ELLY AND THE TICK
It’s tick season here in sunny Queensland, and the ticks are out and about on steroids. It’s a fact – and it’s always tick season here. Lots of heat, rain and steam. Our fury friend Elly fell victim just the other week. It was big, fat and sucking the very life out of her. Spitting poison into her very being ,like the bitch from alien. Full disclosure – I had elected not to use the usual topical chemical deterrent on Elly. Our dear departed Molly had passed at the age of 13 with what I am sure was a brain tumor. It was traumatic, horrifying and down right heart breaking watching your little fury one suffer in such a way. I had religiously applied protection over the years to ensure no tick attatched to her, and there she was, dying before our eyes. So I swore never to have this happen again. I was vigilant, combing my fingers through her poodle curls each day. Feeling for lumps, bumps, and looking, looking for them. Nary a tick to be found.
She survived thank goodness – but oh my, I’m still recovering the ordeal. She of course was back to apparent normal within 48 hours, having basked in the adoration of the local veterinary clinic staff. Seriously, she was like a princess holding court with her loyal subjects. So, here’s the story.
One fine morning, himself said to me – ‘you’d better check check Elly’s ear, it’s driving her crazy’. Right – OK, indeed I did check and found nothing. Then, the symptoms started, grunting, she vomited on the lawn, and had no interest in her breakfast. Hmm, there is definitely a tick on you somewhere I thought. I will shampoo you and check again. So into the tub she went and a shampooing ensued. As I’m toweling her down and check, check, checking, there it was! The little blighter was flashing at me like the light from a lighthouse, just at the base of her ear by golly. Panic, obscenities muttering, I wrapped her in a towel, grabbed my purse and keys. Deposited her on the back seat of the car, drove like and ambulance with sirens blaring to the vet. Noooo – I did not have a tick remover, nor had I ever in lifetime been required to remove one from either canine nor human. I’m a nurse, these hands have saved lives, but they were not about to remove a blood sucking, poison spitting alien from Elly. I was completely inept, and impotent to even try. She had vomited again on the back seat, so I mopped it up with the towel and secured her under my arm and presented to reception with a damp dog, disgusting towel, pale and wild eyed citing the discovery of the said alien on my dog. Just like ER we were rushed into the consult room and the removal of the tick began. Me with Elly in a death grip, and the nurse wrestling the creature with the implement of removal. Do you know that thing survived several hours in a zip bag until presented to himself for observation, with which he promptly squashed it firmly under his thumb. Good riddance I say.
That’s not all. We nearly lost her, and all before her first birthday! Our Elly reacted to the serum – resuscitation drugs required, and it was touch and go for seconds. Then hooray, all is well, she’s back, and ready to try again. Today you would not know any of this had happened as far as she is concerned. I am now, after deep consideration administering an oral chew form of tick medication once a month. Which is worse, chemicals, or death by alien? This I pondered for a moment, and agreed it must never happen again or it will be the end of her. So my sweet, sweet Elly, forgive me, but your mother is feeding chemicals into your body. It’s the curls you see, even with her summer cut, you just don’t catch them in time.