This year, Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is today, June 21, 2013. This is the longest day (not the hottest) of the year for us living in North America. It’s also the time when the North Pole is tipped most towards the sun than any other day in 2013.
Celebrations abound in various cultures. There are cultures that celebrate with much singing and dancing, Maypoles and bonfires, because it is a time when trees are lush with new leaves and most flowering plants are at their most resplendent display. Today, in Manhattan, NYC, yoga masters performed their sun salutations at Times Square.
Today at our home, we have some cause for celebration. My hubby is entering week 4 post-op and he’s doing a lot better. Our dear friend and companion, Beau, is also demonstrating some degree of recovery from his mysterious illness.
It all happened the night I was to leave for Manila to attend a series of business meetings. We noticed he had the occasional forceful cough in the evening. We thought he might have eaten something in the yard again and it was stuck in his throat. Dogs are known to chew on bark and whatever else they find in the yard.
By the next day, my hubby noticed the lethargy, the lack of interest in going outside. Beau could hardly get out of his bed. He could not even bring himself to drink, let alone eat his breakfast. My hubby decided he needed medical attention.
On arrival at the Vet’s office, he could not get out of the car easily. This is a Great Dane who weighs about 128 lbs. He could not even raise his neck. My hubby was very worried.
After a thorough examination, some blood tests, an x-ray, he was started empirically on Doxycycline because my hubby mentioned that we had pulled out a tick from the nape of his neck the previous weekend.
And then the skin lesions began to appear within the next two days. He developed them on his face around his mouth and nose, along his cheeks, and on his ears. It must have been itchy-painful. To prevent him from scratching, the Vet placed a cone around his neck. But then, he discovered that he could rub his face on the ground! My hubby was back at the Vet in no time!
This time, the differential diagnosis was:
- Juvenile Pyoderma
Not great choices. They are all considered autoimmune disorders. The doxycycline was stopped and Beau was started on high dose steroids and another antibiotic to prevent secondary infection. By this time, his face was full of bleeding ulcers. He looked quite depressed. Sad puppy!
I received text messages from my hubby. It was worrisome. I was worried enough about him. Now Beau too!
By the time I came back, Beau was beginning to respond to the steroid treatment. The Vet had recommended that he receive some pain medication that would make him less agitated about his ulcers and he could sleep. This has helped him in the past two nights. But we still have to clean up some blood from his bed several times a day.
Today, we were rewarded with some return of the old Beau we know. He’s lifting his head and sitting up. He’s interested in food. And he’s walking around again.
So, what is this really? It’s still a mystery. Does Beau now have an autoimmune disorder, which would be characterized by lifelong relapses and recurrences? Or is it an adverse reaction to the Doxycycline? I guess time will reveal the diagnosis for us. Right now, we just want to see his old loving, sweet self back.
To all my WordPress friends and family: My sincere apologies for not having been able to visit you in the last two weeks. It’s been quite a hectic stress-filled feeling-sick-to-my-stomach-with-worry time. I’m keeping myself hopeful. This too shall pass.
I will try to catch up with you all.