Sunday, 3 June 2018

Ziggy Update

This morning we were all up not long after sunrise and with another warm day due, Ziggy and I went down to the fields by the river just after 8am, by which time mist had come down.

Ziggy was super lively and so excited to be running around in the cool, damp grass:

Soon enough, he got to the river:

But as yet, Ziggy hasn't done actual, proper swimming when he has been near water!  He prefers to paddle:

We weren't the only ones at the river:

And just because he could, Ziggy did zoomies, up to the tree and back again!

Yesterday was a busy day for the Ziggster, visiting Grandyma and going to lunch where he was a Very Good Boy and got to share with us as well as being given his own bowl of water by the lovely staff:

Even though the grasses are the worst thing for Ziggy, he still needs to go for his walks.  The pollen's are airborne so even if we aren't in the fields, we can't avoid the allergens.

To reduce the reaction, Ziggy has been having his Malaseb baths every few days.  He likes to take the opportunity to look utterly depressed but really he likes his baths and gives kisses while the shampoo is massaged into his skin

Last week he had an appointment with the dermatology specialist so came into work with me.  After the usual bin check and going to each desk to say hello, he settled down, thinking he could sleep until lunch time: 

Wrong!  His sweetheart arrived and the Baldy One was overjoyed!  He loves Lilly but so far she has been resisting his charms.  He feels he is making progress though as she did bring him her bear for a game of tuggy, so Ziggy hopes she might like him just a little bit.....

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Grasses are the enemy!

Poor Ziggy, turns out he is allergic to quite a few things.

The results from the recent tests have been coming back and he is allergic to: 
Orchard grass
Rye grass
Timothy grass
Mustard pollen
Penicillin mold
House dust mites

Add the above to bacterial skin infections and it's no wonder Ziggy has been so itchy but at least the antibiotics have been working on his infection and he is not scratching as much.  He is unable to go without the prednisolone so until he starts allergy treatment, he is having the steroids alternate days and in two weeks when we next see Bridget will start n a high dose of Cyclosporin which will hopefully bring the allergic reaction under control.

It makes me so sad for him as he loves being outside and doing stuff a Labrador should do:

Thankfully he doesn't know that he has a long list of things that make him itch so he doesn't look at the grass in our garden and notice the dandelion, plantain and other stuff like I do.  He does, however, like the comfort of a dog bed for his outdoor lounging like earlier today:

In himself, Ziggy is as daft and happy as usual, he is affectionate and cuddly which makes it all the more sad to see him so bald and threadbare.  We are so grateful to Labrador Rescue South East & Central for taking on Ziggy when he was given up but he's going to take a lot more care to get better and that costs money.

Ziggy is just one of many dogs which the charity cares for and all donations are very gratefully received.  Please visit the Donations page on the website for different ways to help with much needed funds.

Thank you!

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Getting better, day by day

Thankfully this week's blog entry is good news - Ziggy is much better than he was a week ago!

After speaking and texting with Bridget the vet, the various test results came back in after the scrapings and blood samples etc taken on Friday.  Fortunately, Ziggy did not have sarcoptic mange but he did have a severe skin infection caused by 3 different bacteria.

New antibiotics were prescribed and we started back on the prednisolone steroids, initially on a higher dose which has since been reduced.  

By Tuesday, Ziggy was a lot brighter although the fur he does have was falling out in clumps and his sore skin was flaking off due to the infection:

But despite the flaking skin and fur falling out, even just looking at his eyes, I could tell Ziggy was feeling a lot better:

The extra dose of steroids was making Ziggy need to wee more but he was able to come to work and have plenty of toilet breaks.  Ziggy likes coming to work as he gets to hang out with Lilly and he loves Lilly:

Happy Baldy Dog:

Hopefully now we have got to the cause of Ziggy's skin problems and he will continue to get better and back to being the daft but happy boy I've come to love.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Poor Ziggy, getting worse, not better...

It's not been a good few days for Ziggy.  He's been seeing the dermatology specialist and undergoing tests so I've been weaning him off the steroid tablets ahead of blood being taken on Friday.  We know he has allergies and he also has a skin infection which has been resistant to the usual treatments but this week he became more itchy and was rubbing his face and licking himself, causing more hair loss.

