My faithful little Sheltie, Scout, is now twelve years old. The past couple weeks, MIL and I have noticed her having an occasional cough and it seems to take her longer to get from MIL’s to my house each evening.
Scout is a near-perfect dog. She is smart, attentive and willing. MIL and I are central to both my dogs’ lives—their routine revolves around us, and we appreciate that.
Scout is hardy. She has only been to the vet for well-checks her entire life. We had a Sheltie, “Gus,” at the time we got her and had planned to have puppies, but she never conceived. She has lived all her years(save the first eight weeks!) here with me in the country. She is an outside dog in the day (unless she cons MIL into letting her in, which happens frequently) and spends her nights in with me (occasionally staying the night with MIL).
She is a peaceful soul who occasionally goes out on the back porch to visit Kitty Sasha with me—unlike Chili, who gets a predatory gleam in his eye when he sees Sasha through the window.
Yesterday I began to get really concerned. She would not eat and seemed a bit listless. I made a mental note to watch her and consider taking her to the vet.
This morning, about 7:30, she plumb fell over. Right there in the living room as I wrapped the last few gifts, she just plopped over and could not seem to get up for a minute. I was still in pajamas and called Son. By the time he got downstairs, she was up and moving around but when I told him what happened, Son scooped her up and took her to our local vet.
$200+ worth of lab work and prescriptions later, here’s what we found: She’s lost weight and is anemic. He does not know why. The blood work shows no sign of heartworms or other parasites which could be making her ill. The vet gave her a Vitamin B shot with a steroid. We have a prescription for the anemia to give her daily until it is gone.
She actually seems to have perked up this afternoon and ate some canned chicken. Maybe she’s afraid we’ll take her back to the vet if she doesn’t!
MIL and I will be off to the store to buy richer dog food and, who knows? We may come back with chicken livers or other iron-rich foods to tempt her into building her blood back up.
The couple hours that Son was gone with her were long for me. The $200 was hard on the budget this time of year, but I was so glad to see that she got to come home, that I was glad to pay it.
It is amazing how close we can get to our animals. I know that Scout is getting older now. I’m just not real prepared to let her go…will keep you posted. C