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Well, I don’t have much to write about today, since I’ve been alone all week and I’ve been writing about what I’ve been up to on my main blog.  I just wanted to write a quick blurb on this blog for those who keep up with it regularly and look for new posts on the weekends.  Also, I wanted to update everyone on Arran.

After a couple of days of waiting to see if the meds we got from the local vet would work, I started to realize that Arran was acting a bit like a dog suffering from a worm infestation.  He did seem a little better after the stomach meds, but he wasn’t getting back to normal.

Intestinal worms are not something I’ve had to deal with extensively in recent years, with the notable exception of a time in 2017, when I actually saw worms coming out of Arran’s ass before he had any symptoms.  As I’ve learned this week, you don’t have to see the worms to have an infestation.  In fact, it’s lucky that I saw the worms the last time.  Oftentimes, roundworms and hookworms stay in the body and just deposit their microscopic eggs to the outside world.

In the United States, we usually give our dogs heartworm preventative, which usually also contains medicine that keeps intestinal worms at bay.  Here in Germany, vets don’t routinely prescribe heartworm preventative, so our dogs have been going without that broad spectrum worm protection.  Heartworms do exist in Germany, but they are much less prevalent because there aren’t as many infectious mosquitos here due to the colder weather.  I imagine that will change as the planet heats up, though.

Since our dogs are normally protected from worms when they’re stateside, and the last time intestinal worms were a routine thing for me was back in the 1980s, I didn’t really think of parasites when Arran was blowing up the house with gas and diarrhea.  However, before we left Stuttgart, we went to our former vets in Herrenberg, who were just great to work with for four years (and for the two years we were in Stuttgart before).  As I was settling up our affairs with them, one of the vets recommended that we buy some flea and tick pills and single doses of dewormers for the road.  I took her advice.  I’m so glad I did that.

By the way… for the Americans who are reading this– you can get heartworm preventative here, especially if you are affiliated with the military.  When we were here from 07-09, we mostly used the Panzer vet for everything our dogs needed, which wasn’t much until one of our dogs got prostate cancer.  The vets on the installations are American, and they practice like American vets do.  That means the usual U.S. style vaccines and heartworm preventative protocol.  But if you use local vets, expect that business will be a bit different.  German vets typically don’t prescribe heartworm preventative as a matter of course.  European vets, in general, also aren’t as spay and neuter focused as American vets are, and they tend to do those operations later.  But that’s a topic for a different post.

In any case, Tuesday night, as Arran was looking more miserable, I determined that Wednesday morning, I’d slip him a pill.  I decided to wait until the morning in case something went wrong.  I wanted to be awake to deal with the aftermath and/or get Arran to the local vet, although we are now fortunate enough to live about twenty minutes away from Germany’s largest “Tierklinik”.  Our former vet in Herrenberg had even mentioned Tierklinik Hofheim to us back in 2016, when I was regularly freaking out about Zane’s mast cell tumor.  Arran looked sad enough that I thought I might even need to take him to that clinic, which is a 24 hour full scale emergency vet hospital.  However, if I could help it, I preferred to take him to the clinic just up the road from us.  It’s easier to do that during working hours.

Milprazon, a deworming drug used here in Europe, was what the Herrenberg vet had sent with us to Wiesbaden.  After consulting trusty Google, I determined that even if Arran’s problems were not due to worms, the dewormer wouldn’t harm him.  So Wednesday morning, I gave him the pill, said a prayer, cleaned up a cheesy smelling watery accident on the ugly rug we bought at Ramstein, and waited.  I gave Zane a pill too, just in case, although he has been fine all week.

The Milprazon made Arran sleepy, so he spent the day napping on his freshly laundered bedding in my office.  By mid afternoon, he was looking a bit perkier.  He went outside, enjoyed a somewhat normal dump, and came back in and had his dinner.  By Wednesday night, he and Zane were playing in the living room.  By Thursday, he was pretty much entirely back to normal.  He’s now his usually adorable, friendly, funny self.  In a playful mood yesterday, he even brought me a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom!  Hopefully, that one dose will be enough to kill all of the parasites for now.

I’m still a little concerned about the bump on his head.  Maybe I’ve been watching too much Dr. Pimple Popper on iTunes…  We’ll get that sorted out soon.  Bill is supposed to be home tomorrow morning and he’s promised me dinner at a nice place.  I don’t know if it’ll happen tomorrow, since he’s probably going to be exhausted.  We are planning a trip to France next weekend, though, so there will soon be more love on this blog.  We’re also going to be car shopping soon.  It’s time to retire our 13 year old RAV 4 and get something fancier.  That may involve a trip to Sweden or Munich, depending on which brand Bill decides on.

I’m looking forward to better weather.  Up here in Wiesbaden, there’s less snow because there’s less altitude.  It just looks grey and ugly all the time at this time of year.  I mean, it looks like that in Stuttgart, too, but it snows more often.  At our old house, I had pretty views and could watch the weather.  I can watch it here, too, but our house is in a less country setting.

Anyway, that about does it for today’s blog.  I wish I had an idea for something more interesting to write about today.  Maybe something will come to me later.  For now, I’m signing off until next time, and reminding all of my Germany based readers with dogs to make sure they’re worm free.  Deworming is essential!  😉

A look of pure relief on Arran’s face as he stops hosting nematodes.

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