I had mentioned in an earlier post that my Great Dane puppy, Walter, has acne. He’s a teenager and it’s not unusual for Danes to have canine acne.
My vet is probably tired of hearing about Walter’s facial flaws. From the time he was a small puppy, he’s had a bump here or there. YES! He was small once! Just because he’s headed toward 120 lbs at age 10 months does not mean he wasn’t little once…for about a minute.
The first time Walter had a problem was around his eyelashes. I was scared to death that something really bad was happening to him. The vet put him on antibiotics and all was well. Till a few weeks later. This time it was on his snout and chin. There were a lot of them. And they weren’t just bumps anymore. They looked just like cystic acne. It was awful. I didn’t want people to look at Walter and say “Oh, but he has such a nice personality.”
I was desperate. I asked the vet what he suggested as a topical to help with this. He suggested Stridex. I love my vet. He will suggest things you can buy over the counter even when he has special vet products he could sell at a profit.
Off I went to buy Stridex. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t feel weird going up to the counter with a jar of Stridex pads. Those who know me will vouch for the fact that I’ll put a swath of purple in my salt and pepper hair from time to time. I’m sure the cashier took one look at the Stridex, one look at my hair, and decided that this 56-year-old woman had delusions of adolescence. I didn’t care. My puppy had pimples of gigantic proportions and he needed this.
Walter did NOT think he needed this. Walter is usually unflappable. There is nothing that will stop him. You can make loud noises, spray water in his face, put bitter apple on things and he is unfazed. Stridex fazed him. I tried to dab a little on his cheek and he bolted. When he’d calmed down and returned I merely reached for the jar and he was gone. The good thing was that I knew how to get his attention if he was doing something he shouldn’t. The bad thing was that his acne progressed.
Another round of antibiotics and his skin cleared, as if by magic. But the “cure” only lasted 2-3 weeks. I hated the thought of antibiotics again in such a short period of time, but it looked just so painful that I had no choice. Again it cleared.
Three weeks later and it returned. Another desperate call to the vet. His latest recommendation is a chemical called chlorhexidine. It has antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal…oh let’s just say it has all the “antis” covered. I read the reviews, I saw good reports, I read that the odor wasn’t bad.
Great! I got online and checked out my options. There was a great price for a gallon of the stuff. Awesome! That should last me at least a little while, even if I had to chase him and lost some along the way. As long as I could get the smell of it past him, I might have a chance.
The gallon of chlorhexidine arrived. It was blue like Windex. Oh no, it smelled like Windex. Was this stuff Windex? A little Googling and I found out that people use this stuff instead of Windex because it has such great properties and is safe for animals. All of that was well and good, but could I get it past Walter’s sniffer?
I went back to the jug to read the warnings. I wasn’t worried. They use it to clean medical areas. Doctors use this stuff on patients about to go into surgery. Dentists use it for mouth washes. If it worked, it didn’t seem to have any side effects that would be a problem.
I read the instructions. Wait! There are instructions? Why yes there are. Right there on the side of the jug, they were plain to see. Mix one ounce per gallon of water. One ounce per GALLON of water!!?
At 64 ounces per gallon, that meant I had enough to make 4,096 GALLONS of chlorhexidine at the proper concentration!!! The good news is that once it is diluted properly, the smell is barely there. Walter did not run away. Walter let me cuddle his chin with my wet hand and was as happy as can be.
Keep your fingers crossed that this will work for Walter. Even if it doesn’t, I’ll still have enough to wash and disinfect every surface in this house, and the barn, and the garden shed, and the cars…repeatedly. Even after that, I’ll have enough to wash a friggin’ herd of horses…from tip to tail!