Noyzi’s big emergency…

Advertisements

Yesterday, I was expecting a package from Amazon– a new bin system for our dog food. For the past few months, we’ve been giving Arran the same higher calorie food we’d been giving Noyzi. It’s resulted in some unnecessary and alarming weight gain, so I decided to put Arran back on his senior dog food while I continue to give Noyzi something with more oomph. I bought a two tiered bin that allows me to separate their food while taking up little space under the counter.

I heard Noyzi bark, so I thought maybe the delivery had arrived. I went down to check and found Noyzi standing by a pile of dog toys. Among the toys were two stuffed monkey legs. They were originally part of one of Arran’s favorite and longest lasting fluffy toys, a monkey that had long legs that threaded through holes on either side. The monkey’s torso was long ago obliterated by our resident hunting dog, Arran. But the legs had survived, and they had working squeakers.

From the day Noyzi first arrived at our home last October, he’s been a friend to the toys. Instead of attacking and chewing them up, like Arran does, Noyzi tends to treat them like his pals. He stacks them in his bed and uses them as pillows. So I was a little surprised when I came into the living room and noticed that one of the monkey legs had been amputated at one end. I couldn’t find the stuffed fabric paw or its squeaker.

I emailed Bill to let him know. Bill called the vet and they advised him to bring him in to be seen. Even if I wanted to take Noyzi to the vet, it would not be possible. I drive a Mini Cooper and Noyzi will not fit in it. It’s illegal for dogs to ride up front, and I doubt I could convince him to get in the car, anyway. As it is now, he has to ride in the back of our Volvo SUV because he won’t get in the backseat, which he probably could fit in if he was more cooperative.

Just as Bill was about to leave work, he got a frantic work related phone call from the States that he had to take care of. He ended up getting home about an hour later. We wrangled Noyzi into the SUV and Bill took him to the vet’s office. Noyzi was given an emetic, which made him throw up. Sure enough, we found the offending piece of the monkey toy, although no squeaker was found. It’s possible that Noyzi swallowed it, but it’s equally possible that Arran ripped it out ages ago and I tossed it. If it did end up in his intestines, we may find it in his poop in a day or two. If there are other problems, he’s sure to let us know. We’re lucky enough to have great vets in the next village, as well as the excellent Tierklink Hofheim nearby.

Yuck. That’s the part of the toy he swallowed.

We’re keeping an eye on Noyzi, but so far, he’s back to his old self. In fact, if I hadn’t noticed the amputated leg, I would never have known what he did. He was acting totally normal yesterday until he was forced to puke and given an antidote, which wiped him out for a couple of hours. By dinner time, he was right as rain… and then Arran threw up. But I think in Arran’s case, it was a case of too much salmon. He had a little of our dinner last night. He’s fine today, too, but we have to get him slimmer. I never thought I’d say that about Arran, who has always been athletic and sleek. But he’s twelve now, so he needs to watch his figure.

By the way… anyone want to guess how much this emergency cost us? It was a mere 89 euros. The vet was able to squeeze us in during regular office hours. Several of my friends gave me tips on how to make my dog vomit, but I prefer to let the vets handle that, especially when it’s not that expensive. God bless German healthcare costs. America could take a lesson or two.

Leland Sklar… and a low two tumor!

Advertisements

Yesterday, I wrote about our dog, Arran, who just had surgery to have a mast cell tumor removed. Last night, the vet called and emailed to tell us that the tumor she removed was “low grade” and she got excellent margins. This is very good news. I mean, the first mast cell tumor Arran had was rated a 1.5, which is very low grade… almost benign, actually. This one was a 2. A two is not as good as 1.5, but pathologists can be pretty subjective about their opinions, anyway. Another pathologist might have rated it differently. The point is, it doesn’t look like it was a particularly aggressive tumor and there’s a good chance the surgery was curative. I wrote more about this on my main blog.

I was impressed that the vet called and emailed, especially on a Friday evening. She said she would call today, too, since we missed the call last night. When we lived in Stuttgart, I remember getting the news at the appointment, rather than by phone. I was actually a little concerned when Bill said he got a call and an email. I thought maybe there was something urgently wrong. But, it turns out she probably just wanted to put our minds at ease for the weekend. I mean, mast cell tumors are shitty and they’re not good news as a general rule. But having now dealt with several types of canine cancers, I can say that I would take dealing with a mast cell tumor over, say, prostate cancer or the horrible spinal tumor our sweet MacGregor had in 2012. That was heartbreaking.

