Real Life: The Dog Who Bruised At The Touch Of A Human Hand

By on July 15, 2013

The first in a new series of remarkable real life stories from dog owners around the world. Bette Katz is from Alabama, and here is her incredible story of how her dog was brought back from the brink of death many times and now leads a quite fascinating life.

September 11, 2001 was a black day in history for all Americans. For Alabama resident Bette, the day was doubly painful to recall. Late in the evening of that historical day at around 7:00 pm, Jessica, her adored Dachshund's life was about to fall apart.

Jessica was suffering with a condition which devastated everyone who shared their lives with her. A condition that would leave her suffering physical pain at the mere touch of a human hand, surely a most cruel medical obstacle for any dog and loving owner to overcome.

Bette explains:  "Jessica had begun bruising all over her body. Every time we touched her it literally left hand prints. It happened so suddenly. We called our Veterinarian but they were unavailable.  We then called the only 24 hour emergency vet in the area.  He was 45 minutes away.  They were waiting for her.  The doctor immediately took blood.  He already guessed she had Thrombocytopenia.  Thrombocytopenia is a disorder in which the number of platelets (a type of blood cell) is abnormally low, sometimes associated with abnormal bleeding. Causes include poisoning, allergies, or idiopathic."

Thrombocytopenia in dogs

Jessica, pictured one month before she became ill

As can be the case with some dogs, Jessica had a bad reaction to her vaccination injections, but one week prior to her getting sick she was treated for fleas.  Unsure whether the vaccination or flea treatment may have caused the reaction, Bette waited nervously for the results of Jessica’s tests. The blood tests confirmed that it was Thrombocytopenia.  The vet administered some medications called doxycycline and prednisone.

Worried Bette stayed at the vet’s until 2:00 am. The next morning at 7:00 am, Jessica was released and returned to be with her alarmed family.  There was little time to do anything else, as Bette and family had to rush poorly Jessica over to their own vet, once they arrived, the vet, Dr. White took her and administered 100 milligrams  of doxycycline and prednisone, 20 milligrams.  Jessica was barely clinging on to her life, the situation was so serious but she bravely hung on as treatment was administered.

By that afternoon Jessica was stable.  Dr. White had decided she could go home in the morning.  Bette planned on picking her up early, so that her husband could see her before he left town.

September 13, 2001 at 9:00 am, Bette arrived at the clinic to pick up Jessica.  She was crushed to see that Jessica was on two intravenous drips looking startlingly weak.  After asking what was happening, Dr White pulled her out of the room.  He said “There is nothing more we can do!”  They had tried to give her Vincristine-chemotherapy.  Nothing was working.  Bette called her husband and told him.  He rushed to the clinic.  Once he arrived, they allowed him to see her.  His eyes filled with tears.  It was the first time Bette had ever seen him cry.  Dr.  White told him they had exhausted their options.

Then Dr. White had an idea.  He told Bette and her husband that if they could get her to the Auburn Veterinary Hospital, she may have a slight chance but it was less than 50%.  Desperate to give little Jessica a second chance, Bette and her husband didn’t think twice about the costs and agreed to go over to Auburn.




Have you and your dog experienced similar health issues and concerns? Let others know your stories!

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