I may write a little more in future about some of the things we have become aware of touring with 5 dogs, but one those things is the various infectious diseases that are prevalent in different parts of Europe. In this case, our concern was a disease called leishmaniasis which is a particular problem in parts of southern Europe and is transmitted by biting sandflys, which are like tiny mosquitoes. The reason we were concerned was that some of the dogs had been showing symptoms of the cutaneous form of the disease for a few months now, ever since we had broken down in Italy.
We also, somehow, managed to squeeze in a leishmaniasis test for Esther as well. She’d had an enormous, very sore and long-lasting sandfly bite herself some time ago and had been concerned ever since. However, because of not understanding how the medical system really worked in France for non-urgent matters and also not knowing how expensive it might be, we hadn’t gotten around to doing anything about it. Then, the day before we were due to leave Condom, we finally bit the bullet, walked into a doctors surgery and found that getting an appointment for a blood test, at a dedicated test centre nearby, was as simple as the doctor signing a piece of paper. And the test itself cost all of 17 euros! Which included being able to log in and download the results 3 days later. That was actually 3 euros cheaper than testing one of the dogs, although to be fair Esther struggled less. End result, Esther doesn’t have leishmaniasis and we can relax about it.
But there was still one final thing to do in Condom, albeit unexpected. Again, I haven’t mentioned it on the blog, but in mid-October Esther sprained her ankle very badly during a trail run with me and 3 dogs. It had swelled up massively and she’d been unable to do much on it since. We met someone who recommend an osteopath in Condom, but despite calling and leaving a message with him asking him to call back, we hadn’t heard anything. After sorting the blood test, we decided to have one last attempt and showed up at his practice to see if he could squeeze Esther in, discovering (a) he was a really nice guy, (b) he’d been trying to call and (c) Esther doesn’t know her own phone number very well.
And then the sun stopped shining quite so much and we finally felt it was time to go. We stocked up on a few things we know we can’t buy in Spain, did our laundry (how exciting), posted our Christmas cards in good time….and headed south. The next update will be from Spain.