Last night, I also finally got something I’ve been waiting ages for… a book by the great bass guitar player, Leland Sklar. I am a big fan of his work, since he’s played bass for many of my favorite artists since the 1970s. Ever since the pandemic started, Lee has been posting videos on YouTube. He’s also started a “hangout”, which I would join if I weren’t so many timezones away. In the fall, he decided to publish a book called Everybody Loves Me. It’s basically a thick coffee table book full of photos of people flipping him the bird. Seriously, there’s very little writing in this book. It’s all famous and non famous people giving Sklar the finger. He’s got a broad range of people mugging for the camera, too. Off the top of my head, besides many people whose names I don’t know but give good face, he’s got photos of Phil Collins, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, and David Crosby, among many others.

So what does this have to do with traveling? Well, it’s not so much about travel as it is life in Germany and getting stuff through the APO system, which is what we US government affiliated people get for US mail. Lelad Sklar mailed my book sometime in late November, I think. It just got to me yesterday. The mail has been slow lately under normal circumstances. When someone mails something through the APO system, particularly when they don’t pay for premium shipping, it can take many weeks. I’m not complaining, mind you. I was glad to get the book yesterday. It was worth the wait. I got a big kick out of it. Incidentally, I ordered Bill an Ancestry.com DNA kit for Christmas back in early November, I think. It just got here about two weeks ago.

The weather continues to suck, although I did read that at least reports of COVID-19 cases have gone down a little bit. I just got up and noticed that it’s snowing again, but I don’t think it’s cold enough for anything to stick. The ground is positively saturated, and every time Noyzi goes outside, he runs around like a maniac and gets mud caked in his paws, which he then tracks into the house. I need to vacuum, but I may just wait, because vacuuming when it’s so muddy outside is utterly futile. But Noyzi sheds all over the place, so I’m constantly sweeping. I’m thinking it’s time to buy a new vacuum cleaner that is a lot lighter and more portable, because I probably ought to vacuum every day. I know ex landlady thinks I’m a filthy slob, but I’m really not. I just love my dogs and they’re a step above toddlers when it comes to messes, especially when the weather is bad.

Again, not complaining… having Noyzi is well worth the trouble of sweeping and vacuuming more. He’s a ball of love who has made enduring the pandemic a lot easier. I love watching him evolve. He’s turning into a real character now. I think the ghost of Zane visits through him, as he plays keep away in the yard with a distinctly mischievous grin on his face. I also love to feed him snacks. He has such a big mouth that it reminds me of mailing a letter. He’s so adorable the way he sneaks up behind me quietly, like a shadow, and quietly requests a bite of whatever it is I’m eating. When we first got him, he wouldn’t eat anything but kibble, which makes training a bit more difficult. No food rewards. And he was too afraid to play with toys. Now, he loves his toys.

Anyway… now, all we have to do is wait for Arran to heal some more so he can ditch the cone.

Here are a few photos from Leland Sklar’s book. When I ordered, I got a funny little animation that flipped me off as it thanked me. I thought to get a screenshot of it, which is today’s featured photo. This book was $65 unsigned, $85 signed. I got it signed because Leland Sklar is so entertaining and kind that I figured he deserved the extra cash.

Poor Arran…

Advertisements

Monday morning, our dog Arran, whom we’ve counted as a family member since January 2013, had surgery on his left hind leg. A couple of weeks ago, I spotted a red bump there as Arran was headed outside for his evening whiz. Having already dealt with mast cell tumors in Arran and our late beagle, Zane, I had a feeling a new MCT had showed its ugly head. I told Bill about it when he came home from work. The next day, he called our vets in the neighboring industrial park in Wallau and told them that Arran had a tumor. They were good enough to fit him in for an aspiration that morning.

A week later, we went back to the vet’s office for the results of the aspirate, as well as basic bloodwork for our new dog, Kosovar street dog, Noyzi. The vet confirmed what we’d feared. After five and a half years with no new mast cell tumors, Arran had another one. It was in the skin, rather than under it, and she didn’t detect any swollen lymph nodes. She scheduled him for surgery a few days later. Meanwhile, Noyzi had three vials of blood taken, as well as a sample for a DNA test.

