Friday, August 6, 2010

A Lab.... never again.

Sunny is only 4 years old. The prime of her life. Should be the picture of health. Instead I have this dog who chews herself to the point of oozing and whose sizable ears seem to take turns getting infections.
Sunny's latest ailment was a huge hematoma in her ear. Her ear looked like a giant engorged tick. In order to save yet another costly trip to the vet, I talked Fred into bringing a syringe home so he could drain it himself.

It did not go well. Blood and body fluids, a yelping, twisting 95 pound dog and a frustrated and disgusted surgeon-turned-vet does not make a pretty picture. And of course, like the Gulf oil geyser, the thing refilled in no time flat. Took her to the vet finally, piggy-backing her onto my regularly scheduled appointment with another dog and two cats, and the vet said to leave it alone and it might go away. Which, I think, is Fred's philosphy with our animals in general. But, like the philosophy, the vet's theory didn't work. The thing kept getting bigger. And bigger.

She finally got to the point where she was walking around with her head held sideways. Whether from discomfort or the actual weight of the thing I don't know. But we bit the bullet and scheduled the surgery. More than $600 later, and armed with a bag full to bursting with medications, I walked out the door with her in one of those E-collars. The vet told me she might bump into things for awhile, but there was a learning curve and she would soon get the hang of it. Thing of it is, Sunny's learning curve is more like a flat line, so she pretty much continuously walks into doorways and flips over kitchen stools.

Less than a week later we were back at the vet's because she managed to develop yet another ear infection
while she was on antibiotics.
They removed her bandage and gave me more antibiotics, a topical spray, and drops to put inside her ear.
She's still bumping into things and scraping everyone's legs and her collar is now duct-taped because she managed to rip the plastic from catching it on stuff so often.
Hey, at least she can't chew her legs right now.
And, if I want to remain positive, she has matured to the point where she pretty much only chews on herself, which is a good thing. In her younger days, she has been know to chew up pool noodles, hoses, pricey water pumps, and the siding on our house. I can truly say I have a dog who eats us out of house and home.

Marley's got nothin' on Sunny.

I hope you'll come check out my new location.  Visit me at my blog Life on the Funny Farm and say hi! 


Nicole said...

Poor Sunny! I have a lab/malmute that likes to chew on her ankles. I have had some people tell me that it's because of the mixture of dog food. That maybe I should try a more expensive brand, I don't know about that. I have six kids that need the food more. But, your poor doggy. Hope she feels better soon.

Nicole said...

Sorry I did not identify myself. I was reading blogs and came across your's.

Nicole said...

Oops didn't realize that date either. Boy I am way behind the times. Hope she is healed up. Oh so long ago.

farmbeachgal said...

Hi Nicole, thanks for your comments. Her ear has never been the same and we are in a constant struggle to keep them healthy.

Nicole said...

Ah poor sunny! Thanks for writing back again I'm sorry I was so far behind the times with the date. Have ejoyed reading about your family and did cast my vote!

farmbeachgal said...

No worries, Nicole. You probably just clicked that post from the sidebar of popular posts. Poor Sunny may be a mess, but she is a popular gal. That post always gets more hits than just about any other. Go figure.

mumsy said...

We've been through this with an Australian shepherd and a golden retriever. Can not believe your vet said leave it, it might get better on it's own. Sunny is lucky she doesn't have a shriveled up clump on the side of her head, I've seen dogs like that when their people didn't take them to the vet. I do understand trying the home treatment, on a remote camping trip i once repaired a ripped ear with duct tape, it really does fix anything. As for the chewing herself; change her food! We went through this with the golden, she would actually rub her own fur off. After thousands of dollars spent on medicines and allergy testing and doctor guesses one day we ran out of her dry food. To buy more required a special trip to the specialty dog food store and well it was football season, we were busy. About two weeks later my husband announced that he was going to go pick up her food. I told him don't and then showed him her chest and paws. The fur had grown back on her chest and she had no chew marks anywhere. not even at the top of her tail, a favorite retriever spot to chomp! Eight years later she eats nothing but cnned or homemade and at nearly 16 is doing well, despite tumors in the intestines, as long as she gets no dry dog food.

Kath said...

Anne, there are inflatable collars for dogs that look like a travel pillow. In fact, a travel pillow with velcro may actually work. The dog cannot lick/chew themselves, the collar is comfortable and they don't tear up the house with the stiff collar. Hope Sunny is ok.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...