Settle in for the Really, Really Long Update on the Carroll Dogs Veterinary Adventures

Mia probably thinks it was totally worth it...
Mia probably thinks it was totally worth it…
I admit it; I’m the worst blogger in the world. I am very, very delinquent in posting anything. You’d think that with my new highly abridged work schedule, I’d have scads of free leisure time to write. My brain never stops giving me extensive lists of “to do’s” that supersede such leisure activities as writing or doing anything else “for fun”.

So, for you my merry little tribe of readers, I decided to ignore my to-do list for a bit and at least write something. Although my list for this evening has 13 items on it (I was going to give you the actual list but then I thought you would die of boredom). My original plan was to curl up on the couch with a nice glass of wine and do this. However, life got in the way. My 7 year old found a basket of pine cones and wanted to paint them. His request to do a non-computer activity must be met because it’s rare and I have to take advantage of these brief moments to un-rot his little brain. This requires me to sit at the table and supervise half-heartedly to prevent paint/glitter/glue induced home carnage.

Hm, have you noticed that the more wholesome and educational the child activity, the more parental involvement is involved?

Anyhoo, speaking of carnage, Mia the lab has been a busy girl since we last spoke. Warning: this is a long post, but a lot has transpired with the Carroll dogs of late…

At the beginning of October we decided to take Mia to the beach with us. The kids threatened to revolt if she didn’t get to come. She had a grand time. However, at some point in her revelry, she found what I could only assume was somebody’s shrimp boil remains. That night the Husband made her sleep outside our bedroom because “she makes too much noise” and “he refuses to wear ear plugs” (which, incidentally have vastly improved my sleep quality since commencing their use around 6 months ago).

The next morning there must have been 15 vomit stains all over the carpet. Mia had been barfing all night.
Fortunately we were going home that day, so we padded the back of the car with towels and headed north. Amazingly she didn’t throw up on the car trip, but did throw up the tiny bit of rice I fed her that night.

The next day it was off to work for the obligatory barium series. Bloodwork was fine, but the barium stopped short and she was kind enough to hurl it all back out for recycling (if we were interested).

So it was off to surgery for Mia. Dr. Sharp opened her up. Turned out that she had eaten two hunks of corn cob that were inexplicably tied together with what looked like dental floss. Subsequently, one chunk got stuck in her intestine and the other part was stuck in her stomach. They weren’t going anywhere. And yes, I was an absolute nervous wreck through the whole thing.

Ironically, this isn’t her first run-in with corn. Apparently she was getting back at me because a month or two prior she ate 4 whole ears of raw corn (husk and all) off of my kitchen counters. (I never dreamed in a thousand years that Mia would eat raw corn). I had to take her to the emergency clinic to maker her barf it all up. It seems that corn cob obstruction was her unescapable destiny, like in that Final Destination movie (which I never saw because I haven’t seen a horror movie since the Blair Witch Project).

She spent the night post op at the emergency clinic. I took her home the next evening expecting her to be puny, but when I walked her to the back yard, she actually took off after a squirrel. She ate like she’d been starved for a month.

My classmate phrased it beautifully when she said “Thank God for Labs who heal like kittens.”

Thank God indeed.

She got her stitches out and all was great until two weeks later when Halloween rolled around.

Can you guess where this is going?

One fine Saturday, I’m at work, and my husband rushes off to soccer with the kids. Mia knows when we are going out so she puts herself in her crate. Problem is that when you are in a hurry or distracted and you glance over and see her sitting pretty in her crate, you might just assume the crate door is latched.

Well, you know what happens when you assume.

I got a frantic call from Aidan my 10 year old. His Halloween candy was stored in a pillowcase on the high kitchen counter. It was somewhat protected by a pseudo wall of barstools.

Not protected enough, because Mia grabbed the pillow case, pulled it down, tore it open and proceeded to eat every single speck of candy that was in it. Oh and for the record, Aidan was hysterical because he knew chocolate was bad for dogs. NOT as many have assumed, because the dog ate his candy (he usually ends up not eating most of it and I give the remains to the work people. My other son, Perry is the one with the sweet tooth. His candy was safe because he’d eaten most of it already).

So my husband had to pack up all 3 dogs (because we weren’t sure which ones got the candy because they were all out), and my kids + one extra and bring the whole gang up to work so I could induce vomiting.

On all 3 dogs.

Scully vomited maybe one or two wrappers. Katelin zero. Mia, on the other hand, vomited two big bowls full of chocolate, candy wrapper, lollipop stick, and assorted candy goop. It was a good “show and tell” moment for the family.

I was a little nervous she’s pop her internal stitches from her recent exploratory. Fortunately they held and she was perfectly willing to re-eat the candy if nobody wanted it.

About a month after that, Mia pulled the crate trick again and ate the children’s lunch boxes. Along with all the Tupperware. Fortunately she only chewed it all up and didn’t swallow anything and was none-the worse for the wear. The kid’s lunchboxes were kind of gross and I wanted new Tupperware anyways.

She’s had three rounds of inexplicable diarrhea. I think she’s eating rabbit poop and such in the back yard. I now sympathize with clients because the only way I know she has the runs is she wakes me up at 4:30 AM to go potty. The first time I was all mad because I thought it was the neighbors poor outside dog barking. I was getting up to call the police when I realized it was Mia.

Anyhow, I sympathize with clients because in order to a) figure out why the hell she was waking me up at 4:30 AM and b) get a stool sample, I had to get a jacket and shoes on, put her on a leash and lurch out into the back yard with a damn flashlight. Of course, I get out there in the cold and confirm diarrhea, but forgot the stupid bag for the stool sample. So I turn around to get a stick to mark the spot. Then I turn back around and can’t find the poop pile because my family doesn’t believe in flaslights that actually illuminate anything, and the yard is full of leaves. I run the risk of stepping in said fresh pile of feces at 4:30AM and subsequently give up and just put Mia on Tylosin, a good all-purpose diarrhea drug that so far seems to be working.

Then, I commit the most grievous of veterinary staff errors: I paid off my balance at the clinic.

That very night, I was petting Scully when I feel something crusty near her face. I start looking and see what could be either a tick or a piece of gum. I gear up to go yell at my husband because he thinks it’s funny to leave chewed up wads of gum in weird places around the house. I was somewhat disappointed to see that it was actually a growth on her face.
She’s almost 16 years old with a terrible heart so I made the kids hug her and reluctantly took her to work to get the thing taken off. While she was under, if she was doing ok, then I might as well have her teeth cleaned too. Dr. Rogers took beautiful care of her and Dr. Sharp cleaned Katelyn’s teeth too. Might as well, right? Thus I ran my balance right back up to where it was before.

This week, the old ladies are fine, but Mia seems to have either bronchitis or kennel cough. I had Dr. Rogers call in some meds to me at CVS and they called me asking for “Mia” to tell her they had to special order one of them. I told them I’d let Mia know.

I think I’ve been a veterinarian patient more than I’ve been a veterinarian these last few months. On the one hand, I appreciate the opportunity to see things from the other side of the exam table. On the other hand, I’d just as soon appreciate a bit of a break.

So there’s your update, who ever stuck around til the end of this. I’ll make the next one sooner and shorter, I promise.

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One thought on “Settle in for the Really, Really Long Update on the Carroll Dogs Veterinary Adventures

  1. Mia sounds like one of those dogs that will eat things like socks and underwear. But she’s probably a jolly type that’s always happy, especially when she’s getting into something she shouldn’t.

    Glad to hear everyone in your family survived all this!

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