This weeks Foster Feature is
Butch the Dachshund – Part 2: The Vet
by Shellie Bellinghausen
As we’re driving back to College Station, I wondered how the vet was going to be able to examine this very aggressive little dog. We’d have to muzzle him for sure, but I wasn’t sure if we could safely get close enough to put it on him!
About ten minutes into the drive, little Butch started whining and acting like he may be feeling car sick, so I pulled over and moved his crate to the front seat, hoping the cold A/C would help. We got underway again, and I rested my hand next to his crate so he could get used to my scent. Within a few minutes, he was whining again and pawing at my hand, pulling it toward him. We had well over an hour left in our journey, and I didn’t want him to throw up the whole way, so I pulled over again and turned his crate so the door faced me. I put a towel in my lap and, thinking to myself, “Here goes…,” I opened the door.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I guess I thought he’d be hesitant to approach me. Nothing doing! He walked out of that crate, across the console, and into my lap. He curled up and made himself comfortable, putting his nose up to my chin to sniff me. And out of nowhere, he kissed my face!
My heart melted!
This tough little boy, who trusted no one, not even the ACO who tried to befriend him for over a month, decided I was trustworthy. I told him over and over what a sweet, gentle boy he was and how proud I was of him, all the while petting him. And there he stayed for the rest of the trip.
When we arrived at the vet clinic a little while later, I wrapped him up in the towel and carried him inside. I was still cautious, knowing what he was capable of if he was scared. I decided to hold him for as much of the visit as possible to make sure he knew he was safe. When I handed him to her to weigh him, he tried to get back in my arms. But I held his sweet face and told him it was ok, and he settled down immediately.
The vet determined Butch had Cheyletiella mange, mites that cause what appears to be walking dandruff because they move around under the scales of the skin. They are highly contagious, so he would have to be isolated for a couple of weeks. He also appeared to have a fungal skin infection, probably because he was sleeping on a urine soaked pillow that he came into the pound with. This caused hair loss on his back end, tummy, and chest. In addition, he had a horrific ear infection. So this little guy had to be miserable.
As the vet gave him the vaccinations, he didn’t flinch. I held him the whole time, and he didn’t try to squirm of bite. She put medicine in his ears, which I would continue at home for the next ten days. He fussed when she drew blood for the heartworm test, which was negative, and again when he got the Ivermectin injection to treat the mites (it burns for a minute or so). Because he was behaving so well, we even trimmed his extra long nails!
I was sent home with instructions to bathe him in anti-fungal shampoo every five days for three weeks, and flush out his ears after each bath. He had to receive medicine in his ears each day for 10 days. We treated for worms over a five-day period, and he would have to have additional doses of Ivermectin each week for six weeks.
So now the real challenge…how to isolate him in my small condo from my three other dogs and rabbit!
To be continued…
(This picture was taken the following morning. He’s like a whole new dog! There is confidence in his eyes, where before there had been resignation and uncertainty.)