Friday, June 19, 2009

My poor little puppy!

Puddin’ is teething and, poor little thing, the baby teeth aren’t coming out as the big teeth are coming in. This makes her mouth doubly tender, and she spends time pawing at the sides of her muzzle, obviously in discomfort.

So, I took her to the vet for her rabies shot on Tuesday and expressed my concern over her teeth. Before I left, we had an appointment to have them removed. She’s almost 6 months old, up to 2.8kg now (6 lbs) and, while small dogs are at higher risk for anaesthesia, she’s about as big as she is going to get so there is no reason to put it off any longer.

I took her in yesterday morning and she was not a happy camper. She was hungry and thirsty, as she had been NPO for nearly 12 hours. It was dark and uncommonly cold…only 8°C (48°F) when we went out to the car…she never goes for a ride in the car in the dark! I think she knew something was up.

Traffic was lighter than usual so we arrived at the vet about ten minutes before they opened. Puddin’ climbed in my lap, shivering in spite of the fact that the heater was on in the car and she was wrapped in her favourite blanket, one I had crocheted while awaiting her initial arrival. Once the door opened, she didn’t leap into the receptionist’s arms with her usual ears-back joyful wriggle…we had been there only two days earlier and she had received a particularly painful shot, and she definitely did not seem pleased to be back.

I sent her back to the cages with her blanket, hoping that having that familiar item would comfort her and went home to worry. I would not be able to collect her until after 4:30, as they keep the smaller animals that have undergone general anaesthesia for the entire day and monitor them. I knew it was in her best interests to stay, but I fretted over her absence…even the maid missed her.

Finally, it was time to bring her home. Hubby drove us there, thinking it would be better to bring her home comforted in arms. We knew she would be in some discomfort and probably groggy, but when I first saw her, my heart squeezed. Poor little thing looked like she had been through a war!

I was taking care of the bill when they brought her out looking limp and dazed. Hubby took her, wrapped in her blanket, and she just wilted against his chest, no greeting…no indication that she was glad to see us or relieved to be going home. When he handed her to me, she gave up this pathetic little moan and flopped her head against me. I was assailed by guilt.

We only live about a kilometre from the vet, but it was a long ride home. She lay miserably on my lap, her head against my tummy, emitting a low moan each time we turned a corner or hit a bump, each one eliciting a slash of guilt. This poor baby was in pain, she was miserable and not a little bit confused, and it was my fault! Never mind that the teeth had to come out, that it was in her best interests for her future health that they be removed, I was the one who subjected her to the procedure and its resultant torment. Bad dog mama!

It was a long night. They had removed five teeth, including her two upper canines, and she was drooling blood and moaning in her sleep. She would drink chicken broth from a syringe, but aside from one trip to the puddle pad, she remained in a groggy, pained state and showed no interest in anything. She was chilled, her ears and foot pads cool to the touch, so I put a onesie on her, followed by her flannel nightgown and tucked her into my bed with the heated mattress pad turned to its lowest setting. She snoozed for an hour, but her ears stayed cold until I covered them with her crocheted blanket. By 8 pm she was warmed up and no longer huddled into a tight little ball, but her discomfort was evident. And each little groan just sent another dagger of guilt through me.

By morning she had recovered enough to nibble at a bowl of boiled chicken and rice, but she remained subdued and disinterested in her toys or chewies. Several naps later she began perking up, using her stairs to come up onto the bed rather than standing on the floor and moaning piteously for me to pick her up. It is now evening and except for the fact that she won’t eat her kibble, she seems pretty much back to normal: trying to rip the stuffing out of Fred, her stuffed dog, playing “blankie monster” with my hand beneath the bedclothes, and making brief attempts to gnaw on her rawhide and ostrich sinew chewies.

Me? I’m exhausted. Between my limited sleep last night and the regular pangs of guilt that assailed me each time the little beastie winced, I’m worn out. It will be an early night for me and, with any luck, we’ll both be back to normal by tomorrow morning.


  1. Oh my heart goes out to you! I know exactly what that pang of guilt feels like. You are fortunate though that your little baby will get through this and be good as new very soon.

    My poor sweet little kitty has in the past three weeks been to the vet 5 times, 2 overnight stays and had a painful mastectomy to recover from. She has lost 1/2 pound due to the stress and my heart has broken over and over again each time I had to take her in. She has malignant cancer and unfortunately, has a bad prognosis. The vet said she has anywhere between 2 months and a year to live. So, I am trying to make her remaining time with me as happy and comfortable as possible.

  2. I am sorry about your kitty. I had to put my Foxy down last month because of cancer...hemangiosarcoma. We did the same thing...tried to make those last months as good for her as possible. We still miss her. Enjoy your kitty and perhaps consider the blessing in knowing her time is near so that you have the opportunity to focus on her before she goes.

  3. awwwwww! poor little darling. What a sweetie he is, looks like my rufus. they are so helpless when they are hurting.

  4. Poor little sweetie! Now, dogmama, get over "guilt" because she will heal up so much quicker than we humans do and all will be well. Sending hugs to you all!


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