I took her to the vet Wednesday and he did an examination. Same thing, lungs and heart are clear. Respiration is up. And her temperature was 103.7°.
The vet thinks that putting her on the prednisone suppressed her immune system and her herpes virus came roaring in the door. Her lower back, the place that had the pinched nerve, showed no discomfort, but her middle back showed quite a bit when he pressed down on it. He said that it’s probably because of the fever (you know how it is when you’ve got the flu and you’re all achy). The rapid breathing would indicate that she’s trying to throw off the fever, it helps cool her system down.
So, she’s off the prednisone for good. Her system can’t handle it. He considered putting her back on the metacam, but he wanted to check her kidney function before he did that, since metacam is bad for the kidneys. He took blood for that and told me he’d call with the results.
I took her home, put her in the crate and she laid down. He called about four hours after the examination and said that she can take the metacam. She did have a high white blood cell count, which indicates a system infection. So, she’s to stay on amoxi for a week. And I could start the metacam that night.
Yesterday morning, she was looking pretty perky. Her fever had dropped and I let her out of the crate for a while. At one point, I couldn’t find her and I searched the house, then the yard. She was back behind the shop, then in the old catnip patch eating grass. She came up to me, but she was pretty winded, this was the most she’d walked in months. She even got to spend time on the sofa. But all that time out took a toll on her and her temperature was elevated last night. I put her back in the crate and I won’t let her do as much as I did yesterday until she’s much better.
One of the things the vet mentioned when he called about the test results was the possibility that Ciara might have dry FIP. This is a very scary disease. Not as bad as the wet form, but still a bad thing. He said that her history of unexplained fevers might be explained by this. He told me that there is a test for FIP, it’s controversial and very expensive. It’s a PCR test. The same kind used for DNA testing. If we had the test run and she does have dry FIP, we’d treat her the same way as we’re treating her. It would just let us know for sure if she has FIP or not.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my vet, I respect him very much. But he did this same thing with Lola so many years ago. She had recurring fevers and wasn’t able to walk. He tested her titres for Corona virus, which includes FIP and said he felt she had FIP. A couple of years later, he took X-rays and found she had two fused disks in her back and that was the reason for the soreness and fevers. It wasn’t FIP. But even when I took her in, right before he found the cancer, he said “FIP” until the test results were back. Lymphosarcoma.
And I don’t recall Ciara having many fevers of unknown origin. She’s had bladder infections, IBD, the herpes virus, ear infections, she peed on the bed for months, but I really don’t know when she had many fevers of unknown origin. I think he might be thinking of Lola.
So, she rests. And I watch and wait for her to return to normal. I’ve spending quite a bit of the day in the family room, on the sofa, watching her sleep. I read or watch television. And I check on her. I can’t do that from the office.