After a harrowing few days, I’m delighted to tell you that Ty’s fever broke last night and this morning his temperature is within half a degree of normal!
This frightening tale starts on Sunday evening, shortly after we moved south from Bishop, California to Lone Pine. The drive was only a little over sixty miles, but the temperatures were forecast to be about 10 degrees warmer. We’d been waking up to temps in the teens, and were looking forward to less shivering.
We settled in and took the boys for a walk, and that’s when we noticed that Buster wasn’t feeling well. I’m sorry to be graphic, but he had diarrhea, and we were up with him several times during the night for emergency bathroom breaks.
Late Monday morning Buster seemed to be improving … and just about that time Ty’s gastrointestinal issues showed up. After a few quick trips outside I could tell that this was more serious, and when I took his temperature it was 105.1 degrees.
You may remember Ty had a serious fever about a month ago and spent 36 hours in the emergency hospital, so we weren’t messing around. I loaded him in the car and drove the hour back to Bishop to the closest veterinary hospital. When we got there his temperature had climbed to 106.1, so they immediately started him on fluids, ran blood work, got him started on some medication based on the test results, and sent additional blood for further analysis.
The staff at Bishop Veterinary Hospital was wonderful. They let me stay with Ty the entire time, and took great care of us both. After four hours and a half bag of IV fluids it was time for the hospital to close, and Ty’s temperature was down to 104.5 degrees. They don’t have anyone working through the night at this small hospital, and I didn’t want to leave Ty alone for the night, so he and I made the hour drive back to Lone Pine. Buster continued to be fine, and was happy to have his brother home for the night.
On Tuesday morning Ty’s temperature was back up over 105, so he and I were back at the hospital when they opened at 8am. They hooked Ty back up to the IV fluids, got him another dose of medication, and he and I settled in for the day.
By closing time that evening, Ty’s temperature was again around 104.5, so the fluids hadn’t made much of an impact. We drew more blood for another complete blood count (CBC) and talked about other medication options. The doctor had another Shar-pei in the practice who’d recently developed Shar-pei Fever, a disease in the breed that causes unexplained fevers and can lead to kidney and liver damage. Shar-pei Fever usually shows up in dogs much younger than Ty, but the doctor thought it would be worth starting Ty on the anti-inflammatory medication used to treat the condition.
The problem was, the medication isn’t something veterinarians keep on hand – it has to be compounded by a pharmacy. So the doctor called the owner of the other Shar-pei and asked her to bring some of her dog’s medication to the office so that we could get Ty started on it. Though she’s elderly, the woman jumped in her car on a cold evening to bring the pills for Ty, and I’m so grateful to her for helping our boy.
After administering the medications, Ty and I bundled up and got back in the car for our hour drive home. We monitored his temperature over night, and the fever seemed to be stuck right around 104.5 degrees.
By Wednesday morning we were distraught that Ty’s fever wasn’t responding to the drugs and at a loss for what to do next. He ate breakfast in bed, and the doctor and I spoke on the phone to determine his medicine doses for the day.
But Rod and I were feeling uncomfortable – we were an hour from the closest veterinarian, and they didn’t have overnight staff. Ty’s condition was stable for the moment, but a fever of 104.5 is still very serious, and we were hours away from a 24-hour veterinary hospital. We looked at our options, and decided to drive 250 miles to Palm Springs, where an emergency veterinary hospital would be available if we needed it.
Ty was a trooper on the ride, and we continued to monitor his temperature, which stuck right at 104.5 degrees.
It seems all the good vibes from our friends all over the world, the desert air, and the magical Palm Springs sunshine did the trick, because shortly after we arrived Ty’s temperature dropped to 103.3 degrees. Throughout the night his fever continued to slowly decrease, and this morning he’s within half a degree of his normal body temperature! He’s sporting a goofy-looking haircut, but it appears we’re out of the woods!
I cannot begin to tell you how much we’ve appreciated all the kind notes of support, positive thoughts, and prayers for Ty and our little family. It’s constantly amazing to us how many people care about our boys and, at times like this, the outpouring of love truly props us up and allows us to give the boys the best care we can. Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts. We’ll continue to keep you updated as Ty improves on Facebook and Instagram.