Thursday, 11 December 2008

A spoonful of sugar

Today we gave Bingley his first home inoculation.

Thanks to some wonderful training from Julie Henfrey, and the excellent staff at Sheriff Hill, I knew just what to do (though, rather like a driving test, when the time finally arrived I found that I wasn’t looking forward to it at all).

The medication lives in the vegetable compartment of the fridge. Stored in its own plastic box it sits there with the grapes and sprouts and parsnips. The plastic box is one of the few things I like about this new routine with which we have to live: I’m organised and I like things that help me to stay organised. The box is a nice shade of green and has little compartments for the needles, the log-book, and the medication itself.

As well as the green box in the fridge we also have a bright yellow box for the ‘sharps’: the used syringes which I’ll return to the vet for safe disposal. I’ve also got another box to hold a selection of spare syringes. It holds enough syringes to last a year. Then I’ll go get some more.

These, and the wonderful support we’ve been getting from his vet, are the only positive things I can think of to say about a system which is necessary but heartbreaking.

I was reminded on my last visit to the surgery that we’re still in the early stages of treating Bingley’s allergies. It’s too soon to see any improvement.

That’s kind of reassuring because at the moment I can’t see any improvement at all. The only thing which has been holding his condition in check has been a long course of the frighteningly expensive, and foul smelling, Atopica. He was given the final tablet from the latest batch 10 days ago and not surprisingly his condition is immediately getting worse. I reckon that Atopica will be back on the menu by January.

The long term view is more uplifting: 70% of dogs respond well to this treatment and all being well we should, at some point, start to see signs of improvement.

It’s also a relief that Bingley doesn’t seem to mind having a needle stuck into him. In fact he’s even given in to having to take the Atopica: initially he’d run and hide when he heard me popping the tablets out of their case; more recently though he’s taken to standing still with an ‘ok, let’s get it over with’ expression.

Today’s injection wasn’t his first but it somehow feels like just the beginning. Let’s hope that it isn’t long before he starts to feel better.

Meanwhile, it’s big spoonfuls of dog treats for this little lad.

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