Our doggie's doctor from the vet school called this week to let us know they got the results back from the blood tests and they had a confirmed diagnosis: Our dog has leptospirosis! I mentioned before that they were testing for the disease just to rule it out so they were VERY surprised when the results came back positive for it. Apparently there are multiple strains of the disease (similar to the flu) and she tested positive for two of them, one of which was pretty high in her system. There is a vaccine for leptospirosis but it's not routinely given to dogs that I'm aware of, and like the flu it's hit or miss for the particular strains out there.
The treatment for leptospirosis is antibiotics. Since she was being tested for the disease they'd already put her on the appropriate antibiotic as a precaution (part of their protocol at the vet hospital) so that explains why she's been doing better this week—her body has started responding to the antibiotic.
Thanks to the positive diagnosis we didn't end up having to use the eye drops that I talked about before. That's a huge relief; we gave her the first few doses before they said we didn't need to anymore and let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've tried to give a dog eye drops twice a day. She takes her pills with cheese and thinks that's just fine, but eye drops, well, that's another story.
We're definitely relieved to have a diagnosis and the doctor felt very confident that that's what was causing her kidney problems and other symptoms (including not eating, according to what I've read about the disease). Now I'm just continuing to work on getting her to eat regularly again; my purpose in life these days seems to be getting the dog to eat. It's pretty ridiculous. Getting her to eat is all about marketing: She won't eat unless she has some of her "special food" (the gourmet stuff) in her dish with her regular food, but luckily it only takes a tiny bit of the special stuff so that's not too bad. However, she has to see me put it in her dish: If I just put her dish down she comes over to check it out, sniffs it and walks away. If I have her watch me put her food in the dish, though, then she'll sniff it, take a bite, and usually realize she's hungry after all and eat some. Like I said, it's ridiculous and all about marketing with this dog. I'm not sure who is being more manipulated at this point, me or her. And I KNOW she knows perfectly well what I'm saying when I show her the dish and say, "Eat!"