It’s been a stressful quarter, doggie wise.
(Don’t worry, this picture was taken today and they’re both fine. This story does not have a sad ending.)
In late October, Cloey started shaking her head and scratching her ear. I bought some stuff to clean her ear out, but a) she hated it and b) it completely failed to help in any way.
We went to the vet.
The vet said she had an ear infection and gave me antibiotics and an in-ear steroidal cream.
He charged me half my Christmas budget, but Clo is my girl and these are the risks you take when you have pets.
Two weeks later, her infection came back.
“Oh. It appears that while we were killing the bacteria, yeast was taking over.”
I left with more antibiotics, anti-fungals, and a steroid pill because her ear was too swollen for the cream. And less money. Also? A lecture about how I should be taking care of my ten year old dog. Spoiler alert: that lecture revolved around an $800 blood and fluid workup that would ‘help us identify any future problem areas’.
I got in the car and cried on the way home from that visit. I love my dog, and when I brought her into my life as a teeny tiny puppy almost ten years ago, I effectively promised her that I would always take care of her. When she and I lived in Nederland, we had a great vet. He understood preventative care, but he also believed in prudence. The new vet, In Louisville, made me feel like I needed to go into debt just to test my girl for possible issues even though ear infection aside, she’s FINE.
Her ear infection came back. We switched vets.
The new vet told me that I should have been cleaning her ear since the second infection, that the prior vet had instructed application of the steroid cream incorrectly, and that the tests he’d recommended were simultaneously mostly unnecessary and wildly overpriced. I swear I almost hugged her. Then I gave mer a bunch of my money and took home yet another steroid cream and an acidic ear cleaning solution.
Cloey’s fine now.
Then my other dog, Maida, ate some chocolate. I thought both girls ate it, and it was a small amount, but after a few hours it became clear that Maida had eaten it alone.
By ‘it became clear’ I mean ‘Maida climbed into her toy box and started heaving her toys out at the wall, one by one, at fastball speed, and then spent several hours running up to my face and doing a dance’. It wore off.
She’s fine now.
I just want them to be healthy. I know they’re happy, but when they don’t feel good, there’s very little that I as a human can communicate to them. I can show them I love them, but I can’t say ‘hey, perhaps you shouldn’t eat everything you can find’ or ‘sweetpea, I know your ear hurts and I’m doing everything I can to fix it’.
Also? Sometimes I want them to find somewhere else to sit.
It’s hard being one of my dogs.