Posts Tagged ‘weight loss diet for dogs’

Rudy vs. the Foxtail, uh, and other stuff

February 29, 2020

Our miniature poodle, Rudy, is turning 12 in April. His age is starting to show in his slowed movements, his hesitancy to jump around and play like he used to, and his increasing ‘yelps!’ as he jumps down from the couch, or performs what used to be his usual tasks. We are making more frequent trips to the vet with him, too, for starters, he’s had ten teeth removed in the past two years.

He’s always fancied himself a stunt doggie, joyously leaping on and back off high beds and bar stools. He hurt his back with his stunts by the time he was three years old and so we installed pet stairs by each of our beds to avoid further injury. Now he races up the steps onto the bed but climbs back down rather gingerly.

Although, recently, how many weeks ago (?) his yelps got louder, and more frequent; you would just walk in his direction, reach down to pet him and he would let loose with a screaming yelp. “Hey, I didn’t even touch you! I didn’t do anything! What a baby!” Something was seriously wrong with him. Serious arthritis in his shoulder? Hip? A back issue?

The thought of Rudy growing old was sad and depressing. “Honey, we should consider getting a new puppy! It will make it so much easier to deal with our sadness as Rudy deteriorates. Then after Rudy dies, we will still have a young playful doggie to assuage our loss.”

After Rudy dies?” Is he that bad off? Yes, it seemed so. Something was seriously wrong with him. Does he have cancer?

I made an appointment with the vet. “Something is really bothering Rudy, a bad tooth, maybe? Hip, back or shoulder?” The vet checked his neck, pushed his back legs around, checked his shoulders, “How old did you say Rudy is? He’s in pretty darned good shape for a 12-yr old dog! Okay, yes, he needs his teeth cleaned.”

“Let me check his ears.” she said. Grabbed a long swab, raised up Rudy’s floppy ear, shoved it in, “YAAELLLP!” Huh. Is he just being a big baby over someone checking his ears? “I have to put him under to clean his teeth, and at the same time I’ll check his ears, trim the excess hair out.” Okay.

Rudy spent the whole day at the vet, getting his teeth cleaned. I arrived to pick him up and was told that the vet wanted to talk to me about Rudy. Okay. Meanwhile I paid the bill – $225.00. Two-hundred and twenty-five dollars?? “Yes, for the anesthesia, the cleaning, the antibiotics and the foxtail.” Foxtail? You’ll have to ask the vet, she said. Wait in this exam room …

The vet came in, explained that she had cleaned Rudy’s teeth and luckily didn’t have to pull any teeth. Then she opened her hand, unfolded a chunk of gauze and revealed the specimen she had extracted from deep within Rudy’s ear – A foxtail that was embedded right up against his eardrum.

Ouch!

She handed me the foxtail wrapped in gauze and I shoved it in my pocket. It was a bit mutilated by the time I got home with it, but here, I took a photo of it:

I’d rather have an earwig in my ear

Foxtails are a grass-like weed mostly found in the western half of the U.S. ‘Wild barley’- they have bushy spikes running along the tops of the plants that make them look like foxtails. This link contains a nice photo of foxtails plus numerous dire warnings about how dangerous they are to your pet. The barbed seed head of the foxtail plant can work their way into any part of your dog or cat – inside the nose, ear, eyes, and mouth, embed between their toes. Because the tough seeds don’t break down inside the body, the embedded foxtail can lead to serious infection. They can lodge in your dog’s eye, or migrate from inside your dog’s nose to its brain. They can be inhaled into- and then perforate – a lung! In other words, keep your pet away from foxtails! I guess we were lucky.

Meanwhile back at the vet’s office, I had admitted to the vet how worried I had been about Rudy, how he is growing old and it makes me sad. She said, “He could gain two years of life by losing a couple pounds. Think of all the stress that extra weight puts on his joints…”
OOOOh – Ouch again.

A couple of pounds? I refrained from explaining to her that Rudy has been on a diet to lose weight for at least six years. All the money we’ve heaped on their clinic purchasing their $85.00 bags of metabolic dog food! That, yes, we measure out 3/4 cup of their scientifically metabolically formulated dog food each day. Although I was honestly surprised he had only gained an ounce on this visit given that over the Christmas Holidays he was the primary playmate of our two precious grandchildren.

A total team player

“I bet I could hold that for you”

Mighty Protector – keeping a close eye should something go awry…

alert and ready to pounce …

He popped right up to the counter to eat ice cream

Rudy conferring with Megan and Franklin, “Is the ice cream soft enough yet?”

Captured this video of the ‘Sharing Game” Rudy loved to play with Franklin and Bailey.

Way to wait your turn!

Rudy works his magic on the rest of us as well. Here he is on standby to assist Megan

You know, in case she is confused about which mouth to put that bite in.

Rudy is also expert at hypnotizing your food, see if he can make it levitate into his mouth when you’re not looking.

He transforms into ‘stunt dog’ when dishes call to him.

The ‘soup bowl licked clean’ trick

I do remember when we got Rudy as a puppy and I studied the ‘Poodle for Dummies’ or some such instructional dog book (that one sounds right). On about page 3 it declared in large bold letters, NEVER GIVE YOUR POODLE TABLE FOOD. FEED YOUR POODLE DOG FOOD ONLY. Well that’s fine, but Rudy is quite convinced he’s not a dog. He’s a human. Here he is, hanging out with us, on the far end of the couch, insulted by the image on the TV. You can see it in his seething eyes …

“I am not in any way related to that species on the TV”

Suffice it to say, I’m not real confident about Rudy losing weight, much less two pounds. I gave David and Megan a giant pep talk about it when we got home from the vet’s office: “Hey, the vet says if Rudy lost his extra weight then it could extend his life by 2 years!” To which David replied, “Put up with Rudy an additional two years? Why would we want that?”

Okay, that settles it. We’re getting a puppy for David’s birthday.