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Bentley's Purpose - Real Life & Death Story of Leptospirosis

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I was a shy but loyal four-year-old, sleek-coated Blue Weimaraner who enjoyed an amazing life with my family.

Large, tautly-muscled 75 pound lap dog, I required and received much affection and attention, and then some.

I was reserved with strangers but dominate with my brother.

They say I possessed a magical sort of presence from the moment I first met someone... I crawled right into their heart, leaving lasting footprints.

On December 22nd, 2009, I began shivering and vomiting. I stopped eating. My family was very concerned, so they took me to my veterinarian. The doctor did all the things that I do not like, especially when I am not feeling well.

Doc listened to my heart, took my temperature, did bloodwork, etc. I had a 103.8 fever and an elevated white blood cell count. It was not determined what was causing me to be ill, so I was sent home that day with an antibiotic to help me get well.

On January 20th, my family took me back to my doctor because I was not responding to the medication. I continued to shiver and had no appetite. The doctor examined me and tested me for Addison’s disease, a condition in which a dog's adrenal gland does not produce a sufficient amount of either cortisol or aldosterone. Thank goodness my test came back negative! So once again I was sent home with medication to help me get well.

Thank goodness my test came back negative! So, once again I was sent home with the same medication to help me get well.

On January 27th, my family called the doctor because I was not showing any signs of improvement. I was still shivering, not eating and drinking large amounts of water. My family asked the doctor to x-ray me and verify that I did not swallow something.

On January 29th, my family took me to the doctor for a barium study. I was at the doctor’s all day. My family came to pick me up at 5:30pm. Boy was I tired! The doctor reviewed my x-rays. The tests did not show anything abnormal, but did show an enlarged stomach.

So, once again I went home with medication to help me get well. My family put me in my kennel when I got home because I was so exhausted.

That evening my family discovered that I was beginning to limp when I walked. When I woke up the next morning I could not walk on my right leg. My family was very upset and worried.

They decided to take me to a new doctor for a second opinion. My family carried me into the doctor’s office because I could not walk on my right leg.

The doctor, who was very nice, weighed me and discovered I had lost 12 pounds since the onset of my illness.

He took my temperature and was really surprised when he read the thermometer. He said the thermometer couldn't be correct, so he took it again. My temperature was 105.8 and I had an elevated white blood cell count.

The doctor said I should be hospitalized. He began running additional tests. He informed my family of my progress three times a day. After 24 hours of hospitalization my temperature returned to normal. I was responding to the medication and began to eat a bland diet.

From January 29th through February 15th, I was in and out of the hospital three times. During this period the doctor tested me for Lyme and Fungal Disease, in hopes to identify my illness. Both tests came back negative.

One evening while reviewing my condition with my family the doctor suddenly determined that I had Leptospirosis. He checked my past health record and discovered I had not received the vaccine for Leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis infects both animals and humans by both primary and secondary transmission. Rodents and wild animals void urine and shed LEPTOSPIRA. Pets develop the disease by sniffing urine, wading, swimming, or drinking contaminated water.

During my illness I experienced a Fever, Shivering, Muscle Tenderness, Vomiting, Rapid Dehydration, Increased Thirst, Weight Loss, Bleeding, and Kidney Failure.

Leptospirosis, if diagnosed at an early stage, can be treated and cured with Antibiotics, (Penicillin or Doxycycline), Fluid Replacement, and Vomit Control.

My condition was diagnosed during the final stages of this disease. On February 15th the doctor told my family that I had irreversible kidney damage, and I was laid to rest.

So on January 29th, 2010, I discovered my purpose in life... to Make All Pet Owners Aware of Leptospirosis.

Please ask your veterinarian if their core canine inoculation includes the Leptospirosis Vaccine. Bentley's family thinks it should.

In Bentley's Memory his family wishes to educateall pet owners about Leptospirosis,and encourage them to vaccinate their family pets.

For Questions or Comments contact: bentleyspurpose@yahoo.com

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