Ollie and his medical history


Ollie’s eyes are stitched in the photo.

Ollie’s recent trip to the Vet got me thinking. The unfortunate dog has had so many things wrong with him, from a very young age. I have written about them all separately on this blog, over the years.

But this post is by way of collecting together the whole medical history of my very brave dog.

It started with a condition called Entropion. This is where a dog’s (or human’s) lower eyelids and lashes grow into the eye, instead of around it. It is unfortunately common with Ollie’s breed, and we were worried he might get it. And he did. At a few months old, his eyes were streaming with tears, and they were causing wet sore patches down both sides of his face.
Off to the Vet he went.

Sure enough, Entropion was diagnosed. They suggested stitching down his lower eyelids, in the hope of correcting the way they were growing. The poor young dog had to endure a general anaesthetic, and then walk around with his bottom eyelids stitched to his face for weeks. He stood it all very well, and didn’t let it bother him too much.

But when the stitches were removed, nothing had changed. The local Vet recommended specialist treatment, at the famous Animal Health Trust Hospital, near Newmarket. We took him off for the 90-minute journey by car, and he was seen by a canine eye specialist. Little Ollie had to endure having test-strip papers inserted in his eyelids, and sit there until they changed colour. But he didn’t complain at all. Not once. They told us he would have to come back for surgery, to have a section of the lower eyelid cut away.

Not long after, we took him back there, and watched as he trustingly walked off with one of the nurses. He would be staying for three nights, after surgery that morning. They telephoned to say it had gone well, and that he was recovering. The next night, they even took the phone into the recovery kennels, so he could hear our voices over it. When we picked him up, he had to wear a ‘cape’, to stop him being able to use his back legs to scratch the wounds. But he was pleased to see us, and didn’t seem too bothered about the experience.

He had to go back for a post-op check, and the news wasn’t good. The eye tissue was growing back rapidly, and into the eyes again. He would have to endure more surgery, this time to remove much more of the lower eyelid, and the eyelashes too. Once again we had to leave him to face surgery, and another three day stay. He was still no trouble, and the staff loved him, as he never complained at all. After this third operation, his eyes were literally ‘wide open’, and he had no recurrence of the condition. That was a relief.

Then his skin started to flare up. There was a redness under his body, and between his back legs. Very soon, large patches of his fur fell out in perfect circles, leaving bald skin with a large crusty sore at the centre. It was obviously causing him some distress too, as he wasn’t eating, or wanting to play. Off to the Vet once more. They diagnosed a bacterial skin infection, and told us is was associated with certain breeds, including Ollie’s. It was a yeast-based infection, and not something that could easily be cured. He came home with a special shampoo, and assorted tablets for the irritation.

That slowly cleared up, but we then found that the infection had spread into his ears, something that would come back to haunt both us and our dog. More tablets, and now ear-drops too. His little ears were so swollen inside, he would cry out when I put the long spout of the applicator down deep into them. The medication eventually did the job, but we were to learn that this was going to be a lifelong problem for him, at least twice a year. And it has been, right up to last week.

Once I thought I was on top of everything that was wrong with him, I considered that I could at least cope with knowing what to expect. Then one day over The Meadows, Ollie tried to dominate a small feisty terrier, and the tiny dog turned and bit off the end of my dog’s curly tail. Not only did he scream with pain, he wouldn’t let me look at it. For the first time, he turned on me as I tried to examine the wound. When I got him home, I noticed the small injury wouldn’t stop bleeding, so had no option but to take him to the Vet.

They gave him an anaesthetic, cleaned out the wound, and bandaged it. But when I picked him up, it was apparent the bandage irritated him too much, and he wouldn’t stop shaking, until it fell off. I went back in, and they re-bandaged with an adhesive option, adding the bad news that this could be very serious, as it was at the tip of his spinal column. If infected, it would kill him very quickly. So surgery was the only option once more, with the top of his tail being amputated, so they would have enough skin left to close over the wound. Ollie had to go under the knife for yet another procedure.

Now with a slightly shorter tail, perfect eyes, and me having a handle on the continuing skin infections, I finally hoped that all the trauma was over for Ollie. Then in the summer of 2017, he was chewing on one of his favourite plastic ‘bones’, when he yelped, and jumped up. When he wouldn’t eat his dinner that night, I knew something was wrong. I carefully lifted his jowls, and inspected his teeth. I knew he must be in pain, but he let me do it with no complaint. I found an otherwise perfectly good large molar cracked in two, and was able to move it with my fingers.

Back to the Vet for Ollie. Another anaesthetic, and no option but to remove the damaged tooth.

This post is now well over 1,000 words, and all about the treatment one dog has had to endure, over just seven years.

It is frankly amazing to me how he has remained so docile, and such a loyal friend.

68 thoughts on “Ollie and his medical history

  1. Hundreds of years trying to perfect a breed has had some nasty side effects, a real shame that so many poor dogs have to endure suffering due to human vanity.
    Still Ollie seems to have taken it all in his stride, he is lucky to have such a loving and caring owner.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my, poor Ollie! That must have been so difficult on many levels.At least he has had a loving friend to see him through all of his ordeals. I hope you have many more years with him, free of major issues. He deserves some pain-free golden doggie years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is there anything we wouldn’t do for our pets? When one of my dog lover friends lost his beloved dog, he told me something I’ll never forget. “I can be sad for a couple of weeks after my dog has given me twelve of the best years of my life.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. commendable all the compassion, love & care offered to Ollie.
    i’ve enjoyed a couple good dogs which lasted 14 years, each.
    my current dog, Fang, is 16 and barely is hanging in there.
    we do our best. wishing you and loved ones happiness today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ollie loves you so much, Pete. He has completely bonded with you and he trusts you. He gives to you his total devotion–all that he is capable of. Your relationship is the quintessential dog and human bond. I’m sorry that he has had to endure so much, but glad that he has such a kind and loyal friend to take care of him.
    By the way–my grandmother had entropion. It was dreadful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pete, you have done well by your loyal friend. I have never understood people who discount their need for care. Looking into those big eyes, you can see he is a peaceful soul. I know he must be grateful he found the right family that would give him all the care he needs. That is a special kind of love.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Poor Ollie, but mostly he has the best life living with you to look after him. It seems special breeds end up with a lot of problems. Did you hear about the Shar-Pei that fell over a cliff and survived on seaweed for 6 weeks? They must be quite resourceful!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t hear about that. I can imagine Ollie eating seaweed though, as he eats anything plant-like floating in the river, and also munches the lush grass on the banks. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Poor Ollie. Perhaps they are right. I remember they used to say (talking about human beings, of course), that the best patients always were the ones to get all the complications (as unfair as it seems). I hope he gets a bit of a break. You all deserve it. Big hugs to Ollie (or, better, a treat or two). Thanks, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Olga. When he was making me feel guilty in the Vet’s last week, I couldn’t help but think about everything he has had to go through. He gets extra treats after Vet visits. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  9. He’s such an amazing friend, Ollie. And he’s so lucky to have you in his life.

    I’m off to the vet this afternoon with our own Izzy, as she’s developed a hot spot (a kind of skin irritation) on her hip. I hope it won’t be too much trouble to cure, but it’s bothering her and I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor creature.

    I hope Ollie’s cracked tooth and Izzy’s hot spot are the last of their troubles!

    Liked by 1 person

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