Friday, January 22, 2016

Conehead of Doom

Or: Reason #87,482 why we can't have nice things.

By now if you haven't seen pictures of my pup, you live under a rock [I assume]. However, you may or may not be familiar with his issue of histiocytomas--beware, some pics get gross. Anyways, it's supposed to be no big deal really, kind of a cross between doggie warts and puppy chicken pox: Once they get one, your dog is supposed to develop an immunity and not grow them again. But some breeds have a tendency or predisposition to keep getting them... and guess what? Cash's genetics are 2 out of 3! Generally they should stop growing around age 2. He'll be two in July, so fingers crossed.

Normally these little wart lookin' thingies will pop up out of nowhere, grow kind of quick, and then disappear. Unless they get irritated. When we first got Cash, they told us that one of his foster-mates had been licking the histio on his back. Even though it was the size of a silver dollar, they said their vet thought it would go away. After about three months of not enough progress, we chose to have it removed. Cash healed fine and dandy. He got one or two small ones [back leg, shoulder, etc] but they all resolved themselves.

Until December. It started out the size of a pencil eraser... but it was on the top of his front paw.  Great. Easy access for puppy spit. It's insanely hard to keep him from licking or chewing things, and his foot was no exception. We went on vacation to see the folks... and by the time we came back the histio was red, irritated, and at least the size of a quarter--probably bigger. The vet agreed we needed to remove it sooner rather than later, because there's not as much saggy stretchy puppy skin on the paws, and he needed to be able to close the incision.

If you aren't familiar with our luck, you'll be surprised to hear that this is actually where the story begins--yeah, seriously.

This is why it's called the Floppy Cone.
Day One, Cash remains doped out of his head and behaves pretty well.
Day Two, Cash starts to be kind of a hassle.
Day Three, Cash chews the bandage completely off while in his crate at night. It was a Saturday morning, so I called the vet and they said to re-bandage it myself since they didn't have any techs or vets available, only office staff. Hindsight, THIS is when I should have stopped in to the Emergency Vet. Halfway through the day, Cash tears my bandage off.
Day Four, Cash tore through another bandage. Day Four and a Half... put booger to bed with a floppy cone. He managed to not only get around it and rip his bandage off in under an hour, but he also began stress licking, and licked out most of his stitches, resulting in a lovely GIANT OPEN WOUND. Thanks buddy!!

So around 11 pm, we take Mr. Genius to the Emergency Vet. Apparently part of the problem is that since I was basically wrapping his foot on my own, I applied too much pressure--which may have caused him irritation which made him want to tear the bandage off. Additionally, his original vet only did one row of sutures--no internal ones. That didn't help. Luckily he only had small traces of infection, understandable since it's on his foot and he's been licking. I felt like a terrible puppy parent.

Still not sure if they used a dollar sign
because his name is Cash or
because he's spending Mama's money.
The Emergency Vet was able to stitch him back together, and sent us home with a giant cone and a prescription for antibiotics. When I picked him up, they asked to see him back in 12 hours, so around 8 pm. The doc was a little concerned, but wanted to leave his foot uncovered so it could heal up faster. He also sent us home with Trazadone... yeah, the anti-anxiety med. Apparently dogs tolerate it really well, and since Genius here can't tell that he is hurt, he needed something to knock him down a peg or two.

So, the Cone of Shame. 24/7. Dear Lord. Where do I even begin? Well, Cash has T-rex arms for one, so the Cone that fits his neck... almost drags the floor. He was never a graceful dog to begin with--but now he gets his face stuck on the door, the wall, the floor, the bed, pretty much everything. Including MY LEG. Repeatedly. And being a) a bully and b) a mama's boy, he has to follow me literally everywhere. No joke, I take two steps to the left, he follows. I get off the bed, he gets off the bed. I turn around, he thinks he still needs to stand in front of me, so he tries to walk around me but jams the cone into my leg instead.

And lucky little jerk that he is... Since he has to be coned 24/7, he can't sleep in his crate. Awesome. That means the dog with ZERO personal space boundaries gets to sleep in the bed with us. And he wasn't trained to sleep at the foot of the bed, no, of course not, because the bed is for cuddles not for sleeping. Nooooope. He has to sleep at least chest high, preferably between Mama and Dada. No joke. The worst part is when he gets uncomfortable and starts to wiggle around... Flopping the giant painful cone in everyone's face. While we're trying to sleep. Yeah.

Honestly though, I am thankful that we are able to afford pet care. It's inconvenient, but at least we are able to take good care of him--and we're starting to think maybe he was put up for adoption because they knew he was going to have reoccurring health problems. So, like always, adopting the broken things, feeding them, giving them love. I'm also extremely thankful that we are in a position to completely supervise him right now... I don't know what other people do when they have problems like this, and both people work? It's like having a baby, I swear... guess we'll be putting off date night and gym time for another week or two until we can trust this goofball on his own again.

But really... how can you stay mad at that doped up face?

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