Since the end of the 14 days treatment with Doxycycline the puppy is getting better by the day! I now can confirm that a treatment with Doxycycline can have drastic "side effects". In this puppy's case:
- recurring temporary facial nerve paralysis - with ectropion being a symptom of that
- extreme lethargy during the entire treatment
- temporary whistling noise during breathing
- chronic limb nerve paralysis
The latter is chronic as my pup is still limping the left hind leg, scratching it over the ground! The right hind leg he is scratching a bit too but the limping I find is only with the left leg. If you couldn't see that in the footage shown earlier, this still photo of the toenails is proof: the left foot's center nails are run down entirely, the right foot's less.
Today we are back at the hospital for a checkup (and I still have to pay for the Distemper test ordered on the telephone earlier: €22.20 / $23.40). I am asking the hospital vet for a new hemogram (€18.50 / $19.50) and biochemical analysis (€22.50 / $23.70).
You see here, this puppy is getting used to being pierced with needles:
By the way, the box on the wall that you see there in the background, saying "chiller", that's how vet practices store the vaccine vials (but my puppy didn't get a vaccine here).
Last century we had to wait days for comprehensive blood test results (precisely until a lab technician had time to sit down for hours to perform the analysis!), but in this century it is as high-tech as in the brilliant movie Gattaca: The doc puts part of the puppy's blood sample in the unit for hemogram analysis, and while we are speaking, a mere 6 minutes later we have the results! The other part of the blood sample the doc puts in the unit for biochemistry analysis, and just 5 minutes later we have those results! Welcome to the new world.
For a few more years, this kind of service you can only get when you visit an animal hospital: the hospital's head veterinarian informs me that the pictured unit for hemogram analysis costs 29,000 USD and the pictured unit for biochemistry analysis costs 20,000 USD - too much for most vet practices!
It is not reported what happened to last century's lab technicians though. If they didn't learn something new, they may now be spending more time with their dogs.
And the result of the new blood tests is....
The pup's earlier blood problems are gone! Only the main target of the tick-mediated Mycoplasma hemocanis, the red blood cells, are yet marginally low (the hematocrit value is just 1.5% below the reference range, which for dogs is 32 - 55). As the disease seems to be cured, I can easily rectify such things through the homemade diet (spinach and liver will help to produce red blood cells). While calcium is fine now, my pup still has slightly elevated potassium and liver enzyme values, but the vet reassures me that it is of no concern.
Miguel has wonderfully recovered!
As my new puppy still isn't vaccinated at all, I am asking if we should catch up on that now. But the hospital's head vet advises against that: "Let's give the puppy a week of rest first. His body had to deal with so much, including the side effects of the pills, I'd prefer to give him a week to recover." - Said, done. I am making an appointment for the next week.
At age 20 weeks my new puppy's teething is in full swing. His teeth grinding noises in the last week heralded it, and today I've found the first tooth on the floor, together with a bit of blood. I spare you the sight of it (no, I forgot to take a photo). I'll show proof with the next tooth.
Speaking of dog memorabilia: Do you want the stony poop that I still have in the car?
At age 20 weeks also the puppy-to-adult dog coat change which started at age 13 weeks seems to near its completion. My pup's hair is wavy now and more coarse than at puppy age, yet still nice soft when compared to the original short-hair GSD. Particularly soft when he got his SPA (shower), as just now! Almost everywhere I go I get to hear "what a beautiful dog!" Yeah, Miguel really is a handsome retard.
Speaking of 'retard': It's getting better. Slowly. The thing that now drives me nuts most outdoors is that my puppy is still clinging to my calves when we are walking (off-leash of course). This walking behind me drives me nuts because - as you may remember - he now has to wear a muzzle (almost always), and obviously he dips the muzzle deep into all kinds of "shit"/dirt, and then pushes his disgusting dirty muzzle against my calves' skin! - In the Florida-like Algarve you almost never need to wear long trousers, but even if I did, this behavior would drive me nuts as I don't like to have to change trousers after every walk. Do you?
I've told him and shown him a thousand times that I'd like him to walk in front of me (also so that I can check his gait), but to no avail, he still learns slowly like a retard, really. After every few meters he seems to go sniffing something on purpose, just so that he can fall behind me. Everytime!
If I didn't get stressed so easily, it would be funny (like children play "You walk in front!" - "No, YOU walk in front!"). Him clinging to my calves is my worst stress factor by far when we go walking. This aside, walks are so much nicer since he has to wear a muzzle: I don't need to worry that he ingests some "shit", and so I can let him mess around as much as he likes.
Speaking of "shit": No, he actually does not eat poop (except horse poop if I am too far away and he feels unobserved). But he still/again eats whatever people have thrown away (or thrown up)! The other day I took him down only for a quick pee, without muzzle, and he aimed at a worm-infested apple!
Admittedly, the good bit is: When I call him away from something (incl. something "edible"), he comes. But even this creates stress: Too often I have to call him twice, first time I call him calmly, second time I have to shout. Though, the Recall per running away still works as brilliant as always, and then I don't need to call or shout at all. Yet I can't always run!
Here's new footage showing the "Recall per running away". Although this is not a Recall as in calling him to me (because he is right next to me anyway), the principle is always the same: Just run away.
You may want to try it out. Earlier I said "I built this up since he was a small puppy", but that doesn't mean you can't start the Recall per running away at any age, you can. Play something together, and suddenly run away and see if your dog follows you. The next step could be to run away without first playing together. Say your dog is a few meters away from you, and suddenly you start running. Next, (s)he is sniffing something, and you start running. Ultimately, (s)he may be starting to gobble down something, and you only do a few quick loud steps and your dog is coming to you! This is the Recall that works best with my new puppy. A wordless Recall. Show, don't tell.
So then, why is it "slowly getting better" as regards Miguel being a retard? Well, for example, he is (finally) learning that he must not eat outside: Often my hawk eyes spot something "edible" on the ground somewhere nearby, and I watch my pup while we are coming closer, and then he looks at me like in "May I go and eat that?", or maybe like in "Is he looking?", and he sees my disapproving glance and stays away from that stuff.