Well, we have finally discovered the source of my fungus affliction.
She’s covered with it…and now Angus has some spots too.
This is just another chapter in the long saga of Daisie’s suffering. For the past couple of years, we have fought to keep her muzzle free of bacterial infection. This spring it got out of control, so the vet brought out the big guns and put her on a course of antibiotics and steroids. (Don’t get ahead of me here!)
Swift progress was made…until we started easing off the steroids. Suddenly, she was itching, and scratching and making things worse than when we began. The Doc said we needed to go for a longer course of steroids, “which is not good news”. I thought, if it keeps her from scratching and helps healing, what could be so bad?
Little did I know…
So Daisie has continued on steroids, with a slow, sloooowww, weaning process for the past two months. She’s experienced the side effects…and so have we! She needs to go potty often – and we have sometimes forgotten that to our detriment. She’s hungry all the time. She’s been feeling a little ‘roid rage. When Angus bumbles around playing, and ends up falling on her head, she no longer takes it with grace, but barks in his little face, and leaves the room. He thinks it’s great.
And she’s become more assertive, which in Daisie’s world means that she no longer lets a biscuit fall out of her mouth when Olive gives her the eye. In fact, she just keeps crunching, saying “Take that, you little tyrant!”
Yea – she’s pretty much out of control…by her standards.
Around the time, I found out that I had contracted The Fungus, I noticed that Daisie was losing hair…she was bald…wherever she had previously had the bacterial infection. I thought it must be part of the healing process. However, soon there were hairless patches popping up all over, and I became concerned that she was suffering another side effect of the steroids. I didn’t consider that they were fungus spots because they were smooth, without edges…didn’t look at all like what I had on my face.
And then one day, I finally found a spot – on her belly – that looked just like the one on my face…And it all started to make sense…
Daisie was on steroids. Daisie was extremely susceptible to fungal infections. Daisie was a walking biochemical weapon!
The vet got us in right away, and sadly informed me that Daisie had widespread infection. Because she was on steroids, the infection did not look like the usual ringworm, so it was understandable that we had missed it. (Thank you!) She would need to be on meds for a month, and be bathed with a special shampoo every couple of days.(Woot, woot! Daise hates water, except for drinking it.) Angus and Olive would need to come see the vet as well, and likely be on medication.
I asked how long Daisie would remain contagious, and the vet said that she is contagious until she has a negative culture result…and she won’t be tested again until a month has passed. In fact, they would be scrubbing the exam room we had occupied, and changing out the rug before another animal would be allowed in there.
Pariahs…that’s what we are!
I started thinking about my car, my house, my crew! We had all been exposed…every day for the past 3 weeks.
Oh boy…I’m picturing our end-of-year send off: “Thanks for working for us this year – and by the way, here is your bonus: a tube of clotrimazole. If you notice any funny spots on your person be sure to apply this liberally…and DON’T use hydrocortisone for the itch.”
I repeat, Oh boy…
We are outcasts, living in The House of Fungus…
The vet reassured me that just petting the dog would create a minimal risk for infection…but if you snuggle the dog, or love to put your face next to her soft face, you will suffer the consequences.
So that ‘splains why, so far, I am the only infected person.
If you stop by our place these days -- and few are -- our greeting to you will be: “Don’t touch the dog!” before we say hello.
And Olive and Angus aren’t visiting until they have a week of medicine in them…and Macy had to find a new place to spend her vacation.
The Doc was right…steroids=not good news.
I’m happy to report that Lysol kills fungus, and I will be using it liberally, in hopes that this is the last chapter in The Infection Saga.
And if you have stopped by recently (-- I know! all who have are now feeling itchy --) and notice an itchy patch or ring shaped spot on you, call me. You need clotrimazole -- and I'll deliver.