Thursday, August 2, 2012

MacDuff Is Feeling Better!

Hi everyone!  I hope you've found a cool spot to hang out for the next few days.  We had a reprieve from the heat for about three days, but it's cranking up again.  I do love autumn, but I'm determined not to wish my life away.  However...some cooler temps would be nice.

Almost three weeks ago, I published a post called Dog Love; you can read it Here.  In that post, I talked about an article I'd read in National Geographic which told about the evolution of dogs from their ancestors, the wolves, and about how dogs had become companions and helpers to humans over the centuries.

At the time I wrote the post, I was worried sick about our dog, MacDuff.  He had begun behaving strangely the evening before, right after my husband brought him in from his evening walk.  He seemed to be in some distress, yet, it didn't seem to be an emergency.  Mr. Forest Manor and I stayed up until 1:00 a.m. that Thursday, trying to determine if he was okay before we went off to bed.  He settled down and went to sleep, and so we thought he was okay.

But Friday morning, he definitely was not okay.  He came out of his porter to go outside, and he was moving so slowly.  He showed no interest in water or his treat after going out, which is very unusual for him.  I opened the front door because he loves to sit and look out the storm door, but he showed no interest.  In fact, he almost acted like he didn't notice I had opened the door.  He just sat in the middle of the room and stared into space.  Then he went to the kitchen, and laid under the table.  A little later, the mailman rang our doorbell with a package, and MacDuff didn't stir; he didn't acknowledge the doorbell at all.  That's when I got really frightened.  He always reacts to the doorbell.  He considers it his duty in life to guard us from "invaders" as my husband says, and anytime the doorbell rings, he barks and runs to the door -- and he barks until we go to the door and he can determine whether the visitor is a threat, or just friends or family.

I was able to get him in to see the vet that Friday afternoon, and she discovered that he was bleeding from one side of his nose.  We had seen some blood the night before, but we couldn't determine where it was coming from.  Long story short, her theory was that he might have an upper respiratory infection, polyps in his nasal passage, or a tumor.

In a couple of months, MacDuff will be 12 and 1/2 years old, and none of this sounded good to me.  The vet was doubtful that he had an upper respiratory infection because he was only bleeding from one side of his nose.  All the tests they could do to determine if he had polyps or a tumor would require him to be put under anesthesia, and at his age, that's a risky business, as is surgery.  It's also very expensive, and the chances of a "cure" are not very good, either.

The very kindly vet saw that I was upset, so she suggested we try a round of antibiotics just to see if that would help, and then we'd follow up at the end of the treatment.  I left the office feeling pretty down.  The funny thing was that MacDuff actually perked up a bit when we went to the vet.  He likes to go (believe it or not).  He loves to see the people and the other dogs.  And the vet technicians and the doctors like him because he really is a very good-natured little chap.  :)

On Saturday morning, MacDuff was still pretty lethargic.  Then about midday, he started snorting and having this violent sneezing fit.  He was spraying some blood out of his nose, so we had to put him in his porter, and he shook his head so hard he hit the sides of the porter.  I was almost in tears.  This went on for about 10 or 20 minutes, and then he finally settled down and rested.  Hubby and I could barely sleep that night.  And then miraculously, Sunday morning we got up and let him out, and it was like we had our same old MacDuff back.  It was amazing.  He was perky and alert and even played with his toys some.  We could hardly believe it, but we were so relieved and thankful.

My husband and I have discussed it at length, and we've finally decided that he must have gotten something up his nose on his walk that evening.  You see, he roots around in the grass and sniffs and snorts like a small bull or a pig :) every time we walk him on his leash.  He has been known to gobble up globs of freshly mown grass, leaves, sticks, etc., even though we scold him constantly.  He is, to quote Elmer Fudd, "...a wascally wabbit."  :)  We think he must have been rooting around in someone's yard, snorted really hard, and got something sharp in his nasal passage.  He might have even gotten a bee or bug that stung or bit him.  At any rate, I think all that violent snorting and sneezing Saturday must have finally dislodged whatever was in there, because now it's like the whole episode never happened.  We did give him his whole round of antibiotics to prevent a possible infection.

So that's my news on MacDuff.  He made such a startling recovery, we were almost afraid to celebrate for several days.  He is an older dog, and we know we won't have him forever, but we are glad to have him for right now.

 Thank you for you visits and your comments.  They are very much appreciated!!

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