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Vets stumped (long post)

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Are you ready for a novel?? 

16 days ago, we were playing fetch with our 5 year old , neutered BC “Fly”.   Yes it was a stick, yes, I now know how dangerous they can be.   

So we were playing fetch and I threw the stick but  didn’t see Fly retrieve it.  I did hear a small yelp and looked to see fly creeping over to me.   No blood, no stick, just acting very odd.   I checked his mouth, told him to lay down and take it eats, but I knew something was off.   I said to my husband it’s 4:30...vets close at 5.   He thought he was fine because  He proceeded to jump on Cart to go see the chickens.   About 10 mins later my husband said “yeah, let’s take him to vet, he’s acting off”.  So we go to the vet.  

His regular vet Ian not in, but his partner is. He doesn’t find anything wrong and sends us on our way.    Husband makes it home about 30 mins later and fly is just laying there , no tail wags to see me.   Nothing. He had a long strand of drool when he left to head home from vet.  He Won’t get out of the truck, So we go to emergency vet. 

The ER checks his temp and it’s 104.7! His reg vet didn’t take temp.   They run xrays (normal), bloodwork (normal).  They give him a pain shot and a nausea med shot.  Fever starts to drop so they say “it’s a response to pain”

we come home with a seriously drugged up pup.    Novox to give for pain.   He doesn’t want to drink , but will eat some cut up hotdogs and cheese .

Next am.  103.5.  I take him back to his vet.  He runs some tests and says “Lyme positive”. So he gives SQ fluids, nausea shot, and doxycycline.   Fly has a good night.  Tail wagging,   Still laying low and we kept him calm and just chilled out.  

Day 3.   Fly gets up, goes out to pee and comes in and lays down .. about 30 mins later he has 105.7 fever!  Off to ER again (it’s sunday).  They admit him.  Give him IV fluids, IV doxycycline, and When Fever doesn’t come down.  they add IV clindamycin.   Fever finally starts to drop and they say “encephalitis or menengitis, secondary to injury”. Maybe Lyme flare up.  He spends the night at the ER (cha Ching cha Ching) and comes home Monday am on gabapentin , Novox, doxycycline, clindamycin. 

Our regular vet is now back in town and he calls to see what wasn’t going on.  He looks over labs, xrays etc because he Ian t convinced of the encephalitis /menengitis.   He’s thinking foreign body .   

Mind you, I’ve been saying “he has a stick in his throat or poked a hole in his throat since Friday!”    Vet gets records and says “wel I don’t see anything either”.  He’s not coughing like he has something stuck, he’s no longer drooling, he’s eating, but not drinking.   We decide to see how he does on antibiotics and go from there .. to hold off on nuero appt.   we are already $3500 into this at this point. 

As the week goes on, he gets better and better.   We take him off the zombie gabapentin , and he does remarkable better.  He’s alert, wagging tail, pooping daily, peeing multiple times a day and making it up ONE stair to come inside .  

This was huge  as he initially was practically unable to walk.   We had to carry him in at ER and vet office. 

Ao he’s doing betters  still eating soft food, but still not doing great with water .  He would cough and kind of make a weird sound whenever he had water (no matter the amount)   He also would not drink out of a bowl.  I have to hand water him.  

Friday day 14....  he’s doing so great I actually attempt to leave him alone to go to the store and run errands.   Come home and he meets us in the kitchen, tail wagging etc.   he starts with a little cough and before I know it he coughs up a spattering of blood! 

The he coughs again .  Another splatter of blood.  One third  coughs and out comes a blood clot!   I’m totally freaking out at this point and call his vet .(I again get his partner) who starts talking about all kinds of  diseases etc this could be.      He stops coughing and so does the blood splatter.  He tells me to watch him and take him off Novox.   I was ready at any point to go back to ER. 

Sat aftwrnoon, fever started to creep up again so I went ahead and gave him a Novox and that seemed to help and his fever went back down. 


He had an up and down weekend.  

He is eating fine (im adding water to his wet food) but still not drinking (he tries to drink off my hand, but he starts coughing instantly) 

Next option is a scope, BUT if it’s a tear, we could actually do more damage im told.  Or we can wait this out some more.

im just totally at a loss.  Vets don’t know, 

if you made it through my book, bravo!  If you have any experience with this I would love to know what you did etc. 



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Well, we are day 23 now, 

no more blood coughed up, he finished his last antibiotic last night.  Still on Novox (I’m probably more afraid to stop it then him needing it) 

he is acting normal,  pooping, peeing 3x a day.   

No water .   I’m giving him wet food and add water to that.   It’s like he can get down a slurry , but not actual water. 

I think I have PTSD from this whole ordeal, I’m paranoid to try anything with chunks in fear of it setting off another chain reaction of fever, lethargicness. 

He goes downstairs in the am (my father lives with us) so someone is with him all day and he doesn’t get lonely.  He’s such a people dog and just needs to end around people.   

We have a harness for him now, and have to keep him on that when we go out (poor guy wants to run and chase squirrels, but I don’t want to push it ) 

still don’t know why he’s not drinking water, but we know he’s hydrated (since he’s peeing ) 


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Wow. Poor guy. And I know you must be exhausted from dealing with all this, but kudos for hanging in there.

You said you didn't see him retrieve the stick, but his reaction sounds EXACTLY like the reaction of a dog I had about 20 years ago. I did see him try to retrieve the stick, and it all happened so fast - the grab, the yelp, and then running back to me, very frightened, not wanting to play any more. I could tell the stick had gone into his mouth,  but a quick peek didn't show anything wrong in his mouth. Like you, I immediately brought him to the vet. They gave him a light anaesthesia so they could open his mouth as wide as possible, for as long as required to closely examine him. Then they reversed the anaesthesia. 20 minutes top.

The stick had gone very deep to the back of his throat - not visible until he was knocked out. I don't believe they had to scope him, but anaesthetizing him was important to allow him to relax so his jaws could be opened wide enough.

I am sorry, but I can't remember if they did anything like a stitch or two, but I don't think so. A course of antibiotics was prescribed. I don't remember the exact antibiotic now.

I hope your dog is on the mend now.

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