I've been lax in being active here, unfortunately.
In the time since I've last logged in, a bit has happened with Spider. He spent a while in a boarding kennel in the summer of 2007 while Nate and I took a trip down to Memphis, TN to visit family aboard Amtrak.
And most recently (and severely), he had a health scare. We had left the house to run some errands and when we came home, a heavy scent of bleach fumes greeted us. Apparently someone had been using it to clean near our room door. Spider was dazed and seemed to be having labored breathing -- likely because of the fumes.
I took him outside, as I always do upon coming home, and hoped the fresh air would help him catch his breath. It didn't. He looked like he was really struggling, so I began to panic. I told Nate we had to take him to the vet immediately. We didn't even stop to grab his leash, much less put his crate in the car. I simply grabbed a towel, my checkbook and the dog and loaded him into the car and we drove off.
Fortunately, our vet is just down the road from our house, so the ride was a short one. Once we got there, I picked Spider up and carried him into the waiting room. I basically, in all my eloquence, told the receptionists that my dog couldn't breathe and I didn't know what to do. I'm more than sure they noted the frantic tone in my voice and they rushed into the back to alert the vet on duty.
The wait was short, but it felt like it took forever. To trim it down, he got examined, they said he was definitely having issues breathing and they admitted him for x-rays and a blood test to see if they could narrow down the underlying cause of his distress. The vet didn't feel bleach fumes alone could cause such a reaction.
They sent us home, since they felt it would take a few hours and we waited. It was agony. We did get updated a couple of hours later over the phone that they were just waiting for a cortisone shot to take effect so he'd have an easier time and that we should come in around 4pm.
Once the time rolled around, we returned to the clinic and the vet showed us the x-ray. Nothing was really wrong except that the bronchi were enflamed, like someone with a severe asthmatic attack. He thinks that because Spider is prone to respiratory allergies, the bleach fumes triggered an asthma attack. He prescribed a regimen of prednisone for that.
In addition, the blood test revealed that he was negative for heartworm, but positive for lyme disease, although that was likely unrelated to his breathing issue and he was prescribed a heavy regimen of antibiotics for that.
Once he talked to us about the lyme and the medications, they brought him back out to us to take home and, almost as a thank you for his care, he piddled on the examination room's floor.
Since then, he's finished his round of prednisone and is nearly done with his antibiotics. The difference is noticeable. I'm guessing the lyme disease wasn't making life comfortable for him, but he's doing much better now.
Today, he had a bath and got his nails trimmed. Now he's taking a well-deserved nap.