The saga of the paws has yet to resolve. It has become Max’s version of the Never Ending Story.


Come to think of it, Falcor from the Never Ending Story does look a bit like a Maltese. A Maltese that drinks too much.

The so-called new and improved treatment plan made little difference. Max’s feet are still inflamed and sensitive although somewhat less so than before.

We are losing confidence in Max’s veterinarian. That’s largely because we sense him shying away from possibly admitting that he just doesn’t know what the problem is.

keep-calm-and-i-don-t-know-38.pngAt our visit last week, after almost three weeks of different therapies focusing on bacterial infection as the likely culprit, the Vet proposed a time consuming and expensive new approach targeted at resolving a fungal infection. Say what?

If, at the outset, he wasn’t sure of the type of infection, shouldn’t there have been some skin test or scrapings or other diagnostics done before subjecting the Malt to bound feet, discomforts and all those antibiotics?

We are ignorant in these matters and it’s obviously presumptuous for us to make a judgment about the Vet’s competency. But the AJF is a mighty shrewd reader of people and her antenna (along with her hackles) have been raised.

Maybe it’s her long experience in grocery stores that lets her spot pure baloney at a glance. On the other hand, maybe it’s her long experience with me, but I digress.

Max Cone

Stinx is refusing to show his paws.

We elected to reject the fungus-among-us approach which would have mandated another 10 days of wrapped paws for the Fluffbutt. At this point we are going to focus on keeping his feet scrupulously clean, dry and protected whilst we secure a second opinion.

Have you guys had a similar experience with losing confidence in your pup’s Vet?

The first thing we did after returning from the Vet was give “Stinx” a bath. That’s what we started calling Max since his paw treatments have precluded us bathing him for some time.

See, when Maltese aren’t bathed regularly they start to smell like Fritos corn chips. Exactly like Fritos. That’s not bad provided you don’t have a ferocious case of the munchies.

After awhile, however, the Fritos fragrance starts to go rancid and Malts become smelly little doggos. Stinx had gotten to that point and beyond.

Shampoo 2

I’ve been known to drink wine that costs less per ounce than the Malt’s shampoo. A whole lot less. A whole, whole lot less.

Of course Stinx has his own special medicated shampoo. We get his shampoo through Amazon at about $2/ounce. It has chlorhexidine, climbazole, and phytophingosine whatever the hell those are.

Based on cost they are likely found on store shelves next to gold, frankincense and myrrh, whatever the hell that is.

On the other hand, my personal stand-by comes from WalMart at 23 cents/ounce. It has soap and some smell-good stuff. The label translates the selling features – “cleans and refreshes!” – into French so you know this is high quality product.

What you don’t know is just how tempted I’ve been to give Stinx a good scrub with a little Irish Spring.

Faith and begorrah, pup.Β shamrock-5

47 replies

  1. Where is that gold, frankinwhosit, and myrria shelf?! I think I’d like to try that fancy shampoo. No worries. I’ll take out a second mortgage first. If and only if it works on eau de cow pie!

    I really am sorry about Max’s ongoing epic. I hope he gets some answers and relief Soon. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s the shelf where you find printer ink, contact lenses and Kobe beef. Thing is, the fancy shampoo doesn’t really have a fragrance but it’s really, really effective on getting rid of the itchies. You might need to add some scent to overcome the eau de cow pie.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom, I am so sorry that poor little Max is not getting better. It is not our vet I lost confidence in–it was the feline neuro that she suggested we ‘might’ want to see. Teemu has a heart murmur and has had seizures for 9 years (he is only 14) so the first thing the neuro suggests (actually, she all but salivated as she said this) was to get an MRI of Teemu’s brain. Why? They already diagnosed him as ‘neurologically inappropriate’ so what is the MRI gonna show me that I don’t already know? That was $2000. Then meds that would make him lethargic and possibly lose weight. He sleeps all the time now and is fighting to keep on weight. The meds were $100/month. No. Just no. We will keep him comfortable and forego all the testing and prodding and probing. I am glad you are doing the same with Max. Good luck–I hope he gets well soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s tough to say “no” to just about anything recommended because we love the little critters and don’t have the training to really assess if a suggested course of action is appropriate. I guess it comes down to trust. Wow, compared to Teemu’s challenges, Max’s feet are no problem at all. We’ll quiz some friends and neighbors and see if we can find a good source for a second opinion. Thanks for the good wishes, Lois.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am new to the Maltese breed, just rescued Baby last year. She is always gnawing her paws, but I am blessed with a wonderful Veterinarian so he is helping me learn. I sure hope Max starts feeling better

    Liked by 1 person

    • Malts are well known to have sensitive skin and are prone to allergies that sometimes results in paw chewing. If you find a good therapy for Baby, let me know! The Douxo shampoo is a great thing for Max. He has tried all sorts of medications and still takes a low dose steroid. The Malts can be challenging but they are wonderful dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I’m frustrated with your vet now. The first thing I thought of is colloidal silver. My father-in-law is a beekeeper (among other things) and was covered in stings all over his body, and that silver cleared it (mostly) up. I read yesterday about another blogger who swore by it, and then this afternoon, my husband heard about a person who had flesh-eating bacteria that wasn’t responding to antibiotics, and they used the colloidal silver and it was better in a matter of days. I wonder if you can put that topically on his paws?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I had something more than “gut feeling” to go on. It’s entirely possible, maybe even likely, that the Vet is doing the right things for all the right reasons and the AJF and I are simply overly sensitive to what we perceive as miscues in attitude and presentation. Left to myself I might stick it out with the Vet longer but the AJF is pretty adamant about making a change and that’s the deciding factor.


