Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Waiting on the Vet

Well, we did not make it far today. Opal's condition did not improve overnight, so we began making calls to vets first thing this morning. Unfortunately, the nearest clinic, just a few miles from the Meriwether Lewis campground, was without a doctor, who was apparently recovering from a broken leg.

Rather than backtrack to Columbia or Nashville, we opted to continue south on the Natchez Trace for about 20 miles, then divert 15 miles or so east to Lawrenceburg, TN, a town with four veterinary clinics.

The doctor is almost as stumped as we are. He did take blood, urine, and stool samples, and analysis reveals renal failure, dehydration, and other indicators consistent with some kind of toxicosis. She also has constricted pupils, the combination of which the all-knowing internet tell us may be from organo-phosphate poisoning. Organo-phosphates are present, among other things, in flea medication, and we are now wondering if the flea treatment perhaps entered her blood stream through the open wound she chewed on her back.

In any case the treatment is IV fluids and Atropine, and she is being held overnight at the vets for further treatment and observation. We should know more first thing in the morning.

We are scheduled to be in Woodville, TX Friday evening, so we are hoping Opal will be well enough to be released to our care in the morning. That will still leave us most of two days to do the ~600 miles. From where we are right now, the Natchez Trace is still the most direct route, though the 50mph speed limit means it is not the quickest alternative.

Turns out there is a very nice state park in Lawrenceburg, just a couple miles from the animal clinic. We are here at the David Crockett State Park, along Shoal Creek (map). Ol' Davey apparently had a home here and a business milling grain, making black powder, and distillin' spirits. The park is very nice, and even has a restaurant where we ate lunch while waiting for the results of the blood work.

I do need to add one administrative note. We have been getting a good bit of spam in the comments section -- nonsensical comments with hyperlinks to who-knows-what snake oil web sites. Hopefully, you have been spared these (if you even bother to click the links that take you to the comments) because we try to delete them as soon as they come in. It's become a pain, though (plus, we are often off-line when they arrive), and so I have enabled "word verification" for comments. This means that, should you wish to post a comment, you will be shown a word in graphical form (usually wavy letters) that is difficult for non-human spam-bots to read, and asked to type that word into a box on the comment form. Hopefully, this will cut down on the spam considerably.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!