Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Puppy Update

I took Antonio to the vet today who seems to think he is in pain. I just thought he was uncomfortable. Are all veterinarian's dog whisperer's? Or would I know better? I don't know.

The vet decided to keep him on the steroids and muscle relaxer, but I will taper off the steroids over the next week or so. No x-rays were needed, but she said he had to be "horizontal" (which means no walking, jumping, stairs, ramps, excessive playing, etc.) for three weeks. Three weeks. How do you tell a lap dog that he's a floor dog? The only way to make this work is to relegate us both to the floor for those three weeks. If Antonio can't get up on the sofa, then we'll hang on the floor. For now I think he's okay with the excess of blankets I have arranged for him, but I can tell that my butt is not going to handle this well. (I will be shopping for floor pillows soon, I think... with thick cushions.)

On top of all of this good news, our vet wants Antonio to lose weight. He was overweight two years ago at 11.5 pounds, and another vet said she wanted him at 10.5 pounds. It took time and some creativity, but Antonio was 10.5 pounds this morning... right on target.

So you can imagine my shock (and mild irritation) that she wants him thinner. Okay, so we have him on steroids, he can't exercise or play or walk, and you want me to get some weight off of him? I told her straight up that I'd love to hear her suggestions on how to make that happen. Antonio is already on small breed "weight control" Eukanuba (10% fat - the lowest available from them), and carrots are his number one treat. Seriously, does she want me to starve him? She wants him at 9.5 pounds, for goodness sakes! So I told her his diet and food, and you know what she said? She said to give him a third of his food in a buster cube (or the like) to make him work for it. Uh.Huh. We own one. We use it. And 75% of his treats go into a round kong so that he has to work there, too. Try again, sister.

Okay. I'm irritable. I don't like it when Antonio is unhappy or hurting. So you'll love the next bit of information. The vet said she wants him to lose weight so that he will be a good surgical candidate.

(I'll pause while you let this register.)

Yep. We are at the point where surgery seems unavoidable. It's just a matter of when.

(Don't mind me. I'm just going to lay here on the floor and cry a little.)

12 Comments:

Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

Aw, I'm sorry. How scary! Pets are really like kids, aren't they? (Except kids can be forced to act as slave labor in a pinch -- "Go wash that window!")

September 18, 2007 9:36 PM  
Blogger John said...

My cat had to lose weight about a year ago. I noticed that he was getting a little pot belly so I put him on a diet. Oh how he HATED that diet! Every chance he got, he stopped me, looked up and gave me a desperate "RAAARRrrr" just to make me feel bad. He's off the diet by the way, and lookin' better than ever. If he hadn't been neutered he'd be one little hottie for the girl cats in the neighborhood.

September 18, 2007 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Ann said...

Get better soon, little Antonio!

September 18, 2007 9:56 PM  
Blogger Cham said...

Cinnamon had the same issues in her younger days. We, too, had multiple trips to the vet regarding the bad back. I solved the problem by simply not allowing her to climb on the sofa nor was she allowed to go up the stairs. Once these new rules were implemented the back problems went away, so the same might be said for Antonio.

Regarding the weight issue, I'm not sure less food is the way to go. It might be time to start a doggie exercise program. My doxie got to race a greyhound daily and there were those forced megahikes on the weekends. Nobody has a chance to gain weight in my house, the little dog did end up with some giant thighs though. She averaged a little over 9 pounds.

September 18, 2007 10:17 PM  
Blogger danielle said...

I'm sorry. I hope Antonio can become more comfortable soon. Surgery does sound scary. If you need someone to join you or give your butt a reprieve from floor duty let me know. :)

September 18, 2007 10:19 PM  
Blogger Missy B said...

Poor Antonio. Mocha and Reese send their love. If there is anything I can do from Florida let me know.

September 18, 2007 10:27 PM  
Blogger Carolynn said...

Awww Rissa, I'm so sorry to hear about Antonio. My kitty recently had surgery and it was one of the most stressful weeks of my life. It's so hard because our animals can't really tell us where it hurts so we have no choice but to trust the vet, not a good feeling. God help us when we have kids.

September 19, 2007 1:34 AM  
Blogger Summer said...

Maybe he needs a ramp for the sofa soon, once he's off the floor duty?

What is Antonio's background? Did you get him from a breeder or a shelter? If a breeder, maybe they have some sort of "guarantee" that will help pay for his medical bills?

September 19, 2007 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

You have a nice group of caring friends, Charissa. Enjoy them.

There is nothing better than good caring friends, I have some too and are my treasures.

I believe that is what is meant about storing up treasure, they are all that counts.

Take care on Tonio.

Love,

Mom

September 19, 2007 10:50 PM  
Anonymous richie said...

Poor little dog, let me know if you ever need someone to watch him.

September 20, 2007 1:29 PM  
Blogger Charissa said...

Thanks, all, for your concern. I can turn into a miserable wreck when my animals aren't well. It just destroys me.

As for your ideas, Antonio does have ramps - one up to the bed and one up to the couch. I only let him go down the stairs, not up. Antonio is from a breeder, but honestly, I'd have to dig out those papers. It has been nearly 7 years, and it was in Ohio. I've considered calling them about his back, but it's not likely they are breeding his parents anymore, so that is useless. Once he's back to normal, a lot of flat walking is in our future. Not necessarily a hike because there's a lot of back leg jumping in the wild, but a grassy flatter area, maybe. Cham - any suggestions?

PS Carolynn! Are you starting a blog? Hugs to you, love.

September 20, 2007 9:17 PM  
Blogger Cham said...

For some reason the hiking didn't bother Cinnamon but I carried her over any type of talus or scree, she fit well in a large day pack. Cinnamon enjoyed daily walks (and greyhound races) in the fields of Latrobe park and Ft. McHenry.

Cinnamon's favorite park for hiking was Patapsco, they have since put in a bike trail at the Hilton Area which is flat and perfect for dachshunds. Other nearby parks which a almost flat and good for a few miles of exercise in the woods are Soldier's Delight near Pikesville, Cromwell Valley near Towson, Gunpowder, Leakin and Oregon Ridge. All within a few minutes drive, Antonio can run to his little heart's content and then, thankfully, will sleep quietly for a few days afterward.

September 21, 2007 7:56 AM  

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