Whenever I post pictures of Bowdu in a muzzle, he gets invited to photo pools for muzzled pets, which honestly creeps me out… Not sure if the addition of Bowdu’s “corset” just adds to the flames, but you know what? As long as you freaky furries keep your paws on your side of the screen, I’ll just carry on with business as usual here.
Anyway, this is how we suited up Bowdu for his vet visit on Wednesday morning. His basket muzzle is hanging a little loose, and it was cinched up tight when we got closer to the vet. I had the Thundershirt on him during our walk around the block, and he didn’t seem to think anything of it. The Acepromazine had started to kick in, but I’d only administered it about 80 minutes before the examination (the instructions recommended dosing him one to two hours before showtime). Note to self for future reference: Bowdu needs closer to two hours for the sedative to reach maximum effect.
Between the suit, the mask, and the drugs, we were able to draw another round of blood without having to completely put him under. It’s not a pretty solution overall, but if this is what it takes to get the job done once a year, then hell — I’m satisfied. It’s hard to tell what really helped the situation. Maybe all of it. I had my doubts about the Thundershirt, but since we have it now, we’ll probably use it again. Besides, Bowdu did let a vet tech physically pick him up, which he’s never submitted quietly to before!
The biggest advantage of the Thundershirt was that it very clearly flagged him as a “special care” dog and abbreviated my need to offer handling suggestions. A couple of the techs actually appeared to move more delicately and speak soothingly around him because they saw the Thundershirt and immediately understood its implications. Or perhaps it’s just a natural reaction to the absurdity of dogs in clothing.
Bowdu’s never going to be comfortable at the vet, no matter how much cheese, bacon, or pasture-fed dehydrated goat liver he gets while he’s there. He willingly enters the lobby and partakes of their hypoallergenic cookies, as we’ve done dozens of times during our “fun” visits throughout the year, but the instant he’s taken into an exam room, he knows the stakes are different. He’s really too wily to be fooled.
Wednesday’s vet bill:
- Office call, $56
- DHPP vaccine (3 year booster), $24.50 (after student discount)
- Bloodwork: total body function, $169
- TOTAL: $249.50
Thyroid numbers (blood drawn approximately 9 hours after his last dose of 0.2 mg Soloxine which he gets 2x a day, twelve hours apart):
- Free T4 (ng/dL): 1.6 (reference range 0.6 ~ 3.7)
- Free T4 (pmol/L): 20.6 (ref. range 7.7 ~ 47.6)
- T4 (ug/dL): 1.7 (ref. range 1.0 ~ 4.0)