Well, we have a sick dog...got him in to see the vet last night at 6:30. I was so glad that Kevin was home, for it's really helpful to have that second person when getting Bridger into the Jeep, helping share the stress, and helping utter reassurances to 116 pounds of hurting and nervous dog.
When we got home from the vet's office, Bridger's hind legs were continually giving out on him as he struggled to get to the house. It was a pathetic sight! Especially strange to see this in a dog that at nine years old still likes to play chase with the grandpuppy! These symptoms came on in a matter of a few days, accompanied by his obsessive licking and creation of hot spots.
Our vet, always giving Bridger a thorough, gentle, and careful examination, is suspecting a systemic disease similar to Lyme. It's unlikely to be Lyme, because Bridger is current on his Lyme vaccination. It seems that as well as having to worry about your dog getting Lyme disease, there's also now Canine Anaplasmosis (dog fever). It too is transmitted by the deer tick, and there's Ehrlichia, carried by the brown dog tick. They present similar symptoms as Lyme.
There are other possible culprits, of course, but we're beginning with this possibility.
Rather than starting with blood work, Kevin and I chose to simply try the Doxycyclene first. The Doc also gave Bridger a shot of an anti-inflammatory and pain killer. I sure hope the Doxycyclene does the trick. If so, we should see marked improvement in Bridger within two to three days.
If not, we'll have our dog back at the vet's office soon.
Good sign: When I got up this morning, Bridger met me at the door. His hind legs are still very wobbly, but aren't completely giving out as they did last night. I'm trying to be careful not to make any judgments at this point.