Today the vet managed to extract a grass-seed dart from Galileo’s ear.
It’s a common problem and also very dangerous as the seeds can pierce the ear drum and even the brain.
The seed itself isn’t very photogenic so I’ve used a picture of Galileo running towards me up the steps, just before it happened.
This is Florence making frantic overtures to Taylor while he totally ignores her.
Her friendship with Galileo was immediate but it’s taking much longer with the crusty old-timer.
We miss you, Galileo.
We visited him this morning at the vet’s. She carried him outside in his box to see Clive and the other dogs in the car.
After she’d pulled his head up he was able to keep it like that for a while but then would grow tired and droop again.
Until he stands up nothing is certain, but the signs are good.
Yesterday afternoon Galileo came up from the field below the garden flicking his ear and clearly in pain.
I thought it must be Florence nibbling his ear – we’ve had potential cauliflower ears due to puppies before now.
But Galileo went very quiet. He got floppier and floppier over the course of the next few hours.
I eventually managed to reach a vet we didn’t know who could arrange to be at her surgery in a nearby town.
When we roused Galileo he couldn’t stand up.
We drove around and around in the night trying to find the surgery and eventually the vet came out on foot to guide us in.
She said she was 99% sure Galileo had been bitten by a viper although she couldn’t find the bite marks.
Anti-venom doesn’t exist any more in Italy – apparently it caused more deaths than the bites themselves. She put Galileo on a drip and gave him a cortisone injection then took him home with her promising to notify us if there was any change.
I phoned this morning and he was conscious but unable to move, and unable or unwilling to urinate which he must do to rid himself of toxins. She will fit a catheter if necessary.
We went to see him – I have to say he was worse than I’d imagined; eyes open but scarcely acknowledging me.
He won’t be out of danger for a while yet, and if he survives, he’ll be several days getting gradually back to normal.
Thursday afternoon, as soon as we got back from the vet’s regarding Galileo’s vaccine, we noticed Joules biting and licking his hindquarters obsessively.
We clipped away some fur and found a huge crusty sore.
Here we go again! No sooner finished with one dog and another plays up!
This morning we went to the vet’s again.
Apparently it is ‘pyotraumatic dermatitis’, commonly called a ‘hot spot’.
The vet suggested it might have been caused by a thorn piercing the skin and bacteria then being spread by Joules’ itching.
I looked up the complaint on the internet and found also that cheaper dog food can contain corn or soy which is not meant to be digested by dogs and may cause allergies.
Very recently I bought a ‘complete’ dry dog food (not especially cheap normally) that was pointed out in our usual store as being on offer.
Taylor wouldn’t eat it (and Galileo is of course on puppy food) so the willing Joules has been having it. It is 48% maize!
I immediately withdrew it from circulation.
Now Joules needs antibiotic pills and antibiotic ointment twice a day for 10 days, not to mention the inconvenience to everyone of the Elizabethan collar.
And then what??
We delivered a sample of Galileo’s faeces to the vet today.
After the necessary 20 minutes wait, the vet himself came out to the car and announced he hadn’t found even a trace of coccidia.
Hooray! We did it! Galileo is out of his impasse and can move on with his life!
He was able to have his first innoculations – second batch due in a month.
I’ve been walking on air ever since!
We took Galileo to the vet today, armed with a faeces sample.
The vet showed me the coccidia eggs down the microscope – apparently they’re just as abundant as ever.
This is in fact the second ‘re-test’ since Galileo’s dangerous illness: 12 days ago we were told we’d made no progress, and today was the same.
It’s only the medicine that’s keeping him in apparent good health and spirits, and even taking the medicine, his muscle development and general strength will be compromised over time because the protozoa is eating his blood.
The anti-coprophagia medicine doesn’t seem to be working but at the shop I was told it was too early to tell, so I bought some more and we have to consider dosing the other 2 dogs as well.
Since we’ve now tried the standard anti-coccidia medicine for 17 days to no effect, the vet suggested we try an antibiotic used on human babies.
We tracked it down in its seemingly rarer liquid form to a pharmacy where I was treated to a wonderful display of fence-sitting:
“I’ve heard somewhere that you shouldn’t use this on dogs. But if the vet’s prescribed it, who am I to say. I can’t be held liable for the outcome, though – it’s entirely your responsibility.”
I growled a bit at her and read the leaflet out of the box, which didn’t help at all.
Then I went back to the car where Clive looked up the medicine online on his tablet (dead handy, that). It seemed to be recommended for the context so I went ahead and bought it.
This is proving an even longer haul than I anticipated.
After hearing that Galileo still wasn’t eating, we went to pay him a brief visit this evening at the vet’s.
He was all eyes, locking his gaze onto mine and seeming to want to swallow me up.
Apparently, according to the vet’s father, he has eaten a bit of what looked like chicken-based baby food in a little jar.
The vet was out on a call so his father rang him on the mobile. Apparently it was coccidiosis that Galileo had, and not parvovirus at all, which is good news.
It does mean, though, that he is still unprotected from parvovirus, so as soon as he’s properly better he will need to be vaccinated.
I hope we can collect him tomorrow evening.
I’m so looking forward to the spring and summer with him. These anemones, which bloom right through the winter, are a reminder that spring will eventually come!