When I picked up Gracie from the kennel after my family lake week there was the typical overabundance of furry joy, excessive panting, and a fair amount of stink rising off her. We didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, really. Not until later that night when Bear spotted something odd on her neck.

I peeked, BrightSide poked, and the (un)official conclusion was that our Gracie girl had a hot spot. With a bit of team effort I managed to snip away some hair then hit it with the magic spray, and I went to bed happy that the girls already had an appointment lined up for their bordetella vaccines on Tuesday. I figured an official diagnosis wouldn’t hurt.

Monday brought with it a day of school shopping with Bear. No, that’s not hyperbole, we were literally gone for seven hours that day. But that’s a whole nother post. T-man texted me midmorning to say that Gracie wasn’t doing well, and by lunchtime his rather dire commentary included the descriptions puss and unnaturally droopy eyes. When I got word around four that she wouldn’t move, even for a treat, I told Bear to wrap it up and we headed home.

It was worse than bad. That hot spot went from 0 to 200 in less than 24 hours. It was really, truly, hideously, oh-my-god-it’s-eating-her-head bad.

We rolled home from the vet toting an antibiotic, a steroid, and a topical spray plus an ointment for Gracie’s goopy eyes. If the sheer volume of druggage wasn’t enough, the dosing schedules set my brain on fire.

  • antibiotic: two pills, two times a day, for two weeks
  • prednisone: one pill, twice a day, for five days; one pill, once a day, for five days; one pill, every other day, until gone
  • topical spray: twice a day for two weeks
  • eye ointment: ¼ inch strip in each eye, twice a day, for ten days

Whyyyyyy, Lord?! Why are you testing my math skills like this??

It took about thirty seconds to realize I’d be slapping four sheets of paper up on my cabinet detailing these doses because who on earth can keep this kind of thing straight?

It took about four hours more to realize I had to drive through a torrential thunderstorm to buy Gracie a cone of shame to save her pitiful neck.

It’s been a rough week. Gracie’s struggled with losing her peripheral vision, and we’ve all struggled watching her bang into, well, everything. But slow and steady wins the race.

Plus an arsenal of drugs doesn’t hurt.