Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What a lucky boy.

We won't know for certain until tomorrow but it now looks as if Wilf will keep his tongue. I can't begin to describe what a relief it is! He had another very thorough examination at the vets yesterday and there is no sign of further swelling nor are there signs of the toxins killing any of the tissue. From the evidence of the welts across his body it seems that he managed to plonk himself unconcernedly down on a group of caterpillars. As a result his rear end is extremely inflamed and the toxins were transferred to his muzzle and mouth when he licked ( what the French would call ) his ' les parties ' to relieve the itching. If it had been the other way round he would not have been so lucky. I knew he was still feeling low because he let the lady vet treat his extremely swollen and red tender parts without so much as a murmur of gentlemanly disapproval.

This morning I found a couple of small caterpillar processionary chains wandering across the driveway. There were probably 30 - 40 in each, not the 400 or 500 that come down in the summer. We are now faced with a garden that is effectively a 'no go' area for the boyz . 36 hours on , my hands are still swollen and red from carrying him so the poor fellow must be in real pain.

'The font' returned from looking after 'grannyfont' last night. Wilf who had been feeling sorry for himself all day suddenly came alive and charged across the courtyard in greeting. He did something he's never done before. He opened his mouth, let his swollen tongue hang out, and then sat stock still staring up at 'the font ' as if to say " You cannot believe what happened to me while you were away !". He is still being fed water by syringe but managed to eat some warm porridge for breakfast. He got it down slowly and with difficulty but he got it down. I find myself so grateful for the vet who opened up the surgery on Sunday night to see him.


  1. Oh Angus,
    I am so glad that dear Wilf is out of the woods! Those caterpillars certainly look nasty! Get better wishes go to you too!

  2. What a relief! I'm so glad that it continues to be good news for Wilf! I will continue to hope that this trend continues, and you both are as good as new very, very soon!!

    (Very interesting pictures of the caterpillars!)

  3. Well I am SO pleased to hear that it seems likely Wilf will keep his tongue. But how very inconvenient, that he can't go out in the garden. And you must be so worried now about letting the boyz roam free in other areas too. Or is the problem localised? And it is just this time of year? Do tell us more, we are still worried!
    Cheers, H.

  4. wow, those are some nasty critters!!! so glad the old guy will be ok!! you too!
    never heard of such creatures.....
    hope you both continue to improve....

  5. I'm so glad to hear that Wilf is doing better - those caterpillars are really scary. Is there anything you can do to rid yourself of them?

  6. I'm so glad that he's on the mend and won't lose his tongue! What a scary episode! It's especially worrying as they get older.

    I hope that you find a way to get rid of the caterpillars somehow! That would make me really uneasy.

  7. Phew! Wilf seems to have dodged a bullet. What a relief. Like KKS, we'd never heard of these demon caterpillars before and read up on them online. They seem to be on the move from Jan.-April and even the hairs that blow off of them in a breeze can be toxic. And it can take up to three weeks for full recovery. The article I read was referencing caterpillars in Spain and said to talk to your local officials about their plans for control and removal of nests. So sorry you're having to deal with such nasty stuff.

  8. OH MY, how nerve wracking...You must have been so frightened. I'm glad you received good news. I just dropped by Max's blog and wishing you lots of well wishes.

  9. what good news! Those caterpillars look like they are on a march to take over the world! Luckily, Mom says we don't have them here in Sandy Eggo. Thank goodness! They look scary!

    wags, wiggles & slobbers

  10. We wake up every morning to learn from our public radio and other media what is the latest thing to be "skeered" of. Processionary caterpillars were never on the list until yesterday!! But now they are.

    We're so glad that the damage seems to be less than feared -- and send our continuing wishes for continued healing -- to both you and Wilf!!

    Wirey woofs,

    Jake and Just Harry

  11. I am so relieved. What an absolute nightmare.
    Curious.. did you yourself have to have some sort of antidote? Also, what sort of butterflies do these monstrosities turn into? I thought pterodactyls were extinct. Four or Five Hundred in the Springtime?? Scheesh.

  12. Opa - Agree 100% +
    Max - You are so kind to be thinking of us - our problems are nothing compared to the sweethearts!
    Kim - Wilf is getting better by the hour
    Hamish - 'The font' is on the case - our garden will not remain out of bounds for long.
    kks - At least there is the Atlantic between us - let's hope the critters can't swim!
    WW - Thank you!
    Rocky Creek - I'm told lighter fluid is the only solution
    Houndstooth - As I just mentioned above I'm off to buy a gallon of lighter fluid - or the biggest carton they sell of the stuff.
    Petey - with climate change these things are getting everywhere - they've even made it to England.
    Deborah - Welcome - Isn't Max a sweetie?
    Murphy - Don't worry they'll never get to San Diego
    Jake - You have the hurricanes we'll take the caterpillars
    Pamela - Yes, my antidote was a bottle of champagne while I nursed a very unhappy Wilfy on my lap. I can vouch for the fact that Champagne is the best anti-histamine/anaesthetic in the world.

  13. Oh My! Poor Wilf! It seems like a weekend at the emergency vet for a lot of us. I never heard of toxic caterpillars except through your bloggie. A flame thrower seems like a wise investiment.

    very careful sniffies for Wilf,


  14. I read about Wilf on Max's blog and had to stop by.

    I've never heard of those processionary caterpillars. I'm so glad we don't have them here as I have no doubt at least one of my chihuahuas, if not both, would feel compelled to mess around with them.

    I'm thrilled to hear that Wilf will get to keep his tongue! I hope he heals completely very soon!

    Will keep him in my prayers!

  15. I didn't know if you were being serious about him losing his tongue yesterday (your sense of humor tends to be 'dry'). But I guess that you were serious. I'm so happy that things are looking up for Mr. Wilf. What a terrible ordeal. K and R have their paws crossed for him.

  16. OH dear- just read the blog - so glad he is ok
    Had never heard of those revolting catepillars - pleased there are none in NZ!