Ollie’s Medical Investigations

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.

80 thoughts on “Ollie’s Medical Investigations

  1. (1) So, 180 pounds lighter in the wallet. A good way to avoid back surgery. That’s heavy, man!
    (2) It’s rather sad that a dog has a favorite vet. That indicates way too many visits.
    (3) Given that Ollie never seems to capture the critters he runs after, it was kind of the chicken to surrender itself to a grizzly fate.

    Give Ollie a big hug for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Our fur babies send their best woofs and purrs to Ollie across the pond.
    We’ve found vet bills in the US worse than the UK – but that may be our bad luck. We have a 7-year-old Cavachon – Cavalier x Bichon – with a torn cruciate ligament so fear that may cost – but she’s worth it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was talking to a fellow dog walker whose Spaniel (Cocker) just had that surgery, and has to be walked on a lead until it recovers. He told me he didn’t get much change out of £3,500 for that, Roland. Ollie’s vet bills have totalled almost £9,000 since 2012, and we can no longer get any insurance company to cover him.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw sweet Ollie! It’s always hard to know about getting extra tests as they are never cheap. But hopefully this will yield a good result that explains the cause of the ear infections and help prevent them in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I keep my fingers crossed for Ollie.
    Herem things are cheaper. A week ago I had a complete lab test done for out kitty Sister Fidelma [she has kidney problems], and that was just above $100. Btw, it was done on my asking, not on the vet’s suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

            1. It comes with age. I still await surgery on one eye, that was delayed by the pandemic. The only way it affects me at the moment is that I find it very hard to drive in the dark, as the lights of oncoming cars reflect on the cataract. So I never drive once the sun has set, it just isn’t safe to do so.
              Best wishes, Pete.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Fingers crossed for an outcome that frees Ollie from this issue once and for all — or if that isn‘t possible, at least makes it something quickly and easily dealt with! I‘m glad to see from the comments area that he‘s better again already, and that‘s great. Still, like you and the vet I would be worried about the sudden, frequent reoccurrence of these events, so it‘s good they‘re being looked into from all angles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Themis. There is a surgical option, to remove the ear canal so that there can be no infection at all. This is common, and does not always result in deafness. But as Ollie has had to endure so many operations in the past, I don’t really want to put him through that now he is nearly 10.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know whether I hope the blood results show something that can be treated thereby incurring more medicinal costs, or that they don’t show anything, in which case that’s a lot of money paid for no result! Either way though Ollie is getting the best care from you and the vet so all good. Hope his ear recovers soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His ear is already 75% better after one treatment of that very effective ear-gel. If the tests show he needs thyroid tablets, that will cost over £30 a month for the rest of his life. (In addition to the £38 a month for the Arthritis tablets) But he’s worth it of course.
      Best wishes, Pete

      Liked by 1 person

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