Lyme Disease Claims Marley's Sweet Successor
Sad news. Marley's successor, the sweet and calm Gracie, has died at the far-too-young age of 6. What follows is an excerpt from the blog of John Grogan (author of Marly & Me). It's just better coming from him.
Im writing today to tell you that we lost Gracie last week. Its a long, painful story, but the short version is she died from a rare complication of Lyme disease. We began noticing she wasnt quite right in the second half of December. Her appetite was a little off, and her usual energy (she could sprint like a leopard) was down. I thought she might have a bladder infection or some other minor malady. Our local vet did a blood test and discovered Lyme disease and put her on a course of antibiotics. But the next day she called back with much more dire news: another test had found high levels of protein in her urine, a sign her kidneys were malfunctioning.
We rushed her to the University of Pennsylvania veterinary hospital, one of the best in the country, where she remained for the better part of a week as she underwent batteries of tests, including a kidney biopsy. It seems her immune system in its attempt to attack the Lyme cells had caused irreversible harm to her kidneys. All the vets were in agreement; there was nothing they could do for her. We brought her home and kept her as comfortable as we could for as long as we could.
On this past Friday, she let us know it was time to let her go. She had stopped eating and drinking, even stopped licking snow, and had grown very weak, just a shadow of the glossy-coated vibrant dog of a few weeks earlier. A vet came to the house so Gracie could end her life in her own home surrounded by the family that loved her. She slipped away peacefully.
With the help of my kind neighbor Neil Wotring, I buried her on the edge of the meadow behind our barn, right beside Marley. Two dogs, so different yet both so great in their own way, and both so dearly cherished members of our family.
Farewell, sweet Gracie, our gentle girl. Your home is now in our hearts.
So sad. You can read more about Gracie (and how different she was from Marley) in Grogan's complete post. RIP, dear Gracie. At least you finally get to meet Marley...
Canine Lyme disease is rampant in some parts of the country. Tick control and vaccination can help, but they're not a panacea. Dogsters, what do you do to prevent Lyme disease in your dog?
(Thank you to my friend and colleague, talented writer Sally Deneen, for alerting us to this story. If nothing else, it may help some readers learn more about Lyme Disease, how to try to prevent it, and how to recognize its early signs.)