:Eli and I visit the barn…Posted: May 3, 2008
Yesterday, while Julie was showing dogs in Milwaukee, Eli and I took a trip to the barn. A long-time client of mine, LA, invited me to bring Eli to see her vet, Dr. Debra Mayo. One of LA’s Newfoundlands, Bow, battles allergies year-round. He is kept relatively comfortable with injections, now and again, from Dr. Mayo. LA exhibits and breeds Arabian horses. Dr. Mayo was coming to LA’s barn Friday to ultrasound Wild Lily, checking to see if she was pregnant. She could give Eli a ‘cocktail’ then.
Eli’s year-round itching began to intensify the beginning of April. This year the results came fast. He developed a large hot spot under his chin, where the tags from his collar hang. His ears were swollen, inflamed. He was miserable…as miserable as a big-hearted, happy-go-lucky dog can be. I applied topical hydro-cortisone cream, which provided immediate relief. His ears calmed down. The hot spot disappeared. The scratching continued. He looks like an old moth-eaten sweater.
Wanting to provide some relief for Eli, I took LA up on her offer Tuesday to ask Dr. Mayo to bring a ‘cocktail’ for Eli on Friday. I almost decided against going during the next couple of days. Eli’s scratching has subsided a bit. I really, really wanted a day at home, a day where I didn’t have to be anywhere, go anywhere. I’m not fond of big-gun drugs, which the cocktail was most certain to be made of.
Early Thursday morning, lying in bed in that mid-way state between wakefulness and sleep, the subject floated in my mind. Dr. Mayo is a vet, a vet that has a large horse clientele. LA has invited me to her barn before, but I’ve never gone. I’d like to meet some of the horses I’ve heard about over the years. I’d like to see Bow and Arrow on their turf. This vet might be Old School. This vet may practice the Art of Diagnosis. It wouldn’t hurt to establish a relationship with another Old School vet. They’re becoming fewer and farther between. What did I have to lose but time?
I loaded up Eli – almost as big as horse – and drove to LA’s barn. Click here if you’re interested in the specifics of Eli’s treatment. I liked Dr. Mayo. Years ago she worked with Doug, my new vet. Their philosophies are similar. She commented that a teacher in vet school told her to remember that veterinary medicine is based on Science and that there’s an Art to Diagnosis. Yes! Yes!
Over the years, I have transitioned from believing in only western medicine to incorporating complimentary and alternative methods for myself and the dogs under my care. I know from personal experience the benefits of massage therapy and chiropractic adjustment. Our bodies – human and canine – are programmed to heal. Jason, my chiropractor, shared his opinion about drugs. It made sense to me, so I’m sharing it with you. Drugs are beneficial if they help the body return to normal.
In addition to the cocktail – indeed consisting of a short-acting steroid and a long-acting steroid – Dr. Mayo prescribed an antihistamine to be used as needed, down the road. I like her. I’m certain I’ll use her again. I like having two – TWO!! – vets I’m comfortable with. Wow! A year ago I felt desperate about being able to afford and provide appropriate care for my dogs. Now I have two vets!!