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Archive for the ‘prior to decompression’ Category

Charlie before his vet appointment

We took Charlie to see his new vet on Saturday, October 27. His skin infection covered large areas of his body, so the vet gave him 10 days worth of Clavamox, an antibiotic, and 14 days worth of Zubrin, a NSAID that would help his itchy, painful skin. The vet swabbed Charlie’s sore ears (Charlie screamed) and prescribed Synotic ear drops. His fecal sample was negative for worms.

Charlie still needs a Lepto vaccination, a heartworm test and a few other things, but his vet suggested waiting until after Charlie’s neurology appointment.

We’re bringing him back today, one week later, for a re-check of skin and ears and to take care of additional issues.

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OMG, Fleas!

On Charlie’s second day in Ohio, my sister saw him scratching and biting at himself. She reached over and rubbed him a little, and he seemed to like that. So she rubbed him some more and looked at his skin under his fur. She found scabs, scales, irritated skin, flea dirt and fleas.

Yikes! How could this happen?! Colin and I had bathed him the night he arrived at our house (more on that in another post). We have never encountered fleas before – we put our cavaliers’ Frontline Plus drops on their shoulders religiously every month. I’ve heard plenty of nightmare stories about flea infestations, having to spray the entire house, etc.

I searched through Charlie’s medical folder for evidence of when he was last treated for fleas (I had gotten very vague answers to my questions from the rescue) and found none. I did find a neurology report dated October 3, 2007 with recommendations for Charlie’s skin: he should have flea treatment, he should have medicated shampoo, he should have a course of antibiotics. There is no receipt or record showing that these recommendations were followed.

I called our vets’ office. They didn’t have an opening for an appointment until Saturday, so I scheduled Charlie for then. They told me to come pick up a Capstar tablet for Charlie, and to give him a Frontline Plus treatment when I give him the Capstar. Evidently the Capstar kills all adult fleas on the dog within 30 minutes, then the Frontline kills the flea eggs and completely keeps away all fleas.

I took Charlie’s medical folder with me to the vets’ office and asked to speak to a veterinarian about Charlie’s medications and fleas. She checked Charlie’s medications and said the Capstar and FrontLine Plus are safe together with his other meds. She gave me a prescription medicated shampoo to help heal his skin infection.

When Colin came home that evening, we put Charlie in our Booster Bath (bathtub on legs for dogs) and gave him the Capstar tablet. The fleas came out from their hiding places and were washed down the drain as we bathed him with the medicated shampoo. Then we wrapped Charlie in towels to dry, not wanting to stress him with the hairdryer.

I held Charlie on my lap as Colin stripped his crate and pen of all rugs and bedding. Everything was loaded into the washer, and Colin vacuumed Charlie’s area completely and set up clean bedding and rugs. Then we vacuumed the entire first floor of our house and washed everything that could be washed.

Nine days have passed since then, and I think we’re flea free.

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Each time Charlie has a pain episode I feel as helpless as I did the first time. There is nothing I can do to ease his pain. I tell him I’m sorry, and I hold a towel between his flailing hind foot and his face in hopes that he won’t scratch his eye or bite his foot. When he stops yelping, I place the towel on the floor/ground for his head rubbing. If we’re outside and it’s cold or raining, I cover him with the towel in an attempt to keep him warm or dry until he can get up and be carried inside.

His episodes occur daily. I silently promise him I will do everything I can to make these episodes stop. We’re waiting for his surgery date.

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