Ginger’s New Fashion Statement
Keeping Her Happy and Healthy

In many ways, Ginger and I have parallel lives. We both down the dance with death. My two dances have been successfully resolved. When I eventually go belly up, it won’t be due to a subdural hematoma or prostate cancer. However, Ginger has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There isn’t a silver bullet that can cure IBD. The best hope of veterinarians is to control it with medication. Ginger doesn’t eat anything that isn’t a prescription for her illness.

For several years, prescription foods and medication have been used, modified, and new meds have been added while stopping others. For the past year, Ginger’s medical treatment plan has been successful. She still has IBD, but it is under control. That is the good news.

However, when IBD is manageable with meds, something invariably pops up. Whenever someone asks how Ginger is doing, I respond that she is doing well. In the back of my mind, I fear that something else will occur, creating other medical problems.

The most recent situation has to do with Ginger licking her left leg. It starts just above her paw and will lick all the fur off the area. Within a day, it becomes red, and I medicate the area and wrap it. Ginger will respond by crewing the wrap off the infected area and/or merely licking above the wrapping. In a matter of a week, her entire leg has a half dozen areas that have been medicated and wrapped. That didn’t stop Ginger. She started licking at the elbow. However, that area has a lot of hair. Fortunately, I noticed it was wet from licking. I wrapped it again and took her to see her vet. Everyone knows Ginger from the front desk, the vets, and their techs.

However, Dr. Wozniak communicates with Dr. Derrè at Purdue Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Derrè saved Ginger’s life on her first dance. Dr. Wozniak taught me how to give Ginger B12 shots monthly.

I repeated the story to Dr. Wozniak about Ginger licking one of the front legs. I thought it was an allergy. Dr. Wozniak didn’t buy my diagnosis since just one leg was affected. She tested the area of several of Ginger’s licking sites and found bacteria. She gave Ginger some antibiotics that she is still taking.

I still asked Dr. Wozniak about how I could keep her from licking while the antibiotics started to work. She said, “Put a shirt on Ginger.” Hence, Ginger’s new fashion statement.

Nevertheless, as I drove back home, I wondered how Ginger would deal with wearing an old shirt of mine. Since she didn’t like the wrappings, I feared her response to my shirt. When we got home, I said to Ginger excitedly, “Let’s get all dressed up.” Ginger seems excited wearing my old shirt.