This was how Ziggy was looking on Tuesday:

I had been in touch with the vet during the week and she said it sounded like Ziggy had Sarcoptic mange and the mites were burrowing in the surface of his skin, causing his discomfort and hair loss.  When we went to our appointment on Friday Ziggy had blood taken as well as more skin scrapings and swabs, all of which will be tested.  He was given a steroid injection to give immediate relief from the itching and I was given a solution called Aludex to make up and apply to his skin and fur as a dip and leave to dry.

Unfortunately, Ziggy had a bad reaction to the dip and was being sick and lethargic so in line with the information, I washed him to remove the Aludex that was still on his skin and fur but his body would have absorbed some into his system.  

By this morning, after a restless night, poor Ziggy was no better and by now I was worrying so I took him to our vet which is open on a Sunday morning.  As Sarcoptic mange is contagious I kept him in the car until we could be seen (we didn't have an appointment but thankfully they were able to fit us in).

This is how Ziggy was this morning:

We were seen by one of our regular vets who checked Ziggy over and gave him an anti-vomiting injection as well as eye drops as his eyes had become sort of sunken as the skin around his face had thickened.  

Ziggy has had plenty of rest and after being very quiet, he came and sat with me on the back door step:

This evening he managed a little walk which is more than he has done for a couple of days and he's been keeping down his bland meals so hopefully he will be feeling a lot better soon.  I'll be speaking to the specialist this week once the test results are in and all being well she will have a plan of action.

He really has had me worried and I want my daft, boingy boy back!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Itchy Ziggy

Poor Baldy Dog Ziggy is still itchy as we continue to try and get him better.  He saw the dermatology specialist a few weeks ago and had more tests done, which sadly have shown that on top of his allergies he has a bacterial skin infection which is resistant to the antibiotics and other medications he has been given so far.

So, he is on different medication and having a bath every 2 to 3 days as well as Yumega Itchy Dog supplement added to his prescription kibble and we are back to see the dermatologist later this coming week. 

Despite his rather threadbare exterior on the inside he is very affectionate and lovely, a happy boy and loves his cuddles and playing with his toys.  

He loves Sofy and today she wanted to come out with us so we went up to the old railway track and they got to kick up some mud:

I tried to get a photo of them together, but Ziggy hasn't learnt yet that the idea is to sit next to each other:

By the time Ziggy sat and faced the right way, Sofy had got bored and was off again: 

Sofy was happy to have a rest on the bench:

And Ziggy was happy to get into a muddy puddle:

Back to the beginning of the walk, practising their positions for the obligatory photo!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Ziggy Bunny & his Bunny

Ziggy was very comfortable in his Easter Bunny ears last weekend.  Maybe he wanted to be more in tune with his Easter Bunny stuffed toy (a gift from Grandma).  

He was enjoying some quality time with Bunny but took off his bunny ears for sleeping:

Sofy also celebrated Easter and was looking very cute:

Due to the extensive collection of toys Ziggy has, mostly thanks to Grandma, it was time to get a bigger toy basket.   I tried to sort out the limbs from the whole toys but Ziggy needed to keep some random legs and arms that he had previously removed. 

And Ziggy does love his toys.  Each and every one.

He was very happy to spend some time lounging around with his toy collection:

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Back to Black Dog Halt

Today Ziggy and I went for a walk along the old railway track, the starting point of our walk being a place that is very special to me, Black Dog Halt.

As we walked, I realised that I had not taken that route since before Wiggle passed away but it was nice to think of the happy memories.

Ziggy was happy to trot along, taking it all in:

After recent rain, there was plenty of mud for Ziggy to splash in:

Daft, muddy Baldy Dog:

Ziggy ran ahead, just like Wiggle used to, as if he knew where he was: 

Through a gateway, we could see a large puddle had formed in the fields which lead to the river: 

I've never seen Ziggy run ahead as fast as he did today when he saw the water!

And he was in!

I just loved seeing him so utterly happy, splashing in the water, then running to me before heading back to the water:

And just as I was thinking how perfect it all was, I noticed Ziggy had found his idea of perfection - something nasty and stinky to roll in:

After some more splashing around, we headed back the way we had come:

And Ziggy had a bath as soon as we got home!