The week in Review – dealing with Fly Strike

This week has been a week! First, for the last two weeks, we have been battling Fly Strike. I never knew this “thing” existed before I noticed a startling amount of flies circling my dogs. My only thoughts were these poor dogs are in desperate need of a bath.

I remedied that quickly (even though it took two hours). With arthritis in my hands, it is difficult to bathe them as often as I used to. We also just coming out of winter – even though winter for us Southerners is a combination of one day hot, one day cold, and so forth. They run through the freezing ditches after a rain, but I still hesitate to give them a bath on a cold day. Go figure. I guess it is our human tendencies being transferred to a dog.

Since Ryka and Calypso’s favorite pastime is running around the chicken coop, which with rain has become a muddy slop, I thought their ears were muddy. Turns out, I was very, very, very wrong. As I began scrubbing Ryka’s ears, she started flinching. This is not something she does. She loves the attention. When I examined her the tips of her ears, I noticed that the water was running red. I continued with her bath and continued soaking the tips of her ears and gently cleaning them. I dried her off and she sat in the sun to dry while Calypso had her bath.

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Some things never change. It’s hot after a storm.

I noticed the same thing with Calypso’s ears. I may be slow at times, but it didn’t’ take me long to figure out something wasn’t right. When I looked over at Ryka, I noticed the flies were swarming again and concentrating on her ears. After coating their ears with Neosporin, I figured it was time to check in with my best friend, Google.

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What I found was called Fly Strike. It was a little daunting because there were some not so nice things listed. I went with the first thing on the list because it seemed that was what they were suffering from. Simply put, dogs with ears that stand up have a landing zone for flies. The flies bite them and draw blood and then more flies come and so on. All I could think was my poor dogs. Their ears were not dirty, they were full of bites and blood and flies!

And, when I say flies, we had to spray to keep them away from the house! I continued to coat their ears twice a day, cleaning them once a day, and kept them inside for a couple of days so the ears could begin healing. Once the ears began healing, the number of flies went down to just a handful. I missed one day this week and boom!, the flies are back.

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I ordered an ointment from Amazon and upon reading the label discovered it is a pesticide. I can’t put it on their open wounds, but I can put it around the perimeter of the wounds. It is supposed to repel the flies. I am hoping this works. After speaking with someone from the vet’s office, they are susceptible due to the chickens in the yard, but mostly the horses next door.

After giving them their baths, Calypso headed back to the chicken coop first chance she got. I was so mad! They each had two baths, getting leashed after the second one. Hubby had put sand in the kennel because Calypso like to chase her tail and she had made a muddy mess inside. The sand is not any better. Sand + wet dog = not a happy mom.

When Hubby got home that afternoon and saw how mad I was, he started looking for fencing. I told him I didn’t care what the fence looked like (thank goodness we live in the country) I just wanted a fence to keep Calypso and Ryka away from the chicken coop and the horses. Well…be careful what you wish for around here. He took old fencing from a neighbor’s junk pile and some from ours…it’s a hodgepodge but it’s the most beautiful fence ever constructed. It didn’t take Calypso long to realize she had lost her entertainment, but she’s adapted.

It was funny to watch her though. I was sitting in a rocker on the back porch and she slowly turned away and the head went down and the tail went down and she thought she was being sneaky. She walked a few steps and stopped and glanced back over her shoulder and I didn’t say anything. Normally, at this point, I would be fussing her and telling her, “No chickens!” She turned around and continued a few more steps and stopped again, looking over her shoulder at me. I still didn’t say anything. I knew she was waiting for me to call her back. I finally told her to go and she happily took off. That is until she came face to face with the hodgepodge fence. That was priceless. I would be willing to bet she made at least twenty-five trips up and down that fence line looking for a way in.

Yesterday, I did the simple task of making my Hubby his favorite chocolate chip cookies. That simple task has taken its toll and the erosive arthritis has reared its ugly head. I was in excruciating pain all night and didn’t sleep. After applying heat for an hour, I now have mobility back – typing doesn’t bother it, limited movement of fingers, but writing is a killer.

The bad thing is I will not be doing much today because it is too painful to use my hand.

And, that is what’s been happening in my world. What about you?

My organizing tip of the Day –

Keep an ongoing To Do  or Task List on your desk. I use a planner that has a graph page to the left and the week at a glance to the right. I use the graph page for my task list. You could also use a simple notebook or tablet to keep track of those To Do’s.