… maybe never again. Maybe not until next week at least!
Imagine those suckers moving around quite fast, and NOT cut in half by my clipper blades! As you can see, by this time I was wearing a glove and already feeling the need for a decontamination shower for ME! Also feeling nauseated.
I had the rare but dubious privilege (if that makes sense) of helping a dog get rid of hundreds of maggots. I practically insisted that she be brought to me posthaste and forthwith. I think that all that is going on is that the dog was matted, has some urinary incontinence, and developed some hot spots. This sweet border collie also has been diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia ( I think that’s what I was told), and I surmise that her other problems might be related to general debility.
I know plenty of dogs who are, or have been, matted, who are not ill or have staph infection or hot spots, any sign of parasites or hair loss. But today, I feel like I relieved a dog of some misery. There is no way that the dog could have licked herself well, nor could the ointment from the vet do much good, nor the pills (antibiotics, steroids) work fast enough.
Whether the dog was also lethargic, I don’t know, but she was stoicism personified! I placed Foxy right into the dog tub , and seeing plenty of maggots under her tail, I rinsed with warm water. Then I snatched up my pet clippers and hacked away some thick coat from each side of the bare area. Yikes! Another whole colony of hundreds of maggots under THAT fur! I repeated this rinsing, clipping, disinfecting clipper blades, until most of Foxy’s perineal region was naked. Only then did I apply shampoo to the rest of the dog and finish the bath.
Someone then came to the shop door, and in an instant, Foxy bit through her tether/leash and almost leaped from the tub. I directed the man to which kennel to place his dogs in, said goodbye and went back to work.
So, for two hours, I coaxed my clippers through this sweet dog’s thick coat. I had to make it shorter than I had hoped, but “even” as possible. I think owners of heavy-coated dogs should shear them short IF they can’t keep them brushed. That’s a huge controversy among groomers, who argue that the coat is insulation for the dog and doesn’t always grow back well. I think it beats the heck out of having the dog live hot and matted.
Foxy and I thought we were finished, almost. Since I was not fatigued particularly, I planned to shampoo her white legs and belly again so that she’d be at her prettiest. Then I could dry the infected areas and apply the prescribed ointment.
I thought I would check those areas very thoroughly once again, and as I gently pushed her little vulva to one side, OH MY GOD! there was another roiling mass of dozens of maggots! Back into the tub Foxy went. Except for a maggot or two which seemed to be mocking me, marching out and back in to the dog’s anus, I was finally confident I’d done all I could, including evening pills and ointment.
For good measure, I found a “cone” to keep Foxy from licking off the expensive topical medicine. Now, I do have mixed feelings about Elizabethan cones sometimes, as it must be torture to not be able to scratch or lick what itches. I’ll keep an eye on this darling pet this evening: she has eaten and drank (with the cone on). She seems pretty comfortable.
So that was my afternoon. I feel like Florence Nightingale in a way. Sorry, I’m repeating myself and tooting my own horn. Yes, I want a medal. Between the pet owner’s willingness to pay the vet and also ask for help from a dog groomer, it feels like we have “saved” Foxy, or at least saved her from torment. I’m so satisfied that I devoted my Saturday afternoon to this project.
Hey, it’s what I do.