Terii’s Cycling Babble

Poor Furry One
January 24, 2012, 7:13 am
Filed under: Misc

Things are already looking a bit frustrating for the beginning of the cycle year. My husband has been traveling a lot and with the skin between Loke’s toes looking like flayed meat, we didn’t get to take advantage of the snow-less winter as I would have liked.

Admittedly, as frustrating as the lack of riding was (we now have too much snow for my trike), I’m far, FAR more concerned about Loke. The substitute veterinarian was very nice and quite concerned about the problem. With the frequency of his infection, she suggested part of the problem might be a lowered immunity because of a low grade food allergy. She did a swab of the inflamed and wounded area to discover Loke has not only a fungal infection, but bacteria with it as well. So, she recommended changing the fuzzy’s diet to a sensitive skin or hypoallergenic food and keeping him away from potatoes, rice, wheat, corn and sugar as much as possible. She also told me to dry off Loke’s feet as much as possible when they get wet to prevent a warm, wet environment for the bacterial growth. An antibiotic ointment was prescribed as well as an antiseptic wash every few days.

The wound kept us from cycling as I treated Loke as recommended.  By the end of the 7 days of the ointment, though the wound had healed, the skin still looked a bit angry. The snows were here by then.

Saturday morning, as I was drying Loke’s feet, I noticed a wound through the dark stained fur of Loke’s other front foot. I about broke down in tears. I started having images of poor Loke’s feet rotting off because he had to use antibiotics so much he’d get a superbug. I kept drying and using the antiseptic while waiting for Monday morning.

So, yesterday, Loke and I went off to the vet again, less than 3 weeks after finishing the last treatment. I had thought I’d only make an appointment. I tend to walk there to do book times instead of calling since Loke needs a walk any way and it’s not that far. We made a pitiful pair. Me with a bad back strain and Loke limping painfully through the snow.

Thankfully Niklas, my usual vet was back from vacation. The vet tech came into the lobby as soon as I came in and asked what was wrong. I told her it was Loke’s feet again and I needed to book a time. The vet heard me and said to have me taken to an exam room instead and he’d fit me in as soon as he had a moment between appointments.

Loke was NOT happy. He’s learning more and more to hate the clinic.

Finally Niklas came in and took a look, listening patiently as I explained about the visit less than a month earlier, about the swab which showed fungus AND bacteria as well as how the infection had returned about 4 months earlier, but I’d had enough medication to treat that outbreak. After a careful look at the foot and asking if I the substitute vet had given Loke any pills, he decided we would treat the bacteria with pills and the fungus with ointment, since trying to use ointment for both at the same time wouldn’t work and we could just end up ping-ponging back and forth between treatment for one and then other if we tried one at a time.

The rest stood as well. Keep Loke away from the usual carbs, dry his feet and use an antiseptic wash every few days. If it came back again, Niklas decided we’d send samples to the lab to figure out exactly what strains we’re dealing for a more specific treatment.

Then came the new indignity. The vet techs descended in a swarm to shave the hair out from between Loke’s pads and wash his feet thoroughly. He actually resisted them this time. He whined and yelped. At one point, it even looked as if he was going to mouth (though not a full bite) the ankle of one woman. Once it was over, he couldn’t get away fast enough.

I’m feeling a little more hopeful for now, but this recurring problem just feels like a punch in the gut every time it crops up. Loke can’t go for extended runs with the wounds let alone tours. He needs to be able to run. Without that release and activity, he would likely go nuts. So, fingers crossed my cycling partner still has years to run with me yet!

And It Begins!
January 4, 2012, 11:21 am
Filed under: Day Rides

Thanks to the utter lack of snow, the cycling season has already begun. Loke and I went out for a short ride yesterday. The first time since I started blogging that I’ve gotten out for a ride so early in the new year.

Before blogging, I did try to keep riding through the winter, but after replacing my derailleur and getting stranded because my chain scooped snow and froze solid, I decided it really wasn’t a good idea. Replacing trike parts was especially discouraging when rutted ice smashed the derailleur arm.

This year there are no glistening white fields. The river hasn’t frozen so there’s no joy in watching it thaw over the passing days. Of course, it shouldn’t be thawing at this time of the year, but there it is.

Yesterday was almost 40 F and while not exactly sunny, it wasn’t raining. I wrestled everything out the door with the intention of doing the River Loop with extension. Loke was excited to go out for once. He followed me around, trying to put his head into his harness as I worked the tangles out. He yodeled as I settled in into the trike and waited for the GPS to get signal. Then as we ran, he acted a bit strange. For half the ride, he loped along and stared into my face. I had to grip his harness to keep him on a straight line.  Not sure what that was about.

It began clouding up as we went and even had a brief sprinkle of rain as we crossed the river which is running very high in its banks, but I still made the turn for the extension.

Around mile 2, the ride got cut a short as he abruptly began limping. I’d been treating his paw for the infection again and ran out the medication. It had looked healed, but it seems not. I immediately turned back rather than finishing the extension. After about a mile, he had quit limping, but I went on toward the vet any way. With no wallet, I could only make an appointment IF they were open. Fortunately, a vet tech was in though the vet was not. I made an appointment and Loke will be getting checked today. It felt good to get it done. The clinic has been closed for a couple weeks now for the holidays and my normal vet is still on vacation. Loke will be getting examined by the substitute vet.

The last half mile, he was limping again, but it was an easy coast home by then, finishing up at 4.52 miles. I wrestled the trike in and then toweled off the mud-ball that my husky had turned into. Except for the limping not a bad start to a new year!

No pictures, sorry. Everything is just muddy, murky brown which means the River Loop was even less impressive than usual. Just watch. In March, we’ll get like 3 feet of snow that won’t melt until May. 😛