Great Scots!

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.

Until now.

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?


Michelle said...

Vet's office = lots of animals not yours = potential place where the flea jumped from a table or elsewhere onto puppy? I'm also heebie jeebied by the thought of fleas, so I don't know if that's better or worse. Fingers crossed that the solution has been found and that it doesn't involve a building boom of fleas!

Flea said...

I'm with Michelle. My first thought was that it hopped on at the vet's prior to being seen.

Personally, I prefer the Good Flea to the Lone Flea. That would be a sad thing, being a Lone Flea.

Karen said...

I'm thinking there will be head scratching. Is it maybe an allergy? I have a dog that has allergies to chicken and any dog food containing it. It's the weirdest thing. She gets these little bumps between the pads on her paws when she's eaten some. Just a thought. I hoping it was the Lone Flea causing all that havoc and that he's met his demise.

the planet of janet said...

hmm. never heard of a solitary flea. they run in packs, after all.

fleas give me the willies though. memories of moving into a rental house where a dog had lived.

dog moved out. fleas stayed behind.

i was a tasty treat. not fun.

Aimee said...

Oh the heebs!


This is why my sister always tended the animals in that capacity.

Jenn said...

Maybe it happened to be there from the animal that was there before you and jumped onto your dog.

imbeingheldhostage said...

holy cow, Karen. You can't make this tuff up! You are going to put this all in a book one day, right?

SgtSudsWife said...

One flea?I am with you.I didn't know that was possible.Kinda strange if you ask me.

Sorry you had to go through all of that over one flea but its good you checked all the dogs.

Trisha said...

I hate it when the animals get things which no one can figure out but which take tons of money to treat! I hope things get better.

By the way- I am thrilled that Micah got his Voice and that he seems to be doing well with it. Keep us posted about him and the article!

caramama said...

Oh, I hate fleas. We moved into an apartment in GA many years ago, and the previous owners left us fleas. It was awful. Luckily we didn't have any pets at the time. Unluckily, that meant the fleas bit us. After the exterminator came and bombed the place, it was fine. But I never want to go through that again.

I hope that is all it was and the flea meds take care of it!

Shellie said...

I hate fleas, too. Personally. Are they an invisible variety of fleas? shudder!

Trannyhead said...

Ewwww ... fleas are so gross. I remember back in the day before they made that once-a-month stuff we had cats and dogs who would bring them into the house. And my parents had a beach house, back then, and if we weren't there for a few weeks and came back in suddenly they'd attack our ankles and calves with vigor because they were hungry. Eww! And then we'd have to do those gross flea bomb things ... along with the flea collars that don't work!

Ah, the memories.

I hope you don't have flea infestation. *shudder*

Colleen said...


I actually, for the first time since college (since rentals are often infested with fleas), treated my dogs with that monthly topical stuff this summer...after I got two ticks stuck to me, one on Ginger's behind, and one on Maggie's armpit (that was a fun one to remove...and yes, dogs have armpits. At least mine do). The vet had told me that due to our unusually mild winter we had last year, most of the fleas and ticks in our area just hunkered down and hibernated instead of being killed-off by the cold. Hopefully that's the case with you as well...just an oddball flea that meandered in, wreaked havoc with the doggie eyebrows, and tried to find a good place to eat and lay some eggs. Either that or you left your eyebrow tweasers near those girl pups and they got creative with their looks. :D