Or, I really will do anything for my pets
The middle of Bike Week found me surrounded by motorcycles on U.S. 1. Not a place you are generally going to find me, but Buddy needed allergy medicine and his vet is on North U.S. 1. I never even hesitated.
Buddy the Jack Russell has allergies. I know this because he has been chewing his haunches and pink skin is beginning to show through his white coat. I have heard from other dog owners that their dogs are scratching and chewing as well.
My vet offered a prescription, a combination of antihistamine and steroid, to give Buddy relief. I mentioned preventatives to my vet’s wife, and vet tech, Tina Freiberg at Freiberg’s Healing Paws Veterinary Clinic in Ormond Beach.
“I read that wiping the dog’s paws with a wet cloth when they come in will help,” I said.
She agreed, and suggested keeping a box of non-scented baby wipes by the door.
“Rub his body and paws,” Freiberg said. “They lick their skin and their paws and ingest it and that starts everything.”
Not having a baby in residence this required a quick stop at Publix for baby wipes. A damp towel can also be used.
A half a pill, covered in peanut butter and wrapped in a piece of bread, was tossed into the air. Buddy caught it. He catches all of his treats and I definitely want him to think of this as a treat. Then I rubbed his body first and then his paws with the baby wipes.
I didn’t expect the reaction. He bounced from chair to chair and finally onto his blanket on the floor where he buried his head. A squirrelly reaction to be sure. The next time I will be sure to video this.
I called Dr. Stephen Hart, one of the veterinarians at Safe Haven Animal Hospital in Palm Coast, to ask some basic questions.
- Are dogs and cats affected by pollen? “Yes. Dogs are outside more than cats so we tend to see more dogs with allergies.”
- Are there any special breeds more susceptible? “Not really, everything from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane can be affected, and this is allergy season.”
- What is the treatment? “For seasonal pollen allergy we may keep the pet comfortable with steroids and antihistamines to alleviate the itchiness and allow the skin to heal. There is also something new that doesn't have steroids.”
- What if it goes untreated? “Itching and chewing a lot can result in a secondary bacterial infection that requires an antibiotic.”
I am happy to report the medicine is already taking effect and Buddy is on “his” recliner obviously feeling relief.