Felix the freight train is fighting for his life tonight. He is battling Blastomycosis, a nasty fungal infection transmitted by spores in the soil. Where he contracted it is a mystery but with all the field, forest and water work we do with our dogs, it is not surprising that he came into contact with it somewhere along the way.
All three of our dogs spent time at a local kennel recently while we were away in Quebec. When we dropped them off, they seemed to be in good health. When we picked them up ten days later the girls were fine. Felix on the other hand could barely walk. His eyes were glassy and he had a green discharge leaking from his nostrils and tear ducts. I had to help him into the truck, and once at home, up the stairs to his bed. The next day, when his temperature shot up to over 40 degrees I took him to the emergency vet clinic. Tests there and the next day at our regular vet indicated Blastomycosis. If you've never heard of the disease before, just google it.
It's not good. Not good at all.
The fellow at the kennel claimed that they had not noticed any symptoms during Felix's stay with them. While I do not believe that Felix contracted the Blasto at the kennel (it usually takes from 5 to 12 weeks to develop), I do believe that he would have been showing some signs of distress prior to the day we picked him up. How this could have gone un-noticed by the staff at the kennel is something I intend to find out in due course.
For now, we are nursing a critically ill dog. His temperature has been hovering around 40 degrees for over a week. He is as wobbly as a new-born lamb and obviously in considerable pain. I don't know if we've caught this thing in time. Although the medication he is on now has a fair chance at saving his life, at 10.5 years old he is no spring chicken. Right now it is "wait-n-worry" time.
Over the next week or so we need to be with him 24/7. So Lisa and I will be taking some time off from work. That means we will probably need to put in some serious over-time later this year when this thing has run its course. Not only to make up for time lost, but to pay for his medications! The pills he needs to take for this damned infection are super expensive....really, really expensive...as in made-of-gold-covered-diamonds expensive! He will need to take them for up to six months.
We are not rich folks by any stretch, but we can certainly tighten the belt a bit to pay for whatever treatment he needs. He's our dog. That's the deal. I know he would put his life on the line for us in a heartbeat. In return we stand ready to sacrifice the credit card for him.
Any mojo, prayers or songs to the Great Manitou you can send our way will be very much appreciated.