Worms, Worms, Go Away

I just finished a particularly traumatic bath and grooming session with Molly. We're both still worked up about it. She's currently laying at my feet with her head flat on the ground, pouting.

Molly hates baths, especially in our laundry sink. I plopped her in there, and spent the next thirty minutes between sudsing her up (which she tolerates) and chasing her around with the faucet spray (which she does not tolerate).

After the bath comes the hour of combing out tangles. This is the price she must pay for looking so pretty all the time. She likes to have her hair put up, but as soon as we hit more substantial tangles with the comb, it's squirm-city.

Tonight, as I combed her tail, I noticed she was particularly wiggly. I could barely get her to hold still. Then, I noticed right around her, um, anal gland, there was something disgusting. I'm sorry to describe them to you, but they looked like smooshy, cooked rice. No wonder she wouldn't let me comb near that area. I freaked out, and yelled for J.

J took one look and proclaimed "Looks like Molly has worms."


I made J confirm the diagnosis by taking Molly down the road to our brother-in-law, the vet.

It's official. My beautiful little Shih Tzu, whom I bath religiously, has tapeworms. Apparently, if your dog must have a parasite, this is the one to have. It has the least side effects.

Tapeworms come from fleas. Fleas. We got rid of those (I think/hope/am pretty sure) weeks ago as soon as we saw one on Max. We cleaned everything and began washing the dogs with flea shampoo (which - much to my chagrin - doesn't work as well as on dog hair as Molly's regular shampoo). We've worked really hard to keep the fleas away, despite living in the middle of the woods. We haven't seen the dogs scratching in weeks. Apparently there is an incubation time for these suckers (the tapeworms), so maybe we just didn't get rid of the fleas in enough time to prevent the tapeworms.

So, tomorrow Molly begins treatment for tapeworms.

-- Next Day Update --
In my state of exhaustion when I wrote this last night, I had "ringworms" on the brain instead of "tapeworms". Sigh. I went back through and swapped the words in my entry above.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

my cat got fleas one time and it was awful. good luck!