I should really post some pictures of Suzie, my poor pathetic puppy suffering from seasonal allergies. Thank God I just get a stuffy nose and runny eyes with my allergies, and not the full body itching like Suzie gets. Anyway, so she was definitely scratching some before I headed out of town and had 2 specific patches (her neck and thigh) that she’d scratched some fur off of, but I figured it was allergies (we had the same problem last year) and thought she’d be okay while I was gone. Yeah, I took one look at her when I walked in the door on Weds 1.30 am and felt awful. She’d scratched half the fur off all her legs, her eyes are practically bald above them, she’s covered with scabs and looks altogether awful. I feel like a bad caretaker for leaving and letting it get so bad… sigh.
So, yesterday morning Suzie and I headed for the vet. A woman waiting in the vet lobby for her cat seeing Suzie and says what a beautiful dog she is, and so happy (tail wagging wildly). I’m thinking, “um, lady, she looks horrible and is missing half of her fur,” but I smile and comment that she is one happy dog, even if she is itching like crazy. The lady responds, “and what beautiful coloring over her eyes!” I explained that the coloring over her eyes is the scabs and lack of fur (and thought, “beautiful???? Are you kidding me?”). She laughed and said she thought it was just her coloring… thankfully, her cat arrived from the back and our conversation ended. Suzie has gained some weight in the past year since our last visit, up to 42 lbs from 35. She’s still a sleek and slim dog, but has a bit more muscle and less ribs showing. The vet did a skin scraping just to rule out any mites or other issues, gave her a topical treatment, and prescribed her some good drugs to take home. Sure enough, she’s on a 3 week regiment of prednisone and will be on antibiotics for a week to keep the scabs from getting infected.
Dogs are funny. Maggie, who is a sassy brat most of the time, takes pills like a trooper. All I do is tell her to “sit” and she thinks it’s a treat. Suzie, Miss Compliant and Always Wants to Please, does not take pills well. She doesn’t fall for the treat thing and spits them back out. So I have resorted to sticking them on the back of her tongue and holding her mouth closed until she has to swallow. Even then, she often manages to spit it back out. My favorite pill dispenser for Suzie? Cherry tomato, baby. All I have to do is stuff the pills into a cherry tomato and she gobbles it down. Excellent. I never realized how convenient getting her hooked on tomatoes would be! As of last night (after only 2 doses of prednisone), the scratching was already less than before, although she still looks terrible. At least we’re on the road to recovery.