Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lucy and the Slipped Disc of Woe & Degradation

This is Lucy.
Lucy is a Pug.
Lucy is a very obese Pug.
Lucy is a very obese Pug and I am utterly Pug-whipped.

Sunday was an unhappy day in the Assassin house. Lucy wouldn't walk. She wouldn't EAT, drink or even sit. Occaisionally, she would scream inhumanly, alarming the guinea pigs and setting off the smoke detectors.

I had no idea what was going on. And that's so unlike me. Usually, I'm the one everyone comes to with questions about pet problems, the difference between "Frances" and "Francis," and to write obituaries. For some reason, they always come to me for obituaries.

But I had no idea what was wrong with Lucy. And this worried me. Which meant it scared the hell out of the kids.

Margaret: "Is Lucy gonna die?"

Me: "No. Something's wrong with her, though."

Jack: "Is she going to explode?"

Me: "Um, no. Why would you ask something like that?"

Margaret: "Duh, Jack! Dogs don't explode! They implode!"

Me: "What? Where did you..."

Jack: "That's just stupid. What's the trigger?"

Me: "Right. No trigger. Can we get serious for a moment?"

Meg (who just changed her name mid-conversation, naturalmente): "You? Serious?"

Jack: "So is she going to die? Can I get the new Bakugan trap?"

Meg: "Way to go, Jack! You wish Lucy was dead!"

Okay, so you can see what I'm dealing with here.

On Monday, Lucy was showing no improvement. So, I took lunch at 10 a.m. and took Lulu to the vet.

I love my vet. He's like a retired game show host who wanted to be Captain Kirk. I'm not even sure he dispenses sound medical advice - I just go there for the show. One time, I took a bird that I found in the yard unconscious. (Yeah, I know.) Doc looked at the bird, then looked at me and said, "It's a bird, Leslie."

Me: "Yes it is. Can you do anything?"

Doc: "I don't do birds, Leslie."

Me: "Oh. But you're a vet..."

Doc: "Take it outside and set it on the tree." And he walked out.

So I took Lucy in. Doc politely ignored the fact that she weighs twice what a Pug should weigh and checked her out. He did a lot of staring into space, tapping his fingers on the counter and mumbling to himself. Then he went and stood in a corner, ala-Blair-Witch finale.

Doc: "She has a slipped disc, Leslie."

He gave her a cortisone shot and some pills, asking me to let him know the next day how she was doing.

Pills. Lucy hates pills. This is a dog who would eat a dead mole carcass. Hell, most of the time, she eats whatever falls to the floor before identifying it. And yet, this princess...will not eat one quarter of a small pain pill.

Most dogs have muzzles that you can hold onto to keep their mouth closed until they get bored and forget they are trying to avoid swallowing. Pugs have more of a closed-fist-like face. It's almost like holding a bowling ball closed. Although why a bowling ball would open is beyond me.

Lucy has developed the most interesting reaction to having her face held shut. She foams at the mouth. And not just a little. She works up a very impressive spouting that comes through her clenched teeth and lips and pours out over everything in its path. Once you pull away in horror, she spits out the microscopic sliver of a pill.

The bitch.

I went back to work, at 11 a.m., covered in angry Pug hair and unmentionable amounts of foamy drool.

When I got home that night, she was springing around like a f%#!ing gazelle on meth.

The kids don't seem too disappointed that my pet didn't implode and once I get my dry cleaning back, I will give thanks that Lucy is alright.

Until the next episode.

The Assassin


Christie Craig said...

Great story, girl. I hope Lucy continues to be fine!!!


Becky LeJeune said...

Wow. Sorry about your pug and glad she's feeling better. I hate giving medicine to any animal, it usually brings me to tears -- of guilt and frustration.

Our dog had her tail slammed in a door recently and that was not fun to deal with. They can actually break and I won't say that I ever considered not taking her in, but next time she's waiting until normal business hours to do it.

