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26 February 2013

In anticipation of Bowpi’s third year adoption anniversary, I scheduled her a general veterinary checkup, including full bloodwork and a required rabies booster. Aside from the vaccination clinic (DHPP) and the emergency visit, her last official checkup was nearly a year ago for her lick granuloma back in April 2012. Unfortunately, even after a round of Betagen, it’s still there as a toughened and unsightly bump. As it remained unchanged in size and didn’t seem to bother her, we moved on. In nearly all other aspects, she has been alert, healthy, living and dreaming to the fullest, so I figured now was as good a time as any to run a full blood exam on her as a baseline from here on out.

“Since she’s technically a ‘senior’ now, we would recommend it,” commented the vet when I asked her to order the tests. My vet considers any larger breed dog that’s five years and older, and smaller breed dogs seven years and older to be fading just out of “middle age” by default. I know she means no offense, but I can’t help but cringe when I hear that word… Senior? Hardly! Not if she’s going to live to be 16 or 17 years old, like so many Basenjis I’ve heard about, right?

Very long face for vet day...

I confessed that just last week, Bowpi seemed to have suffered an unexpected injury as she was heard yelping when jumping up onto the bed. And onto the couch. And peeping just slightly when jumping into the car. We examined her all over and found nothing caught in her toes, no tenderness or sensitivity in her legs, and not a scratch on her. Figuring it could be a muscle or a joint thing, as happened to Bowdu about a year ago, I started slipping her some glucosamine as well, and lifting her up and down higher levels for a few days. Her gait was not noticeably affected, and she was still quite willing to run and dart about with other dogs as well, so we figured she was all better and let her jump up and down at will. But then a day later, her peeps returned.

16 February 2013 Twist and turn

The doctor figures it’s likely a minor back injury, a “very common complaint” with older dogs. Thank goodness she didn’t drop that s-word again. She recommended helping Bowpi up and down higher levels for as long as a month so as not to create additional discomfort.

Meanwhile, I was glad not to be chided for the state of her teeth and rancid breath. We really are trying, I swear! The vet assured me that her teeth were “not that bad,” and encouraged me to keep brushing — which I do, as best as I can. She suggested that Bowpi’s gnarly breath probably has more to do with her unique stomach flora than tooth decay, which makes sense to me. We’ve learned how to navigate and avoid Bowpi’s vomiting patterns since the very first day she joined our home, since she does seem to have a sensitive stomach, but she still has quite a capacity for launching unexpected oral stinkbombs. She’s particularly dangerous when stuff has been sitting in her stomach for a while. Anyway, this is just another thing to keep an eye — or nostril — out for.

The blood tests came back normal for almost everything. There were a few categories (specifically cholesterol, reticulocytes, and HGB/HCT) which were slightly off, but not alarmingly so. I’m more apt to pin the blood aberrations on temporary physiological issues, and I’ll take the slightly high cholesterol as an indication that I should continue to be careful and keep up with diet research, adapting as necessary.

The damage:

  • Office Call: Annual Exam, $56 $50.40 (after student discount)
  • Canine Rabies 3-year booster, $21.75 $19.58 (student discount)
  • Total Body Function, $169
  • Comfortis for 20 ~ 40 pound dogs (6 pack), $92.12*
  • Referral credit, -$56 (because I sent a friend to this vet)
  • TOTAL: $275.10

* Elanco (the makers of Comfortis and Trifexis) is still offering a mail-in rebate for 6 or 12-pack purchases, but my vet’s price on this has gone up by a few more dollars again, as seems to happen every time we refill. Gargh.