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It Isn’t the Usual Cuckoo Rash, It’s Tick Fever!

***This post got written last week but Che was traveling and I didn’t want to worry him so it was on hold for a bit. :)

I’m a little freaked out and stressed right now. Can’t think straight and I’m just going through the motions. I’m writing in the hope that it will help me sort my thoughts and calm me down.

It all started a couple of days ago with Elu peeing her pants… Elu’s our lastest entry into the pack and is just 4 months old – both of these put her in a place where she is figuring her way around the dogs and the pack structure. So, it was inevitable that she would stick her face into one of the dogs while they were eating and get put in her place. Elu of course did it all in style and squealed her head off enough to make everyone run for cover (except Max who was the teacher in this situation).

After all the teaching, peeing and squealing had stopped I stepped in to clean her up and noticed that some of her drying wounds had small boils. Photos were instantly taken and Dr.Ramesh(the Vet) was consulted. He asked me to apply Kiskin and watch for a couple of days. If it didn’t subside it could be mites he said. That, left me worried about contagion in the brat pack.

Elu's dry wounds show boils

Later that night I saw spots on Cuckoo’s underbelly. I had seen spots a day earlier around her neck but at that time I thought it was some rash she had got as usual and had applied Kiskin. Spots on the underbelly though, was odd, a closer look and I found more spots all over her. It was looking like she was getting measles or chicken-pox. I promptly did what the paranoid me does best; took photos and Whatsapp’d them right away to the Vet.

Spots on Cuckoo's Neck

Spots on Cuckoo's belly

Spots on Cuckoo's chest

Morning brought a reply from him asking me to bring her in for a closer check. Taking a dog to the Vet isn’t all that simple in my household. One challenge is splitting Cuckoo from Senti and Buddha who cannot do without her (when I did take her later, they apparently howled and whined for an hour). The even bigger one is that Che and I don’t own a car; yeah yeah I know 6 dogs and no car you say, but we have friends and they are amazing. Some juggling in my head and I started calling friends, and at the first call I hit pay-dirt. (I can’t be thankful enough to Anithra and Chaitanya for always being there for us.)

Anyway all logistics worked out, we headed out with Cuckoo and Elu (figured I’d get her checked-up too) in the evening. I could write an entire other post about Cuckoo going loony in the car but for now it’ll suffice to say that until now she has only traveled in hatchbacks and sedans, so an SUV blew her mind. She was all about the space and all over the place. And trust me, you don’t want to be in an enclosed space with Cuckoo when she is loony; after her, you’ll never be the same again.

Again, I was so thankful for Anithra who took care of Elu so I could deal with the basket-case, Cuckoo. She was upset as a banshee to be in the clinic and even snapped at Dr.Ramesh, something she has never done before. With the muzzle on, Dr.Ramesh summoned up the courage to get close to her face and see the spots on her neck. He didn’t like what he saw I think, coz he turned to me and shot off questions – how long have the spots been there?, have you found ticks on her recently?, is she eating fine?, any dullness?. I answered the questions as best as I could – a day or two, yes a few over the last week or so, eating same as always and asking for more, nope no dullness at all.

What followed next left Cuckoo even more upset. She had a thermometer stuck up her ass and she didn’t like it much. Well, neither did I when it read 104.2F (normal is 102 and below). Dr.Ramesh decided to instantly check her platelet count, which is possible now that Cessna Lifeline has their own lab. Ten minutes later the Doc was holding the results and giving me the look. The report didn’t look good.

Cuckoo's Blood Test Results

All attributes of the CBC test were good but Cuckoo’s platelet count was low, way low. Dr.Ramesh looked at me and said ‘Tick Fever’. And then he saw me lost and muddled and fuddled and duddled and everything else, so he asked me to wait and got out his prescription pad. The spots have definition he said, unlike a rash, and that made him want to check further. The fever and platelet count confirmed his fears, it was tick fever but it was early stages it looked like.

Cuckoo got the needle and her first dose of medication (a shot of prednisolone), while I stood there listening and trying to grasp all that was expected of me in the next four weeks. As long as she ate well and stayed active all is well he said, just don’t miss the medications. Come back in 7 days for another round of blood work and we’ll take it from there.

But it didn’t end there, I also needed to check temperatures of all the dogs everyday first thing in the morning for the next couple of weeks. Sticking a thermometer in (my WHD’s) Senti and Buddha’s ass is all rosy, but try doing that to William and Max, my fully grown adult Golden Retriever and Labrador. Oh boy, oh boy, was I feeling like a lost puppy!

While all this was explained to me, Cuckoo of course vocally made sure her displeasure was heard and felt. When we finally left I’m sure Dr.Ramesh and others at the clinic heaved a collective sign of relief. The silence at Cuckoo’s departure must have been deafening. 😀

It’s maybe why they gave me two bags of cookies instead on one when I was leaving. 😛

Cessna's 9th Anniversary Gift

Two people I haven’t mentioned yet but who helped me immensely were Mom and Granny. They were visiting with the intention of getting some rest and spending time with me but all this stuff happened and Mom was such a rock with I shook like a leaf. I don’t know how I would have left behind Senti, Buddha, William and Max at home if it hadn’t been for them. Mom, as always, You Rock!

I’m learning a lot about Tick Fever and, big dogs and thermometers :P, but more on this in another post.

If you are wondering about Elu, the boils were just a bacterial infection that isn’t contagious and she’ll be fine soon after a round of antibiotics and baths. She was prescribed tablets, supplements and coconut oil. 😀

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