Monday morning, Bill planned to take Arran in at 10:00am. That was what was written on the appointment slip the receptionist gave him last week. Unfortunately, the receptionist got the time wrong. He was supposed to go in at 9:00am. So poor Arran had to starve for a couple more hours before he got in to have the tumor removed. I had noticed it shrinking last week to almost nothing, but by Monday morning, it had blown up again. Mast cell tumors notably do this— they’ll shrink to nothing, then swell up a lot when they’re bothered. That’s one of the telltale signs. The tumors put out histamine, which causes the inflammation and itching that comes with these types of growths.

Because mast cell tumors are typically more invasive then they appear, and will sometimes come back with a vengeance if the margins aren’t good, the vet made a very large incision on Arran’s leg. She was a lot more aggressive than our old vet in Herrenberg was. I have noticed the vets up near Wiesbaden seem to be a bit more aggressive and up to date than the ones in the Stuttgart area are. I loved our Herrenberg vet, though. She just had a more conservative approach to surgery.

Arran has been wearing the dreaded cone of shame all week. He’s been surprisingly well-behaved and calm about it. We did finally put a “Comfy Cone” on him yesterday. I had bought one for Zane a few years ago, but misplaced it in the move. The Comfy Cone is less rigid than the traditional hard plastic Elizabethan Collar is and it makes less noise. But it’s not made of transparent plastic, so it’s harder for Arran to see or hear with it on. We took it off last night, and he behaved pretty well, but we put it back on this morning after he started licking his stitches. Poor guy. This is probably driving him crazy.

We should get the results of the biopsy next week… and maybe Noyzi’s DNA test results will be in, too. Noyzi was given a clean bill of health, which is a good thing. I hope Arran’s tumor was a low grade one. I hate canine cancer, and it wasn’t so long ago that we were dealing with it in Zane. But I guess whatever’s to be will be. As dog cancers go, I don’t think mast cell tumors are that horrible. At least they can be treated and often cured by surgery. But I still hate canine cancers… and mast cell cancer sometimes turns into lymphoma, which is what happened with Zane after three years of MCTs.

In case anyone is wondering, the total cost of the operation and everything that came with it was about 590 euros, or around $700. Right now, the dollar is taking a beating against the euro. Still, this would have been a lot more expensive in many parts of the United States. We can also use a VAT form, which exempts us from paying German taxes on the procedure. At 19%, that’s a very good thing.

As you can see, Bill is Arran’s favorite person.

Meet the vet… and eat Cajun food!

Advertisements

Those of you who know me on Facebook and/or have been following my main blog might have read that a couple of nights ago, our dog Zane experienced a bit of veterinary drama.  Bill had to take him to our local vet because he was throwing up foam.  A couple of hours after they left the local vet, Zane had bloody diarrhea.  I asked Bill to take Zane to the Tierklinik Hofheim, which is not too far from where we live.  I first heard of the Tierklinik Hofheim from our former vet, Dr. Schube, in Herrenberg.  She said it was one of the best veterinary clinics in Germany.  I never thought we’d ever live close enough to use their services, but I was sure glad we had their services handy on Thursday.

Our new vet.  Up here, all of the vets have a little “V” sign by their office, indicating they are veterinarians.  I don’t remember ever seeing that near Stuttgart.

Bill brought Zane in at about 8:00pm and didn’t get home until almost 1:00am.  I was really worried about Zane, who really looked uncomfortable.  I did some checking online and it appeared that he might have suffered from HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis).  While this condition is very treatable if it’s caught early, it can be deadly if it’s not treated aggressively with supportive therapies.  Fortunately, Zane wasn’t as sick as he seemed and Bill brought him home to sleep off the medications and the effects of the illness.  He’s fine, now.

We’d already had an appointment for today, which Bill made before Zane got so acutely sick.  We went in today to drop off some samples from our dogs to find out if they have parasites… and if they do, what kind.  I have a feeling parasites might have been behind Zane’s attack, especially since both dogs have had a lot of gas lately… and it has a distinctively “wormy” odor to it.  I can’t describe it; and you probably wouldn’t want me to; but once you know that smell, you know it.  Arran was similarly sick a few months ago and deworming him fixed him right up.  That time, I had some dewormer from our Stuttgart area vets.

