Yesterday I posted about puppy mills and backyard breeders.
I also made mention that Jet came from a puppy mill.
This provides the perfect segue into a brief (or not so brief) veterinary history on my boy.
People frequently ask how I know so much about dog health. Part of the reason is going to become glaringly obvious after today’s post.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Jet’s veterinary ailments can’t all be put down to poor breeding.
Some of our experiences are the result of poor choices – I’m not afraid to admit that I’m far from being a “super dog mom.”
Other experiences have been the result of chance – most dogs get sick at some point or other.
But some things are the result of that awful place where my boy spent his first few weeks.
So anyway, without further ado, let’s delve into a brief veterinary history on one (absolutely incredibly amazing) senior puppy mill dog.
- From the time he began eating kibble, Jet has had a very sensitive stomach and the slightest change in his diet or water quality will cause diarrhea. This also makes medication use VERY difficult.
- At 14 weeks old, Jet had Giardia. This required an emergency vet visit, IV fluids, and antibiotics. Despite looking like a camel with a fluid hump on his back, he recovered quickly.
- At 16 weeks old, Jet had an infection in the sheath of his penis (sorry, buddy, for the sake of posterity, I had to include it.) Treatment included antibiotic cream application (which Jet’s dad absolutely refused to do.)
- By 18 weeks, Jet had already begun to show abnormal signs of fear response and nervousness. We worked on this with a specialist trainer and while it waned, it reared its ugly head again after a traumatic experience in 2011 when our home caught fire.
- By 6 months old it became obvious that Jet had food allergies. We treated this by eliminating corn and wheat from his diet.
- At 2 years, 3 months, Jet was showing signs of joint discomfort. An x-ray would reveal unilateral hip dysplasia of the right hip. Supplements, a lighter body weight, pain medication as needed, and Adequan as he has grown older have served as our method of approach to this issue. Jet’s digestive system does not tolerate prescription anti-inflammatories.
- At 5 years, 8 months old, Jet experienced an abscessed anal gland. This required anesthesia, draining, packing, and antibiotic treatment. This has also led to a need to have one anal gland regularly expressed manually. To say that this was BY FAR the most incredibly awful thing I have witnessed in terms of health concerns in any dog is an understatement.
- At 5 years, 11 months old, Jet experienced a mysterious obsctruction. No one knows WHAT was causing the obstruction, but it mysteriously vanished overnight in the vet clinic. For this we prepared for surgery, but only ended up having a barium x-ray routine.
- At 6 years, 4 months old, Jet had a histiocytoma on his ankle. This required anesthesia, tumor removal, stitching, and a lab biopsy. It has not returned since being removed.
- At 7 years, 1-month-old, Jet experienced his first dog bite from a family dog. This required antibiotics.
- At 8 years, 6 months old, Jet experienced his second dog bite from the same family dog. This required antibiotics. (Remember how I talked about not being a super dog mom? I wasn’t paying enough attention to know that my boy was alone with this same alpha female.)
- At 9 years, 5 months old, Jet had a neoplasia (non-cancerous tumor.) This required removal under anesthesia and a lab biopsy.
- At 9 years, 10 months old, Jet experienced his third dog bite, this time from an unleashed neighborhood dog. This also required antibiotics.
- At 10 years, 7 months old, Jet had a reaction to topical flea medication that caused his skin to turn blood red and his fur in the localized area to fall out completely. This required shaving of the area to allow it to breathe and no future use of topical flea and tick medications.
- At 10 years, 7 months old, Jet also completely tore his left CCL (think ACL.) We opted for a surgical repair, extracapsular repair to be exact. This required a long period of rest as well as a slow return to activity. We utilized local hydrotherapy services to help ease Jet back in to exercise.
- At 11 years, 9 months old, Jet was bitten by a brown recluse spider. This required shaving of the area and a steroid based spray to treat the bite.
- At 12 years, 1-month-old, Jet was diagnosed with mitral valve deficiency – heart disease. He also presented with bladder stones. This visit involved our first cardiac ultrasound. Treatment for heart disease began with Enalapril twice daily. Treatment for bladder stones required a transition to a low phosphorus dog food.
- At 13 years, 2 months old, Jet was seen for an aggravated cyst. Treatment involved shaving the area and another round of antibiotics.
- At 13 years, 3 months, Jet was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma – a cancerous tumor on his tail. This involved surgical removal of the tumor and rigorous wound treatment to help the wound to close. You can see my post about this here. We are THRILLED to say that Jet is now cancer free!
- At 13 years, 9 months, Jet had a regular cardiac ultrasound that showed advancement of his heart disease. His vet added Vetmedin to his medication at this time.
- At 14 years, 9 days, Jet had a bout with an intestinal bug. We still aren’t sure what caused it, but it required MANY diapers, a course of antibiotic/anti-protozoal treatment, and a lot of chicken and rice.
- At 14 years, 1 month, Jet developed bronchitis. Treatment involved a round of antibiotics and cough suppressants.
- At 14 years 2 months, Jet became ill after eating Blue Buffalo food. You can see my posts about this here. A few days later we would visit our vet again for an emergency appointment when Jet collapsed. At this point, treatment required fluids, iron, electrolytes, and B-vitamins. We also obviously changed his food.
- Jet also had periodic ear infections from the age of around 1 year to around 12 years when we discovered the purple power ear cleaner AKA the blue solution. It used to be that his infections were treated with medicated ear wash, but now we have eliminated infections all together!
Ask me again how I know so much about veterinary care…