November 29, 2007 3:02 pm
Poor Bertie’s bald backside hasn’t improved. Having blue skin means that he really does look bizarre – bald, blue thighs not being a good look. Recently we’ve noticed that he seems to be licking them a lot too, so I braced myself and dialled the local vet that Hubby had noticed. When he popped in to get a card they seemed very nice, and when I called them a cheery lady told me to come by in ten minutes. Impressive.
Bertie’s not used to towns and it took me a very frustrating ten minutes to walk about 100 yards from the car to the vets as we had to stop and sniff every lamp-post, car, tree and shop doorway, plus there were lots of people all of whom had to be given a friendly hello and preferably a good lick if they were short enough. The vet (when we finally arrived) was very nice and seemed somewhat of a greyhound expert. After practically giving ourselves hernias trying to lift him onto the table, first up was to rule out all the obvious things, one of which is the possibility that it’s actually Bertie’s…er…bum that’s annoying him and he’s licking his thighs as he can’t get to the actual…erm…problem (sorry, I realise greyhounds’ bottoms aren’t the nicest of subjects, but bear with me).
Vet: ‘Is he friendly?’
Me: ‘Ridiculously so. Although he has been known to crush small children’
That sorted, it was a good ol’ check up of the rear end for Bertie, who stuffed his nose tightly into my armpit as the nice gentleman he’d just met did unseemly things with his nether regions.
Once he’d had that done (ew), the vet gave him a once-over, pronouncing him to be on fine form (‘nice teeth’). From then on it was really a case of trial and error so he adopted the nose-in-armpit position again while he got an injection for mange (unlikely, but just in case – this would rule out any kind of mites – ew again), a steroid injection to stop it being itchy, and a course of tablets too. There was talk of allergies:
Vet: ‘Where does he sleep?
Me: ‘Er…anywhere he likes’
Vet: ‘Oh, well I suppose he could be reacting to your washing powder – you could try removing his bedding and sleeping him on newspaper’
Me: ‘Unlikely, unless we cover every soft surface in the entire house in newspaper’
Vet: ‘Ah. Yes I see that could be a problem’
And even some talk of a sort of stress-induced self-harming:
Vet: ‘Does he seem stressed? Anxious?’
Vet: ‘What does he do when he’s at home’
Me: ‘Mainly sleep in weird positions on various bits of furniture’
Vet: ‘Oh. We’ll rule that out, then’
So it’s a kind of ‘suck it and see’ thing really. If this course of action doesn’t work then we can return and try something else. Finally, Bertie was weighed, wormed and given a good old scratchy ears ruffly head cuddle thing, prompting instant forgiveness for the bottom episode and the injections, and we went away happy, if a little poorer. I’ll keep you posted.