Our new vets are pretty high speed.  The male half of the husband and wife team was in the news for doing IVF on a dog in Dubai.  They have several vets on staff and even offer Saturday hours, which is pretty impressive.  I don’t enjoy visiting the vet, but I did need to visit so I’d know where to bring them when it falls to me to get them in for vet care.  I did most of the vet stuff when we lived near Herrenberg and I have a feeling that Bill likes it that way, even if I don’t.  Although Arran didn’t need to see the vet, we brought him along for the ride so he wouldn’t be stuck at home alone.  Actually, our vet appointment was pretty much nothing.  We went in, talked to the vet, and dropped off the sample.  That was it.  It took about an hour, though, because there were a lot of people waiting.

Our vets have a book “lending library” out front.  That scores points with me!

Once we were finished at the vet’s office, we dropped the dogs off and then visited our new friend, John, at Spirit of New Orleans, his fabulous Cajun restaurant.  I’ve written about this restaurant before and it bears a repeat write up.  If you’re in Germany and missing American cuisine, this is a good place to be.  John is from New Orleans and has made his home in Germany.  He’s been thrilling homesick Americans for years and, best of all, his restaurant is located just a few kilometers from our house.  Today was only the second time I’ve eaten in the restaurant, but I’ve had Bill go pick up food from there a few times.  He has everything from ribs to burgers, with some special delicacies like po boys, jambalaya, red beans and rice, chicken wings, and shrimp.

Today, I decided to have the steak special, which came with shrimp, macaroni and cheese, and a salad.  I finished half and will eat the rest later.  

 

Bill had spare ribs, which I’ve had a couple of times.  John’s barbecue sauce is homemade and delicious.  I love his “fries” too, which are really more like very rustic steak fries.  

 

As he was preparing our food, we could hear him in the kitchen cussing.  I heard him yell “Aw fuck!” just before he brought out my steak and almost delivered it to the wrong table.  I could tell he was a bit on edge.  Bill says he reminds him a little bit of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.  As long as you follow the “rules”, you’re in for a treat.  Not only is his food amazing, he also plays awesome music.  I was really enjoying Earth, Wind & Fire as I waited for my lunch!  He also offers regular events starring local musicians.  Someday, we’ll be in town when he has an event.  He’s doing a brunch for Mother’s Day next weekend, but we’ll be in Stuttgart… and/or on our way back from Stuttgart..

I had to get a shot Bill…

As well as our local Harley-Davidson dealership, which boasts a certain taboo symbol…

 

It’s always interesting to see the “stars and bars” in Europe.  The flag doesn’t seem to mean what it does in America.  I’ve seen it on cars, in Italian truck stops, and now at the neighborhood Harley dealer.  They probably think they’re catering to Americans with that…  An Italian friend explained to me that, for some reason, southern Italians relate to southern Americans and some have adopted the “Confederate Battle Flag” as their symbol.

A couple of shots from the hilltop looking down toward our neighborhood.  It’s not as beautiful as Jettingen was, but if you know where to look, you can appreciate lovely views here, too.

We left Spirit of New Orleans with my leftover lunch, plus an order of chicken wings, and New Orleans Crawfish Etouffee.  I think John’s restaurant is the only one we’ve been to in Germany where we regularly order lunch, as well as more food to go for later.  It really is a treat!  He went to New Orleans in April, so it’s great that he’s back in town.  He lit up when I told him we missed him.  Although he’s a bit eccentric and sometimes uses blue language in the kitchen, he’s a really great cook.  I’m willing to overlook a little nuttiness if the food is good.  It really is.

Well, in a few days, we’ll be back in Stuttgart to see our dentist and see Elton John perform.  With any luck, the dogs will not have any more veterinary dramas and we’ll be able to enjoy our old stomping grounds with a couple of new Stuttgart restaurant reviews.

 

Hurling into 2016…

Advertisements

If you read my main blog, you might have read about my unfortunate New Year’s Day.  I won’t get into what I wrote on that post because it involves descriptions of body functions that not everyone wants to read about.  What we did end up doing yesterday was taking our dog, Zane, to the vet.

On New Year’s Eve, Bill cooked beef strips for us.  They turned out great.  Zane likes beef, but he can’t eat much of it because sometimes it upsets his stomach.  Most of the time, he can have a little piece and be just fine.  We have to be careful, though, because if he gets more than he can handle, it can lead to him having a vomiting episode.  He usually throws up once and that’s it.  This time, it was a little more serious.

