How was your Y2K? Mine was not so good.... We've got many troubles in 2000!

Connie's condition suddenly got worse right after Christmas. We could spend new year holidays together, but she went away on January 19. She was to be 16 this March but her bad heart had no power to live up to 16 years.

She used to sleep in her own crate but I let her sleep in my arms for her last two nights. I still can remember her peaceful face and the sound of her breathing just like yesterday. When my vet first saw her, she told me the rest of her life might be two years or so. My vet was right. After spending about 2.5 years with me, Connie has gone over the rainbow bridge. In these two years, I think we had good times. Connie did obedience lessons (that was another 'teaching an old dog new tricks') and even experienced a training camp with me. She made a trip to Kobe with me too. I hope she did enjoy her last two years with us. Addie has lost her good companion while staying at home.

In late May, I had a feeling that something was wrong with Nanako. I really didn't know what it was, but I strongly felt that she should have some problem. So, I brought her to the vet. I asked my vet to check all of her but we couldn't find anything wrong particularly. Only one thing we could find was that her blood test result showed an increase of eosinophil. My vet told me that she might have some inflammation somewhere but she couldn't find what caused its increasing at that moment. She suggested me to give Nanako antibiotic pills for about a week to see if eosinophil would decrease or not. If not, then we would do more detailed medical checks. Four nights after, I found something wrong with Nanako's anal. It was wet with some blood and I thought her anal glands were inflamed. Next morning I brought her to the clinic and had her anal glands deterged. We thought this should have caused the increase of eosinophil and the problem was solved then.

Next day was Saturday and I bathed Nanako as usual. While I was drying her, I found many 'red spots' on her belly. They were so red as if somebody dropped red ink. I thought it was an unusual thing but I didn't think it was so serious. It might be an allergic reaction of antibiotic or something, I thought.

I brought her to the clinic that evening again and knew that she had a very serious disease, thrombocytopenia. The number of platelet decreased to 20,000, which meant only 1/10 of the blood test result done a week ago. Nanako had to stay at the clinic on a drip that night but I was still very optimistic then. I know my vet is so knowledgeable and reliable, I was confident that Nanako would be back home soon, probably in about a day or two. I really didn't realize that Nanako's condition was that serious until I got a call from my vet at 2:00 in the morning. "Nanako started bleeding from her nose. We are trying our best but her bleeding doesn't seem to stop." I jumped into my car and drove to the clinic. It was a very scary experience - I really thought I would lose Nanako that night. I spent three nights there with her. This happened just about 8 days before I leave for PCA.
Nanako's red spotted belly. This photo was taken at the clinic.
Making a long story short, Nanako recovered very quickly. Number of her platelet went on increasing day by day and after a few days, my vet told me I could go to PCA. Nanako was staying at the clinic while I was gone. It was really an unfortunate happening, however, it was rather fortunate for Nanako to have this disease BEFORE I leave fro PCA. If she had this after I had gone, I know my husband should have missed the first sign of disease and I'm sure I really had lost her.

SA and vWD DNA Test
When I knew Nanako's disease, I felt something like a coincidence. Another bleeding disorder, Von Willbrand's Disease has been one of my interests in these years. Thrombocytopenia and vWD are different but both are disease of bleeding and the key is platelet.

Just before Nanako had thrombocytopenia, I tried vWD DNA test on her. I ordered bunch of test kits from Gene Search LLC and told other Standard Poodle owners and potential affected breed owners if they would like to try the test. I brought the used brushes of 13 dogs (10 SPs, 2 Shelties and 1 Doberman) with me when I went to PCA. Along with vWD test brushes, what I brought with me too was biopsy skin samples of 6 SPs for SA test. I sent back brushes to Gene Search and skin samples to the vet in Florida during I were staying in MD. I believe we are the first dog owners who did DNA vWD test from Japan. Already some Standard Poodles has been diagnosed as SA here too but unfortunately, not many people, including our vets, are aware of SA that much.
Fortunately Nanako has been diagnosed clear on both tests.
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