About eight weeks ago, my dog was at death’s door. We were quite stunned by the transformation in him over such a short period of time. On Thursday evening he was his usual self, terrorising us, stealing our slippers; engaging us in play as all determined dogs can! By Saturday, he was so ill that we were told if we had not taken him to the vet he would have died, writes Beverley Atkinson.
The culprit we were to later discover was Campylobacter, bacteria that is highly contagious and transferable between humans and animals. It manifested itself in a severe case of gastro enteritis where he was vomiting and passing blood. Fortunately we did not contract it.
Dylan, our ‘Sprockercollie’, is normally a fit and healthy dog, only four years old and regularly walks and swims with many other dogs in our village. You would think it more likely that a young puppy like our neighbour’s dog Gaia who specialises in eating any poo she finds, or, one of his more frail and elderly friends would have been more vulnerable, but this illness struck only him. To this day we do not know how or where he got it but it seems likely that he ingested something with the bacteria in it. Our vet advises that most likely would have come from an avian source rather than animal.
He spent almost a week in hospital on a drip incurring a vet bill in the region of £1400 and it took him six weeks to the day before he recovered, but on a Friday morning a little face appeared at our bedside….Dylan was back! It is astounding how, when your animal is so sick, you are so wrapped up in worrying about them that you do not realise the thing that is really missing is their personality!
We count ourselves lucky that he seems to be 100% recovered now with the only legacy of this illness being a lightening of the fur on his muzzle. It is obviously impossible to control everything that goes into a dogs mouth, a clear memory I have from the vet is them asking “does he scavenge?” that is akin to asking whether a one-legged duck would swim in circles! What I have learnt though is the importance of keeping my bird table as clean as possible and not letting him go too far ahead when in the fields, that way I have half a chance of saving him from himself!
We have just returned from holiday in Norfolk and as you can see, we have a wet, healthy and happy dog. I count my blessings every day.