Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday November 8th 2020
Well (or not), I’ve not been a diligent, efficient pet owner at all. As I explained last week, after the Hibiscrub had trickled over its label, obliterating the usage instructions, I had had to ask the vet over the phone to enlighten me.
I made notes as she spoke.
On Thursday Isis and I return for her check-up.
The good news is that the treated patches are healing nicely. The bad news is that I’d missed a large, new patch at the back of her thigh, close to the original damaged area.
I’d also failed to retain the correct number of minutes which should be left between each process.
She jots down some notes.
The sequences and applications are still not clear to me.
Understandably, the vet concludes that I’m losing my marbles – or, maybe, happens to notice my hearing aid – and begins to repeat the information more loudly.
I explain, politely, that she doesn’t need to do this, just needs to write down, or let me write down, in order, what needs to be done.
Perhaps it is at this point that she observes my spectacles hanging on a cord round my neck, for she eagerly announces that she’ll write the notes in MUCH BIGGER WRITING.
No, no, she needn’t do that. They just need to be in logical sequence. (Actually, they’re my distance glasses, used for driving. My close up vision isn’t bad).
Fortunately, not only is she a very conscientious vet, but also a patient lady.
I follow as she writes. I interject when I need more clarity, and we add in extras like ‘sore’ or ‘healed’. It emerges that there are different instructions for the two different skin states: one for ‘healed’, one for ‘sore’.
The instructions are as follows: Sore areas must be treated twice a day with twelve hours between treatments. In the morning, wipe Hibiscrub onto each area. Leave for fifteen minutes, then rinse off. After thirty minutes apply Isaderm, the steroid cream. Leave.
In the evening apply Isaderm only. Leave.
Do this until November 10th, then follow the above instructions only every other day until our next check-up on the 16th.
Healed areas. Apply Hibiscrub once a day, every three days, for four days. Apply Isaderm once a day for five days.
I have to confess that in order to bore you with this tarrididdle (or is it tarry-diddle?)
I had to tear my Hairy One’s treatment schedule from the kitchen wall and keep it in front of me. I still can’t remember it in its entirety.
Poor Isis has to wear the Elizabethan collar all the time except when she is off lead or hunting for bedtime treats when she appears to forget her problems, or when she is eating. At mealtimes I hover nearby ready to lassoo her as soon as she’s finished.
Unfortunately, she is quite athletic, so that the collar can’t prevent her from scratching her undercarriage vigorously. At least she can’t chew herself.
This positive is, however, balanced by a distressing negative. Even when she is wearing the collar, a quick flick of her naughty head enables the little toad to bite and tweak out quite substantial strands of her once lovely coat.
For several days I ponder whether she would do this less if her coat wasn’t so long and dangly. I hate the thought of cutting her lovely coat, especially at this time of year, even though she’s not a dog who feels the cold. If she is less aware of the tempting fragles, will she be deterred?
Today, after watching her execute a number of crafty nips in the seconds between her finishing a meal and my replacing the collar, I decide.
Brandishing her dog scissors, I advance. I begin with her left flank. Snip, snip, snip. It looks as though a cow has been grazing on it.
But my skills are honed by experience, and by the time I’ve finished, she doesn’t look too bad. Not from the front and sides, at least.
The rear view is considerably less impressive.
We’re sticking rigidly to our timetable. All seems to be going well. The damaged areas are all improving already. It looks as though the our next check-up should result in a clean bill of health.
But over this weekend Hairy One’s attempts to bite and scratch herself become more and more frequents. By this evening, despite my frequent interventions, she has managed to create another raw patch.
It’s possible that she needs a bigger protective collar, although that, of course, will not prevent her from scratching herself.
A., commenting on last week’s post tells me of her cat, Daisy who developed a very similar problem and was quickly cured with Cytopoint. I’ll ask about this treatment when we next see the vet.
We can’t wait for the check-up appointment on the 16th.
I’ll have to contact the practice tomorrow.
*Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk