I did end up bringing Jersey back to the vet last night and I am happy to report that he seems to be doing well while there. His most recent blood work shows that his liver enzymes have significantly lowered (which means the antibiotics are working) and his electrolyte levels are healthy and good. The only negative is that he hasn’t yet seen a return to his appetite. The vet said that he did nibble at a little bit of beef this afternoon which is positive, but he’s not eating enough to comfortably be released home.
So! He will be staying over another night. I’m totally fine with his and just feel comforted knowing that he is getting the best care possible.
His official diagnosis is Acute Cholangiohepatitis…. which really is just a fancy word for bad liver & gallbladder infection & inflammation. Often it’s from a bacteria that traveled up from the intestine and into the liver or bile duct. The treatment is exactly what he has been recieving– antibiotics and making sure that the animals stays hydrated & stable while the worst of the infection is tackled. In really severe cases surgery can be required (to remove any possible blockages in the bile duct) but nothing in Jersey’s xrays as of yet show that that’ll be necessary. At this point, all signs point to an infection that can be tackled with adequate antibiotics.
I don’t mean to down-play this… Acute Cholangiohepatitis CAN be fatal if left untreated… & apparently it’s a rare condition in dogs (so I suppose that makes Jersey pretty darn special). So, once again, I am stressing how important it is to be in-tune with your dogs and diligent with their health care.
I’ve said it before & I’ll said it again… It’s also SO important to either have money set aside in savings, or to have good health insurance for your pets! This most recent experience with Jersey is going to cost about $2000-$2500. Insurance will reimburse me about 75% of those costs. If you think YOUR dog will never get sick like this, you’re nuts. I admire your optimism, but you’re totally nuts. The majority of dogs will experience at least one or two major health crisises in their lifetime. Insurance can be the difference from being able to ‘afford’ the care, or not being able to afford the care and having to put your pet to sleep. Don’t put yourself in that situation.. be proactive while they are still healthy and get yourself some decent coverage.