Monday, February 20, 2017

Even Therapy Dogs Get Sick

I took Maggie to the vet this past week. She has been getting cysts on her back side and her legs. The cysts have been bothering her and I didn’t realize she has been gnawing at them. They ruptured and scabbed over. The vet diagnosed this as sebaceous cysts. Apparently these cysts are common in large dogs. Maggie is 73 lbs. to be exact (she was just weighed at the vet). The sebaceous gland contains sebum that lubricates the hair follicles, hair shaft and skin. Inflammation happens when cysts form a sac under the skin because the area gets clogged.
I’m sitting with the vet talking about Maggie and she said Maggie is close to being a geriatric dog. As tears spring to my eyes I say “no she is only 7 ½ years old “
The vet who is such a good doctor (and a lovely person) says once a dog hits the age of 8 they are classified as geriatric. I held back my tears as best as I could and looked at Maggie who was obviously quite uncomfortable. I asked what we can do to help my sweet and loving dog. She suggested a round of antibiotics to treat the infected cysts and if they should continue then we might want to test them to make sure they aren’t anything else.
I agreed and as I await the medicine I think back to the time Maggie joined our family. At 8 weeks she was a sweet and curious pup ready to explore the world. We brought the right gear to prepare our home so that Maggie would not injure herself. Who would know that 7 years later there would be so many hearts that Maggie would touch!
I refuse to think of Maggie as geriatric dog but rather this incident as a small bump in the road. This visit to the vet is the same as us visiting our doctors when we don’t feel well.
When the vet returned with the medication (enough for two weeks) she recommended a collar so Maggie would not gnaw the cysts or scabs. I figured we would stop at a pet store on our way home because Maggie loves to go shopping there, kinda like a kid in a candy store.
The vet looked me in the eye and said if Maggie did not appear like herself in a few days to call the office and make an appointment to bring her back. I felt sincerity while she was talking to me.

P.S. As I sit and write this blog Maggie is back to her (young) and usual self. After 2 days on the meds one afternoon she picked up her toy and brought it to me as if to say “Mom I’m all better how about a game of tug-a-war!

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