Ollie: The skin he’s in

Poor Ollie has had a couple of bad weeks. Yet another ear infection, this time spreading to the skin between his legs, and causing sores over the areas not covered by his fur. He was shaking his head so badly, it made the insides of his ears swell up. Not his usual happy self at all, and grumpy with other dogs he encountered on our walks, as he didn’t want them to realise he was unwell.

I tried some ear drops, but they gave only temporary relief, so we finally decided to take him to the Vet last Friday. It was confirmed that he had a bacterial ear infection, and that it had spread to his uncovered skin, as we suspected. It was also between his toes, so making him lick and nibble at his paws constantly. He was given steroids for the itching, and antibiotics to clear up the rest. Add a new bottle of antibiotic ear drops for direct application, and we got a hefty bill of £167.

It’s now only Tuesday, but he is already much better. The sores and redness have gone, and he has stopped licking his feet too. Still a while before the ear clears up, but he has stopped shaking his head, and rubbing it on the floor. When our much-loved pets are poorly, it is so distressing to watch them unable to fend for themselves, as we can. It’s up to us to do our best to relieve their suffering, whatever the cost. After all, they don’t ask us to take them on, and if we choose to do so, then we must care for their welfare at all times.

96 thoughts on “Ollie: The skin he’s in

  1. I hope Ollie is fully better now, Pete. You are right, of course. I have not had many pets but I’ve been looking after some friends’ and I know how much they change one’s life and how difficult it is to see them unwell. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very distressing, and a relief to hear that he was showing signs of recovery yesterday (Tuesday). There’s a lot of sadness about at the moment among people I know – keeping these precious animals healthy and happy makes up for our human follies and disappointments. Interesting comments from you and Eddie Winko about the impact of insurance on pet care costs. Best wishes to Ollie and his humans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks as always, Pippa. I am convinced that many people taking insurance has increased the costs greatly. Many Vets are ‘connected’ to specific insurance companies, and paid directly by them. We have to pay up front, then claim back what we can. They will usually try to argue about some of the costs too, Like any insurers, they are less happy to pay out, than to collect the premiums.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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  3. Poor Ollie.Glad he is feeling better. My cat, Freely had endless problems with kidneys that cost me a fortune until eventually there was nothing the vet could do and he had to be put to sleep when he was nine. He was worth it though.

    Mr O is desperate for a dog. He has never had any pets because his mum isn’t a big fan of animals. It could actually work as he and Little O are home all day and he has to take Little O for a lot of walks anyway. I even think our current landlord would allow it. My big worry is if we are forced to move (which has happened several times) then we become extremely limited as to where we can rent. I also worry about trying to look after a small child and a puppy at once. Maybe if we can ever afford to buy our own house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having a dog becomes a huge tie, even when one of you is at home all day. Flying abroad, visiting friends and relatives, or trips to the seaside, and places of interest, it all becomes a pain when you have to think about the dog too. I also discovered that many of my friends didn’t like the idea of a dog accompanying us to stay with them, so many regular trips to see people have not happened since we got Ollie.
      As you say, maybe a decision to make if you buy your own house, but always worth remembering it is something that can affect your lives for up to15 years, or longer in some cases. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. Our Jackie often has trouble with her ears, common to the Spaniel breed, thankfully our last visit to the vets for a bit of ‘gunk’ removal and a bottle of ear drops cost just over a tenner. I know I’ve said it before but the insurance market in the UK has given vets a license to print money.
    You should check the bottle of drops as they are probably the same as administered to humans and available at the chemists for a lot less than the vet is charging. The first sign of head shaking or ear scratching then get the drops massaged into his two or three times a day. It normally works for Jackie and I save a tenner and you could save a lot more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers, Eddy. Lots of the local spaniels get ear trouble too. I agree that everyone being insured has jacked up the cost of Vets here. I enquired about antibiotic ear drops at the local chemist, but they were prescription only at the time. The main thing that helps Ollie is the steroids. I can buy them cheaper online, but can never be sure if they are genuine.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My poor buddy!! The only one I know with more wrinkles than me (maybe)!! I do hope he gets better real soon. I know how annoying and painful ear infections can be and the poor guy doesn’t know what’s going on!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Poor Ollie. I’m glad to hear he is on the mend. It’s horrible seeing our pets unwell. My sister’s labrador had that eye problem you mentioned in the comments and had to have the same operation. They sent her home without any pain relief and she cried the whole night. My sister was was at the vet as soon as they opened and they gave her something they should have given her the night before. Touch wood she’s only needed the op once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s sad to hear, Mary. Ollie had his eye operations at The Animal Health Trust, in Newmarket. It is a centre of excellence, and worth the 75 minute drive from here. http://www.aht.org.uk/
      The care was superb, and he was never in pain. But all that comes at a price. Almost £5,000 for three operations, over two years.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  7. I wish I could take pain like my dogs. Not that they have much, but rescue terrier Lulu has spondylitis and gets meds when it is bad, just found rescue dog Lily has a tooth abscess!! ($184 US. No idea what this is in £) And she’s been letting me brush her teeth. Their overwhelming love amazes me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is instinct for them not to show pain, apparently. In the wild, it would often get them banished from the pack. The trust of a dog is priceless. They put themselves in our care, and their devotion knows no bounds. I hope that Lily’s tooth is better soon. Ollie had to have a broken tooth removed a while ago, and that cost £280 ($375). The cost of keeping them well never ends.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Poor Ollie! I would love a dog but they’re so expensive to look after, plus it’s not really fair to have one locked in the house all day if we’re at work. My partner grew up with German Shepherds and they’re lovely and protective (one even attacked a burglar) but both suffered terribly with their back legs going. The most aggressive dog he had was a Pomeranian!

