Pablo is way past adolescence, yet lately he’s been plagued by unsightly zits. How do I get rid of them? Clearasil?
Category Archives: health
I started yoga a few months ago, and one of the standard poses, as many of you might already know, is Downward Dog. In the pose your body forms an inverted V, with hands and feet on the floor and hips thrust up. If you’re curious how the pose got its name, click on the video.
Pablo usually starts his day with a similar stretch. Next time I’ll have my camera ready so I can capture it.
Note to the Squeamish: If things like poop and the like turn your stomach, I advise you to read no further.
On Thursday I walked Pablo as usual and, like a responsible dog owner should, when he finished his business, I picked up after him. Good thing I looked down, for there squirming among the turds was a tiny white worm. I had a haircut appointment near the vet’s, so I packed up a sample and brought it along, meaning to drop it off first. I was running late, however, so Pablo’s poop came along with me to the salon. I had sealed it in a plastic baggie, yet I kept imagining I could smell it and was self-conscious whenever the stylist was in the vicinity of my bag. Finally, I made it to the vet’s. They tested it then and there. The verdict? Tapeworms.
The assistant explained that tapeworms come from fleas. The flea-ridden dog licks its fur, ingests both flea and the tapeworm egg it carries. The egg then hatches inside the dog and takes up residence. Pablo went through a terrible bout with fleas after Thanksgiving when we traveled to NC to see relatives and returned with the pesky parasites (the fleas, not the family). According to the vet, the timing is perfect to see the tapeworms right about now. Damn those NC fleas!
Luckily, only one treatment is needed to kill the tapeworms. Pablo got his and I’m hoping that’s the last of it. I’m glad I spotted the worm when I did or we may not have known of their existence for a long time. One of the signs for tapeworms is an increased appetite. With Pablo, would we have ever noticed?
Last week we took Pablo to the vet for his annual wellness exam. We had two concerns–the dreaded fleas, which were still making their presence felt, and a small lump on his upper left leg that I discovered while giving him a bath. As you can imagine, the lump was by far the more important of the two, especially since two years ago Pablo had a mass cell tumor removed from his chest. As those who know me can attest, I tend to panic when a health issue raises its ugly head. This time, I tried to remain calm. It helped that the lump felt different from the first one, not attached to muscle and not as solid.
Our vet examined Pablo–always a model, if perhaps, hyper patient–and told us the lump was a cyst. She drained it; it’s gone; major relief! And the fleas? They have been vanquished as well. Our vet medicated Pablo and gave us instructions on how to deflea the house. The approach must be working because Pablo is once again itch-free and sleeping through the night.
So we have the best Christmas present of all–a healthy and happy pug!
It turns out Pablo was not suffering from a sprain a few weeks back. When we returned from NC, he kept trying to get at his rear paw (we thought). His suffering became worse at night (the first clue, as fleas are more active at night). It did cross my mind that he might have picked up a flea or two in NC and I checked him out, looking specifically for those telltale dots of dried blood aka flea poop. He came up clean, but perhaps the infestation was in its early days. To play it safe, I gave him his monthly dose of Frontline.
Gradually the issue with his paw resolved itself and I forgot about it–until yesterday when I was getting him ready for a bath and discovered a colony of wingless intruders at the base of his corkscrew tail. We are now on full flea patrol.
No, I haven’t become an artist overnight. It’s my new Pencil Illustration app. My NC sister introduced me to it, and I’ve been having a blast fooling around with it ever since.
We’re recovering here from severe sleep deprivation. Remember the days when a sick child kept you up nights? Well, with daughter grown, I thought those days long gone. Apparently not. Pablo somehow or other injured his paw when we were in NC. I suspect he sprained it when we stopped for a long walk on the way home. He stumbled, perhaps in a hole, but I didn’t pay attention because he seemed fine. That night, though, he was restless. The next day, he kept trying to get at his back paw, but being a chubby pug, couldn’t reach it. We checked his paw and it wasn’t swollen or cut in any way. That night–the horror, the horror. He couldn’t settle down and seemed more uncomfortable than in actual pain. He tossed and turned all night, and consequently so did we. K and I averaged 3 hours sleep each, tops. The next day he was better, and today, he’s his old self. Whew!
Cold cockles? Warm your heart by reading this tale of a deformed puppy rescued from the trash. Harper, a pit bull, was born with “swimmer puppy syndrome,” a condition that didn’t allow her to hold up her head or walk. After being rescued, vets agreed the only option was to euthanize the poor thing. A volunteer at the animal shelter decided to take the puppy home so that she could experience at least one night of affection in her short, unhappy life. The volunteer massaged the puppy’s limbs to alleviate her discomfort. The amazing result? Harper lifted her head and tried to walk. Encouraged, the woman brought Harper to a different vet, who, after tests were run, determined that Harper stood a chance. With therapy the dog learned to walk on different surfaces and is now almost ready to be adopted! Read the full story here.
Thanks to Joan for bringing the story to my attention.
While Pablo will eat almost anything foodwise (the exceptions being mushrooms, lettuce, and berries), I’m thankful that he stays away from non-edible items such as rocks. Not all pug owners are so lucky. Harley, a pug who hails from Rhode Island, enjoys rocks so much that he ingested more than one hundred of them while boarding at his vet’s office. Talk about roughage! Harley is now up for the VPI Hambone Award for most unusual pet health insurance claim of the year. If you wish to vote for Harley or one of the other 11 finalists, go to www.VPIHamboneAward.com. The award, named after a dog who consumed an entire Thanksgiving Day ham while locked inside the fridge, is now in its third year.
We took Pablo to get his twice yearly checkup last night. Aside from a flare-up of his old skin problems due to allergies (he has to go back on steroids for the next few weeks), he passed with flying colors. However, he tipped the scales at 25 pounds, and the vet very nicely suggested that we cut back on his food consumption. Pablo did not like the sound of that! But 25 pounds really is too much pug. And with the weather so hot, there’s no way we can increase his exercise, so a diet it will have to be. Sorry, Pablo!