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Vet Visits with Ginger Rogers the Elderbelle

September 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Elderbulls | Fostering. | Ginger Rogers | Goal Setting

This week I have been discussing elderdogs issues that I am very much becoming a champion of due to Miss Ginger’s elderbelle status. It is important to me as her foster mom to give her the best chance of living a long and healthy life – and that means getting her in tip top shape before sending her off with her forever family.


After Ginger’s failed adoption, I took her back by the vet on the way to our house to refill her meds and try to figure out why her infection wasn’t going away. I was lucky to get Dr. Theiss to look her over, and he insisted on giving Ginger a very thorough exam because he also didn’t understand why her ear infection hadn’t cleared up in two months. He believes that Ginger has probably been dealing with these ear infections for years. Left untreated, her ear canals have calcified and growths have formed inside her ear canals, making it very uncomfortable for Ginger and also difficult for her infections to heal. It also explains why she has trouble hearing unless you are standing very close to her. The vet exclaimed that he couldn’t believe how easygoing and happy Ginger was despite her ear issues!


Dr. Theiss immediately put Ginger on a heavy dose of medication and asked me to clean her ears three times a day in order to aggressively attack the infection for 10 days. At the end of the 10 days, we would see where the infection was and make a plan of action at that time. Yesterday marked 10 days, so back to Dr. Theiss we went for a follow-up visit. He was really pleased with the progress on Ginger’s left ear but her right is still pretty bad.


So what are we supposed to do about Ginger’s situation? Well, the vet suggested two methods of treatment: first, we could continue treating Ginger with topical and oral antibiotics and then her new family would have to be diligent about cleaning her ears with a broad spectrum cleaner 2-3 times per week for the rest of her life. This may or may not stave off the problem and any future serious issues.

The other option is a procedure that would remove some of the growths and drain the infection in hopes that it would completely eradicate the infection in that ear – but ear cleanings would still be required for the rest of Ginger’s life to stave off future infections . He also recommended Ginger get a full dental treatment to remove some dead teeth and do some preventative work to keep her remaining teeth intact. The cost for this? Roughly $600 – much more than HAHS typically spends on one dog. I am planning on taking Ginger to a specialist next week to find out if the procedure is really necessary or if the cleanings and antibiotics would be the appropriate plan of action.

I know for sure that Ginger needs the dental exam (approximately $100) and will require that specialist consultation (another $100-200). She also needs to be sent off to her new family with at least 1-2 bottles of the medicated cleaner (approximately $30/bottle), but the money for the ear procedure is still up in the air. Honestly, it could come down to whether or not we can afford it.


I will update more on Ginger’s situation once we’ve met with the specialist. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers as we move forward with figuring this out. As I’ve said before, this girl is well-worth it!

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9 Responses

  • avatar Cori says:

    Poor Ginger! It’s amazing that she’s so calm and happy even when in pain. I also luuuve that last picture of her…she’s so stinking cute. Hope you’re able to figure something out (if you end up doing an fundraiser…let me know!). Also, I would like to request a Skype date with Ginger (and you and Daniel and the other pups) at some point :)

  • avatar kate says:

    Issues like that are always so hard with foster dogs. I hate that money can be such a road block! If you only need $600 and that treatment is the best option, I bet you’d have a lot of success with a chipin/fundraiser for her.

  • avatar jen says:

    Money is generally the road block for pet care. It sucks.
    We had to make decisions for an elderly shiba inu we fostered based on what we could afford.

    Your elderbelle (love it!) looks blissfully happy despite her ear issues :)

  • Poor Ginger! Dogs are the worst at letting us know when they are in pain and don’t feel well. Going to the specialist and getting a second opinion is the right thing to do. And keep us posted if you do a fundraiser!

  • I sure hope her luck improves! It’s so hard to try and make up for lost ground, when it wasn’t your fault she wasn’t well cared for previously. I hope there is a great home out there with a fondness for ear cleaning that need their own Ginger!

  • avatar Kirsten says:

    Thank you for these great updates! She is such a cutie, and your post is a reminder of how important it is to maintain our older friends.

    Little Sandy sends love to her older and wiser doppelganger!