Thursday, 24 April 2008

Bingley woes

When I last took Bingley to the vet I was shocked to find myself left behind as he was led away for his very own private consultation. It really was an unsettling experience, but it didn’t prepare me for what was going to happen on our next visit.

Now that we’ve decided to not move house we knew that it was time to knuckle down and find out just what Bingley is allergic to. We hadn’t forgotten about this, but it was easy to put that issue on hold because his allergic reaction seemed so mild. However, over the course of the past week things suddenly became much worse and addressing this condition quickly turned into a priority. He’d begun to shake and scratch his head constantly, frequently enough in fact to start leaving bare patches below his eyes. More perplexing were the lumps that had begun to appear on his muzzle. It was definitely time to go back to the vet.

So Tuesday morning found us all sitting in the consulting room once again; a different room this time, and a different vet. But it was another good examination which seemed to confirm that Bing is definitely allergic to something. Finding out what that might be may take a while though and will likely require him to spend a day with a dermatologist.

That’s the next stage however. On Tuesday the vet went on to suggest eliminating some of the obvious candidates (such as Demodex, little mites that live deep in the hair follicles) and recommended that we leave Bing with her while she did some tests. She’d sedate him, take some skin scrapes from the patches near his eyes and have a good look at the lumps on his muzzle. It would take a couple of hours though, so it would be best for us to go home & she’d give us a call when Bingley was ready to be collected.

Bing of course was happy to bound off with a new friend (though I’m not certain if his new companion was quite as happy at being enthusiastically pulled down the corridor!).

But Jane & I felt bereft and wandered home in a daze. No dog pulling & tugging on the lead as we walked, no insistent muzzle pushing against our legs as we ate lunch. In fact the house felt quiet and horribly empty.

As soon as the phone rang we both leapt up to answer it. The vet explained that the skin scrapes had returned a negative for Demodox, but the lumps on his muzzle had caused enough concern for her to do a biopsy and she’d had to put in a couple of stitches as a consequence. Thankfully the lumps seem to be nothing more than a severe infection resulting from all the scratching, but the definitive results won’t be here until next week.

Jane and I returned to the vets at warp speed! But despite the warning that he now looked worse than he did when we brought him in, it was still a shock to see him. Poor little lad looked like he’d been in a bar fight.

Once home he went straight to bed and slept solidly the whole evening, getting up only to eat his meal – which is good sign, I suppose.

For the next week he’s on a course of antibiotics and steroids. Yesterday I had to add his quarterly worming tablet to the cocktail of medication I seem to be feeding him at the moment.

Not surprisingly he’s been very quiet today, which gives me time to type this. Bonny Bing isn’t that bonny at the moment, so no new photos just yet – I’ll let Jane pick something from the archive. But Bing & I have just been out for a short mid-afternoon walk and as we passed a couple of the local kids one of them exclaimed ‘What a gorgeous dog!’ So, despite the stitches and scrapes Bing’s obviously still an absolute charmer.


Sue said...

Poor Bingley. Lets hope the vet can get to the bottom of his strange lumps and irritations quickly. Give him a huge 'get well' hug. He certainly looks extremely handsome in the picture with his blue friend!! Maybe he could be suffering from a canine version of heyfever?

Rob said...

Thanks, Sue. I'll tell Bingley that you're thinking of him!

At the moment it's difficult to even guess what he might be allergic to (not to us, I hope!) and it might be that we never find out. But the medication has made a huge difference and, besides the stitches in his muzzle (I feel so sad about that) and the skin scrapes below his right eye, he's looking much better.

We're back to the vet on Tuesday to have the stitches removed, collect the results of the biopsy, and discuss what to do next.

The important thing is that we seem to be making some headway into getting this sorted out and today Bing's been back to his usual self, which is a good thing...on the whole!