Yesterday, Raleigh went to the doctor for a check-up, following the removal of most of his teeth. Unlike Tucker, Peachy’s teeth were taken away from him because of stomatitis. This is, as explained by the veterinary, a severe allergic reaction to the plaque growing on the teeth; the removal of the teeth removes the plaque, most of the time. Unfortunately, Raleigh is a rarity.
Raleigh’s stomatitis is still with him. I had noticed that he was shaking his head sometimes when he ate, throwing about bits of food (both hard and soft) - not intentionally, but as if in efforts to chew something difficult. He was also becoming choosy about what he ate. The last characteristic may be due to becoming accustomed to living in a safe environment where, if he disliked one variety of food, he knew that another would be provided. In any case, it was time the doctor saw him again.
The stomatitis is not going away and is causing him pain, according to the veterinary. The cure for this is a course of steroids. Starting today, my ugly Spaniel, as I call him, will be given two daily helpings of oral steroid medicine. This will be very hard on the kidneys, which is why the first course will be given for only a week. Then Raleigh will be examined again.
Since he has to have the harsh steroid programme, I of course wish that he could have received it instead of his dental work, which now seems to me to have been unnecessary. But that is done, and there is no undoing it. I just have to hope that the new medicine isn’t too hard on my boy. Steroids must be very like a poison, for the kidneys to work ‘round the clock to eradicate them. The hope is that they take the stomatitis with them when they go.
Raleigh has FIV, and that is a grave danger to him at the best of times. But his kidneys and heart are strong. The doctor believes Peachy will be able to withstand the shock of the steroids. We will know next Thursday. Until then, Raleigh will have to take his medicine like a mancat, and I will watch him closely.
Life hasn’t been easy for this little fellow. I can only hope that he finds some compensation in a warm spot to sleep at night, regular food and the affection of a strange human.