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Dog with "Fever of Unknown Origin"...she's gone...

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  • Dog with "Fever of Unknown Origin"...she's gone...

    Background: Patient ("Paisley") is a coming two year old Cattle Dog mix, spayed female, very healthy, on high quality diet, very fit, and very active. "NQR" since Friday, nothing specific - eating, drinking, peeing, pooping all normal - just a little tired acting and not as focused as usual. Played fetch in the lake with her yesterday to perk her up, she played well, nothing unusual. Bath afterwards. She seemed extra cold, shivering after bath. Kept on shivering after dry. Had a restless night, shivering, panting occasionally, not in her usual sleep positions. Body temp felt hot, attitude clearly depressed.

    Hustled her off to the Vet first thing in the AM. She was so disinterested that she ignored all other dogs in waiting area, had no reaction to being in a scary place and allowed the vet and tech to handle her without any fuss. (I told them right off that normally she was fearful of strangers and that they should put a little muzzle on her to be safe.) She barely reacted to them at all. Poor baby must be sick.

    Temp was 103.6. CBC normal. Tick-borne disease tests negative. Fecal negative. No pain or tenderness, clear lungs and heart, "she looks great" except obviously she feels like crap. Diagnosis: "Fever of Unknown Origin". Vet gave me some Rimadyl to give her to break the fever which she took nicely, with food, when we got home.

    I left for work a half hour later, with her looking a little brighter and working on a peanut butter ball (stuffed toy). Mom will watch her until Pais' nanny picks her up at 130, then I'm sure nanny will monitor her very carefully and baby her as needed. She knows Pais well and will undoubtedly keep me well-apprised of any changes. (Nanny took a hard fall off a bucking horse on Saturday so she may need a little babying herself, hopefully Paisley will oblige.)

    Sooo...anyone have any experience with a scenario like this? Did the fever turn into anything, or did it go away as insidiously as it came? She hasn't been anywhere that she would be likely to pick up a bug although I guess one could come from anywhere...I'm hoping this will pass with no further issues.
    Last edited by 2Jakes; Feb. 6, 2014, 07:46 PM. Reason: Lost my best friend...

  • #2
    Unfortunately there are a lot of things that can cause a FUO (Fever of Unknown Origin).

    Some things that come to mind are anything from an abscess that hasn't ruptured yet, polyarthritis and other immune mediated diseases, influenza, pancreatitis, back pain, etc.

    Many of these also have other symptoms that develop, so keep an eye out for any other changes and be sure to keep your vet abreast of any changes! Best wishes from the Cattle Dog clan here for a speedy recovery.
    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


    • #3
      I have not been in this exact situation with my dog, but with my horse - and while the tick-borne disease tests for anaplasmosis and Lyme were negative, my vet said that they are notoriously unreliable (anaplamsma in particular). In the case of my horse, the CBC showed elevated....something...can't remember (White blood count?) But nothing specific to ticks ever came back positive.

      I'd ask about treating her for anaplasmosis with antibiotics even if the test was negative. What tick-borne tests did they perform?


      • Original Poster

        Erlichia, Lyme and a generic "tick fever". I think the plan is to treat with antibiotics if this fever persists beyond 48 hours (late tomorrow). She will sure be going back to the Vet Wednesday morning if she isn't decidedly better, I want this resolved or resolving before the weekend.

        She doesn't really have anyplace to hide a brewing abcess, and she is not very stoic, so if she had pain she would most likely tell me (I hope so anyway!). I figured there would be myriad options on the answer to this question...that's okay...just venting about it helps in a way.

        Thanks for the well wishes!


        • #5
          Oh, no, with all that rain, I worry that she's gotten one of the many icky things that live in warm water in south Fl and here in GA.

          I hope it is something minor.


          • #6
            Poor girl is feeling worse today and has been taken to a specialist. I hope she feels better and recovers soon.


            • #7
              I had a similar experience with my senior labrador last spring. Although he was negative on all tick borne disease tests, after many other diagnostic tests exhausting just about every other possibility, the vets seeing him decided to go ahead and treat him aggressively with antibiotics as if it were a tick borne illness.

              He went from being so ill and disinterested in life that I was almost certain I would be euthanizing him within the week (he was not even wanting to eat ice cream or bacon!) to bouncing around the yard wanting to pay fetch within 4 days of starting the antibiotics.

              I hope you can get the bottom of what is wrong with your girl. It is so scary when an answer isn't found easily.


              • Original Poster

                Well..it's looking like tetanus. I just got back from visiting her and I'm not sure she knew I was there. They're going to start her on antibiotics but I'm not sure she will have time to respond. Any stimulation is sending her in spasms and she isn't blinking much...I don't hold a lot of hope that this will end well...my heart is breaking for her.


                • #9
                  Oh no, poor girl. Sending her and you best wishes for a positive outcome.


                  • #10
                    Oh 2Jakes, I'm so very sorry. Who would have ever thought of tetanus?


                    • #11
                      Cloudy and Hattie and I are sorry for your loss. I remember when you got your girl, and Cloudy sent her a Beatrix Potter china porringer like my aussies always had. You and Paisley had some great times together.


