Yes, you read that title right. I am tasked with rubbing special (antimicrobial) lotion into Gyro’s paws. And, to add insult to injury, not for the first time.
Gyro, our beloved but aged Pembroke Welsh Corgi, requires excessive ministration again. He’s always been an itchy dog (allergies) but last year he itched (or more properly scratched) himself into a severe illness. Multiple very bad infections of his skin, papilloma wart on his foot requiring multiple surgeries, chewing his paws into little bloody hamburgers, demodex mites, eye infection…he was a mess. For a while, he was so ill we didn’t think he was going to make it. He was on 8 different medications twice a day (including a potentially poisonous one for the mites), I was medicating his paws twice a day and giving him 3 baths a week. For months. Not to mention the cost. Let’s just say he’s approaching the “Most Expensive Dog…Ever” category.
And he recovered! It was miraculous. Much of his illness had been exacerbated by being on Prednisone for many years (to control the itchiness). Prednisone works by suppressing one’s immune system. This was a very bad thing once he got those infections. They just overran his system. So no more Prednisone. One very itchy dog. But he (and we) have been living with the itchiness. Giving him Benadryl and baths. And, although the illness took a lot out of him, he’s been pretty much fine. Old. But okay.
Recently he was scratching much more than usual. He could barely take 3 steps without having to stop and scratch something. I took him to the vet a couple of weeks ago and, sure enough, he had a bacterial and yeast infection. Back on meds he went. After the full course of meds he seemed even itchier than usual.
Rather than going back to our regular vet, I took him to the doggie dermatologist (yes, there is such a thing) that he had seen last year and who had pulled him through. You know you’ve had way too many vet bills when everyone at the Animal Specialty Hospital greets you and your dog by name. The technicians cooed over Gyro. He is pretty great. And he eats up the attention with a spoon.
After some skin scrapings (always fun), poking and prodding it was decided that he, indeed, had a bacterial and yeast infection. The dermatologist took a sample and is culturing his bacteria as she thinks it may be an antibiotic-resistant staph strain. That’s our Gyro. A real over-achiever. She suggested a super-bath at the the hospital so Gyro had a spa afternoon and I went back to work. I picked him and all his new meds up in the evening. After recovering from seeing the grand total for the little visit (no paramedics had to be called but it was a close call) we returned home.
So, now he’s on 2 meds (more to come once we figure what the bacteria is) plus a body spray (to help with itchiness and reducing yeast growth – I just told him it would make him pretty and he was into it), and, yes, lotion for his feet. I rub his little paws twice a day with a very nice feeling lotion. Talk about a dog’s life. I should be so lucky.