Leptospirosis and liver failure

This is an update on Lucy.  The title describes what we think happened, but I won’t know for sure until the blood tests come back on Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Friday I took her back to the vets; by last Thursday her appetite hadn’t returned yet, indeed it had gotten worse.  Plus, she was becoming more and more “disconnected”, seeming to not care about anything any more.  It was very sad, it felt like she was dying inside.  Felt way too much like it was with Sandy the last week or so, and even like Crystal at the end.

Well, it turns out that Lucy’s liver enzymes were high, indicating liver failure.  They put her on fluids (she had gone down from a weight of 36 pounds on Monday to 30.5 pounds on Friday), and other medicines to help bring the liver back.  She stayed all weekend at the vet clinic and they kept up her treatments all weekend.  Lisa (Dr. Wiggins) called me several times on Friday afternoon/evening and on Saturday – I was away at a trial, she said I couldn’t help her locally so I might as well still go, and I had to be there because I was supervising a new judge.  Every update over the course of the weekend  got better – improvement in her energy level (she had been disconnected, spacey, and very weak, all symptoms of the liver failure), and eating “meatballs” (canned dog food mushed into a ball) by Saturday.  On Friday afternoon another vet came in and did an ultrasound to verify it was liver failure.  We brainstormed to figure out what had happened, and on Friday night in between phone calls Lisa went to the clinic and did X-rays.  She wanted to see if she had injested pennies or other copper or metallic objects, as she had gotten into bags of screws in a bag on a shelf about 3′ above the floor a week before.  Well, that wasn’t the case, Lisa didn’t find anything on the x-rays.  But, the other likely culprit, other than toxicity (we couldn’t think of any other possible thing she injested that would’ve caused liver failure), is leptosporosis. 


Three weeks before she had already been diagnosed with Coccidia, which she had before I adopted her, so why not the possibility that she had gotten lepto before I got her, too?  She had been vaccinated against it 3 weeks ago, but not before I got her, so it could be a pre-existing condition.  She’s currently getting meds for lepto, and has bounced back very quickly, which leads Lisa to believe that that’s what caused the liver problems.

I went to visit her this afternoon, and to my surprise (because yesterday Lisa said she wanted to keep her another day or two), Lisa said she could come home with me!  She was happy to see me, wagging her tail and had so much more energy than when I remember how she was on Friday (very sad, indeed, her state on Friday).  Because of the likely lepto I can’t let her potty in the dog yard with the boys because it’s contagious.  Apparently it can be spread by urine or also if enough contact is made between dogs.  Anyway, about the pottying thing, it’s a pain as the dogs are used to going in and out when they wish through the dog door.  The boys can use it, but not Lucy!  And she’s peed about 3 times in the 2 hours she’s been home (part of it is because she has drunk a lot of water, which she needs), so I have to put her on leash and take her out the front door to an area where the other dogs don’t go (except when we go down to get in the car for a ride somewhere).


She’s tired now, all this activity!  I gave her a couple meatballs of food which she gobbled up (glad she has her appetite back!), She had a little nap, and is getting her strength back and getting back to her normal happy self very quickly. 


One Response to Leptospirosis and liver failure

  1. Diana Krause says:

    Im so glad she is doing better. How scary. Diana

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