After so recently suffering a nasty infection in his right ear, Ollie began to shake his head again, last Friday evening. This time, it was the left ear being ‘dropped’ by him, the one that has caused most problems in the past.
I rang the Vet on Monday, and was lucky to get an appointment with Ollie’s favourite Vet yesterday afternoon. By the time we got to their premises in Swaffham, Ollie had been shaking his head so violently, the inside of the ear flap was visibly swollen and inflamed.
Given the success of the new ear-gel treatment, another course of that was suggested by me, and agreed by the Vet. I also needed another monthly supply of the daily tablet that Ollie has to have for the Arthritis in his front legs. Then the Vet discussed taking a blood test, to rule out an under-active Thyroid Gland. He told me that it was often the cause of constant ear infections, especially in older dogs, and he had thought it had already been done with Ollie. However, looking at the notes on the computer, he admitted he had previously overlooked it.
When a Vet suggests blood tests and investigations for conditions never mentioned before, alarm bells ring for me. Could it be income-generation? Sending off bloods for analysis is an expensive proposition in private animal care, and I could already foresee a doubling of the usual bill. Then again, I trust this Vet, as he has been looking after Ollie since the early days when he worked at a different practice.
And his parents live in the street behind us, and we know them.
So I agreed to the blood tests, and Ollie had to be taken away to the Treatment Area, where we are not allowed to go. That distressed my poor dog even more, but he was soon back in the room, and delighted to see that I was still there waiting for him.
Next Tuesday, we go back for the second dose of ear gel, and the results of the blood test. I left the place almost £180 ($245) lighter in the wallet, but content that Ollie may well get some long-term relief from those awful ear infections.
As for Ollie, he jumped into his place in the back of my car with enthusiasm, happy to be away from needles in his leg, and tubes of ice-cold stuff squirted into his ears. He returned home to a welcome dinner of roast chicken, an extra treat for behaving impeccably at the Vet, and a sound sleep that lasted until after we had eaten our dinner.