Without getting too much into specifics, Zane ended up getting a touch of gastritis yesterday.  He seemed really uncomfortable and was pacing around restlessly.  He had an appetite, but couldn’t hold down any food.  He wanted to eat grass and was even pawing at the door to go outside.

Though I was pretty sure it wasn’t an emergency, I couldn’t stand to see Zane in so much discomfort.  I looked up our vet online to see who the local vet on call was for this weekend.  It turned out the vet who was open yesterday was in Gaertringen.  Bill called them and got someone on the phone who spoke no English.  He finally asked her if he could bring Zane in and got an affirmative answer.  I stayed home with our other dog, Arran, who was not too happy about being left out of a road trip.

Bill was gone for awhile and I started to worry a bit, but it turned out the vet was rather far away and it took 30 minutes just to get there.  Then, once he got there, Bill had to wait for three others ahead of him.  Apparently, the vet looked like Richard Gere.  Now I wish I could have gone with Bill so I could have seen for myself.

While Bill was waiting, he struck up a conversation with a German woman who spoke flawless English.  It turns out she’s living in the United States, getting a master’s degree in New York state.  She has an American boyfriend and had come to Germany for the holidays.  Her mother’s cat needed an ultrasound.

Anyway, after a thorough checkup, the vet gave Zane a couple of shots.  One was to quiet his rumbling guts and make him more comfortable and the other was to stop the vomiting and nausea.  He fixed Zane right up.  Bill paid about 60 euros for the visit and that was that.  Zane seems to be pretty much back to normal this morning after he slept off the antiemetic drug.  By last night, he was begging for chicken and rice.

One thing I like about living in Germany is that vet care is relatively inexpensive here.  Emergency care is especially reasonable, especially when compared to what we pay in the States.  Zane has a special knack for getting into trouble, especially on weekends on holidays.  I feel pretty sure that had we needed the emergency vet yesterday in the USA, the bill would have been several times what Bill paid.  I appreciate that in Germany, one can often get urgent medical help without resorting to using high priced emergency facilities.

The boys were both ready for dinner last night.  Zane is the tricolored one on the left.

 

I felt a lot better once Zane was back to his usual sunny self.  From now on, we’re going to be more careful about what he eats.

I’m kind of glad the holidays are over.  I’m ready for things to get back to normal.  I’m in the midst of preparing for our trip to Scotland and trying to decide what we want to do after our Hebridean Islands Cruise in March.  I can’t wait to blog about it.

Hopefully today or tomorrow, we’ll get out and try a new restaurant.

A visit to King’s Palace in Vaihingen…

Advertisements

Bill and I had made tentative plans to go out yesterday.  We ended up staying in because our dog, Zane, somehow hurt his paw while Bill was walking the dogs yesterday morning.  After a trip to the on call vet in our area, where Bill dropped 88 euros for an office visit, x-ray, anti-inflammtory shot, and pills, we decided to stay home and make sure Zane was okay.  I’m not complaining about the vet’s prices, by the way.  In the United States, we would have spent way more money.  Zane is fine today, so we decided to stop by Panzer and Patch.  In between stops, we had lunch at King’s Palace, an Asian eatery in the Schwaben Gallerie complex in Vaihingen.

The front door to King’s Palace…

The last time I ate at King’s Palace was when we lived here the first time.  In fact, I think it was during the six weeks we lived at the Vaihinger Hof hotel in Vaihingen, so that would have been October 2007.  I remembered the interior of the place to be kind of fancy.  Having walked past the restaurant dozens of times since we moved back, I can see that it hasn’t changed at all.

At about 1:00 today, King’s Palace was hopping with business.  A young, hardworking waiter directed us to a two top table on the side of the restaurant nearest to the sun.  They had drawn the shades, so the sun wasn’t directly in our faces.  Unfortunately, the restaurant was pretty warm because the weather today was unseasonably spring like.  I was feeling cranky because I was hungry.

We sat down at table 31, noticing that we arrived at the same time as a large party of Asians.  It was someone’s birthday.  They were all speaking German, but hung up a banner in English that read “Happy Birthday”.  As the large party greeted each other and got situated, Bill saw the look of irritation on my face.  When I start getting hangry, I get impatient and bitchy.  But he laughed and said I wasn’t the only one who was feeling grouchy as the partygoers settled at their table.