                      • #12
                        Oh no! Fingers crossed!!!


                        • #13
                          Jingles for your dog. We have had a few tetanus patients on the mechanical ventilator (severe cases where their thoraxic muscles become too much to use). Luckily all came out ok. Not sure if you have financial restrictions, but it might be wise to research clinics that have mechanical ventillators in your area just incase, and give her a chance to respond to the antibiotics Jingles and I hope she recovers quickly.


                          • #14
                            I'm so sorry to hear that terrible news. I hope she recovers completely and quickly!


                            • Original Poster

                              I lost my girl this morning. She was ready to go I think and I didn't want her to suffer. The vet hospital did all they could (well equipped specialty clinic but not a University hospital or anything). I told her to come back to me as soon as she could buy helping me find a new little "shadow" and it seems like she already been busy. The rescue that she came from is getting a litter of 2 week old pups (with their Mom) tomorrow. One is kinda like Pais, Debbie is going to let me know how many girls, they are cattle dog mixes like Miss P. Another friend sent me pics of 2 week old Aussie X's in Dade County.
                              So...as awful as today was with Paisley's death, I have hope tonight. I feel her still working hard for me .

                              Thanks to all for your support. The love I've felt today from all of our friends has helped me a lot!


                              • #16
                                Im so sorry for your loss You sure have a very realistic attitude and Im sure little Paisley appreciated your efforts and the fact that you let her go when the time was right. Its great that you are looking into rescuing another....she would be proud of you


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks Squish. My heart aches terribly, my goal for today is not to cry. So far I'm not doing so good. I'm hoping to hear more about the pups today...


                                  • #18
                                    So very sorry for you loss. Paisley sounds like an amazing dog, Cattle Dog's make the best shadows (but I'm biased too). I know how much your heart is breaking but I do hope you can find some comfort in knowing you did right by her and she is pain free now again.
                                    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


                                    • #19
                                      I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how you are feeling, to lose such a young dog to such a rare (in dogs) disease. Just so very sad.

                                      Your happy memories of Paisley will eventually overtake the devastating thoughts of right now. And I absolutely DO believe that Paisley *had a hand* in the prospective puppies that have seemed to *land on your doorstep* (so to speak). It happened to me after the death of one of my dogs.

                                      I saw this just today on another board and thought I would save it to post at times like this. I find it quite comforting.

                                      "Some of you, particularly those who think they have recently lost a dog to 'death', don’t really understand this. I’ve had no desire to explain, but won’t be around forever and must.

                                      Dogs never die. They don’t know how to. They get tired, and very old, and their bones hurt. Of course they don’t die. If they did they would not want to always go for a walk, even long after their old bones say: 'No, no, not a good idea. Let's not go for a walk.' Nope, dogs always want to go for a walk. They might get one step before their aging tendons collapse them into a heap on the floor, but that's what dogs are. They walk.

                                      It’s not that they dislike your company. On the contrary, a walk with you is all there is. Their boss, and the cacaphonic symphony of odor that the world is. Cat poop, another dog’s mark, a rotting chicken bone (exultation), and you. That’s what makes their world perfect, and in a perfect world death has no place.

                                      However, dogs get very very sleepy. That’s the thing, you see. They don't teach you that at the fancy university where they explain about quarks, gluons, and Keynesian economics. They know so much they forget that dogs never die. It’s a shame, really. Dogs have so much to offer and people just talk a lot.

                                      When you think your dog has died, it has just fallen asleep in your heart. And by the way, it is wagging its tail madly, you see, and that’s why your chest hurts so much and you cry all the time. Who would not cry with a happy dog wagging its tail in their chest. Ouch! Wap wap wap wap wap, that hurts. But they only wag when they wake up. That’s when they say: 'Thanks Boss! Thanks for a warm place to sleep and always next to your heart, the best place.'

                                      When they first fall asleep, they wake up all the time, and that’s why, of course, you cry all the time. Wap, wap, wap. After a while they sleep more. (remember, a dog while is not a human while. You take your dog for walk, it’s a day full of adventure in an hour. Then you come home and it's a week, well one of your days, but a week, really, before the dog gets another walk. No WONDER they love walks.)

                                      Anyway, like I was saying, they fall asleep in your heart, and when they wake up, they wag their tail. After a few dog years, they sleep for longer naps, and you would too. They were a GOOD DOG all their life, and you both know it. It gets tiring being a good dog all the time, particularly when you get old and your bones hurt and you fall on your face and don’t want to go outside to pee when it is raining but do anyway, because you are a good dog. So understand, after they have been sleeping in your heart, they will sleep longer and longer.

                                      But don’t get fooled. They are not 'dead.' There’s no such thing, really. They are sleeping in your heart, and they will wake up, usually when you’re not expecting it. It’s just who they are.

                                      I feel sorry for people who don’t have dogs sleeping in their heart. You’ve missed so much. Excuse me, I have to go cry now."


                                      (((Hugs))) to you.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thank you Claddagh. Yes. That was wonderful. Lol, Paisley had a stumpy tail but she could wag her whole back end like nobody's business. I sent a link to the passage you posted to Paisley's nanny, she is hurting too. I hope it helps her.