AKC/CKC Ch. Aurigan Mantle Strikes Again CD PT RE
Update June 2017 - Desi continues to do very well. PCV blood analysis is NORMAL. She has been in the Normal range since February and looks and feels great. We are so grateful for our Vet that correctly identified the issue immediately and gave us the options of treatment we choose to use.
HIGH COMBINED RALLY at 2017 CWCCA National Specialty! She is simply amazing.
A story of Desi starting early December 2016. Terrified to Thrilled.
The Terrified part of story:
Almost 3 weeks ago she was fine. The picture of health of a "middle-aged" dog. Not fat, not thin, good physically, very active and alert mental health. Then one day she didn't "look right". Within 2 days she was lethargic, white to yellowish gums and eye whites, no appetite. To the vet we go of course. I give him a run-down of her symptoms:
-White to Yellowish gums
-Pees a LOT and the urine is wine colored.
The vet: "I HATE this disease."
IMHA - Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia
(like the red blood cells are attacking each other and they are dying off fast, but the organs can't process this overload so is passed in the urine - making it wine colored)
That is my lay-persons version of how I understand what is happening.
50/50 chance of surviving the next couple days.
OMG - I'm devastated. This is my special girl! We have done so many things, she loves to Go and Do. anything. She loves to perform. Why did she get this? What triggered it? Happens mostly to middle-aged females. She'll be 7 years old in 2 months. No known reason. Bad luck I guess. ???
We go over treatment options and decide to take her home with high doses of steroid.
Forward a few days and Desi is responding well to the steroid. Within a week her urine is normal colored and her appetite is back, the sparkle in her eyes and seems to feel much better. Still gets tired very easily.
So of course I talk to some people, go over website links, etc. No genetic link that I can find (for this breed). In over 20 years of breeding dogs I have never heard of this disease. Other people I know have it in their breed, Cocker Spaniels being the most susceptible, OES, Berners, others probably. Has anyone with Cardigans ever had this?
The Thrilled part of the story:
Desi is doing better and better. Much like her old self again. Still on the meds of course and will be for months. We practice a little of her Rally maneuvers for her treats and she loves that! Makes her feel special and smart.
2 1/2 weeks from onset of her illness I receive a message from AKC that Desi has qualified for the Rally National Competition in Rally Excellent! Amazing to me as she earned her Excellent title just earlier this year. Working toward her RAE.
What an honor for Desi! How much fun would that be for both of us? To go and show what a Cardigan can do! But - we won't go. Held in Georgia it is just way too far from home - the opposite corner of the country. With her meds, she can't wait very long to go potty. I can't put her in a crate for a long airplane ride (takes 8 hours or more). I can't take the time off work to drive there (4 days each direction) in March 2017. But we qualified - that is thrill enough right now. Maybe next year???
So - what I can do is take her with us as we drive to CWCCA National Show in late April. In the van, she'll bark when she needs to go potty. We can stop as much as necessary. Plus I can keep an eye on her and see how she does. She travels well.
Stress is a concern. But which is better? Staying home with someone she doesn't know well and have that person worried about what to do if she has a relapse? Me worrying about her while I'm gone? Or take her with me and if she relapses I can do what I can, and I'll be with her if the worst happens.
Desi is laying by me feet on her super thick and comfy pad as I write this. If, and I fervently hope she stays healthy and well for years, we will compete in Rally and Veterans at the 2017 National show. If you see her go, cheer her on, she loves it!
Desi here with me right now is my blessing for this Holiday Season.
Following are some of my favorite photos of my beloved Desi. From baby to present.
Her legacy will live on. She is the mom, grandma and great-grandma to other fabulous dogs. She will live on!
I left room here for more photos of Desi.. Herself, accomplishments, or whatever I feel like sharing. Her story is not over yet. I hope for her to live and share her joy for many years to come.