Antibiotics and steroids

piglet exhausted

Poor Piggly.

The vet says the patches on the fronts of her legs have been infected, and that it’s a kind of dermatitis, probably caused by the rubbing of the coat. He also confirmed that she’s come into season, 2 months earlier than expected. Apparently dogs’ immune systems are a little lower than usual when they’re in season, and he said that because of that she may well have reacted more strongly than she otherwise would have done to the rubbing of the coat.

He also removed a tick from the side of Piggly’s face. I found it this morning as we were having pre-vet cuddles.

So, Piglet’s now on antibiotics and steroids for a week. The purpose of the steroids is to reduce the itching, but if she can’t stop licking her legs in the next few days then she’ll have to wear a collar too. In the light of all that it’s clearly a good job we came home.

It just goes to show that it’s impossible sometimes to know what to do for the best. I thought the little softshell coat would have been just right–certainly it kept her bone dry on Loughrigg despite some truly horrendous wind and driving rain–and perhaps it would have been had it not been for Piglet’s depressed immune system. I now wish we’d stuck with her little Equafleece, though, which doesn’t extend down her legs and has no cuffs.

I got P a nice Herta harness too before we left, but I’m dumping that because the buckle rubbed some fur away behind her elbow 😦 I do think she needs a harness in the Lakes, but perhaps we’ll take a closer look at the Ruffwear one, which seems to be more padded. We met a Parson’s Jack Russell wearing one near Coniston Old Man two days ago, and the owners said it was great.

Interestingly, the vet does believe it’s important for small dogs like Piglet to wear coats in foul weather. I got her a coat because she sometimes shivers without one when we’re walking. It seemed obvious that she was cold. Doh… But over on the BT website that I regularly read I was promptly lambasted by a few moronic unimaginative owners/breeders who seem wedded to the idea that Borders have waterproof coats and should Never Have To Wear Anything Else. One of them–both a breeder and a judge–actually referred to dogs who need extra insulation as “cissies”. Um, hello?? I felt transported straight back to infants’ school. Then again, I suspect that many of their dogs never walk more than a mile, and only in decent weather. They’re show dogs who spend much of their free time standing around on tables in halls, simpering at judges.

So, once again: poor Piglet! I really thought she’d love the Wainwrights, and believed I’d done everything possible to kit her out properly. Now it turns out that I failed to notice the beginnings of the problem with her legs, because clearly it can’t all have happened the day before we came home.

16 Responses to Antibiotics and steroids

  1. alan.sloman says:

    Ooh! You terrible, terrible, heartless woman!

    From what Phil & I saw of Piglet tearing up Loughrigg and Black Crag she was having the time of her little life – skipping up the slopes, herding everyone and positively beaming.

    All she needs is a softer coat that won’t rub. No-one would have done anything differently, so don’t fret.
    Anyway, She’s now back at home being spoilt rotten – so you should spoil yourself too. You deserve it.

    • peewiglet says:

      Hmmm… d’you think so? I was just thinking about the oven chips in the freezer… *g*

      That reminds me! I must go and look up those dog training discs.

  2. Martin Rye says:

    She will heal and you can go again. Lakes is a hard place in the rain. Well done with the tops you did get.

    • peewiglet says:

      Thanks, Martin. I’m trying to interest Piglet in some Ruffwear catalogues, and we’ve already started discussing our next trip *g*

  3. Shirl,
    you did the right thing. Its the old adage the hills will be there for another time.

    Stuff the other BT guys with what you said. Every dog is different. Strider hates getting wet, and boy does he let you know it as well when we are back at the house.

    • peewiglet says:

      Howdy, Darren.

      Oh, I’m not bothered about the peeps on the BT site. I’m just a little surprised by how blinkered some very experienced dog owners are. Fortunately Piglet doesn’t live with them!

  4. Andy Howell says:

    Whisper it very carefully but …

    … you don’t think you’re spoiling her do you !!!

    • peewiglet says:


      *is shocked*

      If you saw her sweet little face and tear-filled wee eyes I’m sure you’d realise that’s simply not a possibility… *g*

      p.s. Piglet sends you a virtual bite.

      p.p.s. Piss-Piss says: “Thank God! At last a human being with a bit of common sense…”

  5. kateC says:

    piglet mailed me the other day, think you were busy watching tv-she said she had a great time and can’t wait to go back but hopes to be a bit stronger and the weather a little brighter 😉

    • peewiglet says:

      The wee monster! So *that’s* what happened to my email!! Quite clearly she’s reset the phone to receive her own stuff.

      *goes off to beat her*


      Sound like you’re right. I found her flicking through the Ruffwear catalogue… *g*

  6. Mike McC says:

    I still reckon Piglet deserves a steak after all this!

    • peewiglet says:

      D’you know, that’s an extremely good idea! I think I might just go and get her one. Well, maybe a chicken breast… but something scrummy and rewarding, anyway 🙂

  7. John Horner says:

    Hi Shirl,dogs love new kit just as much as we do.Better luck next time and remember wiid camping with dogs can be both fun and chaos,with two collies in a tent it’s usually both at the same time,have fun John.

    • peewiglet says:

      Thanks, John 🙂

      Two collies in a tent with you? OMG, I think I’m having a virtual panic attack…

      *goes to lie down with cold compress*

  8. What to wear in cold weather? Views differ. A friend of mine who used to go sailing with Bill Tilman complained of cold hands. As you would in cold winter seas in a small boat?
    “Proper sailors don’t wear gloves” stated Bill, ending the discussion. Presumably dogs, like humans, have differing tolerances to adverse conditions. Or do they?

  9. Ross Mellows says:

    I just got an email with a link to the whitespider blog & saw your link there & remembered you from OM. Great to see your dog doing well. I left one of your questions on BT’s unanswered on OM – I don’t go there anymore.

    Our BT was 1 in September. Blue & Tan like yours – quite similar in fact. It’s quite common for Borders to have their first heat at 6 months – our’s did.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: