung was full of masses of white cells.  Once she woke up and we were there she was back to her old self.  He removed some of the mess and it made her feel better.  He changed her antibiotics and told us to take her to Washington State University if she didn't get over it on Monday.

She looked really chipper when we left the vets on Thursday.  There was a Border Collie in the waiting room and the two of them looked like they wanted to herd something together.

Friday night she coughed and coughed.  Saturday morning she had lost all her vitality and was in a sad state indeed.  We took her to W.S.U at Pullman.

Here she is at W.S.U.  A dog came into the hospital who was bleeding out and so it was all hands on deck and we had to wait a bit...which was fine..I hope that other dog made it.

Teddy is very nervous around other people.  I have never seen such a timid dog. She piddled all over our regular vets examining table and floor, so when we went into the W.S.U. hospital I warned everyone to stand clear because she was a piddler...they got a chuckle out of that.  I was being serious.

W.S.U. veterinary teaching hospital is the best equipped in the nation.  Teddy was in the best place she could be...all though Teddy could think of many other places she'd rather be.

Brad received his animal science degree from W.S.U. in 1976 and so he asked if he could get an alum lol.

I couldn't control myself.  What else could a professional artist (which I am) and  an authority on dogs (very debatable) do with time on her hands and a big white board in a vet teaching hospital?

I put my artistic talents and canine knowledge on display.......

I should have signed it....could be worth something one day.  (I wonder if some poor innocent student got a lecture for putting that back arrow too low).

Teddy was examined first by a very nice vet student.  He's going to make a wonderful vet when he graduates.  Then an Australian vet came in and examined Teddy as well.  W.S.U. has students and residents from all over the world and I thought it marvelous how they had an Australian vet come in and examine an Australian Shepherd.  I started thinking of all the different breeds and what nationality vet they'd be paired with...German Shepherd - German.  Irish Wolfhound and Irish Setter - Irishman.  A Great Dane - Great Dane.  Italian Greyhound - Italian. Old English Sheep dog - Old English bloke.  Welsh Terrier - Welshman.  Did I ever mention my mind wanders?

At W.S.U. they discovered the white cells were eosinphiles which indicate parasites like lung worm or an allergic reaction or asthma.  Further tests will be done.  In the mean time she has been wormed, just in case.  Lung worm is very rare in this area, but our dog Blondie came from Oklahoma.  Blondie was wormed before she came here but I'm wondering if she might have been a carrier.

We will pick Teddy up today.  We have been informed that she is very frightened there...poor shy doggie.

After our visit to the vet hospital we ate at one of Brad's haunts from his student days at Pullman.           

No more drunken debauchery for old he is studying the menu.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fawn on the lawn.

I was surprised to see a little fawn walking across the lawn just outside my window.  I got my camera and took some pictures of him as he sampled the alfalfa.

He was all by himself and seemed to be having a good time.  He nibbled this and that and then enjoyed a cooling off under the sprinklers.  Later that evening William saw him walking past the house and back up the bluff with our cat, Tommy Two Tone,, stalking him.  I wonder where his mother was.  Was she taking a nap and he ran off to play under the sprinklers?  It was been very hot the last few days - up around the 100 degree F mark.

Poor Teddy has been unwell.  She ate a rawhide chew too fast and has been coughing and throwing up.  She saw her vet yesterday and he thought she looked really good considering.  He examined her ...felt her throat and looked down it.  He couldn't feel or see anything.  She sat on the examining table looking sorry for herself.  He didn't want to put a scope down her throat because he felt it could do more harm than good right now.  He thinks she's coughing because her throat was hurt and he's hoping it'll get better.  He gave us some antibiotics and if she doesn't start to feel better he wants to see her again.  Today she only coughed a few times but she is not her playful self yet.  It might be the heat.  She hates the heat as much as I do.

Here she is today...