Unexpected Side Effect

September 10, 2001 –This week's DaDane is a rerun. The original story, which is worth a second look, ran three years ago. I wasn't able to create a new illustration this week due to an unusually busy schedule.

Jabber is not doing well.

After 9 days on Chloramphenicol, he started passing blood again. We sent another urine sample off for culture. During the past week Jabber's back legs have become weaker. He has trouble rising and he is a lot more unsteady on his feet. He can't walk long distances. He has lost interest in his food. He will eat to please me, but he needs to be coaxed. We stopped the Chloramphenicol on day 12 and switched to Clavamox in hopes of improving Jabber's appetite. He's been on Clavamox for three days. This morning the culture/sensitivity report came back from the lab. It was surprising. No bacteria was cultured. It was negative for E. coli (and anything else) despite the fact that the urine sample contained a lot of blood. This morning Jabber's urine was very dark, indicating he is again passing blood. Based on the lab report, we're withholding further antibiotic treatment for now. I don't know where this is going yet, but it seems Jabber's prospects are not looking very good. We are still working with our vet and an orthopedic specialist to determine the cause of this latest setback. One thing is certain, though. We will not subject Jabber to further surgery or any medical treatment that makes him uncomfortable. If he continues to decline we will have to let him go.

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