Saturday, 5 August 2017

09:36 – It was 61.7F (16.5C) when I took Colin out at 0630, clear and breezy. The little dog was nowhere to be seen, although she did show up shortly after we came back in the house.

Barbara commented yesterday that she seemed kind of thin and scraggly when she saw her, when she arrived in our front yard in company with a beagle. She also noticed that she’s a girl and has her adult teeth.

I’m afraid she’s been abandoned and is scavenging/hunting. She’s a sweet little dog, and I hate to see that. I’ve given her a couple of little dog treats, figuring every little bit helps. We’re going to keep an eye on her over the weekend. If we don’t find out where she belongs by Monday, I feel that we need to do something, even if it comes to feeding her. I don’t like to see a dog suffer. It abrogates the deal humans have had with dogs for 40,000 years.

Which kind of relates to an email I got from someone who was going through the list of antibiotics I posted. He wanted to know if any of them had activity against worms and other parasites, and if not what he should be stocking.

With the usual disclaimer that I’m neither a physician nor a pharmacist and can’t offer medical advice, the short answer is no. Metronidazole is useful against giardia and some similar parasites but is not an antihelminthic.

For that, my first and second choices would be mebendazole and albendazole. Unfortunately, both require a prescription and are pretty expensive, at least in the US. My next choice would be pyrantel pamoate.

It’s widely available as an OTC drug under various names, notably Reese’s Pinworm Medicine. You can buy it at Walmart or Amazon. One ounce of the 50mg/mL suspension sells for $7 or $8, and is roughly two adult doses. Or you can buy bulk generic stuff for roughly a buck an ounce in 32-ounce bottles, which is roughly 60 adult doses. It’s effective against pinworms, hookworms, and roundworms. The weird thing about this product is that it’s intended for human use, but is purchased at least as often for treating pets and livestock.

IIRC, a normal course of treatment is one dose to kill the live worms, followed by a second dose a week or ten days later to kill any newly-hatched worms. A 32-ounce bottle provides a varying number of courses, depending on the weight of the patient. For small children, the dosage is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2.5 to 5 mL), which means the bottle contains 90+ to 180 courses. For large adults, the normal dosage is 4 teaspoons (20 mL), so the bottle contains about 24 courses.

Have I mentioned that I love living in Sparta? We just got the bill from Shaw Brothers for fixing the septic tank mess. I cringed as Barbara opened the envelope, expecting a bill for $3,000 or $4,000. It was $875, total. Of that, $350 went to the septic tank service for pumping out the tank. In Winston-Salem, ISTR, it costs $300+ per hour just to rent the excavator they used.