It’s taken me more than two months to get this post up, mostly because it’s still pretty raw, but because I know a few of you read about the vasculitis and have commented, I wanted to offer one final follow-up on what I know about the disease and what it can do. As I’ve talked about on here before, Xander contracted vasculitis (an auto-immune disorder, likely from a reaction to a tick prevention collar), in late 2011 and we thought that we were going to lose him in early 2012. The disease attacks the blood and by extension organs – it’s indiscriminate in the organs that it attacks. In 2011, it was his skin and heart that were attacked. But, with the help of antibiotics, a lot of discomfort on his part, White Castle frozen burgers (it was the only thing he’d eat), and some good steroids to manage the disease, we got another 2 years of healthy, active, happy, thieving mischief out of him.
Earlier this spring, he’d had a bit of a bout with anemia, but he was treated with antibiotics and seemed to make a good recovery from that. What seems clear now in retrospect was that the vasculitis was trying to poke its ugly head again. Because he recovered and was fine, we didn’t pursue additional treatment, but then again there is no cure.
The week of May 26, I was just getting ready to head to the UK to start a new job and find a new house for the beasts and us to live in and Xander seemed a bit weary, so we were watching him but worried that his heart condition was beginning to get the best of him. I got to Manchester and the next morning got the call that I needed to come home … he wasn’t sure Xander was going to make it. Luckily, I was able to get back to Germany late that night and overnight at the vet’s office, Xander made a little bit of a rebound with lots of antibiotics. This time, it wasn’t his heart — the vet didn’t want to run a lot of other tests because he was weak so we took him home on Saturday to just rest for the weekend and we would come back on the Monday.
What became clear by Monday was that there wasn’t going to be a rebound — our tough little guy wasn’t going to beat it again. Don’t worry — he was feeling good and he was happy. That picture above was taken on the Monday. The problem was that he was really weak — he had a hard time standing and walking at that point … his happy wee face in that picture was probably because he was getting all of his favorite foods all at once — hamburgers, ice cream, chocolate, and nutella. He got what he liked and even bit my finger a couple of times while he was getting it (he loved doing that).
On Tuesday, June 2 we said goodbye to our little friend. The little fart (and yes, he was the flatulent one) was such a happy, spoiled, and funny little criminal menace to the house. He’s better traveled, seen more, and pooped in more states let alone countries (six to be precise) than most Americans.
Germany was his last home. We’re all going to miss him.