The Chronicles of Hermione Granger Reed

This blog is devoted to my puppy dog Hermione, chronicling all developments in her life, humorous, trying and otherwise.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dr. Dust Rocks; I Kind of Suck

So the mystery of the never-ending ear infection has at last been solved, and solved by the best Veterinarian ever. Seriously. Stephanie and Debbie had both spoken enchantingly of Dr. Dust, but he had remained but a myth for myself and Hermione. Until today. He is everything they said he was and more. I felt myself wanting to tell him my various symptoms, since anything he would say in his calm, even tones would be sure to cure me by sheer force of his understated confidence. Our previous visits to the Vet had been fine or slightly disturbing, and I had left each time feeling like neither of the various Vets we saw really knew my dog, or knew how to speak to a new, slightly nervous, owner. Shuttled in and shuttled out in about 20 minutes each time, we had been given quick diagnoses, and quick solutions, and yet here I was with a puppy dog who was still scratching her ears raw (and waking me up at ungodly hours).

Dr. Dust, however, changed all that. His diagnosis was so thorough, so careful, so attentive that I will never see another Vet ever again even if it means flying in for Hermione's check-ups. I am so not kidding. So, the verdict? Hermione doesn't have an ear infection. What she has is a food allergy. Why do I believe this? Because Dr. Dust explained that dogs who have a great deal of itching in the wintertime are rarely allergic to something environmental (since everything is dead). Dogs who particularly scratch their ears tend, by a large margin, to suffer from food allergies. Dogs who have allergies and respond to Benadryl in places on their bodies other than their ears (which is true of Hermione) are almost always suffering from food allergies. Thus, a dog with perpetually itchy ears who has no ear infection and who responds to Bendaryl on her body only is a dog that almost certainly is allergic to something she is eating.

You may thus ask then, why all of this leads me to the inexorable conclusion that Dr. Dust's awesomeness cannot help but reveal my suckiness. Here's why: Dr. Dust not only thought that Hermione had food allergies, but that her allergies were incredibly severe. The fact that she was stopped in her investigation of the exam room by an irresistible desire to scratch herself was a sign that her distress was so severe it stopped her from doing typically doggie things (like smelling Vet exam rooms). In fact, her ears are so inflamed that they have themselves thickened (they are probably twice as thick as they are supposed to be), a condition that leaves her in danger--if she keeps up the scratching--of causing a hematoma (a blood clot) that would inflame the ears to ginormous size and require surgery to correct. He has thus put her on a crash course of cortisone to reduce the ear swelling and to stop her from scratching, and given her a very high dose because of the severity of the allergy. I just thought she had a little ear infection, and found the 'clink' of her dog tags as she scratched at 4 AM kind of annoying. Meanwhile, she's in auto-immune hell, and I'm just hoping to get an extra hour of sleep. Jebus. I do suck.

The saddest part, though, is that the Era of the Treat must come to an end. The only way to fix food allergies is to put dogs on hypoallergenic food for 8 weeks to flush their systems, and then to reintroduce various foods to figure out what they are allergic to. So I bought a big bag of Prescription Diet z/d ULTRA Allergen-Free Prescription Food, and am going to begin Hermione's detoxification. She's also got the cortisone, and some fatty acid pills (which help with the allergies). What she won't be having are any Goobers, Pup Corn, or Vanilla Woofers. She can't even have her tablespoon of pumpkin or her ritual peanut butter (laced with a benadryl tablet). I think I'll go on a sympathy diet: brown rice and steamed vegetables. After all, I've been sick this whole time too, so maybe detox would be good for both of us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Dust.

I don't need to say more for those in the know. The very utterance of his name is balm enough.

What I also love about Dr. Dust is that he remembers every pet he's ever seen. Last week as he was walking through the little vet hospital portion of the practice, he spotted my cat and said, "Is that Stan?" Yes, it was! And Stan immediately got better on the spot.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Hermione didn't have any allergies when she was known (ridiculously) as Cassie. But once she moved in with her new mom, I think she picked up the allergy thing. Her mom, after all, is allergic to the entire region of the country she's living in.

12:27 PM  

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