The War on Drugs

The latest diagnosis for Callie has been viral pneumonia. She started coughing in early March and every time she finishes up a round of antibiotics, she starts to cough again. It is a deep, wracking cough, that stops her in her tracks. It has not been a fun experience for her or for me. I have to administer a decongestant and an antibiotic, a 1cc syringe full of fluid every 12 hours. This will be her 5th and 6th round. We doubled up this time in hopes that we finally get her 100% well. 

In order to not get scratched, I pull out a towel or blanket and wrap her up nice and snug with just her head peaking out. I then hold her tight and pry open her mouth so that Michael can inject the medicine down her throat. Once it is in her mouth, I have to make sure that she doesn’t spit it back out, so I have to hold her firmly until I see that she has swallowed. The first decongestant I gave her was so bitter and nasty tasting, she would froth at the mouth and then vomit. When I told this to the doctor, he laughed and said “He knew it was bitter, but had never heard of a pet acting out so dramatically!” We switched to another med that seems to be much more palatable.

Callie has figured out the 12 hour encriments too and runs and hides under the bed. She watches my hands to see if I am holding anything in them, and will take off at a brisk trot at the first hint of trouble heading her way. We have about 10 more days of dealing with this before we can be done. She is going to be so neurotic by then…. I have taken to holding her tight for awhile after she swallows the medicine, to praise her and tell her what a good girl she is. The war on drugs has been a hefty battle, but I will win the war because it is for her own good. I imagine that if this round doesn’t do the trick, we will have to figure out what to do next. It is still plausible that she has asthma or heart worm.

This morning has been a good one so far. She has climbed her favorite olive tree and came head to head with the rascally roadrunner. That bird shows no fear of Callie. She hasn’t coughed once yet and her energy is back. It is a beautiful morning in the desert and birds are singing. My hummingbirds entertain her with their swoops and dives, clicks and flashes of green and purple. It will be a mild temperature outside, with high clouds and a slight breeze in Anza Borrego. There are no more flowers left blooming except for domesticated oleander and bougainvillea and the desert has returned to an arid landscape once again…

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