The poorly dog bounces back

The festive period can bring a lot of things, food, parties, the occasional family argument. One thing which seems to happen more often than most, someone gets ill. This year it was the dog.

At nearly two years old, Darwin has had his fair share of trips to the vet; stomach upsets, an adventure with a chocolate bar, a limp which he was putting on. This Christmas was probably the most poorly we have seen him, and now it he is on the mend I thought it would be nice to share the good news.

It started on Christmas Eve. Darwin is a shared dog, and he was at my in-laws for Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. During his daily walk, he was roaming his usual haunts in the woods near my in-laws home. As usual there were other dogs around, as usual he was chasing them around having a great time. What exactly happened next is not clear, but it appears Darwin got into a little rough and tumble with another dog, before he disappeared into the bushes, probably following his nose to some hidden delight. When he returned to my father-in-law, his muzzle was cut and bloodied, and we later found more cuts above his eyelids and ears.

At first we thought he had been bitten, either by the other dog or something in the bushes, but as the days passed I am less and less certain of this. What I do know is his face was a mess, he had blood all over him (and the house), he was clearly irritated by his wounds. And the sores did not appear to clear up, it anything they began to spread. From a lively, bouncy, if anything overexcitable dog, Darwin was just a shadow of his former self, spending most of his time lying under the TV cabinet moping, his toy box neglected.

It was clear he needed to see the vet. It was less clear after seeing them what exactly was going on. Was it a bite? Probably not. A bacterial infection? Maybe, have some antibiotics. Could it be fungal? Not sure, come back after the weekend and we will take a blood test.

As it happened, it was probably a bacteria infection. Only a few days into the antibiotics, he was beginning to bounce again, he had more energy, he was happier. And then, as I was sat watching TV, I caught this:

It might seem like a small thing, chewing on his antler, but for Darwin it is his favourite pastime. His muzzle is still healing, and the fur will take time to grow back, but already we have our dog back, and it is a joy to see.

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