New Year, Same Ollie

I mentioned recently that Ollie’s fur is not growing back after his recent skin infection. If anything, the fur loss is getting worse.

Then over the weekend, he started to shake his head again, a sure sign of a developing ear infection.

So my first ‘normal’ day after the holiday season involved taking him to the Vet, yet again. I was lucky to get an afternoon appointment, even though the place was heaving with numerous dogs, and cats in baskets.

For some reason, the dogs in the waiting room yesterday were particularly distressed. One small French Buldog was in such a state, it was climbing over its owner’s head to try to get out of a window. A stocky Chow Chow was digging its front legs so hard into the flooring, the frustrated owner had to drag the poor thing into the consulting room by its body harness.

Next to us, a nervous Lurcher bitch spent her waiting time trembling and crying, and an unseen dog in the treatment room at the back howled through whatever process it was enduring. Ollie picked up on all the distress, constantly walking in circles around me.

Eventually, we got in to see the usual Vet. He diagnosed an ear infection in the right ear. I expected him to use the new ‘wonder-gel’ to cure it, but he told me that does not get into the bloodstream, so Ollie would have to have tablets. Back to Prednisilone and Antibiotics for two weeks. He has to go back then, to be checked over.

As if the Christmas season wasn’t expensive enough, that ten minutes and two bottles of tablets cost £126. ($171)

On the plus side, (looking for positives!) the squeaking noise from my car has stopped. Maybe it was just something caught in the wheel? I won’t be able to risk not getting it checked though, but that will have to wait for a while.

Ollie’s Ears and Skin: An Update

As you may remember, Ollie had to return to the Vet this afternoon for the second dose of ear-gel to combat his ear infection, and to get the results of his blood test to see if he has an underactive thyroid.

He had the gel in his ear, and then I was told the results. His thyroid function is completely normal. Usually, that would be good news, but this means he cannot have the tablets that are well-known to almost stop recurrent ear infections. So if he gets one again (or rather when he does) we will have to rely on the gel to cure it.

The vet checked out the bald patches in his skin where the fur is falling out, something that has also happened a lot in the past. He concluded that they are ‘Paintbrush Lesions’, a dermatitis associated with infections, and best treated by being washed with medicated shampoo. They are called ‘Paintbrush’ because when you scrape off one of the small scabs, the result looks like a tiny paintbrush.

So, his last trip to the Vet for now. Until the next time.

It was very busy there today, and also a sad visit. One man brought in a small dog that had to be put to sleep, and he was so upset he couldn’t wait with the dog while it was injected. He rushed out to his car in the car park telling the receptionist he would come back another time to pay the bill.

Then a couple came in, the man telling the receptionist, ” I have come to collect my dog”. He emerged from a treatment room carrying a small box containing his dog’s ashes, and was very tearful.

Ollie had another stressful trip, and is sleeping soundly next to me now.

At least I didn’t have to bring him home in a small white box.

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.

Ollie’s Ears (Again)

Just before we went on holiday in September, Ollie had a bad infection in his left ear. I took him to the Vet, and they tried a new gel treatment, administered directly into his ear. It worked so well, he was on the mend within 24 hours, and by the time of the second dose a week later, completely cured.

That was only a month ago, but Ollie started to shake his head again last Wednesday. By Thursday, he was hanging his head to the right, and that ear felt hot. Out on his walk, he started to rub the right ear against anything he could find, followed by frantic shaking of his whole head.

So I arranged to get him to the Vet last Friday, and another dose of the gel was given, into the right ear this time. That evening, he calmed down considerably, and by Saturday afternoon, he was even quite playful.

Next Thursday, I have to take him back for the second dose, as it can only be given by a qualified Vet. This is nothing short of miraculous though, as previous treatment involved 10 days of antibiotic and steroid tablets, which became increasingly difficult to get him to take.

If you have a dog that is prone to ear infections, ask your Vet about this product.
(I gain nothing from this recommendation, just so you know.)

Ollie’s Eye: An Update

On the 8th, I posted about Ollie being bitten by another dog, and getting a cut under his eye.

Ollie Gets A Nip

This Tuesday, I took Ollie to the Vet about a problem with his ear. I showed the Vet his eye, and he said he would look at that too. With the social distancing still operating, I am not allowed to go in with Ollie, so had to wait in the car.

Ten minutes later, the Vet returned with him, telling me he had a mild infection in his left ear, and he brought out some antibiotics for him to take on a ten-day course. He told me he had looked at the eye, and the antibiotics would take care of any infection. I should not attempt to bathe it or clean it, just let it dry out and scab naturally.

Hopefully, everything should have cleared up by next Friday.

Ollie is on the mend

After my recent post about Ollie, and his sudden tendency to bark at strange times, I thought I would update you on his progress. I mentioned I was treating him for an ear infection. I was using medication bought the last time it happened, in mid-summer. But his ear was not improving at all, and it became obvious that he would have to have both steroids to reduce the swelling and itching, as well as oral antibiotics to fight the nasty stuff inside.

I managed to get a Vet appointment on Thursday. He took one look at Ollie’s swollen ear, and immediately prescribed the usual tablets, advising me not to use any drops inside his ear for at least ten days, until the swelling had gone down. I mentioned the barking at night, and it was his opinion that the ear infection was the cause. This would make Ollie hear sounds differently, and not recognising them, he would bark at something normally familiar. And if he happened to be lying on his ‘good ear’, he would hear nothing at all, so might bark in distress at being ‘deaf’. Apparently, dogs that lose their hearing often bark constantly, especially as they cannot hear the sound of their own bark, which confuses them. Ten minutes later, and £118 ($149) worse off, we were back in the car.

So, two days on the tablets, and a great improvement already. No more trying to scratch his ear, and greatly reduced head shaking too. By the time he has finished a seven-day course, it should have cleared up completely. Until the next time. One delight for Ollie is that I wrap his tablets in slices of cheap ham. Otherwise, he will spit them out. In the ‘ham-wrap’, he just swallows them immediately.
So he gets a food bonus, along with the tablets to make him better.