Sometimes I Hate Learning More About Veterinary Medicine

One of our dogs was off her feed the weekend before last so we took her to the vet. Tests were run and the conclusion arrived at that she had a kidney infection. Antibiotics were started.

Fast forward 9 days and I get to learn about “canine glomerulonephritis”. She has a kidney condition that is slowly causing her kidneys to stop working, which was heading her towards renal failure.

The vet worked out what we believe is the proper treatment to stabilize her (it’s the wrong one if the underlying cause is an infection that didn’t get cleared up by the antibiotics, such as a variety of tick fever or Valley fever but they are taking precautions). She’s at the vet at least overnight, IV fluids and glucose, sub-q fluids (she hasn’t eaten anything since Tuesday evening), steroids and a couple of other things.

Now I get to learn about all the possible underlying conditions that can cause glomerulonephritis – several cancers (been that route once, at least we know a good veterinary oncology unit nearby), autoimmune disorders, various viral infections. None of these are particularly good though some offer better long-term prognoses than others. At least now we have a plan and I’ll know more tomorrow.

Mind you, I have nursed Hannah through 2 knee reconstructions with multiple attendant recurring infections;this ran about a year and some in total; and the aftermath of a nasty fight with our other dog (long story) plus the usual issues you run into with a big pure-breed. And Zoe had her own problems after that fight plus putting a paw through a window and cutting a tendon which had to be surgically rebuilt (43 vet trips in 11 weeks, that one – good times).

So we’re not unfamiliar with much of how to deal with this sort of thing. It has made it easier to get through a lot of it. When you know that your dog *will* suffer loss of appetite after the first antibiotic dose, or that she can blow through the maximum dose of acepromazin for her weight like she never took it, or that she need to be muzzled to get a temperature, and you don’t need the “Rymadil can cause liver damage with long-term use”, and you can understand what they are saying without too much detailed explanation it streamlines things somewhat.

Still, sometimes I hate learning more about veterinary medicine.

Update: So, evidently she is feeling better but her test results aren’t improving yet – another day of hospitalization and treatment. We’re going to go see her a little later. Poor puppy…

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