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.