How naive I was. I thought that once CJ was shaved, we could start from scratch in terms of grooming and, after a few months, would be able to trim her ourselves with no problems whatsoever. I forsaw a hassle-free future, a chilled out dog and no need to buy a batch of chicken if grooming was required. However since CJ was shaved, Helen and I (mostly Helen) have faced a fresh heap of problems.
Firstly, it seems that while she was being trimmed, CJ’s ear was slightly cut. It was only a small cut, but after a few days of her scratching it, it soon got worse. This meant that we had to give her antibiotics and rub steroid cream into it order to speed its healing. Of course she didn’t like that and scratched even more.
Enter the Cone of Shame (See Pixar’s Up).
Unsurprisingly, CJ hated the cone even more, but after a week of wearing it, the cut had healed. However there was now a new problem. We noticed that CJ kept shaking her head vigorously from side to side. I thought this was down to her new haircut, but Helen wasn’t convinced.
Another trip to the vet’s revealed that she had a massive mat inside her ear that had become infected and they needed to sedate her in order to remove it.
Once that was done and this gooey, dark mass of rotting hair was removed from her ear, the vet discovered that the ear had also become home to a bug. Not just any bug, but one of the most virulent and damaging bugs a dog can have. Not only does it cause black oily puss to drip from her ear, but it can also permanently damage her hearing.
Cue a fresh batch of antibiotics and the need to essentially ‘shoot’ soothing ointment into her ear via a syringe. Of course, she knows exactly what I’m doing and is extremely wary of me. However Helen and I have perfected a series of small distractions which has enabled us to pull it off several times.
It’s a good thing Helen got pet insurance or I’m pretty sure we’d be bankrupt by now.
On the plus side, CJ has learnt how to catch stuff in her mouth. Win.