I love our vet, and thought it was a little strange that I could get in after 6 on a Sunday night -- that's because they double as an emergency animal hospital after hours. The dog was in apparently serious pain, though, so it had to be done even if it was just to get pain pills prescribed.

Did your vet give you those treats you can hide the pill in? Our dog wasn't fooled. She required a whole piece of cheese for each pill.

Keri Ford said...

good lord, what a mess. Glad she's doing better. bowling ball hold, huh? Maybe I should try that on the kid next time we have to do medicine.

Leslie Langtry said...

Thanks Christie! Your animals are pretty damned cute too!

Becky,I'll ask about that. Lucy even rejects cheese if there's a pill in it. CHEESE!

Keri, hmmmm...I didn't think of its uses for children...

TerriOsburn said...

Happy to hear Lucy is improving. And no dogs were imploded in the telling of this story.

Friend of mine had a pug. They really are like little Hoovers. That dog would suck in anything on the floor. Even lint, then shoot it back out again. And he was over weight too. He looked like a small ottoman with skinny little legs. No neck, of course.

Good luck with the pill thing. I'll back Becky on the cheese suggestion. That's always worked for me in the past.

Leslie Langtry said...

When Lucy sleeps, she tucks her arms and legs under her and looks just like the Brain Bug on Starship Troopers.

Terry S said...

Poor Lucy. Try hiding the pill in a bit of banana. They even have pill pockets now. My lab was very good about taking pills, but I admit to resorting to the pill pockets upon occasion when the vet prescribed capsules instead of tablets. Hope Lucy recovers quickly.

Becky LeJeune said...

Haha, looks like the brain bug!

I have a friend who owns a pug. He's technically overweight but I have nothing to compare him to so he looks fine to me. They have pug conventions here, though, and she says she'll never take him back to one because the woman who ran it gave all the pugs but hers a treat, saying that he looked like he had too many treats and didn't need one.

How unfair is that? It's like giving all the kids in class candy and telling one they're too fat to get any. Agh!

Katherine Page said...

Loved your comment about the gazelle Lucy - just be careful, if she feels too good, she can hurt herself worse until her body heals from the first problem.
Yep, the treats are called Pill Pockets. They're wonderful. Other ideas that have worked well for our clients are Peanut Butter, cream cheese, or hot dogs.
If it makes you feel any better, I have yet to see a pug that ISN'T overweight. ;)
Mind if I ask what meds they sent you home with? I only ask because some of them are bitter and can cause the foaming.... also, if you have the pill in the dogs mouth you can blow in their nose and it makes them swallow.
Good luck with everthing!
Kate (Veterinary Technician and fan of Killer Fiction)

Leslie Langtry said...

Pill pockets, eh? I'll have to look that up. The foaming thing is interesting. Maybe she can go as a Mad Dog for Halloween. I'll look at the label when I get home!

Brandy said...

I don't have a Pug, but if I ever do get a dog it would be one. I do, however, have an overweight cat. She weighs 19 pounds and is my baby. She's spoiled rotten. *G* Our Vet doesn't say much about how overweight she is, but then again it's the only thing he doesn't say much about. The Vet Techs have to move him from room to room because if they didn't he's sit there and pet your animal and talk. And talk. And talk. *G* We do love our Vet, though. *G*

Katherine Page said...

Hey, that's what we do with our Doc too! (We love him though!)

Leslie Langtry said...

Maybe you have to be a little nuts to be a vet?

Leona said...

I'm glad the pug is feeling better. It's hard when you can't figure out what's wrong with your pet. I have children and I swear you can write their names in for yours and the conversation would be the same :)

I think that vets have to love animals and be okay with people so they want to stay and talk LOL

I had a dog who wouldn't eat anything that reeked of dog food or medicine. It was hard getting her to take her meds. UGH

Leslie Langtry said...

Leona! You have weird kids too! Yay!

catslady said...

Anyone ever tell you that you have a way with words roflmao. I have yet to find a vet that I'm happy with (sigh). I'v had animals for the last 40 years and the stories I could tell (but not as well as you do). Hope Lucy gets better (we had a beagle with the same name)!