We had a big day at the vet today because Gozer met two different dogs. When we got to the vet's, Gozer met a 4 1/2 month-old puppy who was afraid of her and who barked and tried to attack her. Gozer kept on trying to meet the puppy and wasn't at all fazed by the puppy's antics. Just before we were leaving, Gozer met a 12 1/2 year-old dog who was quite happy to sniff (and drool) on her. That dog was afraid to be at the vet's and left two presents on the floor both before and after he went in the exam room. Gozer wasn't there for that part.
We were at the vet's for quite a while this afternoon. Gozer had been licking and licking and licking at her butt over the last couple of days so I asked the vet to take a look at it as well as looking at her infected ear and her goopy eyes. The vet cleared out the hair in Gozer's ear and after checking a sample of the gunk there, discovered that the infection was mild. It turns out that Gozer was licking at her butt because she had swollen anal glands. The vet expressed those glands and apparently the stuff that came out was a bit infected.
As well as having ear and butt problems, Gozer has red eyes from irritation and also has a small cataract in her right eye. She hasn't increased the amount she's drinking or peeing so the vet isn't worried that she has diabetes. Cataracts usually appear in older dogs but everything about Gozer indicates that she's about three years old now. Therefore, her cataract is probably genetic. Clearly we'll need to keep an eye on her eye.
Gozer also spends a lot of time licking her front feet. We thought that she was doing it because of her booties but apparently ear infections, anal gland problems, and licking feet can all be signs of food allergies. The allergy compromises the immune system and the dog ends up with all kinds of problems. Gozer does get a very itchy face right after eating and gets a very hot back as well. We're to watch for signs of flushing in her ears or belly at any time and keep track of when it happens.
If Gozer does turn out to have a food allergy, we'll have to take her off all of her food - her kibble, peanut butter, and cookies - and introduce a hypoallergenic food. If she stays stable on it for eight to twelve weeks, we can re-introduce one thing, wait to see if she's ok, and introduce the others. The current food is a dental food that keeps her teeth clean and if we're not allowed to give her that, we'll have to look at keeping her teeth clean another way.
That's all long-term stuff. In the short term, to treat Gozer's ear, eyes, and butt, we have drops, a gel, and oral antibiotics. The drops go in her right ear twice a day for ten days, the gel on both eyes twice a day for ten days, and the antibiotics twice a day for ten days. Poor girl, she's practically falling apart!
Giving Gozer her eye gel is definitely a two-person job so I'll be getting up early for the next ten days to do that. We go back to the vet in two weeks to see how she's doing. Hopefully she feels better.