Ever been happy to have a vet tell you something is wrong with your dog? Perhaps I should back up a bit....
Rewind to Monday afternoon, running a little five dog team, a mere 5km run. Less than 2km into the run, Chum, a five year old Alaskan Husky who has never had any health problems, collapses. Literally goes from running as well as he ever does to limp on the ground in a milli-second! Slam on the brakes, run up to him. He's already getting back on his feet and seems fine. I let him run loose until I found a spot I could turn the team around. Part way back, Chum starts acting like himself, which essentially means he was being a huge pain in the tail to my leaders. Ok, buddy, apparently you feel fine and you can trot along in the team for the last 1km home. Couple hundred yards later, same thing happens--flat on the ground! Did a face plant that time. I tried to convinvce him that he should sit on my lap on the ATV the rest of the way home, but he was having none of that. Trotted the rest of the way home, much more sedately and slowly than normal, but under his own power.
Freaked out musher, that would be me, calls the vet as soon as I was back in the yard. Since he seems stable and the clinic is already full of emergencies, Chum waits til Wednesday to go in and see what the heck is wrong with him. Intial results are not promising--abnormal heart rhythm, anemia, sore knee. Good news is it's a not a spinal problem. Bad news is it could be any one of at least a dozen things, some treatable, some fatal in a hurry.
The lovely Dr. Candace Marche, who's time I have been monopolizing lately, runs an ECG and a wide array of blood tests. Results are in today. Heart rhythm is a wee bit off, but not concerning, according to a canine cardiologist in North Carolina! I did find it slightly amusing that my dog got advanced testing and a consult from a specialist in a different country with full results back in 24 hours. If I needed those same tests, the wait would be months and who knows how long it would take to get the results back! Anemia is definately there. In dogs anemia is always a sign that something else is going wrong. In Chum's case, his thyroid has shut right down. Although it is rare, sudden collapse during exercise is a symptom of hypothyroidism! As are all the other weird little things that have made me go hmmmmm about Chum recently! That tiny little gland controls a whole lot of other stuff!
The even better news--it's easy and relatively cheap to treat. Earle and Preacher already take thyroid supplements so I already have the pills at home. Chum started his medication tonight and within a month, I should have my yappy, annoying, hyperactive boy back. As bad as those things may sound, I can't freaking wait to tell Chum "that's enough, shut up now" again!