neutered Jack Russell generalised pustular dermatitis, skin problems health and welfare educational for animal lovers,
excerpts from The
Glamorous Vets, Singapore, sponsored by AsiaHomes Internet.
June 03, 2002
You ought to put the Jack Russell on a diet
"My two dogs bite people," said Mrs Lim as a matter of fact and I thought with a voice of pride, as she phoned to ask me to make a house call to check on the skin disease in one of her dogs.
I was not going to do a house call on biting dogs. It would be very hard to examine them and the dogs tend to be fiercer inside the apartment, their own territory.
I asked Groomer Ken's wife, Josephine to do so. "The dog bites," Josephine said repeatedly to me after she spoke to Mrs Lim who must have had frightened her off.
As if she would rather not do the business. She said: "Mrs Lim would not mind paying one hundred and fifty for the house call." Groomer Ken was overseas and that was why I asked his wife. Wasn't she in the dog transport, boarding and grooming business? Many Singapore's taxi drivers don't like to transport dogs although the country is in the middle of a deep recession and I would have thought that they would be less fussy and needed the bread.
What should be done now? "It would be difficult to bring along the microscope and other equipment to examine a dog with skin disease in a house call," I said. Fierce dogs are hard to control inside the house and sometimes it takes more than an hour just to restrain the dogs. Vets have been bitten and one mauled by big German Shepherds when they under-estimate their ferocity.
"The owner would be with the dogs in your van," I said to Josephine. "They are small breeds and will not be that difficult for you." Josephine agreed to transport the dogs. They were a neutered male 1-year-old Jack Russell and an old Silkie Terrier with a cough.
I was happy to see Mrs Lim after so many years. She was like the matron of the British hospital I used to watch on television. Strong and commanding. She put the Jack Russell on the examination table after he had already sprayed lots of dark brown urine outside the walls of the clinic to mark his territory. I did not want him to do that inside the examination room too although other dogs had been quick to piss. He looked more nervous than fierce but nervous dogs bite and he had good white solid fangs or canine teeth of a young dog.
"I thought castrated dogs don't spray urine," Mrs Lim asked me. "The nuisance of urine sprays would be why the vet would recommend castration."
"Usually they don't. There is no guarantee that after neutering, the male dog will not spray urine and yours will be one of the exceptions. I presume he had two testicles removed," I replied.
Mrs Lim did not know who had done the operation and had adopted this Jack Russell recently. If one testicle was retained inside the body, it would not be removed and the dog could still be a half male and would act like one.
Somehow, many castrated dogs and spayed bitches do look plump and this Jack Russell was no exception. Cuddly as a piglet with the whole body well endowed?
I looked at the dog. I tried to suppress my fear which just flowed out of my soul as I struggled to muzzle the dog. This sudden fear of being bitten emanated from within the depths of the heart and mind. Dogs could sense it, I think and I did not want him to feel it. It is hard to describe this fear but you would feel it when you encounter a ghost in a cemetery, just walk past a cemetery at midnight or if somebody relates to you a meeting with a supernatural power in the early hours of the morning in a distant land.
The Jack Russell had small pimples all over the body. Some infected patches of skin had dried up. Others erupted. He felt intense itchiness all over his body.
"Just like my old bitch which had been spayed by you and then develop patches of itchy and red skin all over the body. She was treated with these female hormones and recovered," said Mrs Lim holding some stilboestrol pills which should have been discarded a decade ago. I had not seen her for a long time as her spayed bitch had no more skin problems in later life.
"Only that this Jack Russell is a castrated male dog but he was less itchy when I gave him the hormones the last few days. Just give me some of the hormone pills as mine are brownish"
"All skin diseases needed to be investigated and followed up for a period of time," I said. "This Jack Russell might not be suffering from a hormonal deficiency. In any case, the female hormones are no longer being produced in Australia. There are various causes of skin diseases and this include food allergies, environmental allergies, infections by bacteria and mange mites and a lowered immune system."
The Jack Russell pulled out the nose muzzle with its front paws. I had the element of surprise when he was put on the table and did not know what was going on. He was quickly muzzled but now he had freed himself of the restraint. Now, it would be difficult to inject him with antibiotics and an anti-mange product. Mrs Lim simply held the dog close to her chest and spoke to him in a gentle manner. The dog did not bite her though it was close to her face.
"Your Jack Russell needs to be on a diet," Josephine commented. Josephine was over forty years of age and had put on a lot of weight as she simply loved to eat fried chickens, pig organ and brains in herbal soups and of course, turtles. "We just enjoyed the turtle soup in Chinatown and it cost us as much as thirty dollars," Groomer Ken once told me. I was thinking of the extinction of the poor turtles as fewer now come to East Malaysia to lay eggs on the beach as people start to eat them.
I was surprised that she made this recommendation out of the blue as she was not practising what she preached.
"We don't even take Slim 10," Mrs Lim replied. "Yet Andrea De Cruz took them and now needed a liver transplant." Ms De Cruz, a young television actress was said to take these slimming pills which cause her liver to fail in May 2002. All Singaporeans were concerned as she had only a few days to live when diagnosed with liver failure. She would have died if she had not received a compatible liver donated by her boyfriend. It was very difficult to get liver donors in Singapore and donations from non-related persons are not encouraged by the authorities.
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