Dog Blog #20 – Vet Visit

This week we had to make our first impromptu visit to the vet when we noticed that one of Margot’s eyes was very red and looked sore. It was a shock on a number of levels, but unfortunately, it also meant that we needed to postpone our puppy play date with my brother on the weekend.

It’s been cold this week with some rain showers, which has made the paths and tracks near us muddy and wet again, although we haven’t had any more snow, thank goodness. I failed to mention Margot’s first experience of the white stuff in last week’s blog post – I have included a couple of photos below, but you can see that it really didn’t settle much down here in our area. Not as much of a problem as in other parts of the country.

Pink Eye

At the end of last week we noticed that our pup’s right eye was bright red in the corner. It’s quite difficult to see the whites of her eyes usually because her irises are so big, but in the light, when she looked off to one side, it was clear that her eye was red and looked a bit inflamed. Another telltale sign that all was not well was the yellow gunk we could see in the corner of one eye, which reappeared a few more times during the day. She didn’t want me to wipe it away or get close to either of her eyes. It looked like the similar sort of symptoms P had as a young child when she suffered from conjunctivitis. I wondered if dogs could suffer from the same thing and if she would need to have drops to get rid of the possible infection.

Vet Consultation

When I telephoned Lynwood Vets, the lady I spoke to was lovely. I expected nothing less with all our positive dealings with them in the past. There were no appointments available in our home town practice in the coming days, but she could offer me a slot in the next town early the following morning. She advised me to book it in case the infection got worse, saying that I wouldn’t want to resort to using the out of hours vet service over the weekend as this would be far more expensive.

For the rest of the day, Margot seemed rather out of sorts. She took herself off to her crate and curled up quietly, which was really unusual. I consulted Dr Google to see what I could find out for myself… I also sent the photo below to my brother to warn him. He seemed pretty confident that it was doggy conjunctivitis and asked us to postpone our visit as it can be very contagious to other canines.

The following morning J and I drove to the vet where we saw the same receptionist from our home branch, which was both strange and reassuring. Margot was very excited to see her. In fact she was very excited full stop – you would have thought that entering a new building might have caused her some anxiety, but not a bit of it. The 20-minute wait in the reception area caused J and I more distress trying to keep our pup calm and sat or lying flat on the floor. It was a relief when we were finally invited into a consulting room.

The vet took a good look in Margot’s eyes with a bright light and agreed that the conjunctiva (the tissue covering the eyeball and the eyelids) was sore and inflamed. It was worse on one eye. She could have picked it up from nosing through some dirty water, from getting too close to another infected dog or even due to an allergy to dust or pollen. I suppose it could have been any of those things over this last week. We were prescribed some Maxitrol eye drops and instructed to put a drop into each eye twice a day for the next five days. I used the opportunity to ask the vet to show us how to do this (sounds silly I know because it’s obvious really). J and I both held her still while the vet successfully administered the eye drops. (I felt sure that it wouldn’t be that easy once we were back home.)

Everyone I’ve spoken to on the subject talks about the high expense of vet bills and the importance of pet insurance. The cost of a ten-minute consultation and a 5ml pot of eye drops was a bit of a shock to us as new dog owners. Certainly higher than we expected but not high enough to make it worth making an insurance claim with the £85 excess we would have to pay.

We did use the opportunity to also speak to the vet about Margot’s first season, saying that we were waiting for this to happen imminently. She re-iterated what we knew already: that it could be any time between six to eighteen months and to look out for any changes in certain areas of her body.

On the way home after the visit to the vet

Overall, we had been quite impressed with Margot’s behaviour with the vet. She didn’t seem that bothered by the eye drops being squeezed into her eye that morning. However, the same cannot be said when it came to the evening dose. Every time we approached her, she backed off. It was as if she knew what we were trying to do. Could she smell the medicine? Perhaps she thought we might poke her in the eye. (This had crossed my mind with the amount she was moving about to avoid us.)

In the end all three of us tried holding her down as best we could and J gave the tiny bottle a squeeze. The 5ml of liquid would not last very long at this rate… (The situation reminded me of a time when P was a baby and she had an ear infection, I think it was. An infection where she had been prescribed that bright yellow banana-flavoured antibiotic for kids that she really hated. We had to feed it to her through a plastic syringe and try to ensure she didn’t spit it straight back out by clamping her mouth shut. I remember that being a very stressful situation too.)

Over the last few days we have had mixed success administering the eye drops. I hope the infection doesn’t come back again. It certainly looks as though it has cleared up.

Margot’s First Snow

As you can see in the pictures above, we didn’t have very much snow in our garden last week. Margot was a little interested in the bits which had accumulated in the flowerbeds. I think she prefers ice to snow to be honest.

Our Favourite Place

We have continued to spend part of our daily walk at our favourite safe space for being off the lead, where it is quiet and all fenced in. It’s brilliant for practising recall. Sometimes Margot watches me walk on ahead, waits until I am a distance away and runs over at high speed whether I have thrown my arms out or not. When we are back in the garden, I continue to focus on calling her over from a sitting and waiting position, even from around the corner where she can’t see me. This morning Margot walked beside me off the lead on the common too – she is definitely making progress in this area.

New Toys / Bone

Chewing remains a key pastime for our pup and the y-shaped puppy Benebone is now far smaller than its original form. The one in the same shape but for older dogs is more intact as you can see in the third picture below. However, the new bone we introduced this week is also a hit: it certainly keeps Margot quiet even though the constant biting and scraping can be quite noisy.

One of J’s colleagues gave us another handful of toys her dog wasn’t a fan of – the ribbons came off the tennis ball within seconds and every label is missing already. I’m not sure what the fascination is with this. Another irritating new habit formed recently is chewing the corner of her fleecy mats and pulling out the stuffing. We have allowed this with the cuddly toys, so in Margot’s mind there’s probably not a great deal of difference. My needle and thread have been in high demand though and the mats have changed shape slightly with my unprofessional darning!

Margot Asleep

Margot says…

My eye was really sore last week. I didn’t like the drops being put in my eyes, but I wasn’t making it easy for them to get near me either. They were so obvious, even trying to creep up on me when I was asleep. But I heard them every time. It’s not so painful anymore. I don’t know why my eye was infected but I hope it doesn’t happen again in the future.

Next week… Hopefully, we will be back on track with the puppy play date.

Please feel free to comment, share and spread the word…

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