Saturday, June 19, 2010

Celeste's Ear Infection

As a puppy, Celeste fought off ear infection after ear infection. This was in addition to a tick-born disease she had to be treated for, malnourishment, and a flea & tick infestation. For the past two years, she has been mostly ear-infection free.

Until now.

At first I thought a fox tail had embedded itself in her ear. The sanctuary is overloaded with them.

Since I moved here a few months ago, I had not attempted to find a veterinarian. Picking the right one is difficult. I need someone who is open to home-made diets, alternative treatments, and who shows more than a passing interest in me and the dogs. They must also like Pit Bulls and not withdraw in fear when they meet petite Mina.

I figured now was as best a time as any to try a new vet. This was dumb.

The vet clinic I picked offered acupuncture and some other alternative treatments, so I thought perhaps it would be a good choice.

When I arrived, I knew automatically I could never bring leash-reactive Mina. The waiting room, while long, was quite narrow and put dogs and cats in close contact with one another. Celeste can tolerate this, Mina cannot.

You had to sign in for the appointment. This is silly. At my other vet, when you set up an appointment, you arrived at that time and within 2-3 minutes, you were in a room. Usually less. I don't want to sit for more than 5 minutes in the waiting room. I know, picky of me.

We got Celeste's weight - FINALLY a nice 40 lbs (she was a bit chubtastic at 50 lbs, eep). Oh, I had to carry her. The floor was linoleum and not the kind Celeste can handle. Carrying 40 lbs is much lovelier than 50lbs.

The vet didn't take long making a diagnosis. Celeste did have a foxtail in her right ear, but the bad ear - her left - was full of pus and infection. She wanted to flush it out.

I was already unimpressed with the dingy and dirty floors, and became even less impressed with the vet's demeanor. She was fine with Celeste, which is all I care about, but as a brand-new client, you'd think she'd want to spend more than 1.5 minutes getting to know me and my dog.

As they took Celeste back for the flushing, I made the fatal error of not requesting to go with them. Fifteen minutes later, Celeste is back. I had never seen her that stressed. Her mouth was wide-open, gums bright red, tongue dry and panting like she was stuck in the mojave desert. Both her eyes were completely bloodshot. I had to hand-feed her the water, she was too scared to drink out of the bowl. I sat on the floor with her, and all she could do was stick her panting mouth in my face and stare.

The vet said she was a trooper.

Flushing out a painful, infected ear is not fun for the dog. I would have preferred a light sedation and so would have Celeste. It took her quite awhile to come down from that stress, which I felt was entirely unnecessary.

In the end, I got what I knew I needed, which was some otic antibiotic treatment. Celeste also got some anti-inflammatory meds. I left paying a $150 vet bill for a physical Celeste didn't get and overpriced medication.

It's been a few days and Celeste's ear looks a lot better. The vet was concerned it might be antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but I'm hoping it's running in fear from the antibiotic goop I've been jamming in Celeste's ear.

Celeste has indeed been a trooper. She puts up with a lot, even though she is a lot more sensitive than stoic Mina.

I do indeed love this little mexi-mutt.

1 comment:

Frodannah said...

Mhmm, I hate when they spend two seconds with an animal and count it as their physical. Why am I paying $50 for a physical that lasts less than a minute? I hope she's feeling better soon!