Sometimes not knowing what's wrong with your pet is worse than bad news.
We have been struggling for months trying to figure out why our dog "Kosmo" keeps getting sick. It seems every two to three months he ends up at the vet with a fever, elevated heart rate, lethargy and a lack of desire to eat or drink. The vet has tried running some basic tests with no positive results, so ends up prescribing an antibiotic that seems to take care of the problem and then inevitably the cycle starts all over again. Well, about three weeks ago we had another trip to the vet, same symptoms but this time they sent us to the emergency room. Side note: Kosmo has this mucosal in his gallbladder that we did not operate on because he was having so many other problems we didn't want to rock the boat too much.
They sent us to the emergency room because they thought the mucosal was leaking or had possibly burst. Well long story short, it wasn't the mucosal causing the problem but the specialist at the hospital (Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley, just in case you're interested) were having a hard time tracking down exactly what the problem was. They had him at the hospital for several days running tests and trying to get his fever under control with I.V. fluids and antibiotics. Nothing was working and all the test were coming back negative.
Finally, we decided Kosmo just needed to be at home. So the vet sent him home on a slew of medications to help relieve his symptoms while they waited for the results of even more tests. Kosmo came home and was instantly cheered by the familiar surroundings and the meds were keeping his symptoms under control so he was eating and drinking just fine.
On Thanksgiving Day, we had several messages from the vet with more negative test results and still no answers. Around 1:30 I went into the kitchen, passing by my purse and happened to catch my cell phone ringing. It was Dr. Hill with more test results, this time... a positive result: Bartonella (a genus of bacteria found in humans and arthropods that multiply in red blood cells and reproduce by binary fission - aka Cat Scratch Fever in humans). In his usual thorough manner, Dr. Hill proceeded to spill forth a complicated description of the illness and treatment with lots of medical terms that went flying through my pea brain like the wind. At the time I remember thinking I was just relieved to know what the problem was and that there was an easy cure!
Happy day! All we had to do was pick up an antibiotic that Kosmo would need to take for three weeks. After that we could address the mucosal removal. What a relief it was and what great timing. We still have no idea where/how exactly Kosmo ended up with Bartonella but at least now the mystery is solved, thanks to our sleuth vet Dr. Hill!