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    1. I would never have a dog if I had to leave it all day, Lucinda. That’s why I didn’t get Ollie, until I retired from work. He is never left alone for long, and is generally always by my side. I also had a long-haired German Shepherd many years ago, (1976) and he was never left either, because we had a family shop, so he was always around someone. His back legs and spine did eventually give out, but not until he was 14. Not all breeds are as expensive to keep as a Shar Pei of course, so I hope you get your wish to have a dog one day.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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        1. It is a helpless feeling, I agree. Luckily, we have savings and insurance to pay for his care. But we often see requests locally for dogs to be taken from owners who cannot afford vet bills.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Pete – glad Ollie is feeling better. As for the prices charged by vets, you can now get health insurance for you pet here in America! Their prices are simply outrageous! Medicare for all! Including dogs and cats!

    Besties from Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have had that pet insurance since we got him, Frank. It started at £30 a month, and is now a whopping £88 a month. We also have to pay the first £90 of any annual claim, and 10% of the balance. Exploitation of pet-lovers! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Our little Patterdale didn’t eat for a whole day and we were worried there was something wrong but next day he was fine. I think it was just too hot. He’s 13 and very bouncy, when he’s not sleeping! We would be lost without a dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I didn’t know that Ollie was a Shar Pei!! I’ve been following you for months, how did I not know this?? I LOVE SHAR PEI’S!! I’ve been trying to talk my man into us getting one… We’re going to wait until we have more time for a dog though (we do a lot of working and travelling right now). They are prone to infections though. 😔 All adorable large dogs seem to have problems. I’m glad to hear that he’s starting to do better though! 💖💖🍻

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    1. The breed is very lovable, and something different to own. HOWEVER, I really would advise against getting one, Nicole. As well as numerous ear and skin infections, they also all suffer with an eye condition called Entropion, where the lids and eyelashes grow inward, into the eye. Ollie had to have three operations years ago, to surgically remove slivers of his lower eyelids, until it stopped happening. That’s why his eyes are unusually ‘open’ for the breed.
      We got him in 2012, and since then have had to spend close to £8,000 ($10,600) in Vet bills. Although he was insured, we had to pay over 10% of the cost, as it exceeded the limit. Now they have put the monthly premium up to £88 ($118) and will not insure him at all after he is 8 years old.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Booo…. unfortunately this is the case with EVERY dog breed I seem to want…. Well, I still have more time to think it over as it will be a few years yet until we settle in to get a pup. We’re going to wait until my man retires in about 17 years. (We also want to wait for our cat to pass as he is a jerk and hates anyone who gets on his turf! Ha ha!)

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        1. 17 years gives you plenty of time to decide, Nicole. 🙂 I had a huge long-haired German Shepherd once, and he cost very little in Vet bills, to be honest. But when he turned 14, his spine and back legs failed, and then the bills racked up until he had to be put to sleep, when he was unable to walk.

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          1. 14 isn’t a terrible life span, at least. The other breed that I’ve always wanted is a Great Dane. I knew someone who rescued them and had 3. They are SO LOVEABLE!! But, you’re lucky if they live to 8 years old, and they usually have horrible hip problems. 😔

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I could tell you such sad stories abut Danes. One of my neighbours has a lovely dog, but his heart is so bad, he is not allowed to exercise outside the garden, and only expected to live for three years. Another lost her Dane at age 5, dropped dead out on a walk, following a massive heart attack. 14 was good for my Shepherd, one reason I suggested that breed.

              Liked by 1 person

  12. I hope the dear old chap feels a lot better and that he has many healthy and happy years ahead of him yet. He is indeed fortunate to have such a caring and loving friend and benefactor as you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susanne. I think we would pay anything to make him feel better, but I also believe that Vets charge far too much for a five-minute appointment, and the drugs! Gives us some idea of what it might be like here for us humans, if not for the NHS. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Many people here have to give up their dogs for adoption, or put them into animal shelters. We do have insurance for Ollie, so will get about 75% of that back eventually, but as the monthly premium is now £88, it is almost academic.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David.
      Yes, it is mainly related to his breed. All his siblings have similar issues, some much worse. I know everyone loves Ollie, so thought I would add this update.
      Best wishes, Pete,

      Liked by 1 person

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