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The Argus Ear Saga Continues

Wednesday 12/21/2005 12:05 AM

Argus still has an ear infection. I was supposed to take him off the oral antibiotics for 24 hours before bringing him back in again, but, silly me, I forgot. The reason for the one day in advance stoppage is for culturing, but I'll get to that in a bit.

Doc wants to try one more medication. It's called Mometamax™ (gentamicin sulfate, USP; mometasone furoate monohydrate; and clotrimazole, USP, otic suspension) and the regiment is ten drops in his ear once a day. In the box, there is a nozzle attachment that's literally about an inch long and we're supposed to stick it all the way down into his ear canal (they told me there is no danger of harming his eardrum).

Our orders are to give him the new stuff once a day for the next seven days. Then the fun part: We get to wash his ears out again. I'm sure you remember what a thrill that was before. After that living hell, we wait 5-7 more days and then bring Argus back in to see Dr. Guhrt. Then, if he still has the ear infection, Doc is going to run a culture.

As I understand it, this is where he swabs the inside of Argus' ear and then sends it off to a lab so they can keep the sample warm and feed it whatever that crap eats so they can grow it and figure out exactly what it is. When the lab reports back, Dr. Guhrt will know exactly how to treat the ear. He hasn't said as much, but my guess is that it costs a little bit of money to run the culture, so right now we're trying the cheaper route of experimenting with different medications to see if we can knock it out without getting the lab involved.

Argus has come a long way since those ear wash struggle incidents. With the ear drops we've been giving him, Candy and I have done a good job of acclimating him to the bottle in his ear. Tonight, he wasn't too crazy about that long nozzle, but, with a treat held in my mouth to keep his attention, we were able to provide some positive reinforcement, and, by the second try, I was squeezing the drops into his ears without any resistance from him. Honey, not vinegar, and all.

Of course, the real test will be when we wash 'em out again.

I'll keep you posted.

In other news, I got my annual check from New Leaf Market in the mail today. As a co-op member, I get a check every year for some small percentage of my purchases. From May 1, 2004 through April 30, 2005, I made $163.37 in purchases. My rebate worked out to be $5.28, but the powers that be at the co-op decided to withhold 75% of everyone's rebates to pay for further expansion of the store. So I'm holding a big fat check for $1.32. I remember when that used to be able to buy you something.

And finally, today is the shortest day of the year. When I was a child, they told us in school that long ago, people would create huge bonfires of trees in order to bring the sun back and that's where Christmas trees come from.

The winter solstice is a day of seasonal and astronomical irony because even though this is when it's coldest (at least for those of us on this side of the equator), the Earth is actually closer to the sun than at any other time during the year. Turns out that distance isn't what matters when it comes to seasons and such, but rather the angle of the sunbeams combined with the number of hours a day that our half of the planet is catching some rays.

Did you know there is a relatively new religious movement called Ásatrú, that is attempting to revive the pre-Christian Nordic religion? Those folks call today Yule and it's a bit of a big deal to them. Looks like they have a web site too.

File Under: Argus; Holiday, Of Sorts; New Leaf Market; Solstice, Winter
Music: The Beatles "Ultimate Christmas Collection"

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