Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A pain in the *#!@?

Teddy is a 6 year old Shar Pei dog, a breed not always known for their good health & temperament (yes, I know, Shar Pei fans, they're not ALL like that), but Teddy has been a bit extreme.

He had severe and long-standing ear infections with bacteria that were resistant to every single oral antibiotic that we had available to treat him with.

And he was extremely aggressive, to the point where his owner was completely unable to get anywhere near him to treat his ears at home. The only thing we could do was to admit him into the clinic each time to be sedated so that we could syringe out his ears and instill a medication into the ear canals.

We hated doing it because we knew that he hated the whole process. Every time he would become insanely aggressive to the point where, quite apart from our real concerns about his welfare, each time I was really worried at the prospect of one of us being very badly bitten.

Every time, it was horrible.

So earlier this year we sent him off to our colleagues at Davies Veterinary Specialists for ear surgery to remove all the infected tissue, a procedure called a Total Ear Canal Ablation. The idea is that if you remove all the infected tissue, despite the fact that they lose most of their hearing, you do remove the source of their pain. They, of course, found him a real challenge to deal with, and there were multiple complications with the management of his surgery wounds (and of course his behaviour), but eventually he did heal and went home.

He came back into the clinic yesterday with a cut on his face, just below his left eye.


Then I found myself sitting down in front of him, gently handling his face, cleaning his wound, applying a tissue adhesive, checking his ears and applying some gel to the ear flaps.

And he didn't move an inch. His owner and I could not believe what we were seeing. A total change in his behaviour, the raging psychopath turned gentle little teddy bear. Never in a thousand years would that have been possible before the surgery that took him out of pain.

Just goes to show, if someone is a pain in the *#!@, maybe it's because they actually have a pain in the *#!@...

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