First, in June 2008, came a young sorrel Abyssinian cat called Sen-Chan and a slightly younger English Springer Spaniel called Tom. In October 2008, they were joined by Tama-Chan, a ruddy Abyssinian girl kitten. The three lived so happily together, playing and cuddling in the French countryside with their mistress, known as #1. But in early January 2009, tragedy struck and Sen-Chan went to the Bridge at not yet 18 months. For a while, it was just Tom and Tama-Chan and #1, remembering sweet and gentle Sen-Chan, and the one who came before him, the fierce and noble Ikkyu. But then, in April 2009, a little red furrball, Sei-Chan, joined the family! She was followed in October 2009 by Yuu-Chan, a playful but very mellow little sorrel boy. And then Tama-Chan had kittens and little Bibi, a ruddy male, stayed with us. Sadly, we lost our beloved Yuu-Chan in September 2010, but we soldier on and live and love in our little corner of rural France. And we now have a big little brother in Vidock, a Percheron stallion, a little little brother in Genji, a blue Abyssinian, and a big little sister in Violette, a Percheron mare.
Tom: Hello everyone, Brave Tommy (that's what #1 is calling me!) here. I know that today is snuggle day but everyone said I should have the post so I could tell you my terrible tale of woe.
Yesterday afternoon, I went shopping with #1 and she was surprised when I refused a treat on her return to the car. Then when we got home, she noticed I was walking really funny. The front legs were straight but the back ones were totally sideways. And I just didn't have my usual levels of energy. She called Dr. C who thought I may have ingested something I shouldn't have and suggested some liquid paraffin. We didn't have any but knew that Ms. S would have some at Percheron Central. Ms. S took one look at me and produced a thermometre (#1 finds it impossible to take my temperature as I wriggle so much). One held me whilst the other poked and the result was 40.2C (104F), a pretty high fever. They both also noticed that my sheath and, ahem, "privates" were looking swollen. #1 immediately called Dr. C back and she said to bring me in. It was 7:45pm by the time we got there, well outside standard consulting hours (Thanks, Dr. C!).
For the sake of all boy dogs and boy readers, I shall spare you the detailed details, but suffice to say that there were a series of spiky grain seeds that had travelled all the way up my sheath and embedded themselves in the most sensitive part right at the top of my privates. No wonder I was walking funny. #1 says it's incredibly painful when she gets one of those things in her shoes! Since Dr. C was alone, #1 had to assist when she put me under and then had to go "digging" all the way up to the top... It was quite the experience, she says.
Anyway, that wasn't all. When I had a blood test, it showed that my platelet count was down and my temperature had risen to 41.4C (106.5F), which Dr. C said would not have been the result of the spikelets. So, she thinks I also was gotten at by a tick and suspects either Lyme Disease or Piroplasmosis. Since it takes time to get results back on either and they are not always reliable, I got the treatment for Piroplasmosis and am now on an 8-10 day course of antibiotics that should treat both any Lyme and the remaining infection on my sheath.
Questions have also arisen about my diet and I may be switched to a higher protein food (the protein count on what I eat now is 26%). In the interim, I have been put on a wet food only diet for a few days (roast chicken, here I come!).
#1 says I was incredibly good and brave at Dr. C's. She did put me under for the more invasive procedure but I was good as gold when she was prodding and poking before that. When I got home, it was after 10pm and #1 cooked me up a burger with rice in chicken consommé which I wolfed down. I got a yummy meal again this morning, and she says I am walking almost straight now! And when we went over to Percheron Central this morning so Ms. S could take my temperature again, it was a perfectly normal 38.6C (101.5F). Woo Hoo! I am back to trotting around the property and wanting to play with my ball and look after my kitties!
Here is a photo of me this morning:
By the way, Dr. C says she has never had another dog with the spikelet problem (this is the second time it has happened to me. The last time was 4 years ago, when I was still a pup). So, I am not just brave but also unique!