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My dog ate maggots. I had no idea what was going on."
"How old was your dog?"
"Three. He was just three."
"That's quite a big dog. I know it was just three but do you know how much maggots weigh?"
"I'm not sure. How much would you say?"
"I don't know but I'd be willing to bet you it's more than four or five grams, which makes me think that a dog of that size would be eating somewhere around fifty-five thousand. Do you want me to find out for you?"
"All right. We've got to go to the vet's. It's an emergency, but the emergency room isn't open this weekend so I'll drive us there and then I'll drive back to the clinic with you."
"My name is Dr. Seagull. Dr. Seagull, the name I go by at the clinic."
"Oh, sorry, Doctor."
He laughed. "It's okay. How do you like being called Dr. Seagull?"
He laughed agn and took a deep breath. "I guess you know your symptoms by now."
"I think so. I was trying to remember and I can't remember. They came back last night."
"Well, I'm not surprised. Maggots do have a way of doing that. They can put the memory in mothballs if you're not careful."
"So when did it start?"
"Oh, I don't know. A couple of days ago."
"A couple of days ago. And where did you get the maggots?"
"I don't know. I got them from the kitchen. I didn't want them to die in the freezer."
"Well, you can't blame yourself, and even if you did, there's no real reason for you to be upset. It's just the way it happens sometimes. When you've got the symptoms it could be anywhere from a couple of hours to two days later. Maggots don't have much of an appetite in the morning. They usually take more at night. Sometimes they take a lot at night, so they might be eating for the whole night. That's the best way to get rid of them, but that can take a few days.
"It's pretty easy to tell when you've got maggots inside you. If you've got an infection it can sometimes look like a little pimple on the inside of your cheek. If you've got a lump it can sometimes look like a pimple. If you've got a rash it can sometimes look like a pimple."
"How do you know it's an infection?"
"Well, I usually do a quick physical examination and then if I see a rash I take a look at the rash and see what it looks like. Most often I'll feel your stomach and see if there's any tenderness."
"And if you feel tenderness and see a rash I'll probably need to take a look at the rash."
"Exactly. It's pretty rare but you do get a rash with maggots. I'll see what I can find on this."
He went over and opened the door to the first room. I went in with him.
"The first thing we need to do is take a good look at you. We'll see if we need to take any X-rays or any tests.
"You sd you got up last night. Did you get up last night around seven?"
"I don't remember."
"How long were you sleeping?"
"I don't know. A couple of hours maybe."
"What time did you get up?"
"I don't know."
"Well, you're obviously not going to be able to give us any information. Let's go over to my room and look at some of your stuff."
He walked me to the room he'd shown me the first time I came into the clinic.
"Here's your box of belongings. We can have a look at them if you want, but you can't see anything that I haven't seen before."
He opened the door to his room.
"Do you want to get started?" he asked.
We went into his room.
"Let me get your shirt off. I'm going to get my stethoscope and my tools."
I took off my shirt and pulled the drawstring on my shorts. He came over to me and placed the stethoscope in my right armpit. Then he ran the stethoscope across my chest and down my right side.
"Well, this is unusual. What would cause an inflammation of the skin to be that long and go that far down?"
"I don't know."
He put the stethoscope back in its case. He opened it and then he put the case down on his nightstand and put the stethoscope back in the case. He took out his instruments.
"It's a good thing you're not seeing a doctor. Most people wouldn't be able to help you with this."
He picked up the case and opened it. He pulled out a large, square white box and he opened it. I was looking at a box of disposable gloves. He opened it and removed several gloves, which he put in the box. He looked at me.
"Well, you're going to need this." He grabbed a surgical mask from the box.
I put it on. He removed the stethoscope from the case and placed the stethoscope on his desk and put the case on the floor. Then he picked up the stethoscope and moved the mask to his face. He checked the diaphragm and then he moved the stethoscope to