Recent Popular Posts

March 25, 2014

Shifu presses the pause button

Shifu decided that our life was too hectic and even Ani was getting back from her Somatics course she fell quite ill.

The extent of her illness was initially unclear as we called the local vet to come and take a look at her. He felt that there was an infection and gave her an antibiotic shot. She showed no progress, wasn't eating. By the third day she was completely listless and Ani and I went to the vet clinic in Pondy to have her treated. The first day they were closed but made an exception and gave her 100 ml of drip.
The next day they diagnosed her as having a version of tick fever. On the second and third day to the clinic her poop started to show blood. 
Unfortunately, one assumption (hemoglobin low) and one inaccurate lab test (platelets were 1/20 and it showed a normal number) led them to the conclusion that her kidneys were chronically failing and the infection was a secondary issue. It had already been 6 days since she had been sick and I called Shifu's vet in Bangalore. 
Having known Shifu, the doctor felt that she she was young (5 yrs) and generally healthy and a kidney condition is likely to be temporary in response to an illness and she needed continued support.

This started Shifu and my adventure to Bangalore. At least that's what I called it for Arham as I occasionally took pictures of what was going on with us... partly, for him to to have some idea no matter what happened. We reached Bangalore on 21st night.

On 22nd morning was a long drip session and I just sat and pet shifu for 4-1/2 hrs as she lay getting drips. They also took blood for various tests including a new kit that detects if its one of the big four:
Heart Worm
Borrelia/Lime disease (not sure which of these two)

That evening from the blood tests the doctors felt that the kidneys were under stress primarily due to the illness and should recover in time, but they remained tentative given the discrepancies in the report. They felt that we would be in the clear only when we did a test a couple of days later to see the numbers improving or at least consistent with either report.

They also gave some medicated dog food (k/d diet) that does not require much digestion to see if Shifu can eat on her own. Shifu had not been eating for a while and the drips + visitors + smell of the dog food caught her fancy. She was able to eat what was prescribed (and wanted more)

The vets were very happy with her progress with eating and on 23 reduced the drips to a single slow one with her medicines and asked us to slowly increase food intake. They were also feeling a little more confident that the kidneys had not failed and started the antibiotic treatment (imizol).
In the evening Ajay and Neha visited us. Neha overcame her fear of dogs and sat next to Shifu. Shifu dosed off and we also saw her first dream since she had been sick and wondered what  she was chasing in her dream.
Shifu also felt comfortable enough to venture into mom's house (abet briefly) and checked out the bed.
By 24th Shifu was looking better and initially refused to sit down for her single drip but eventually let it go. The doctors also took a blood sample to check the consistency of the reports and to see if there was any improvement in Shifu.

Today on 25th the reports confirmed that her hemoglobin in holding and the total cell count has gone up consistent with recovery. The platelets continue to be low that the doctors feel will improve as the month long treatment for tick fever continues.

We still need to go to see the vet for a day or two, but hope its primarily down to medication at home from that point and head back home to Auroville by the weekend.

Thank you all for your emails/messages about Shifu, please consider this post as an update :). Special thanks to Arham, for who, the pics on this blog were taken.
I'm exhausted, but getting better.

No comments: