Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis Strike by Chi-Ping
Lola started bleeding on carport floor. When mom came home, she studied Lola until she saw the blood dripping out of her nose. Where's the closest emergency veterinarian? After calling our Auntie Alma mom put Lola in the back of the SUV. She told me no, I couldn't go, but mom needs me, so I jumped in anyway. She told me get out, but that wasn't going to happen without a struggle, she saw how serious I was, so didn't waste time arguing, a good thing; blood now leaked out of Lola’s nose, she was weak.
I whimpered to let mom know my concerns. As much as I don’t usually like Lola, I snuggled next to her to keep her warm, mom sped down the twisty hill roads to the San Francisco de Asis Veterinary Hospital in Hatillo, where she told me firmly to stay in the car. The moon shined in through the roof mom left open for me. The smell of sick dogs made me shiver. Lola cried when they took her from mom, but was the only dog who seemed scarred, so I thought it was a good place for dogs.
Mom brought me in the room when Lola went in the back to have blood drawn. When the doctor brought Lola back in the room with her head low, she looked like she could die. I stood in front of Lola, licked my lips and wagged me tail; don’t die Lola, you’re the only really big dog I can bully. I like you; don’t die.
Dr. Iris Vales, DVM, graduate of Ohio State took a deep breath, “There’s no easy way to say this,” she began. Mom’s eyes squeezed tight. “Be direct,” mom said in a subdued voice. The doctor looked sad, oh, no. That’s never good. My tail wagged little, short, fast, anxious waves. Mom and I both stared in her eyes, wondering what the vet would say. “We can do many heroic things and Lola, may still not make it.” The words hung in my brain; we just lost dad, and Lefty’s gone, well, he's not dead, but I miss him; now Lola, my mouth opened and closed in disbelief, as my tail jittered back and forth.
“Low platelets, low red blood cells, fever of more than one hundred five degrees,” Dr. Vales said as she showed mom the numbers. “Not enough oxygen to brain and vital organs; it’s not looking good. We could put her to sleep. It may be a kindness.”
“If you treat her, what would you do?” Mom looked deep into the doctor’s face; she wanted to understand completely, she sat forward her head tilted slightly as the doctor spoke, “IV’s, antibiotics, Vincristine to grow platelets.” “How long before the Vincristine works?” mom interrupted. “Two days,” the doctor replied. “How about a transfusion; can you do that?” The doctor nodded, but said, “Transfusion comes with its own risk.” To which mom said, “I know.” The doctor walked out the door to consult with a colleague, mom zoned out, so I walked around the room sniffing.
What’s a little dog to do about things? All I can do is sniff out what’s been going on in this room. I hope Lola doesn't die, and putting her to sleep doesn’t sound any better either. What’s mom going to do? I need to sniff the last little scent out of this corner, sniff, sniff.
Mom’s eyes opened, she smiled and reached down to pet me. I feel better already. Mom texted Adri and Alma, she says they are wise dog ladies. Whatever she read on the screen, her eyes half closed and her head nodded. She looked up as the doctor entered with a piece of paper in her hand, the estimate. People wonder what makes them different from us, money could be the answer. I jumped on the bench to sit next to mom. She took her glasses out to read the paper. I felt her flinch. The doctor leaned against the examining table. Mom’s eyes studied the paper. I could tell by the doctor’s body language, she eagerly wanted to take care of Lola. Lola had a shot. The doctor’s aura said so, oh, mom!”
Mom saw it too, she smiled at the doctor as she told her to save Lola, she said she couldn't stand to lose another loved one that dad was more than enough loss, but they couldn't go over, she had no more money. It was late in the night when mom and I went home.