I’m baaack

May 24, 2010

Summer is starting, and with it our busiest time of the year.  I guess that’s my excuse for being away from the blog for so long.  It’s been an eventful couple weeks, but now of course I can’t for the life of me think of anything that actually happened!  Chalking it up to too much pollen in the brain.  Second excuse in 4 sentences, not bad.

We’ll let’s dive in.  On the home front, Apollo had a bit of a rough few days.  He somehow managed to get pancreatitis, and needed to go to the vet for subcutaneous fluids.  The pancreas produces digestive enzymes, and when you get pancreatitis, basically the pancreas gets angry and starts making too many of those digestive enzymes.  There’s not enough food in the system for the enzymes to work on, so they start working on the lining of the stomach and intestines.  Then you get vomiting and diarrhea, which makes the dog not want to eat, so you have even less for the pancreas to work on, and you get this nice downward spiral.  It can actually be fatal, but Apollo had a pretty mild outpatient case.  Kept him on bland foods for a while and gave some tummy meds, and now he is back to normal.  We did end up postponing a chemo treatment by a week, but we’ll be getting back on that on Tuesday.  Not sure why he got the pancreatitis – in some cases it can come from eating too much fat, but most of the cases are ideopathic, and so Apollo’s seems to have been.

Hmm, what else?  Well, for one thing I discovered how well Krazy Glue works on skin lacerations!  Chester came in with about a quarter-sized flap of skin pulled up a little while ago.  Called my beloved Dr M to say, “C’mon, I don’t need to take him in, do I?”  And she said no way, glue him up!  I had been dying to try Krazy Glue on skin for a while, actually, and now I had a vet’s blessing.  So I cleaned him up an glued the edge of the skin flap down.  It worked AWESOME.  Barely even a scar now, and she probably saved me $300.  Rock.  (I gave him oral antibiotics of course, but I always keep those on hand anyhow.)  The next time I went in to the vet, she gave me my own personal skin staple gun.  So now I am set for anything!

Well…..almost anything.  Here’s something weird for you.  Last Tuesday night, Hammie the adoptable big black boy came in from late night potty turnout with a limp.  Lloyd figured he had just run hard and twisted it, since he didn’t see anything wrong, so he let it be.  Wednesday afternoon, it started to swell up around the wrist.  I called the vet, and talked to Dr P the orthopedist to ask whether he thought I needed to xray.  Pete said it was probably just a soft-tissue injury (or sprain) so I should just ice and give Deramaxx and wait it out for a day or two.  So I did.

I expected that when I got up Thursday morning, the swelling would be down and he would be feeling a little better.  Nope!  Lloyd woke me up at 6am saying, “Get up, you need to take Hammie to the vet.”  His whole leg was ridiculously swollen up to the shoulder.  And down by the wrist were 3 big open sores.  We thought he had actually chewed through his own skin overnight.  Poor Ham-dog.

Gave him a little sedative, plunked him in the van, and away we went.  I didn’t know what to think, but I was preparing myself to repair some shattered wrist bone or something.  Dr M took one look and decided she needed Dr P to look too.  They conferred, and agreed that it looked to them like a *venomous* reaction.  <shudder>  She said that if I lived in the Southwest, she would think scorpion.  But since it’s here, she figured it was probably a brown recluse spider.  I had never heard of this ever in my life, but I’ll never forget it now.

The venom of a brown recluse spider is necrotizing.  Which means, Hammie did not chew through his own skin — the venom did.  <shudder>  Dr M predicted that he would lose all the skin on the whole front of his wrist over the next few days, and in fact he has.  It is hella-gross.

So!  We are on antibiotics (to prevent a MRSA infection — eek!) and in a toe-to-shoulder bandage.  This is not my first giant seeping wound, by any stretch, but still…daily changes of a wet-to-dry bandage are certainly not my favorite thing to do.  On the upside, we learned that the cattle section of Fleet Farm sells rolled cotton for a reasonable price (I never used to shop in the cattle section, but I find myself doing that a lot lately….).

Here are some pics, not for the faint of heart.  Let me just say, I have NO problem flushing and wrapping a gaping wound.  No problem, I’ll do it all day long.  But I am NOT a bug person.  No, I am not.  Lloyd will be calling the exterminator first thing Monday morning and see what dog-safe thing we can put all over the damn yard.  Ick.  (The vet assures me that this is extremely rare, but still.)

Here is the bite on Thursday:

Spider Bite Day 1

Here is is on Friday:
Spider Bite Day 2

And yesterday:
Spider Bite Day 3

Nice, huh? Incidentally, Hammie has been waiting over a YEAR for a home, and he is sweet as pie!!! Who wants to adopt him? (Don’t worry, I’ll get the wound healed up before I let you take him home.) Here he is on a better day:
Hammie on the couch

What else is new? Well, we’ve had a few applications for dogs, but the only “pending adoptions” at the moment are for Ollie and Eve.

Oh, but it occurred to me that I never mentioned the really awesome news! Who remembers Ryan, the black and white super-shy boy that came with the last batch of dogs we got before Dairyland closed? We were lucky enough to find the perfect foster home for him when he arrived here, and he has been making great progress there. But Ryan is the really lucky one here, because his foster family decided that they can’t let him go and they are keeping him! Woo hoo! This is the best family a hound could hope for, and we are totally thrilled for him. They keep a Facebook page to let everyone follow along as he learns to be a dog, and you can be his fan if you search for Ryan The Greyhound on FB. 🙂

I’m tired of typing, so that is all for now!



  1. WOW! It must be the week for brown recluse. My husband got bit by one Sunday and was rushed to the ER by ambulance for severe reaction to anti-biotics. I was just wondering if a grey could get bit by one. Will be watching for pup-dates…hope recovery goes well.

  2. OMGosh Hammie! Hi Jen, you might not remember me(which I don’t expect you to 🙂 ) but I’ve talked to a couple of times at the Richfield meet and greets (had 2 girls w/me). Last time I came in I was asking the realistic costs of having/keeping a greyhound. Anyway at the time I told you if it wasn’t for this darn economy, I would of sent in an application to see about adopting Hammie by now. He has stole my heart and it pains me to see him with these wounds. Hope his recovery is quick and all goes well. I’ll be looking forward to reading any updates. Thank you for this blog because even though I haven’t been able to give a grey a forever home yet, I really enjoy the insight of living with them even though it’s not always a happy news:)

    Michelle, sorry to hear your husband was bitten by one too. How scary. Hope he’s feeling better.

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