Scotty’s Mystery Illness

For the past week and a half, I’ve had a sick puppy on my hands, and we’re still trying to figure out exactly what the problem is.  The best guess at the moment is some kind of inner ear infection, the kind that isn’t necessarily easy to diagnose just by looking inside the ear.

It began a week ago Thursday, when I found that he’d thrown up in his pen.  After a day or so of low appetite and having a problem keeping things down, I took him to the vet and they gave him an injection of an anti-nausea drug.  That stopped the nausea.  The problem then migrated to the other end.

Oh, yeah.  Gotta love that.

Fortunately, it wasn’t all the time, but only when he normally did that sort of business.  He never had that kind of accident in the house.  I took him back to the vet, and unfortunately, after being poked and prodded for a while, he did have that kind of accident at the vet’s reception area.  I felt terrible about it, and by the looks of him, he did, too.  But the vet staff shrugged it off, saying it happens all the time.

Subsequent tests revealed a very minor presence of whipworms, a parasite dogs sometimes get that is not prevented by standard heartworm treatments.  So I have him on a dewormer for that.  They also gave him an antibiotic for the belly, which has since stopped that other problem.

But there’s one issue we haven’t tacked, yet:  his balance seems to be off.  If he gets up after lying around for a while, there a moments when he looks like he sways a little at first.  He’s been shaking his head occasionally, and at times leaning his head to the right as if he’s trying to get something out of his right ear.  The vet has checked his ears several times, and they’re not red.  But after seeing him again last night, the vet agrees with me that it could be a problem inside the ear, an area that is very hard to see with the otoscope, that little device they use to see into a dog’s — or person’s — ear.

The other possibilities are not pleasant.  Either a brain tumor or some kind of neurological problem.  The vet did a couple of simple tests with his paws and checked for unusual motion in Scotty’s eyes and those tests seem to indicate that a tumor or serious neurological issue isn’t that likely.

At least so far.

So I’m hoping the new antibiotic and prednisone (a precautionary measure to reduce any potential inflammation in the inner ear, brain or anywhere else any may exist) will do the trick, but it’s likely to take a few days.

He’s still exhibiting his sweet personality, but he’s moping around a little and I can tell he doesn’t feel well.  He’s also more cuddly lately, as if he’s wanting “Daddy” to make it all better.

Daddy wishes he could snap his fingers and accomplish that right this second.


  1. Poor Scotty. Please keep your readers updated on his recovery… Here’s hoping it will be a quick one. He seems like such a sweet dog.

    1. Thanks, Mika. Will do.

      He is really sweet and it's hard watching him when he's under the weather like this. He's giving me the "sad eyes" look and other than keeping the medicine coming, there's not a great deal more I can do.

    2. He seems to be feeling a little better…his energy is coming back, along with more and more of his normal personality. The antibiotics seem to be doing the trick, assuming that some kind of inner-ear issue is really what we're dealing with.

Comments are closed.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.