Bill checks out the menu.  Prices are reasonable, especially on the lunch menu, which is apparently not available on Sundays.

It took a few minutes before a waiter took our order.  Since King’s Palace has a rather extensive menu, the slow service was kind of welcome.  It took time to figure out what I wanted and what was most likely mushroom free.

Bill gives me an obligatory disinterested look…

I took this for Untappd…  It was refreshing in the stuffy restaurant.  Bill’s Krystalweizen came with a slice of lemon.

I made Bill laugh.  I think this is a memeworthy photo.

I started with chicken skewers, which curiously came out before Bill’s bowl of Thai soup.  They were welcome, since I was hungry.  The peanut sauce was surprisingly subtle.  I would have appreciated a little more peanut flavor.  However, I have to admit to scarfing these down…

 

Bill’s spicy Thai soup with shrimp.  I almost ordered this.  I’m glad I didn’t, because it had mushrooms in it.  Yecch!  Bill liked it, though.  He said it had a kick to it.  He likes that in his food… and his women.

Bill had chicken curry which was pretty good, except it too came with mushrooms.  I tasted a piece of the chicken and it was pretty good.  Too bad I hate fungus.

I had crispy duck with pineapple.  This was pretty good.  The pineapple didn’t appear to be fresh, but the peppers were.  I ate most of this, which was surprising.  But, like I said, I was feeling “hongry”.

Rice and my sweet and sour sauce.  We were relieved that they only brought out one pot.

 

Like many German Chinese restaurants we’ve been to, King’s Palace has warmers on the table.  Everything was served family style.  I appreciated that, even if the fungus in Bill’s selections precluded me from sharing his dishes.  We were pretty satisfied after lunch, which ran us about forty euros.  On the other hand, Bill and I had some take out Chinese food in Kemnat back in August 2014 that was absolutely delicious.  You wouldn’t think a take out place would have better food than a sit down place…  now I wish I remembered the name of the restaurant and lived in an area where I could get it more easily.

King’s Palace offers good food and the interior is kind of cool looking, but I’ve had better Asian food.  On the other hand, I’ve also had worse.  I’d recommend King’s Palace, though the atmosphere was pretty hectic and sort of uncomfortable today– crowded, stuffy, and warm.  I did appreciate how industrious and hard working the staff appeared to be, though.  And today’s choice was a nice change of pace from the German, Greek, and Italian places we’ve been frequenting lately.  My kingdom for a pu pu platter, though.

A house shot with the bill.  It reminded me a little of upscale Hawaiian Punch.

 

We stopped by the commissary to pick up a few items for the week.  While we were there, we donated a ham and a turkey to the USO and I chatted with one of my fellow Facebookers…  Then we went to the Class VI store, where I spotted the wine pictured below…

I’m always skeptical when I see wine so obviously presented to sell to tourists…  I skipped it and picked up a few bottles of plainer wines.

 
 

A PSA: If you’re going to put your dog in the local hunde pension…

Advertisements

Please be very sure you let them know if your dog has any medical problems or allergies.  It could mean the difference between life and death.

My husband and I have used the same dog hotel in Germany during both of our tours here.  Our dogs have always gotten good care there.  In fact, last time we were living here, our dog Flea had prostate cancer.  Our German dog sitters at the hunde hotel took great care of him, allowing us to take one last trip to Budapest before moving to Atlanta.  We lost Flea in November 2009, a couple of months after relocating to the States.

Since moving back to Germany, the hunde pension we use has had a change in managers.  The newer manager is very kind and our dogs love her.  When we go to the hotel, they greet her enthusiastically and they always say goodbye when it’s time to go.  She’s not quite as “on the ball” as the previous manager was, but we’ve been satisfied with the way she takes care of our boys.  We have recommended the hotel to others who have needed dog sitting services.

Unfortunately, even the best dog sitters/pet boarding facilities can have mishaps.  Today’s post is to serve as a reminder of how very important it is to let caregivers know about anything unusual in your pet’s medical history and what should be done if your pet gets sick while being boarded.

