Sunday, July 8, 2012

Poor Marley and the Dreaded Red Ant Attack

Poooooooor Marley. What started out as an adventure turned into a not-so-fun experience. Oddly enough Nebraska does have something to offer as far as outdoor beauty and Kyle and I try to explore every possible outdoor setting that will allow us to simply get away and enjoy God's beauty for a few hours. Today was one such day, and typically, Marley loves these adventures. His nose is always leading him this way and that, he fearlessly climbs and jumps through trees, rocks, and plants twice his size, and he struts around claiming everything (even the poor wild flowers) as his own.

It was the perfect temperature and it was sprinkling, which was a wonderful experience considering our 100 degree weather recently. We were taking it all in, following random game trails and even running across a couple of deer! As you can see it started out a beautiful afternoon....


As we headed away from an obvious skunk spray, we began to notice that Marley was incessANTly licking his back paw. Usually this is an indication of a sticker so I picked him up to check it out. What I found was that a red ant had burrowed itself into his paw and would not let go! When I finally got the ant off, I put Marley back down and he would not stop crying! It was pathetically cute. So of course, being the concerned mommy that I am, I picked him up to discover a very red, hot paw.

We took him to a pump and filled his little dish up with cold water and stuck his paw in it. He usually fights any kind of contact with water, but he didn't this time, in fact he relaxed! It was pretty obvious that felt pretty good.
We thought that might have calmed it down a tad, so we began our trek around the lake once again. However, he refused to let that paw make contact with the ground and his obsession with licking starting right back up again. At first we thought it was kinda funny, so we kept snapping pictures! I mean he was acting a little crazier than his "normal" self (whatever that might be).

But he refused to do anything but lick, so Kyle carried him.
We know that Marley is a baby and that yes, we baby him, but he was so darn cuddly and would not stop crying that you couldn't help but have sympathy for him! We decided to head home and on our way he sat in the back and continued to lick, lick, lick.
At this point I was getting a tad worried. I googled "red ant bites" and found that they actually clamp down with their front fangs and inject venom into their victim from their abdomen, which totally made sense when I thought back to how the ant was literally wrapped around the fleshy part of his paw. Remedies such as lime juice, a baking soda and water paste, aloe jell, worchestire sauce, and vinegar were some suggestions. Obviously these were human remedies, but what the heck, we gave the lime juice a shot, vigorously massaging it into his paw (as was recommended) and Marley LOVED that, then we iced it. After a while that didn't work so we tried the paste, still didn't work. So I rubbed aloe into his paw and blew on it and that's what did the trick. Or perhaps it was a combination of the remedies? We came home around 3 and around 4:30 he finally relaxed enough to fall asleep. When he woke up he was back to his good 'ole self.

I'm sure he milked the attention for all it was worth, but dog-gone-it, it had to hurt, poor thing!

If you want to read more about Marley and his weird little quirks check out my first blog about him: My Little Marley Man

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