Thursday, 6 March 2008

Itchy & scratchy

Bingley, it turns out, might have allergies. For some time now he’s been regularly shaking his head throughout the day and there have been times when we’ve noticed him rubbing the side of his head with his paws, trying to scratch his ears. It really is quite distressing to watch and we’ve often wished that he could talk just so he’d be able to tell us what the problem is.

But of course he can’t talk and finding out what the problem might be is why we have vets.

So last Friday his lunchtime walk included another visit to the vet. I have to schedule appointments close to the end of their opening hours because of his tendency to behave like Tigger whenever he meets new people; or, in the case of last Friday, when he met a delightful 6 month old cocker spaniel called Masie who was also in the waiting room. With careful timing we usually find an almost empty practice, and embarrassment and mayhem are kept to a minimum. Hopefully!

Once in the consulting room the remarkably calm young vet asked me lots of questions, but she quickly suggested that it was likely to be some kind of allergy. Blood & skin tests are the only method to accurately identify the causes, but once I explained that we were in the process of moving house we both agreed that it was probably better to leave that next step until we’d completed our move. It was nice to be reassured that Bingley isn’t in any pain; he’s just suffering the discomfort of itchy ears and, more recently, itchy paws.

The vet then said that she’d like to have a good look in his ears, which Tigger immediately read as a cue for playtime. ‘Would you mind’, asked the vet, ‘if I took him next door and got a couple of the nurses to hold him while I examine his ears?’ Of course I didn’t, though I wasn’t sure of what Bing (or the vet) would make of it.

Well, do you know she just came over, took the lead and said ‘come on Bingley’. He looked up, wagged his tail and happily trotted off with her. The door quietly shut behind them and I was suddenly left alone in the consulting room. It was the strangest feeling. I thought dogs were meant to be loyal? I would at the least have expected him to go into magnetic paws mode and say I don’t wanna go. But no, Bingley just walked off with the first pretty girl who made eyes at him. He didn’t even look back.

Ten minutes later they returned. Bingley glanced at me and then, lead trailing behind him, wandered off to explore the rest of the room. Meanwhile the vet explained that his ears are quite red inside, and we’ve now to start using medicated ear drops and anti-histamines until we can get the blood tests arranged. She also warned me that the house move would likely make things worse because of all the dust that’s going to be generated.

Once outside I sat Bingley down and asked him what he thought he was playing at just going off with a complete stranger. I didn’t get an answer though, because at that point Masie reappeared and Bing suddenly had another attractive girl to single-mindedly focus his attention on.


Sue said...

What a fantastic piece. As usual you manage to conjure up very amusing pictures. Keep up the excellent work.

Rob said...

Thanks so much, Sue!

I'm really pleased that you enjoy reading about Bingley. Of course once we've moved house we're going to have a whole new world of adventures on the coast to share....