  5. Poor Max! He’s probably super sensitive about his paws now. Its good that his feet are somewhat improved, but a second opinion is probably a good idea. I’m sending good thoughts you way, Max. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • He definitely doesn’t want his feet touched but when he’s got his booties on they provide enough protection and cushioning that he seems OK with wandering around outside. It’s the area “between the toes” that is most irritated. He’s a trooper and has such a gentle, loving personality that even when we must handle his feet he never struggles or snaps – not even a growl.


  6. Oh I want to slap that vet! Poor, poor wee Max! It must be hell for you and AJF to see him suffer so.
    I say definitely seek a second opinion. The poor little guy must be exhausted by now. Have you tried anti allergy meds? Well, you’ve probably tried just about everything by now.
    Massive hugs and snuggles to the Malt xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Poor dog. Sounds like the vet has no idea but can take you for cash if you are gullible enough.
    Second opinion and web search looks the way ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You hit on a key point; we felt we were becoming an annuity for the vet office. Some of the charges struck us as exorbitant and some add-on treatments seemed extraneous the problem of the paws. But, again, our ignorance in these matters always injects an uncomfortable element of doubt in our decisions. We’ve gotten a number of recommendations from neighbors for a new Vet and I’ll do some web background work on them as you suggest.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. If it is any help to the poor little chap you could look for a seaweed based poultice treatment…much in use here for healing wounds and promoting new skin growth…or a silver based treatment which saw off Higher Authoritys fracture blisters in short order, from something resembling 2nd degree burns to new skin in no time.
    I knew I should never have suggested alcohol even as I wrote, but I never imagined that you would swill down the booze and treat the paws with the mixers…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seaweed, eh? That’s a brilliant idea and I can get a lot of seaweed based skin products from the AJF’s Japanese store. Downside is that whilst I am examining the pup’s paw options, she will be off filling her shopping cart with her delicacies. Kerbey also suggested silver as a potential treatment but I haven’t researched it yet.

      OK, OK, so maybe I was wrong to have poached the dog’s alcohol but even after a double check I found no mention on the vodka bottle that it could serve as a remedy for sore paws.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So sorry to learn that Max’s foot problems continue. I presume his paw hairs have been trimmed up? That’s usually one of the first things vets recommend with Frito feet. As I look over some of the comments, the coal tar seems a ‘pawsibility’ and one that I’d personally consider. I know it’s distressing thinking you are single-handly funding your vet’s Life of the Rich and Famous lifestyle. That said, it sometimes is very difficult to diagnose conditions in both uprights and the 4-legged. But loss of confidence in his treatment is no way to move forward. We continue to send oodles of poodle healing thoughts your way. Please holler if you want me to pop some of our healing ointment in the mail to try and give poor Max some relief. On the plus side, it may work and any fee is knowing he might get some relief. 🐢

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Those are funny! I especially like #4 Darryl, the construction dog with a drinking problem and blue jeans. I wish I was more imaginative so I could come up with one for Max including an appropriate outfit, maybe something with socks. I’m glad you sent this thru the blog so others can enjoy, too, but you can always reach me at Max’s email – maxkakaako at – or mine: tjmclaughlin at

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Tom, while you were busy poaching Max’s grog, I was consulting Google to get to the bottom of Max’s problems. I have heard of people having miraculous results treating ulcers in human feet with colloidal silver. I found this link which might help:
    I’d possibly go back to Max’s current vet and ask them to do some skin scrapings. Find out what it is. I read about dogs having yeast infections between the toes.
    There are treatment shampoo. I’ve used Malaseb before and I also found this one:
    Hope you find something that works.
    In the meantime, we’re having a great time with the pups. They’re so much fun and very entertaining.
    Hope you’re having a great weekend.
    xx Ro

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very kind and thoughtful of you to have spent so much time and energy researching possible solutions to the paw problem. Thank you! Those were good links with lots of information to mull over. Since the last update the Malt has made progress and his feet have recovered a bit. We’ve been working on it and the new lotion seems to have had a beneficial impact. The Malt has resigned himself (for now) to wearing booties whilst outdoors and either a cone or socks indoors. The main thing seems to be that he gets lots of fresh dry air on the feet after having them cleaned and treated. We’ve decided to move on to a new Vet and have one identified. The skin scraping sounds like a good plan and something the prior Vet should have done before all the other failed treatments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, my uncle is a dermatologist for humans and that’s always step 1 with him. Same must apply to dogs.
        We are having so much fun with these little pups. They’re so hilarious growling like Tasmanian Devils and wrestling with each other and turning the dog bed into a ring. Lady is slowly warming to them. I feel sorry for them because they’re so friendly and she’s so grouchy but she’s getting there. I know I wouldn’t be too happy if somebody dropped two babies off at my place unannounced!
        xx Ro


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