Sunday, December 12, 2010

What now?

I got my beautiful Akita Mal from animal control in June, when we bought our house and finally had a garden. I also adopted a long haired kitten called Captain Jack, who is currently suffering from the heartbreak of static electricity, which makes his tail look ridiculously huge.

Mal had a cough when I got him and my vet thought it was likely bordatella, which is endemic at the animal control. I imagine it would be extremely hard to get rid of with all the animals coming in from all over, many of them have had no previous vet care.

I took Mal in for his lepto shot, and also brought George the ginger cat for his distemper and rabies. But I also wanted Mal checked for this recurring cough, which gets better then comes back again. I mostly hear it when he's eating and then it goes away. Very occasionally it kicks in when he's super excited. It's a very deep woofing cough and I always think he's choking but by the time I get to him he's fine.

If it was a new cough his doctor would think it was bordatella but since it has lingered for months, vanishing and reappearing, it might be one of those m infections, maybe myco? I can't remember the exact name. So we are going to give him antibiotics for two weeks and see how he goes.

Because there a couple more choices. If we were in North Carolina, where my vet is from, the number one option would be lungworms. How gruesome is that? By the way, if you can't sleep don't get up and start looking up lungworms. The images will give you the willies.

And then since I have also had a cough and a sinus infection literally all year long and scheduled for a CT scan next week, my second of the year, we both might have MERSA and be reinfecting each other. How's that for a charming notion? With dogs MERSA usually shows up in the skin so thankfully that one is not likely.

Because Mal was a stray we don't where he was born and will do the treatment for lungworms if the antibiotics don't make him feel better. His trachea is swollen and irritated and that's why he's coughing when he's eating. Luckily he feels pretty good most of the time.

If none of these treatments work we have to move on radiology, trachea wash, etc so I'm hoping the meds work. I spent almost five hundred at the vet today, what with George's blood work, flea and tick preventative meds and heartworm pillies for Mal and don't want to start getting into exotic treatments. I'll have to get a second job or mortgage or something...



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