Monday mornings meeting included another discussion about me. I needed to go to the Vet for my annual checkup. There was a little discussion..and this time they agreed..I am feeling a bit "off." Far Side said maybe I ate something that I shouldn’t have, or that Far Guy snuck me some milk from his cereal. Far Guy said "Nope, I haven’t snuck him anything lately."
Far Side had talked to Patty on the phone, she is the Vet Tech..it was decided I needed a special blood test. A SNAP 4Dx test. It is four tests in one..and costs 65 bucks. It tests for Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Heartworm disease. It takes ten minutes to get the results.
In the meantime, I got my checkup..Paul says I am looking good. I got weighed..I lost 2.5 pounds and now weigh in at 52.5 pounds. He got all my shots ready..I didn’t even flinch. Then he lowered the boom, he is retiring cause he is 61 and wants to stay at home and fish and play with his dogs. This of course made Far Side bawl, and she doesn’t bawl often..so if she does you better pay attention. She was remembering all the phone calls that were always answered, and the times that she stood next to the very table I was on for a last goodbye. None of her and Far Guys dogs have ever died in their sleep at home..all those decisions have had to been made..the really hard decisions, but the necessary ones you have to make when you are a responsible pet owner. The new Vet will take over in June and her name is Gretchen and she is from Colorado. I hope she likes Border Collies!
The blood test is done, I have Anaplasmosis. It is treatable, I have to take two pills (doxycycline 100mg) in the morning and two pills at night ( wrapped in lunch meat or surrounded with peanut butter..yummy!! ) for 25 days. Paul says I should recover fully. Anaplasmosis is a disease that is carried by the little itty bitty deer ticks or black legged ticks. There is no vaccine available for it. It is a silent infection. The symptoms are Lack of Energy ( Yes ..sometimes) High Fever (no) Swollen Painful joints (No) Loss of appetite ( yes) Vomiting ( I did throw up twice last week) Diarrhea ( I had some soft stools..and one episode of the hershey squirts). The stress from going to the groomer a week ago seemed to kick off something..plus I have some spots all along my spine..just bumps that came last Saturday..bumps that have bled and form a scab..and if the scab is removed..I bleed..the spots itch. Far Side says I might have been allergic to their shampoo. The Vet said it is something I got at the groomers.
Anaplasmosis is carried by the little tiny (size of the head of a pin) tick that is found in our woods from March til November. I get checked several times a day..I wear Frontline and we have extra frontline spray for when they get really bad. Those deer ticks are everywhere..because the deer population is way up..and they carry the adult ticks until they lay eggs..the little eggs hatch into larvae that feed on small mammals like mice, voles, and moles, maybe even those squirrels and chipmunks I like to chase. The larvae molts to a nymph..the nymphs feed on the blood of a dog (Me) and gave me the infection. If allowed to stay on a dog (or deer) ..the ticks molt into an adult tick capable of laying eggs again..it is one vicious cycle.
Far Guy mows the lawn, and Far Side rakes the leaves into the woods..but the ticks are everywhere. They are doing the best they can..living in the sticks sometimes you have to share the good and the bad. I should start feeling better in a few days..it is a good thing that it isn’t catchy.. I won’t give it to Miney and little Elvis:)