Hoping for the best

Jack is alert

Today I took Jack to the vet. He sometimes limps/favors his right front leg, and although I couldn’t feel anything wrong, I wanted the vet to check it out. Here’s what I learned.

She was immediately concerned about his good eye, didn’t like the way it looked. So she numbed it and did some tests. There is some scarring on the eye in 2 different places, indicating that there were previous ‘ulcers’ (I think that just means infections; I should have asked but I was sort of in shock.) She hopes that it’s simply a result of his prior mistreatment and not an indication of an underlying problem that caused both infections. Yeah, me too. “Be sure to watch that closely,” she tells me.

Then she noticed that he has oily fur. Yes, I noticed that, too, and is a bit stinky, but just figured it was Jack, perhaps compounded by what has to be some anxiety with all the changes he’s been through. No, probably not, the vet says. It’s an indication of either a yeast or bacterial infection. So give him a bath once/week with prescription shampoo, and leave the shampoo on for 10 minutes before you rinse it out. The yeast/bacterial infection could be a result of his prior situation and the many issues he had (outrageous fleas, the eye infection, and ear infection, and, if I remember correctly without going to look up his papers, worms), or it could be an allergy, such as a food allergy. Either of those are certainly possible and neither are too difficult to deal with.

His ears look good now, but because of his prior ear infection and the fact that I need to give him all those baths, I have to use some special cleanser to clean his ears after every bath, too.

SO glad he’s so easy-going and gentle!

Regarding his limping, that could be a result of his “unusual confirmation” as the vet called it. Clearly he’s not a common mix of breeds, and who really knows what he is, anyway. But the fact that he has these huge front legs and feet, very stout bone structure, and is long and low may just cause discomfort with all the walking he’s been doing. So the treatment? 3 days of an anti-inflammatory and NO walks for a week. Then build up VERY SLOWLY. So I’ll be doing solo walks again, at least for a while.

I have consciously decided against routine preventive treatment for worms and fleas/ticks for my dogs for many years. Partly because they’re quite costly, partly because of my previous isolated, rural environment, partly because these meds have negative side effects, too, and generally shorten a dog’s life span. However in this case, given Jack’s history of, and apparently current, immuno-compromised position, I’m going to go with both meds for a while. He’ll only need the Frontline for another month or 2 anyway-once we have a good hard freeze we can quit for the winter. In the spring I’ll decide if we’ll pick that up again, and if we’ll continue the worm treatment.

I feel really badly for this little guy. His troubles aren’t over yet. At least now he’ll get good treatment, and I’ll do everything I can to get and keep him healthy.

I did finish weaving LY’s wrap this afternoon, and tomorrow will get serious about weaving fabric for my chair cushions. Plus, since today’s October 1 I plugged in my Halloween lights. With just a few more inches they’d complete the route around my window. No big deal.
Halloween lights

4 comments to Hoping for the best

  • Ellie

    Oh, Jack is in good hands with you to care for him and your vet sounds like a perfect fit for both of you. I know it breaks my heart when dogs are mistreated. He sure looks like a cheerful easy going companion. Now if he could only learn to warp a loom!

  • Heartworm meds also worm for other more common gut parasites. We do six months on, six off due to were we are geographically. I don’t do flea meds at all simply because at elevation we have few of them. Occasionally Rodger the cat would have to be treated and I would treat everyone. I have found that half doses on small dogs are pretty much as effective as the whole tube. As to longevity, good food, being the proper weight, loved and parasite free is a good combination. Jack has had a rough start in life and there is no telling how compromised his remaining years may be, but I know he’ll get the best from here on in and quality is just as important as quantity. Bless you for taking this little guy in. 🙂

  • Peg Cherre

    Thanks for your kind words, Ellie & Theresa. Jack is such a sweet dog, he deserves so much better than he’s had in life so far. (Then again, don’t they all?) I will certainly do my best. He had his first dose of the anti-inflammatory with breakfast this morning, and his first bath a little while ago. We’ll do what we have to do.

    I do know that the heartworm meds do more than just that parasite. I’m thinking that when he gets his immune system built up we can make a decision then about continuing or not. But till then, I need to protect & beef up that little immune system however I can. I’m going to start putting brewer’s yeast on his food. I did for my last little guy-actually that and lecithin-and he seemed to like it. I bet Jack will, too. I suppose I should call the vet and check first…can’t hurt and a phone call won’t cost anything. If they recommend other preventive/protective vitamins or herbs, I did that for my last little guy for at least 10 years; it’s not a big deal.

  • Alma

    Poor little Jack – he HAS had a hard time. He seems like such a sweety!

    I’m glad he’s doing well, and know you’ll take good care of him!!

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