One of Bill’s friends left his dog at the hunde hotel for a lengthy stay.  During her stay, the dog somehow developed a skin infection on her back.  The people at the hunde hotel took the dog to a vet for treatment.  The vet gave her an injection of antibiotics.  Unfortunately, the dog had a bad reaction to the antibiotics, went into shock, and died.  It turns out the dog had had reactions to injections before, but the staff at the hunde hotel did not know about that.  They also did not ask.  And they took the dog to the vet for treatment without talking to her owners first.

It may seem like the caregivers were at fault for not talking to the dog’s owners.  Not having seen the severity of the skin infection, I can’t say for sure.  For one thing, the dog’s owners were several time zones away, which can make communication difficult.  For another, skin infections can be dangerous because they can spread rapidly.  I know this firsthand, having had cellulitis three times.  Prompt treatment is usually necessary because infections can get bad fast.

Bill and I have a lot of empathy for his friend because when we went to Scotland in 2012, our dog MacGregor got sick.  He did not die while we were gone, but we were told he should be euthanized (it turned out he had a malignant neural sheath tumor– found when we got home and had an MRI done).  Since the dog was in North Carolina and we were in Scotland, it was pretty difficult to coordinate his care.  I understand firsthand how nerve-wracking it can be when a pet becomes ill while you travel.

If you use a pet boarding facility, please make sure you let the staff know about any allergies or reactions to medications your pet may have.  Chances are good that the issue will never come up, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Zane and Arran approve of this message…

Results of our German veterinary surgery adventure…

Advertisements

I took my dogs to the vet yesterday.  Arran needed to get his stitches taken out after the surgery he had two weeks ago.  Zane was along for the ride, but also got his routine allergy shot because we were close enough to the next month.  Arran’s surgical wound from his surgery has healed nicely and he even removed three of the stitches on his own.

The vet removed the remaining three stitches, then gave me the news about the pathology report.  Unfortunately, I was right to be suspicious about the growth on Arran’s head.  It was a mast cell tumor.  The pathologist graded it at 1.5, which means he thinks there is a chance the cells could spread.  However, the tumor had clean margins, meaning there was no sign of cancer cells in the skin surrounding the tumor.  It was also a very small growth, maybe the size of a medium sized pea.

The vet explained that we could put Arran through tests to see if chemo would be useful for him.  But, she said the pathologist said if Arran were his dog, he wouldn’t do that.  It would likely involve a bone marrow tap, which would be stressful and painful.  Moreover, chemo has limited results with this type of cancer.  There is a chance that the surgery was curative, but unfortunately, mast cell tumors tend to recur.  I will have to watch him closely and have every new growth tested and/or removed.

I don’t know if I could say Arran has cancer like I could with the two dogs that preceded him.  My old dogs, Flea and MacGregor, had prostate and neural sheath cancer respectively.  Flea was diagnosed by the same German veterinarian when we lived here back in 2009.  We brought him in because he was having trouble peeing and pooping.  She initially thought he’d gotten into something that upset his stomach until she checked his prostate and realized that it was hard and irregular and looked like a map of Russia.

Both Flea and MacGregor had their diseases for awhile before we knew what was going on, so there was little we could do for them other than keep them comfortable.  Arran, on the other hand, is very strong and healthy, and as far as I know, the cancer was removed when he had his surgery.  Or, maybe it wasn’t.  Only time will tell.  But then, when it comes to life, there are never any guarantees.  Even if he’d never had a mast cell tumor, he could die in an accident at any time.  Or he could die of something totally unrelated to the growth on his head.  It does look like we caught the tumor early, though, so this news isn’t nearly as horrible as it could be.

Another bright spot in this drama is that the vet bill was very low.  Yesterday, I got the comprehensive bill for the surgery, toenail clipping, a couple of allergy shots for Zane, pathologist’s report, and prescription drugs.  The bill for all of that was the US equivalent of about $250 before VAT.  Since our vet accepts a VAT form, we didn’t have to pay that.  Even if we had, it still was a lot cheaper than similar service in the United States.

Arran this morning.

Well, I’ll just have to keep an eye on him.  Luckily he’s both cute and sweet.  Anyway, let my story be a lesson to you.  If you find any weird growths on your dog or anywhere else, it’s best to get them checked out before they turn into something sinister.  I am glad I didn’t acquiesce when the vet said maybe we didn’t need to remove that growth.