May 26, 2011


No, literally.

SoldierMan just left for post and I can't sleep, even though I'm exhausted and surrounded by sleeping puppies. My mind will not let my body relax.

I'm doing pretty good at ignoring the fact that we have an FRG event to pull off this afternoon with a couple of ducks still not in a row. The thing that's keeping me up is our Vet appointment yesterday. Not the fact that we were kept so long that poor Jeb couldn't hold it till we got out the door (and he tried, poor thing.) We saw a new Vet who prescribed Jeb some meds with a risk of major side effects (like death) and now, of course, it's the middle of the night and my mind can't help but create every possible worst-case scenario possible. This is probably why I have blood pressure issues.

Yes, this is a random puppy post written on my phone in the middle of the night. Feel free to skip it unless you're just dying of curiosity.

The new Vet didn't accept that Jeb's coat just grows weird, with bald.patches that stay proportional to his body. He's convinced it's some weird form of mange - a non-contagious, non-progressive, no-other-side-effects kind of mange. The conversation went like this:

Me: "It's not mange, we've had him tested and it came back fine."
Him: "It could still be mange. Has he lost or gained any hair in the last 4 months?"
"It could still be mange. Has your other dog lost any hair?"
"It could still be mange. Has he had trouble eating?"
"It could still be mange."

On and on like that, him slowly convincing me (or trying to) that my dog is sick, and I still don't think he is. Anyway, he tells me he really wants to give me this particular kind of medication that's cheap and powerful, but can have very bad side effects for purebred dogs. Jeb is obviously not purebred - I think he's barely pure canine. But the Vet was sure he was INBRED, because of his thin coat, and that's like being purebred. Or, it could be close enough. And he said that purebred border collies - which I'm convinced Jeb has none in him - can be killed by this medication.

But he wants me to give it to my dog, who may or may not react in a similar way.

So, after several minutes of him working on me, I say fine, I'll get the meds, because obviously if he really is sick we need to fix him. And now I can't sleep because I'm afraid I let a Dr. talk me into potentially hurting my dog when I'm not even convinced he's sick in the first place.

I'm not going to give him any before we leave today. I'll wait till Tuesday, when we get home. And I'm still not committed to doing it then. Even if it means $40 down the drain (and that was the cheap stuff.) I'd rather lose the money than my dog.

I just don't know. I hate feeling talked into things. I couldn't live with myself if I actually hurt my puppy, especially by giving him medicine I wasn't convinced he needed in the first place.

On the other hand, we take meds all the time with horrible potential side effects and come out fine. (Just look at the list off possible side effects of birth control. Pretty sure "death" is all but listed.) And I've never had a problem. And many surgeries and procedures are every bit as life-threatening as the conditions they are supposed to treat. (Open heart surgery, anyone?) So it's not as though this is so unusual in that sense.

I just don't know. I've got all weekend to think (worry) about it, but I really don't know. What would you do?

UPDATE: Did some research online and - along with the advice of the commenters below - I am definitely not giving this medication to Jeb until I see another Vet. Google "Ivermectin" and "German shepherds." No. No, thank you.


  1. I would be worried that the vet is literally trying to convince you your dog is sick when there are no symptoms and you obviously are uncomfortable with his advice. Vets aren't supposed to do that.

  2. I would be worried and would take him for a second opinion at a completely different Vet office.

  3. I can refer my vet for a second opinion, although it's a bit of a drive for you. Harwood Vet Clinic is right off of 54 and Dyer. Dr. Harwood is on vacation at the moment, but she's great and you don't need an appointment.

    I'm waiting for blood results on my kitty. I tend to expect the worst, so it's been killing me. They should have them today, though, so if I don't hear from them this morning, I will call this afternoon. And starting yesterday, he's not finishing his food like he usually does, so my mind is racing with what could be wrong.

  4. Second opinion? I think that's another great option!

  5. I think I'd go to a second vet and see what they have to say. If they say basically the same thing or prescribe the same meds then I'd say give it to him because it might help.

    Hope you get some more rest!

  6. I would definitely get another opinion! We've been going to the same vet's office for a year now and just this week I finally found a vet there that I "clicked" with! You know, like actually let me finish my sentences before making a diagnosis. That type of thing. Oh, and recommending a wide array of expensive meds "just in case". Not cool.

  7. I would not give it to him unless you got a second opinion. Clearly the first vet didn't think he has mange, so why is this vet so convinced? Sadly sometimes people with Dr. in front of their name hate when they are wrong and are too stubborn to admit it. When I was in high school I had a skin problem...I saw a dermatologist who asked me a bunch of questions....I answered "no" to every single one yet she still thought I had some kind of fungus you get from gyms. So, she gave me a body wash to dry it out and clear it up. Lo and behold the problem SPREAD and I went to a different dermatologist. Guess was eczema. And the first girl gave me body wash to dry out my skin. Lovely.

    But back to doggies, my sister-in-law just lost her dog to the side effects of her medication. If I were you, I would do my research and take him to a different person.

  8. Uh, yeah. Second opinion is a total must! You don't want to harm either of those great doggies!

    As for 0-dark-thirty. It's becoming routine for me too. Hazy wake-up, kiss good-bye, spread out a little in bed and lay there wide-awake. Ugh.

  9. I used to never be able to go back to sleep after HB left for work, but it made for nice blog time :)
    Definitely seek another vets opinion. It sounds like this vet just does not want to listen. It doesn't seem like Jeb is experiencing any discomfort {and clearly it's not contagious since Achilles is fine} so it seems odd that he just HAS to fix it. Good luck with a second opinion :-)

  10. Wow. That just doesn't seem right. I mean, the fact that he has absolutely no symptoms of having mange and he's been tested for it before... It just doesn't make sense to me that this vet thinks he could still have it!! Really makes me wonder... I think you'd be smart to get a second opinion. Especially when those meds could potentially harm him. Wow.

  11. I think there's a genetic test you can do now to check for the MDR1 gene mutation, but I'm sure it costs some money to get. If you aren't comfortable then you should definitely get a second opinion.


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