Hot Spot

The Guideposts editor-in-chief shares a veterinarian visit moment with Millie.

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“Good girl,” I said to Millie as we waited to see the vet for her annual checkup.

Millie loves the vet and her tail swished on the floor while we waited, her nose high and quivering.

She’d already conned a handful of treats out of the receptionists, putting her huge white paws up on the counter like a regular customer…which she is.

“Millie?” Vet June called as Millie leapt up and led us right into the exam room. Everything seemed fine on gross examination except that Millie wanted to play with the stethoscope and insisted on sniffing the ear scope before she allowed it to be inserted.

“We’ll just take her in back to draw the blood,” Dr. June said.

“Oh, would you check out that little spot on her neck she’s been itching the last couple of days? May be a fur knot.”

“Sure.” It seemed to take a while before they brought her back to the exam room and when they finally did I almost fainted. A good six-inch square patch had been shaved on her left neck revealing the nastiest, most inflamed patch of infected skin I had ever seen.

I’ve been through a lot of vet stuff with my various dogs through the years and have a very stolid constitution for such matters but for some reason the sight of Millie with a shaved neck and nasty infection made me near hysterical.

“Oh my God, Millie….”

“It’s a hot spot,” explained Dr. June. “You couldn’t see it because it’s buried under all that fur. She’ll be fine.”

I’ve seen hot spots before; all my dogs have had them (yours too, probably). But nothing as massive and disturbing as this…and the fact that it was Millie—Millie!—well, I was extremely shook up. Millie has taken it far more in stride than I. She’s even being pretty good about scratching it, though I more or less sat up all night watching her so she didn’t.

She’s on a small, short course of prednisone and a couple weeks of antibiotics. I should probably be on tranquilizers. Well, not really, I’m feeling better now that it’s been treated and she is on the mend. It was just the initial shock.

So say a little prayer for Millie and her hot spot and for me, please. And if you know anything about treating/preventing hot spots, let me know.

Now I’m worried about ticks. They’re out in full force up here in the hills and I have already picked three of them off me (one embedded) and a bunch from Millie. I even have my own little hot spot now which I am watching very carefully.

Okay, okay, enough with the health worries. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and week. And thanks for your prayers.

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications.

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