Yesterday was a few shades of interesting, but one can only blog about so much in a given day without overwhelming the general readership. I figured Micah's Voice took precedence, which it does, and chose to talk about that first.
But there's doggie drama going on, too. Is anyone surprised? The Scottie puppies were at the vet for their weekly visit yesterday. What is it now, you ask? Minor, but persistent. Their skin was dry and scaly, and they were losing the hair around their eyes. Only the girls, mind you. Not our boy, Angus. He alone has been the healthy beast of the litter from the get-go. Last week folliculitis was cited, and they were put on an antibiotic, as well as a medicated shampoo.
I waited a week, monitored closely, and realized that not only were they not really getting markedly better, they were getting visibly worse. I waited a few more days because sometimes miracles happen in this family, but when I ran out of meds I had to pick up the phone and make the call.
So we're at the vet last evening in another head-scratching session, fawning over the puppies, wondering what to call it this week. Last week the word demodectic mange was tossed out there and while I managed to step out of it's way, the chances of it eventually hitting me were more likely than not. The skin scraping came back negative, but this particular variety of mite loves masquerading under the guise of other things and several tests are normally required to get a positive feedback. Not that I wanted one, mind you, but you can only sit through so many head-scratching sessions before you finally step into the path of a nasty word in an effort to have something to treat.
So he takes the puppy back for another test, and comes back to tell me that he found a flea. My initial reaction was "NO WAY!" to which he responded "way." Although I was horrified beyond belief, I still found this to be highly amusing. Why yes, we are products of the '80's.
Let me go on the record as stating that in all the years of dog ownership, we've never been bothered with fleas. We bought our first corgi many long years ago and she came with fleas. It scared me nigh unto death and I envisioned an entire metropolis of fleas living in the carpets of the house. We had her 2 days before she went to the vet for the check-up where they were discovered, so thankfully that was an unlikely scenario. But you see how my mind jumps to conclusions, and not good ones either. At that time, we had one other dog in the house. (Yeh, it was that long ago.) I treated the dogs for fleas for over a year because I was that terrified of an infestation, but then realized that they were probably dead and gone and we were safe, so I stopped the monthly treatments.
Mind you, I check the dogs for things like this because it's freaky. Who wants fleas? And years ago we were pestered with ticks, which are even worse. It was determined that a litter of puppies picked them up from burrowing into groundhog holes, but still. One tick can send me into a state of panic and I turn into a comber monkey, checking every square millimeter of skin on every dog we own. So I watch for things. It isn't like I just say "hey, I hope we don't get fleas because it would be forever before I'd find that out." I do not keep my dogs on regular meds because I'm weird. Besides the fact that it would cost two arms and my left leg to treat the kennel monthly, I'm not keen on a regular dosage of meds for either the kids or dogs if it's not completely necessary. And since we don't have fleas and never did, I don't consider it completely necessary.
I was told that fleas are making their presence felt what with the change in the weather and there have been outbreaks of immense proportions. But still. One of the puppies? That never leaves the house? (Well, except for the vet. That's a given, apparently.) This means that the other dogs have fleas and are sharing the load. And most likely those flea condos are being constructed in the carpet. And I was getting the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it all.
I was also adding up in my peabrain how much this was going to cost me. But I was sorely mistaken. I walked out of there with a simple diagnosis (allergies to flea saliva is quite common in many dogs) and a simple cure. But the bill was over $200 for flea meds. If only some idiot wouldn't have so many dogs in the house. What with the 7 puppies and 5 dogs, that adds up to a dozen.
Hi, I'm Karen. I have a dozen dogs living in the house. That kennel is almost done, thank goodness. Because some of these dogs seriously need to migrate elsewhere.
I spent last evening morphed into that comber monkey, going over every inch of 12 dogs with a flea comb. You know what I found? Nada. Zip. And also Zero. Not one flea, not one speck of flea dirt, not one trace of anything anywhere. While I'm immensely relieved over this, I'm now scratching my head again. Besides the fact that I had the heebie-jeebies over the whole thing and my skin was crawling with imaginary parasitic hosts, there's the question of where that one flea came from.
The Lone Flea. Is it even possible to have one flea in the house? I kinda thought they didn't travel anywhere without being in bands. The whole safety in numbers thing is good when you're that small.
So here's hoping that The Lone Flea is the culprit to the Dry And Flaky Skin chronicles and that $200 for naught takes care of anything else that may have jumped from dog to dog while I was frantically searching.
It's always something, isn't it?