Terii’s Cycling Babble

A Yo-Yo Day
March 1, 2012, 7:06 am
Filed under: Misc

You know, up-down-up-down. Though it was more disproportionate than that. More like up, up, up! WAY DOWN.

When Jens dropped my trike off at the cycle shop on Monday, they said it would be finished on Tuesday. Bless them. Of course, Jens had such a work load on that day we settled for getting it Wednesday. Since  he really didn’t want to bring it home to find out it wasn’t right, he insisted on me being with him so I could give it a quick ride to test the gears. We’d leave for his 10 am meeting in a nice area for shopping and I’d wander the shops until the meeting ended.

Tuesday, I walked with Loke to the vet to make an appointment to validate his passport AND get his feet checked. Yep. His feet. He’d started licking one again. Sunday was the first time I think. I caught him licking briefly, checked thoroughly with nothing to be found so assumed he had gotten something on the paw. The next day, I caught him licking a couple times. Monday afternoon, as he lay on the balcony in the sun and fresh air, I watched him doing the ‘flea gnaw’ furiously on one of his feet. Again, it looked fine, but that day, I thought I’d spotted a few subtle limps as well. So, he had an appointment on Thursday for passport and to get the foot checked.

Wednesday! Jens took Loke for a long walk that morning. With the car kennel in the basement to transport the trike and the fact the furry one has shown destructive tendencies to the interior of cars if left loose in them, he couldn’t come. My husband reported Loke had definitely limped. I took a look and faintly between the toes, the skin looked a tiny bit too pink and right on the very edge of his webbing I spotted the beginnings of an infection wound. Jens said we’d try to get back early enough to take Loke to the vet today since Wednesdays are ‘Walk-In Day’ at the clinic. Poor fuzzy looked devastated as we left.

It was cloudy during the drive and when Jens and I parted company outside the parking lot in Stockholm. I wandered leisurely through the crowds and buildings toward a stretch of street that had two camping/outdoor activity shops, deciding to look for the shelter I thought would work nicely for Loke on our trips. The first one didn’t have it, but I still enjoyed poking around and going ‘Oh! That would be nice!’ at various little things as I returned the cheerful ‘Hej!’ of every employee in the shop. Hehe.

The next one was simply a slightly larger Naturkompaniet that we have in Uppsala.  I went up stairs where a young woman restocking asked if I needed help. I decided to ask about the shelter. It would be nice to see how small it packed down at least. Even when I asked for it by name and in Swedish, she was uncertain, but asked another guy and he knew exactly. Then she said, ‘Would you like to see it set up?’

It caught me by surprise, but I answered it would be great. In a heartbeat she went to get one and we pushed things back to have enough space. It went up in a snap and was surprisingly stable even without being staked down with its odd shape. Bigger than I thought and had a mesh screen door to keep out bugs though other wise open on that side. A tarp fastened along the guy lines on that side could make a nice little porch to protect my trike seat or even the trailer and lots of space in the shelter itself for the furry one!

The girl was thrilled with it as well. She does a lot of sea kayaking and camping around Stockholm’s archipelago. With the small size and weight of the shelter packed, it would be perfect for it. She even thanked me for the discovery. I felt bad not buying the shelter, but was definitely happy with it. Jens just wants to wait until we get some of the vet bills back from the insurance company.

Since I didn’t want to break myself, I wandered to a coffee shop. The sun was shining in a clear sky by that point and the temperature had climbed to over 50 F! I had orange hot chocolate and a muffin before heading to the car to leave my coat rather than carry it around. I’d just come out of the parking lot when Jens called finished with his meeting.

The shop was done with my trike. It waited not far from the door with a pair of very fascinated children. One of them even sat in the seat holding onto the steering handles and trying to reach a pedal with his tippy toes. The guy who greeted me assured me the work had been no problem, but the derailleur had needed parts replaced. At least, I think they only replaced parts. I can’t imagine getting a new rear derailleur for less than 150 Kr (15 USD) though it is about the cost of the little cogs. I asked if I could give it a test ride even before I paid and he cheerfully said yes. I didn’t need my cycle shoes to plop down and do a quick quarter mile while I shifted around. It worked great! I had my trike back!

The warm glow of its return didn’t last long. Until about the time we walked through the door. Loke whirled around in joy of our return… limping badly. I looked.

The skin, between toes of the upper part of his foot instead of the under, had gone from faintly too pink to bloody raw meat in less than 6 hours, oozing and pussy looking. Jens was buried under work calls and I do 95% of the vet stuff with Loke, I had no worries slinging him in the car and taking him to the vet straight away. As quick as it had worsened, no way I was going to wait another 24 hours for the appointment.

All the staff there feel for Loke. Every one of the vet techs patted him and told him what a good boy he is as we went to an exam room. I still remembered to hand Loke’s paper work to the main vet nurse to get it done. Less than 3 minutes later, Niklas came in. He said only, ‘Again??’  I told him how it had proceeded as well as how it had gone from faint pink to raging red and oozing in just the last 5 hours. The vet asked when Loke had finished the antibiotics. When the answer was ‘Two weeks, maybe less,’ he hung his head and scrubbed at his short cropped hair before flinging himself in a frustrated slouch in the other chair. It was too soon after the antibiotics to take a sample for the lab. The results would be inconclusive, a waste of money. The progression I described was too rapid and severe to leave untreated in the hopes of waiting until we MIGHT possibly get a clean sample. He couldn’t in good conscience wait.

Our best bet was to treat Loke again and hope that if it DID come back (something none of us doubt honestly), it would be long enough after to get the sample we needed. Niklas also recommended another kind of food, specifically to support skin. I sighed that Jens wasn’t going to be happy with that since we’d already spent a fair bit of cash on expensive specialty food for allergies, he waved a hand with an assurance he’d GIVE us a 15 lb bag for free to try. Then we talked other possibilities. One being that we might have to resort to buying a special vaccine from the US. Ironically, Niklas explained, Sweden’s joining the EU had shot treatments of problems like Loke’s in the foot. In the 90’s, a sample would have been taken (provided we could get a clean one), sent to Uppsala University Veterinary Department where a vaccine specific to the strain of Loke’s infection would have been produced. Joining the EU had put an end to that. The one from the US was pretty good even if more general.

Loke also got a cortezone shot in the butt, a relief I think over the foot shaving or nose squirting he was expecting. Barely notices shots, but come at him with clippers or a needless syringe and he’s trying to cringe and climb in my lap all at once.

So, I left the clinic heavy hearted and feeling a bit gutted as well as needing to fill a prescription for more doggie meds which would bring the visit’s total to 1400 Kr.

At least Loke seems to be responding quickly. Though he’s limping and standing a bit lopsided to keep weight off his front right foot, it’s no where near as bad as it was last night when we did the first slathering and pill doses. It’s not as red and oozy. We caught it early enough that the tiny little wound had barely broken the first layer of skin and the rest was mostly intact. A couple days and I expect Loke will stop limping. It’s still a heart-breaking setback.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m really sorry about Loke’s troubles. It’s a lot easier to fix mechanicals, isn’t it?

Comment by dexey

Definitely. I’m more than a little worried since its come back so quickly these last few times. 😦

Comment by Terii

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