Scout had her vet appointment today. I have to say, if we’re going to spend this much time with our vet, it’s a good thing we really like him. Dr. C has a great demeanor, takes the time to talk with us about things, and really cares about Scout.
But he’s concerned about her. He told us that there has to be something causing this; Scout is too young to be getting this many back-to-back ear infections. So, we did a couple of things.
To start with, they cleaned out Scout’s ear, which we’d been having trouble doing. It was simply too painful for her for us to clean much. Second, they did some testing. The tests show that Scout has not one, but two infections, one in her ear and one…somewhere else. We had asked Dr. C if he could tell us why Scout had, in the past week or so, begun to lick her private area (yes, that area) constantly. She’s woken us up at night licking it. I thought it would be a urinary tract infection, but it wasn’t. The tests show that Scout has a pretty gnarly ear infection in her left ear—again—and also has a yeast infection of her privates, or as B would say, her downstairs. After explaining to us how to treat the ear infection (which at this point is old hat), Dr. C explained that he was going to give us some medicated wipes, and that twice a day we’d need to clean Scout’s downstairs.
Just pause for a minute and try to imagine B’s face when Dr. C says this. If ever there was a time that B and I communicated telepathically, it was now.
B’s thoughts: Ha! That’s a job for A.
A’s thoughts: Ha! There’s no way B’s doing that.
Talk about loving your pet-children. For the next 10 days, Scout and I are going to get intimate, really intimate, twice a day.
All joking aside, I’m not sure that this operation is going to go smoothly. I’ve never actually touched Scout’s privates before, and I’m not sure she’s going to want me to either. This could be a team effort after all, even if B’s not the one doing the cleaning.
Dr. C also said that this downstairs yeast infection is something we should watch for once we’ve get this one healed up. He explained that Scout’s privates are anatomically abnormal. She has more skin around the area than she should, so it keeps moisture locked in, thus increasing the chance of breeding reoccurring yeast infections. The way to fix it, if this should become an issue, is through surgery. Yikes. So, let’s all cross our fingers that this is a one-time deal, yes?
On the ear front, we’re going to spend the next 10-14 days doing a cycle of cleaning Scout’s ear once a day using the same cleaning solution we’ve been using: Corium. After a half hour, we’ll administer ear drops. Then, once a day, she’ll get antifungal pills with breakfast. Dr. C is going to swap out the cleaning solution to one that’s stronger and will prevent her yeast buildup better once we’ve finished off this bottle. (We’re almost done with it.) He thinks this should help. He also gave her a steroid shot to help with her pain.
Now for prevention. Once we get this infection cleared, we’re going to evaluate Scout’s diet even more than we already have. He said that the steps we took to overhaul her food—removing all meat and rawhides—was good, but that his first guess as to what’s causing this is food allergies due to how young Scout is. A dog her age (1.5 years old) just shouldn’t be having this issue, and this points to a food allergy in his mind, though he hasn’t ruled out that there could be something in her environment, or a combination of the two. So, once we’re done treating her, we’re going to bring her in and he’s going to test her ear just to be absolutely sure that we’ve nipped this infection completely, and once we’re sure of that, we’ll begin phase two: trying to figure out what’s causing this.
We also were able to discuss our feral cat situation with him. Dr. C doesn’t feel that Scout is getting something from the cat poop that could be causing this, so he said the one thing that Scout is being exposed to through the cats is parasites. He gave us the card for a local organization called Momakat Rescue. The organization helps local neighborhoods with feral cat populations by going in and spaying/neutering the population and then releasing the cats, thus preventing the population from continually breeding but letting them live out their lives. Dr. C explained that if the cats are caught and brought to a vet’s office and fail a test for any type of disease, they must be euthanized (I forget if he said this is their office’s policy or a state law…). The organization could play mediator for us, and speak with our neighbor about the cats. Basically, they would approach our neighbors, not us, and get their permission to spay/neuter the cats. Dr. C explained (and we agree) that by feeding the feral cats, our neighbor is ipso facto declaring that the cats are his responsibility, and he’s therefore not taking care of them properly by not spaying/neutering/updating shots etc. The organization can work with our neighbor directly to resolve these issues.
Of course, this wouldn’t change our poop problem, but at the very least we’d know that the cats weren’t going to continually breed nonstop. One step at a time, right?
We’ll keep you updated on Scout’s progress, and how the whole cleaning business goes. At the very least, you’re bound to get some good stories out of it!