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Not Normal

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Emily, our recently-turned-six-years-old Tibetan Spaniel is sick. We’re not sure what’s caused her illness but we’re fairly confident it’s nothing serious. She has her appetite, normal energy, is going on long walks and sleeps throughout the day. Problem is, she’s getting us up every two hours at night because of an upset stomach and its related effluence.

For the third consecutive night we’ve been privy to 90-minute wake-ups and in-between a standard restlessness that prevents any decent sleep whatsoever. Though I can’t relate, I’m sure this is what most new parents get to deal with for months, if not years, at a time. It’s draining.

It’s been quite a rough last couple of months for Emily. It all started about seven weeks ago, as August became September. My parents were looking after her while I was away at a management retreat in Canmore, Alberta. My wife was with family on the east coast. My parents discovered what was diagnosed to be a “hot spot” on her tail – a patch of skin that had become irritated due to moisture and matted hair, which she’d then bitten and licked constantly over a few days until it became an inflamed, hot infection. She was put on anti-biotics and steroids to help her through it. Two weeks later the hot spot had healed and her meds were done, but she continued to nip at bits of her body and became increasingly itchy all over. A few days after that, my wife and I on separate occasions discovered fleas on her. She began a topical treatment for those and the house was thoroughly sanitized. All her toys and her pillow were discarded. Yet the itching persisted.

A third trip to the vets resulted in a diagnosis of flea saliva allergy. Yep, not only did she have fleas, but she was allergic to their bites. Although there were no more fleas on her, their bites created a persistent histamine reaction. So another round of steroid treatments began to resolve this issue.

Her recovery was marvellous over the first 10 days of treatment, but then just as last weekend ended these tummy troubles began. In one day, Monday I believe, she needed to be walked 8 times. That then continued unabated through the night with another 4 walks before 7:00am. Tuesday afternoon she had nothing left inside her and slept all day. But things got going once again Tuesday night. And the routine repeated itself yesterday and last night. So here we are, my wife on 3 hours’ sleep and me up at 6:00am to take over from her, and the dog’s been out twice with me already (it’s 8:00am currently). I foresee a fourth vet visit in our very near future. Thankfully the clinic we have her going to, the Granville Island Pet Hospital, is fantastic and Dr. Adam is very helpful and generous. Here’s hoping things wrap up soon, for all our sakes!

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One Comment

  1. Craig..this itchy stuff sounds VERY similar to my dog Kodi.He’s had a problem since June-started with him growling and dive-bombing his ass and he opened up the skin on his belly by scratching. At the time there was’t a flea in sight, so I thought it was general allergies. A nightmare to diagnose. it got so bad that he wouldn’t eat and wouldn’t come out of his crate….he got put on a round of antibiotics and steroids and that quelled it. I thought it was gone…whew..but NO! I left his next round of Advantage a day or two late (idiot that I am) and the damned itching began all over again. Definitely fleas this time. I gave him advantage again. Took him to the vet. Now, it’s been over 2 weeks since I have yet again to see a flea and he’s started to open his skin up again…off to the vet again to spend yet another 100.oo or so…argh! This is crazy!

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