Rather overdue update on this. I pestered the departmental office for a bit, emailed them a photo of the dog, and eventually was told that the dog had been checked by a vet and was OK, so I forgot about it.
In other words, I went through the official channels. Feel rather guilty about that, since TBH (after, for example, trying to get some action on a Red Ant infestation on campus) I was well aware that the official channels often don't work (here especially?) when you are trying to get them to do anything out of the ordinary, that they don't actually have to do.
I'd guess its a mixture of simple laziness and a more subtle pressure of conformity. Above was almost certainly a fob story.
Anyway, hadn't seen the dog for a while, but he was back in class for the new semester, and seemed to have lost more weight. By chance there was a student from the Stray Society in the class, we got talking about the dog, and arranged to take it to the vet, with another Taiwanese teacher who is their staff "instructor" contact.
The vet initially thought heartworm, as I did, since the dog has short hair and sleeps out, so its exposure to the mosquito vector will be high.
While trying to calm the dog for blood removal, I noticed some ticks attached, and removed about a dozen of them before the vet stopped me. These were apparently brown dog ticks, much less obvious than ticks I’d removed before. They present in multi-parasite clumps that look like small scabs until you get your eye in.
The immunology (SNAP 4DX PLUS test for heartworm as well as Ehrlichia ewingii Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma platys, Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum) was only positive for Ehrlichia canis. This is a tick-bourne bacterial infection of white blood cells, difficult to treat in the chronic phase because the infection is intracellular and so partly protected from drugs. The prognosis is described as “guarded”
Apparently this infection caused heavy casualties to US military dogs during the Vietnam war.
The treatment applied was 3 intramuscular injections. I was told two of these were local anesthesia and the third the therapeutic agent, with a follow-up six-week course of pills which are probably deoxycycline.
I couldn’t get an intelligible description of the injected therapy but from a bit of Googling it was probably imidocarb proprionate, which (again from Googling) is of doubtful efficacy, at least on its own, and is contraindicated where the lungs are compromised. Since the dog is weak, thin, and coughing up blood, I suppose its quite likely to kill him, but given the difficulty of clearing this type of infection, I suppose that hitting it with two hammers may be necessary.
Cost me 1300NT which I thought was pretty reasonable.
They’ve asked me to become another “staff instructor” for this club. Not sure about this. Lack of Chinese is going to be a problem, and, while I feel some responsibility for this individual dog, therapy for a large population of “sponsored strays” is a potentially large financial commitment.
I also think that, with rabies now endemic, even a Taiwanese campus administration might consider on-campus strays a hazard, and that’s likely to end badly.
I’d like to help, though, and will probably start by trying to reduce the tick infestation levels, which seems likely to be most cost-effective.
Plus I loathe the little bastards.
We reach for the sky. Neither does civilisation.
(Incidentally, if the search button is your friend, you must have some bloody useless, dysfunctional friends)