dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, December 4, 2014

d'Arcy goes to the vet

My Border Collie, d'Arcy is 10 years old. Or is it 11? I can never remember. Anyway, he has lived to the fullest and has had his share of knocks.

  • At 7 months he underwent surgery on his shoulder for OCD
  • At the same time the vet removed a tooth that he broke off leaping at a ball- that was about to be hit by a bat. 
  • he's been kicked in the face by a mare who did not appreciate his dedication to duty. 
  • he's banged into trees, rocks, rolled down hills and generally run into stuff. 
  • and he had his leg in a  cast after getting under the horses while they were galloping in the field. 

If he had a mission statement it would be "It's just a flesh wound" 

So Ed and I were not surprised when this summer he began to exhibit signs of arthritis in his hind end. Not that he let it slow him down at all. At night though he seemed to be in discomfort. So we cut back on his exercise- I stopped taking him for hikes through the woods. When he seemed really bad we gave him an aspirin at night (on advice of the vet). This fall I often needed to help him upstairs at night. 

Last week I came home from work and changed to go out to the barn. d'Arcy tried to get up to go with me. The operative word is tried. I watched him struggle and realized that he couldn't get up. I immediately grabbed the phone to call the vet. By the time I was done booking that appointment  (for an hour later) he had struggled to his feet but was standing all off-kilter. I did the chores without his assistance and we took him to the vet after. 

I hadn't ever seen this particular vet before I was impressed with her. She took a thorough history and did some neuro tests. One of them was to bend over his foot to see how quickly he flexed it back. On the front his reactions were normal. On his right hind it was delayed and on his left hind he let it there, seemingly oblivious. We reviewed all that it could be and prognoses. We decided to start him on some anti-inflamatories to see how he responded. 

That was Wednesday. we carried him upstairs at bed time. 
Thursday- he was perky in the morning and that night he walked up with assistance. 
Friday- he walked up on his own.
Saturday- same
Sunday- he ran up the stairs and was bouncing around like his normal stuff. We also noticed that he was sitting. He hadn't done that in a long time. 
Monday I called the vet to give her an update. She called me back. She was surprised that he was doing so well. As we talked she said that his response made her think that it might actually be something else causing all this. She said that they will sometimes see this dramatic response to the drugs with Lyme's disease. hmm. We definitely have ticks and while I had both dogs vaccinated and I do the repellent it's never 100%. 

So I brought him in for blood work. The vet called back- the results were positive. 

So now he's on a course of strong antibiotics. While I'm not happy that he has Lyme's I am really happy that it's not degenerative arthritis, cancer, stroke or any of the other horrible things. 

With luck he'll be back at it in no time:

Wish us luck. 


  1. Wow. Lyme disease is everywhere. I am glad that he is feeling like his not-so-old self.

  2. Wishing you luck with your d'Arcy boy. Hoping he responds quickly to the meds.


  3. Those stupid ticks! We worry about Kersey - especially after Flash ended up with his tick fever. We do the tick stuff religously with Kersey; good to know it isn't 100%

  4. Good luck. I'm hoping for a fast recovery.

  5. Ugh Jackal has Ehrlichia. I hate ticks! Luckily once they take the Doxycycline they are all better as far as the pain and limping, but you do have to watch for a relapse and treat fevers seriously. I'm glad he's feeling better!!

  6. Hope he gets feeling more chipper soon.


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