Thursday, October 11, 2007
I have mentioned in a couple of blog comments that our dog Dakota has become ill. He was sick over the weekend and by yesterday was very dehydrated. He just came home today after 24 hours at the veterinary clinic where he received intravenous hydration and medication. He is 9 years old and is suffering from liver disease as indicated by his very elevated alkaline phosphotase (now > 1500), ALT and bilirubin. Because his white blood cell and neutrophil counts were also high, he is on antibiotics.
I have read that liver disease in dogs is increasingly common and is a leading cause of death. Why? Some people feel that commercial dog foods are to blame and others point to vaccinations and other chemical exposures.
I will not spend money on biopsies and extensive treatments, but hope the medications given will allow him to be well enough to enjoy more time as part of our family. Losing a pet is so difficult as many of you know from recent experience. Pets are good for our physical and mental well-being, but after this week, I feel physically and emotionally drained.
To help put things in perspective, I think about all the children in the world who lack access to essential medical treatment that is readily available for my dog. Dakota is a privileged pet for sure.