Monday, August 26, 2013

Dogs are pretty gross

This is not a particularly good picture of Piper.  
It is just the most recent picture I could find.

Ever since Piper got old, he's had warts on his head, an asymmetrical fat pad on one side of his chest, and a funny hemorrhoidal-looking bump bulging out from one side of his rectum.

Poor Piper.

The vet in Syracuse told me not to worry about these things, that they weren't cancer or anything, and dogs just get like this when they get old.

I'm not sure when it started.  Maybe it was Friday?  Piper started to strain a lot when he was trying to eliminate.  I gave him pumpkin, from a can, because that's what they used to tell me to do in NY.

It worsened throughout the weekend.  Of course, vet offices are not open on the weekends.  And we don't have a vet here yet, anyway.

The bump in his bottom swelled up so that the visible part of it was 2-3 times bigger than what we usually could see.  It turned from pink to an angry, dark red-black color.  He constantly asked to go outdoors, and then crouched and strained with no luck except for first thing in the morning when he really had to go.  As time progressed, he started passing little strings of very loose stool, which of course got tangled in his white fur.

I tried to give him a bath and a hair trim.  He cried pitifully.

We put him into the crate to protect the house.  Also, we thought that keeping him still might help minimize the feelings of pressure that kept making him strain to try to eliminate.

We ought to have left him in the crate overnight, but it stresses him out, and stress is not good for sick dogs.  So we let him sleep in the bedroom.  In the morning we found him lying oddly prone on his side, on the wrong side of the bed, near the wall.  There were streaks of dark stuff on the white carpet... I'm not sure whether it was blood-tinged feces or feces-tinged blood.  The entire area beneath his tail was nasty, caked with dark, moist stuff. I tried to clean him up with a wipe, but it made him cry.  The only thing I accomplished was proving that it was, indeed, bleeding, whatever it was.

So at 7:30 a.m. I started blindly calling vets, and I got one who said he would meet us at his office at 8:15.  Shawn put the crate into the back of the van for me, and I carried out the limp, over-warm little dog body.

This vet has an office here in town, and one in the bigger city.  He also does grooming.  He took one look at Piper and said that he needed his groomers to clean him up before he could figure out what was going on.  He told me he was short a groomer in this office, and said he would take Piper into the city with him.  "I have room for him," he said.

He did not look like our Syracuse vet.  He was shorter, older and less cheerful, and he did not wear a white coat, nor did he talk very much.  He did not greet Piper affectionately.  He filled out a photocopied form by hand.  Then he took off Piper's leash and collar and handed them to me, tucked a naked Piper under his arm, and walked away down the hall to pack up a vehicle with pets going into the city.  My tiny dog, sick, in a strange new place with a strange new vet.

I drove home.  My tea was still hot.

I haven't heard anything yet.

Schubert is disconsolate.

I cleaned the stains out of our white carpet with my Little Green Machine.  I thought about how we had just gotten rid of all the white carpet in our other house, right before we moved here to more white carpet, seven rooms of it, and even more if you count the upstairs hallway and the master bathroom (who puts carpet in a bathroom?).

I thought about how it would be so nice to replace this white carpet, but how the vet bill will cut into the carpet budget.

I am not sad.  Not yet.  I wonder why?

Perhaps it is because no news is good news.

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