It’s been a while since ol’ Proph has had an adventure–knock on wood. Oops! Forgot that knock before we went to the vet this week. He was due for a Bordetella vaccine. This is the medicine you should give your dog if he or she plays in doggie day camp, goes to dog parks, or otherwise comes in contact with lots of canine friends.
Bordetella vaccine, in fancy terms, is something given in either a shot at the scruff of the neck or a squeeze of medicine up your dog’s nose to prevent infectious tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough. I think the vaccine is like the flu shot, only for dogs and cats. No biggie, right?
Well, just as with any doctor visit, our first stop was the scales. Whoops! Prophet–given his restriction on exercise last spring and my subsequent recognition of time savings and gas conservation in not going to Chatfield daily–had gained a little weight. Make that gained A LOT of weight. Nine pounds! He’s up to 118 pounds of joy for him and guilt for me. Yuck! No wonder I’ve been hearing so many “he sure is a big dog” comments lately. I thought people were saying he’s generally tall, dark, and handsome.
Then there is the scardy-cat syndrome (sorry Nalla). Prophet cried and cried–like a baby! We were shown into the examination room. Cried and scratched at the door to get out (smart dog). Then Katie, who’s training to be a vet tech, came in to generally get the low-down on “what’s wrong.” Prophet whined a little, but licked a lot. Luckily, Katie has a St. Bernard and knows what slobbery kisses are all about.
I told Katie about a little lump that hasn’t gone away on Prophet’s side. She looked, and there it was. Prophet cried.
Then Dr. Weber came in. Have I told you how much I like the doctors at my vet? Dr. Weber is sweet with the pets, clear with instructions and information, and level-headed with the don’t hit the panic button kind of attitude. She took a look at Prophet and found the weight a problem (“but as he ages, his metabolism will slow down”), the lump, and a build-up of wax in his right ear. Lucky me, I got to see the wax she pulled out–let’s leave the description for now, right?
Throughout the examination, Prophet cried. Temperature taken? Cry. Check. Pelvic check? Good. Cry. Ear wax excavation? Cry. Done.
Surprisingly, when they withdrew a sample from the lump, Proph didn’t seem bothered at all. Dr. Weber took the “goodies”–the ear wax sample and goop from the lump back to examine for problems.
Prophet and I were left alone in the room. Then it hit me. He cried for everything else, but not the lump. Was that a good sign or a really bad sign? Dr. Weber had said that lumps can mean any number of things–infections, benign cysts, or the big C–cancer. Was the anomaly of Prophet’s stoicism in the withdrawal of lump goop a warning sign? Was his ear infected? Was the weight gain going to cause a heart attack while we sat in the examination room, smelling of dog? I made a show of brushing off the mounds of dog shedding on my pants, just so that I’d have something to do while I worried.
Luckily, in a very short time, Dr. Weber came back in with the all-clear sign, instructions to wash out Prophet’s ears a couple of times a week, and some additional vitamins for Nalla. Whew!
Seems with Prophet, there’s never a dull moment.
And I’ll keep Dr. Weber’s advice in mind. If your pet develops a lump, come in and get it checked out. Save yourself some worry. If the lump is big, bothersome or infected, your vet can let you know to either watch it or have them cut off. Same goes for skin tags – elongated, wart-like skin protrusions. Dogs. You gotta love them–and take care of them.
I’m off to go hide the treats!