Friday, February 19, 2010

Extra treats tonight

Haven't posted a dog update recently.
Good: She's stopped scratching, for the most part.
Bad: Over most of her body, she doesn't have any fur left to scratch off.
Ugly: She developed infections, so I had to take her to the vet.

I put on her coat, so that people couldn't see her bare skin. She still has some clumps of fur around her face and on her tail, so with a coat on she looks halfway respectable. But I still cringe when people look at her, because they stare and look shocked and -- anyway, I feel bad. She looks like a very sick dog indeed.

At the vet's office, there was a Golden Retriever who looked exactly the opposite. Shining coat, head held high, this dog was prancing around happily with her tail waving like a flag. She had all the enthusiasm you expect from a Golden, and she wanted to love everybody, from the large crowd of people around her down to me and my dog. Tanji looked more sickly than ever, walking over with her rickety stiff gait to politely sniff the bouncing dog.

The vet took a lot of test samples from my poor dog, and the receptionist loaded me up with antibiotics and ointments. As she reviewed the medication with me, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the crowd around the Golden Retriever was behaving oddly. The people were all taking turns to kneel down and hug the dog. Then I noticed they were crying and holding on to each other. A vet tech took the Golden's leash and walked the happy prancing dog away down the hall. And I finally realized that the Golden wasn't coming back. Ever.

I took my alert, sickly, amiable, rickety, old dog home and gave her a long hug.

9 comments:

RebeccaJ said...

Aw shit, now I feel bad about some damn Golden Retreiver that I've never even seen before. WTF? On a brighter note, I bet my bird looks as bad as your dog, she's totally neurotic and picks out all her feathers (and it's not because she's lonely, she gets more attention than I do). :) Hope your pup feels better soon.....btw, I have a sis in Portand that I'm trying to turn onto to reading blogs and you were one I suggested.

ECL 1996 said...

I will suggest three things...

1. Urge your vet to do allergy tests on your dog. (Our dog has suffered from allergies that cause staph infections if we don't pay close attention to him. He was almost bald and had infection over much of his body that didn't really react to much until we tested his blood for allergens. Now he's normal looking again.)

2. Go to Drsfostersmith.com - they have a topical steroid called Genesis - it does the same thing as an internal steroid, without the ill effect of the dog gaining weight. You have to go through enough of the antibiotics/steroid pills to get the infection under control first... but it will be worth it.

3. I found Bark'n Boots Grip Trex boots for our dog. (http://www.ruffwear.com/Barkn-Boots-Grip-Trex) They are a bit pricey, but we put them on our dog every time he goes outside and he is no longer able to sit and scratch when he knows we aren't watching.

Oh... one more thing, I suggest investing in a good antibiotic/antiitch spray as well. We get one that has hydrocortizone in it and it really helps with the itchies.

If you need any specific names or other ideas, let me know. We've pretty much been there and done that with our beloved pup.

Xenia said...

That's so sad. Hug Tanji for me too. My arms aren't long enough to hug my furball (stupid Atlantic ocean) so I'll make sure my mom does next time I call her.

Shelley said...

Wow, I can't imagine having a dog put down if she was still able to prance and wag her tail...that just makes me so sad.

Tanji is a trooper! I hope she gets some relief from everything she's been going through.

Giving my Paco a hug right now.

messymimi said...

I've been fighting infections, too, so you and your sweet dog have my sympathy. It is no fun having your body as the battleground, and I hope she is better soon.

And even though it probably sounds weird, I will pray for her, too.

Lori said...

Oh that made me want to cry about the golden! I wonder what happened?

Age is hard on pets. Hope she grows her hair back!

The Merry said...

The receptionist confirmed that the dog was being put to sleep. She didn't volunteer any more details -- and I didn't ask -- but she did say it was 'a sad case.' I'm guessing an inoperable tumor or something like that.

263andcounting said...

ugh, now I'm gonna have to let my dogs sleep in the bed with me tonight AND give them all the space.

So sad.

But the family was grieving so they loved that dog with everything they had.

So happy.

Pinky said...

And now I need to hug my dog because I'm crying for a pup I never knew.
My dog scratched off much of his fur too. He seems to have a sensitivity to fleas, of which there are many where we live. I've started feeding him vegetables, occasional raw eggs, and fresh meat at night instead of just dry food. It's made a difference in just a matter of days. He is starting to look normal again! He looked so mangy for awhile that I too had him wearing his coat so that people wouldn't see his bare scaly skin. Poor pups.