Caring for Critters – My Experiences with Pet Injuries and Illnesses

Caring for Critters Round Robin Badge

This is part of the Caring for Critters Round Robin hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. Each day of the month, a different pet blogger shares their experience in dealing with a particular health issue. I am following Jen with Dogthusiast.com with various health issues that I’ve encountered with my dogs over the years.

Cassie - Shetland Sheepdog

It’s difficult to tell in this photo, but Cassie had a permanently dry nose due to her bout with distemper when she was young.

Cassie’s Distemper
Cassie got distemper when she was about two years old and I was eleven. The vet gave us some medicine and we kept her in the garage away from our other dogs. I went in to see her every day after school and even set up my own little chair so I could stay in there with her. (My mom wouldn’t let me sleep in there overnight, though.) The distemper caused Cassie to lose her leg muscles. My mother showed me how to help her get her strength back so Cassie could walk again. I don’t know how much of this my mother did when I was at school, but I worked with Cassie every chance I got. She eventually pulled through. The disease left her with a permanently dry nose and gooey eyes, but she lived as a normal happy dog to the age of thirteen.

 

My Border Collie / Shepherd Dog Smokey

Smokey loved to travel.

Smokey’s Blistered Feet
One day the gate didn’t close properly when my ex (then my husband) headed out in his truck. Smokey took off after him. It was at least a quarter mile, possibly more, before he noticed Smokey chasing him… and keeping up. He pulled over and Smokey slowed down to a painful limp. The hard fast run on pavement blistered Smokey’s feet very badly. There wasn’t much a vet could do other than clean his feet and give him some antibiotic ointment. So for the next few days I did my best to keep Smokey from having to walk, kept his feet clean, put medicine on, and put bandages on whenever I needed to take him out for potty. Smokey healed quickly.

 

Dogs Becky Anne and Sheba

Sheba is the Rottweiler mix pup on the right. When she was an even smaller pup, she had Parvo and her mange was much worse. Loving care enabled her to overcome both.

Sheba’s Parvo
Sheba was either dumped in front of my house or she found her way there on her own and decided to stay. I took her in only to find she had parvo and mange. My dogs had their vaccinations against parvo, but I still kept Sheba separated from them. Sheba was given medicines and special food until the vet gave her the clear on the parvo. She still had mange but it wasn’t contagious and so she became a permanent member of the family. A healthy diet eventually cleared up her mange.

 

Sephi in Bed

Sephi developed hypothyroidism when she was about 6 or 7 years old.

Sephi’s Hypothyroidism
I’ve written about Sephi’s hypothyroidism before. The short version of the story is this – Sephi came up with a skin condition where red bald spots appeared on her stomach and a few other places. The vet gave her medicine and it didn’t work. The vet then sent me to a doggie dermatologist and he gave Sephi a more powerful medicine that ended up harming her liver. She spent the night at the vet with an iv and the liver problem cleared up, but the skin condition didn’t. I took her to a different vet and they suggested hypothyroidism. Sure enough, the test results were positive. Sephi was given a prescription that was very inexpensive compared to all the other medicines that she had been prescribed, and her skin cleared up within a week.

Portrait of My Dog Pierson 3

Pierson has canine epilepsy and suffers from a short seizure every few months or so.

Pierson’s Canine Epilepsy
Pierson had his first seizure on his first Gotcha Day, which I wrote about on this blog on January 12th, 2013. He’s had a few more since then, a total of 6 I think it is now, with no known cause. Luckily, these episodes are short and he recovers very quickly. The vet says they are not bad enough to require medication. Medication can have a lot of side effects, and some of those side effects won’t be noticeable to us because dogs are good at hiding their discomforts. Pierson’s most recent seizure was a few days ago at 4:00am on September 12th. It was short, as usual. And as usual, he was back to his silly-boy self within moments afterwards. There isn’t much I can do for him when he has these. I simply make sure there is nothing nearby for him to hit and comfort him until it is over.

 

My Dog Maya and Pet First Aid Kit

I used the pet first aid kit from Kurgo for the first time when Maya was injured by another dog.

Maya’s Leg Wound
I recently wrote about Maya being attacked by a dog. That was on August first of this year. The attack left her with a gaping wound on her leg. Luckily, no arteries were hit. A quarter-sized chunk of skin was torn off, but there was very little blood. Maya was given oral antibiotics as well as topical. The first day she was in a lot of pain so I also got her some doggie aspirin from Petco. It helped. She was her normal energetic self the next day. I washed her wound twice a day every day for a couple of weeks and made her wear a cone so she couldn’t lick her wound. She still has a scar, but her wound has healed very nicely.

There are so many other situations to write about. Becky Anne was hit by a car once and lost her tail. She also jumped off a cliff once! Then there was Huckleberry who jumped out of our car window to chase some cows. Both survived without major injuries, thank goodness. Our pets sure do give us some experiences, both fun and difficult. I could certainly do without the drama, but I could never do without my dogs.

Learn about more pet health care experiences by checking out Peggy’s blog, The Writer’s Dog. Peggy’s topic is Caring for Super Seniors.

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6 Responses to “Caring for Critters – My Experiences with Pet Injuries and Illnesses”

  1. Jan K Says:

    You’ve had too much experience with too many different health issues! I think it’s great you shared them because we can learn things, such as I never knew a thyroid condition could cause those skin problems.
    Our golden retriever Moses also had seizures very similar to Pierson’s. Only every few months or so and we just got him through it. They never seemed to get significantly worse, so we never had to use medication either.

  2. Jodi Says:

    Wow, you’ve certainly been through it!! I always knew you were an awesome dog mom, but didn’t realize the experience you’d had with all these various illnesses. Thank you so much for adding this to the Round Robin.

  3. Lindsay Says:

    Wow, that is a variety of injuries/illnesses! Interesting to hear about the distemper. I don’t even really know what distemper is. I just know my dog gets vaccinated against it every couple of years.

    My parents have a golden retriever who has seizures maybe three or four times per year. She’s had these occasionally all her life and she is not on any medication for them either. They haven’t gotten worse, and she is now 11 years old.

  4. somethingwagging Says:

    You are a wonderful dog nurse. And it appears that’s a skill you’ve had since you were a young girl.

    Yes, our critters can suffer all kinds of ills. But I loved how your post pointed out how good care can result in lots of happy ending stories.

  5. 2 Brown Dawgs Says:

    People these days forget how really scary it was for dogs back when the vaccine for distemper was new and few vaccinated it. Pets would actually come down with the disease and not infrequently. I am happy Cassie recovered. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences.

  6. Clowie Says:

    It’s amazing what tender loving care can do!

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