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And still no real reason why Maggie scratches.  I did like the vet much better though- we went to Greenfield Vet Clinic on the recommendation of an iFriend. The vet did every test in the book and Maggie behaved like a champ. He poked and prodded, scraped and cut… and she never peeped. I’m a proud mama. She did, however, pee out of nervousness the minute I separated her from Lulu. Can you blame her?

She has a bacterial infection which is both caused by the scratching and exacerbating the scratching… but we still don’t know what causes her to itch in the first place. No mites, no fleas, no ringworm. At least that means it’s nothing gross I guess.  This vet was very helpful though- he talked to me for a whole hour! He told me every possible cause of scratching and which he doubted were the culprit.  And he was the first vet to say that Maggie probably doesn’t have a food allergy.  He also told me that Maggie has… pattern baldness! I guess it’s not that uncommon in some smaller breeds, but I had never noticed it. She doesn’t have much hair behind her ears, on her chest, and on her hind legs. So apparently she needs a doggie toupee or something.

In human form, she would basically look like this:

bspears-bald.jpg

So now she is on an antibiotic, a steroid, special omega-3 and 6 capsules, and she gets an antibacterial bath weekly. What a sickly little pup! My wallet is hurting too.

I have had it with Maggie’s skin issues. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. She is almost never completely free from some malady, and I am so tired of vets giving us vague suggestions. “Try switching her food- maybe she’s allergic to something?” Well, WHICH food should I try? WHAT ingredients should I avoid? “Try this medicated shampoo.” Ok– didn’t work. “Let’s take some skin scrapings“–nothing shows up.

I am taking her to a new vet tomorrow afternoon who specializes in second opinions. I guess the first visit is free, so if he can’t give me some straight answers and concrete suggestions, I won’t have wasted much besides my time. It’s just especially frustrating because her problems seem to change and move. Sometimes the problem is on her chest, sometimes her hind legs, sometimes her ears. Sometimes it’s scabby, sometimes scaley, sometimes swollen. And since Lulu never “catches” whatever Maggie has, it’s seem like whatever it is can’t be all that contagious. So maybe it’s not bacterial or fungal? Maybe it is an allergy? This picture gives you an idea of how splotchy she is… :o(

*sigh* I don’t know–I’m not a vet. But my goal is to have Maggie looking like a champ by New Years! Wish her luck tomorrow! Hopefully she doesn’t get so nervous she pees…

I’ve gotten some requests lately for more pics of the pups (which one of my German readers was kind enough to inform me means “fart” in German), so I figured I would give you some photos from our afternoon out. We used to live just blocks away from the best park, but now that we’ve moved downtown, we don’t get much green space. Here is the view from our window:

It’s pretty and all, but there is almost no place for the pups to run.

So because I had the afternoon off today, I decided we needed to enjoy the fall weather and head back to our old stomping grounds. It’s pretty easy to talk John into leaving work early when you tell him spiced cider and pumpkin carving will be involved. Then I tricked him and dragged him to the park. Maggie couldn’t wait to drag some sticks around.

For her, size really does matter. She’d play fetch with a tree trunk if she could.

And Lulu usually just bumbles around like a tank (we like to refer to her as an “all-terrain burrito”) and eats grass.

So there you have it– more pictures of our precious “farts.” Enjoy!

I skipped my loathsome contracts class this afternoon. We were just going over the answers to the midterm, but we weren’t getting the midterm back. I’d rather not torture myself knowing what I should have written but didn’t. So, instead I came home and played with the pups. Yes, that’s a bad attitude to have, but you try saying no to these little hams.

Besides, when Maggie looks this pathetic, you know it’s fun time.

This is her favorite toy- she has such hatred for this thing.

This is what the toy used to look like when it was new:

Look at those claws!

And then there’s Lulu… always a little slower and calmer. She always wants to play with that stinky octopus, but I don’t really want to touch it anymore…

Therefore, we shall move on to the mini tennis ball!

Her little pug jaw is just big enough to carry it around.

My first midterm that really counts for anything is today at 2pm. So, if you are so inclined, cross your fingers for me! I tried to study last night but was distracted by cuteness:

And then when I got up to get a drink, I noticed Lulu stole my spot and was trying to tell me something. “Just go to bed.” So I did… Lulu must be obeyed.