4.24.2007

cody ear mystery, part 2

Cody's surgically repaired ear comes against a backdrop of a series of visits to the vet, which we thought would be over by now.

First Tala had worms, then some extended intestinal troubles caused by the parasites. We solved those, thank goodness. They were a little frightening for me, since Buster nearly died from inflammatory bowel disease (and that did ultimately contribute to his early death).

At the same time, Tala had seriously itchy skin, and that's more difficult to solve. Skin allergies are a long process of trial and error, finding medication that calms the itch with a minimum of side effects, while also trying to find the source of the problem. Twice she's ripped open "hot spots" - when an animal scratches so hard, they rip the fur off and rip open the skin. If you don't treat those seriously, they can become huge and infected. Hot spots are also a big clue that the itching is not yet under control.

So between Tala's stomach and skin, we've been back and forth to the vet since we brought her home in late January. Throughout, she's been happy and has seemed healthy. She's never acted sick, or been sad. It's not the awful, scary experience of Buster, but it's not the easy-breezy world of Cody, either.

Last week we took Cody for her annual check-up and vaccines, which become a little more complex as a dog ages, and got heartworm meds for both dogs. Since we were going anyway, the vet also wanted to do a re-check of Tala's skin. That was a week ago today. Two days later, I found the lump of dried blood in Cody's ear. Sigh.

* * * *

All our dogs have needed to wear a cone collar at some point in their lives, some more frequently than others. (Gypsy also had itchy skin, as well as knee surgery, minor lumps removed... many cones.)

If you've ever had an animal in a cone, you know that at first it's both pathetic and comical as they walk into walls and can't get through doorways, until they learn to judge their new girth. But Cody is in a class by herself.

Cody hates anything being done to her. Baths, nails clipped, blood drawn - whatever it is, she hates it. This is typical of a submissive dog. Where the alpha dog is confident and secure, and will gracefully condescend to whatever you need, the bottom dog is fearful and anxious, and will often be difficult in those situations. Plus Cody is a drama queen. If she gets wind that you might be bothering her, she's screaming "Help! Stop! You're killing me!" before you've even touched her.

Last night when I came home from work, she was standing in the middle of the living room, coned head pointing down, staring at the floor, looking utterly dejected. We had to coax her to lie down, to eat, to go out; we had to coax her to move at all. She finally settled in for the night, and today seems a little better. But it's going to be a long two weeks for her until these stitches come out.

17 comments:

James said...

Cobalt's going to be wearing a radar dish in about a month... We have no idea how she's going to adapt to it. She doesn't really complain about collars and harnesses and those sorts of things, but this'll be something quite else.

She met a little stubby-legged pup wearing one yesterday. The poor little guy kept looking down to sniff the ground and nearly flipping himself when the edge caught on the asphalt.

L-girl said...

The poor little guy kept looking down to sniff the ground and nearly flipping himself when the edge caught on the asphalt.

Oh geez. Like I said, it's hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

Cobalt will probably be fine. Most dogs are. Cody, however...

M@ said...

Poor Cody! Here's hoping he'll be okay soon. He's in good hands.

These phantom injuries are really awful, aren't they? It's not as serious, but Scout's leg is still bothering her. Poor thing.

L-girl said...

Wow, that's been a long time for Scout.

Cody forgives you for forgetting that she's female.

M@ said...

Oops! :) Thank Cody for me.

impudent strumpet said...

I recently saw a dog wearing a transparent cone, which seems so much more reasonable than those solid white ones! My friend tells me that her pets have always gotten transparent cones, but this was the first time I'd seen one.

James said...

I recently saw a dog wearing a transparent cone, which seems so much more reasonable than those solid white ones! My friend tells me that her pets have always gotten transparent cones, but this was the first time I'd seen one.

A couple of people have recommended them to us, but have said that they're hard to find.

L-girl said...

I have never seen white ones! I thought they were always transparent.

James, ask your vet, it shouldn't be a big deal. Our vet only has transparent ones, and our vet in NYC (a small neighbourhood clinic) had them too.

L-girl said...

Although either way, they have no peripheral vision. Even the transparent cone acts like a blinder.

David Cho said...

Oh my. Sorry to hear that.

Noah got into it with the golden I told you about and bit his ears on several occasions.

I hope things get better for Cody. Poor thing.

Scott M. said...

There are clear ones??? Wow! Our dogs only had the white ones and we thought that was the only type available!

redsock said...

I don't remember the old ones we had with Gypsy being see-through.

L-girl said...

They were.

impudent strumpet said...

Although either way, they have no peripheral vision. Even the transparent cone acts like a blinder.

How come? Can't dogs see through clear plastic? If that's the case, why can they see through windows and stuff?

L-girl said...

I guess I should say it *seems* like the clear cones still cut off their peripheral vision. I can't be sure.

They definitely see through glass. You should see Tala hurl herself at our back door when the birds have her riled up. (We've got to work on that.)

But it still seems like, when Cody is wearing the cone, that she has to turn her head a lot to see what's beside her. Buster, who had wild aggressive reactions to other dogs outside, was calm and had no reaction when he had a funnel collar on, even though it was clear. (I was tempted to have him wear one all the time...)

Dogs don't have great vision anyway. Smell and hearing are their primary senses. So maybe the distortion through the plastic is enough to make it hard for them to see? I don't know, I'm guessing.

Tom said...

I can relate. Last summer we spent $1000 on our Katie's butt. When I tell people this they think we are nuts. She had to have an impacted gland removed.

L-girl said...

Tom, I hope she's ok now?

I hope the people who thought you were crazy never have animals of their own. Stuff happens. They need care. That's part of the commitment.

It drives me crazy that people don't understand that.