Thursday, June 03, 2010

Reyna's Update

It’s taken me a while to post this because I’ve been waiting for the last of Reyna’s test results. Finally got the information tonight.

Last Wednesday, Reyna had her annual check-up. Just to keep things simple, I took her to Durham to see our old vet, rather than worrying over what the new vet might miss. It was a bit disturbing to find out they’d scheduled her for a “Senior Wellness” exam – after all, she’s only 6, and even in dog years she’s not old enough to get a senior citizen discount. The receptionist finally told me that they usually do the senior exams starting at age 7, but since Reyna was getting a full blood panel done, it was actually less expensive to do the senior version than the regular exam. In that case, I don’t care what they call it if it saves me a few dollars.

The physical exam went well, as I expected. The techs had a bit of trouble getting Reyna to let them take blood, which I also expected. After that, it was just a matter of waiting for test results. A tech called Thursday to tell me that they didn’t find any parasites – one test down, one to go. Friday, the vet called while I was working and left a message saying that the blood work came back okay, but he needed to discuss something with me (that’s an easy way to stress me out in under 30 seconds). Of course, every time I called back he was with a patient, and I just knew he’d return my call in the middle of the concert. I got lucky, though – he actually called during one of the breaks between bands. Between the bad phone reception and the CD playing in the background, it was hard to hear, but we managed to cover the important stuff.

Reyna’s liver enzymes are low, which is a good thing, especially considering the Rimadyl she takes. Her hemoglobin is high, which is good enough. Her globulin is high, which is not good. It usually indicates inflammation of some kind. After tossing around a few options, we decided that the most likely cause of that is her constant licking of her wrist and tail. While not ideal, as long as that’s the only source of inflammation, I’m not too worried about it. The rest of her blood work was normal. Just before the next band came on, I asked the vet about her tick tests, and that’s when he realized the lab forgot to run those. He said he’d call me when he got the results, possibly that afternoon, but no such luck. Instead, he called Saturday morning while I was working at the kennel (naturally). I called him after my shift, got his voicemail, and figured I wouldn’t hear from him until Tuesday, thanks to the holiday.

Tuesday afternoon, the vet called and told me that Reyna’s tick tests came back positive for ehrlichiosis. Since she’s asymptomatic, the choices were to A) do nothing, B) treat with doxycycline, or C) run a titer to get an idea of what stage the disease is in. Since this is Reyna, after all, and I tend to be a worrier, I had him run the titer. The lab still had some of her blood, so at least I didn’t have to take her back to Durham. So, for the titer, if the number is 64 or less, the disease is in the chronic stage and the dog was very likely exposed several years ago, which is acceptable. If its 1600-1800, the exposure was recent and the disease is in the active stage, which is not acceptable. Reyna being the way she is, her titer came back at 400. This could mean that A) she was exposed a while back and the disease is on its way out, or B) she was exposed very recently and the disease is ramping up. Again, a key thing here is that she’s asymptomatic. With that in mind, we’re hoping for option A. I’ll be keeping a close eye on her over the next few weeks. If she starts to show any symptoms, we’ll run another titer. If not, it’s on the list to check again next May. Cross your paws, folks...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I get the senior discount at several places myself.....although, I'm not quite there yet.....but every penny saved sure does help!!!
Yes, Reyna being Reyna.....Paws crossed!!!!!!!
:)Love, Mom