It was Cinnamons first visit to the vet and I think I had more anxiety than she did. It’s nearly three month ago that she came into my life right around Halloween. As a feral, four month old puppy she still struggles a bit with other people and animals. Strangely some are silently observed, while others trigger a growl and the hair sticking up Mohawk style along the spine from neck to tail. And yet others get a full blown bark and a bit more aggression. I haven’t figured out the difference and why it changes each time. It used to be downright hilarious to see the little protector spring into action and she’d bark at a dog three times her size, with the heart of a lion. It only tells me that she had to defend herself in her short life and now my focus lies on associating her with others and the world around her. We have made big strides and she trusts me with her life. Neighborhood strolls are still a bit scary, while the trail is all about her comfort zone, tail up, strutting her stuff.
Anyways, it’s been a challenging three months and as I got her she had a small balding spot on her cheek. Two further spots developed and all got pretty big in size with hair loss and balding. She had worms in her stool which needed to be addressed right away as I got her and I thought the hair loss might have been due to stress and another new home and environment. Next I thought it had to do with food allergies and we went from chicken which many dogs are allergic to, to beef, fish, lamb and duck. She didn’t like any too much and all had to be doctored up and mixed with can food. Now we are on a hydrolyzed salmon, limited ingredient diet and we love our food, thank god.
In the meantime it was suggested that she might have “hot spots” and a fungal infection. Perhaps even mites, yikes. Inadvertently I started to itch imagining creepy crawlies on her and me. Fungal cream to the rescue, slathering the bald spots. Over the weeks I got more and more emotional, worrying about the fur-baby that by the way didn’t show any signs about her quality of life being diminished. Yes, there was a bit of scratching and licking so I made a homestyle anti itch spray remedy with apple cider vinegar. Also an oatmeal, baking soda, my very own “Doggy Doo Shampoo” was also made by me and together we took frequent baths/showers to soothe and condition the entire coat. What followed was wet dog racing at unsafe speeds through the house. There was also a moisturizing spray and coconut butter / oil for antibacterial properties and to avoid infections. Few well researched essential oils were added to the moisturizing spray to repel any mites or fleas. A dust mite spray was made….just in case and I wasn’t going to let any stone unturned. Further issues were that her paw pads were swollen and changed from black to red, including her toe nails at times and inside of ears. Through every little discomfort, I think I felt it worse than she did and all throughout I prayed for her comfort and that her hair would grow back and not stay as bald spots throughout her entire life.
And then all of a sudden small, fine hair made their appearance back and I was nearly in tears from joy. A vet appointment was just around the corner that I had scheduled just to make sure and give the pup an initial wellness exam. Due to Covid guidelines and procedures, you were asked to call from the parking lot once arriving for the appointment. From there someone would come to the car and escort your pet inside the clinic while you had to wait outside. I had no clue how this would go, especially with her dislike of certain people. Hopefully she was ok with those people on that day. Arriving in the parking lot, we had to growl at a few other vehicles, other people and pets, but luckily not too bad. And then an older lady appeared to pick up Cinnamon and let her sniff her while she tried to back up and away from her. She was so scared. Her whole little body was trembling and it was hard to watch, but eventually she went, tail tucked tightly between her legs. 😞
In the end she really loved her vet who had also given her her rabies shot three month prior, and who was also the vet from my previous two dogs. He said that she was a very nice puppy with a clean Bill of health, and he apparently told her so. He said that he told her how pretty she was and how good she was behaving, and all of a sudden she remembered him, trusted him and was all over him, licking him wanting to play. Can you imagine how relieved I was?
The diagnosis was that she suffers from allergies and is most likely allergic to same yellow flowering bush I am. She got a shot for environmental allergies that should last one month and we are hoping it’s a seasonal issue that can be controlled with a benedryl allergy regiment.