Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Super Groovy Puppy Love

I am waiting for the timer on my watch to go off, indicating that 15 minutes have gone by in-between dosings. I am administering an herbal, holistic remedy to my dog.

Buster's health has not been completely back to normal since his rear leg started giving him trouble this winter. We were alerted to his injury -- or condition, we don't know -- when he started yelping when we scratched his back leg. Later the same night it first happened, he started yelping in his sleep, startled awake by the pain in his leg when he'd enact a particularly vivid dream.

I flew out of bed three times that night, panicked and hysterical with heartbreak.

The vet we took him to moved his leg around for a bit, prescribed a week's worth of Rimadyl, and said that it was just a pulled muscle. That just never sat right with me, and I kind of thought the vet was weird. Plus, I'd read that Rimadyl can sometimes melt the liver of the poor puppies it is supposed to be helping. This is my baby we are talking about, so I doubt I'll ever completely trust anyone to treat him properly. (I'm an asshole, I know.)

Seemingly without cause, every couple of months or so, Buster will let out a yelp again. Not good.

Lately, for the past three weeks or so, he's been having bladder control problems. Buster is neurotic as shit and we've had to work to get him to quit urinating out of submission. He hasn't done that in over a year. Oh, the freedom.

The last couple of accidents have been different, though. Suddenly, he'll be up from a leisurely lay-about pacing nervously, and before I can get the thought "Oh, shit. Buster has to go outside." through my thick head, he's started to pee on his way to the back door. Then he is all heartbroken that he has done something wrong. Dear heavens, that breaks my heart. And it annoys me that I've cleaned the carpets three times in the last month. (Carpet grosses me out SO MUCH.)

So, for the past week I've been worried the poor little guy has a bladder infection. Poor Buster!

Anyway, a number of people, including Black Sheeped, have recommended a holistic, homeopathic vet, Dr. MotherEarth. I finally called her this week as I am convinced that something is just wrong with Buster. He's only seven years old; he shouldn't be having control problems, or trouble jumping up on the bed in the morning to cuddle.

After chatting with Dr. MotherEarth, she thinks that Buster's trouble may be stemming from a pinched nerve in his back, and not a bladder infection as I had feared. So, until she can see him on September 14, she thinks this herbal brew will help ease his inflammation and pain. Then, during his appointment she is going to give him a chiropractic exam and see if acupuncture is necessary.

People - I am considering giving my dog acupuncture treatments.

My dog. Acupuncture. Mutt. Crazy Eastern Shit with Needles.

In regards to my own health, I heavily consider holistic care whenever possible. But I don't know if I really buy into acupuncture. For me or my dog.


Thoughts? Other than that I am attached to my dogs to the point of the absurd, of course.


  1. I have a dog like this. She is such a stress case that if we let the baby cry for more than a few minutes, she craps on the floor out of distress. Smoke alarm goes off? Pees on the floor. AND SO ON. Hope the holistic treatments work.

  2. I love love love that vet, but, yeah, I'm always a little unsure about the acupuncture. I know how much the treatments can cost. They might work beautifully and I just can't comprehend it because I am Dumb, but I strongly suspect I became so turned off to the idea after hearing about it all the time from you-know-who, and hearing that person just BERATE EVERYONE if they weren't getting their dogs acupuncture and telling people "so and so's dog died because she wouldn't get it acupuncture." Sigh. But that sounds like a pinched nerve to me, too, and it seems like some sort of massage-y/pressure-release type thing might work. I hope he feels better soon! Poor Buster. I know how upset dogs can get when they have accidents. Here's to holistic treatments!

  3. Poor puppy!

    I would do just about anything for Rowen, including giving up vital organs, so I'm really not in a position to judge what others would do for their furry friends.

    I'm also a neurotic nerd, so I did a quick search for articles on dogs and acupuncture. PubMed has almost 200 articles on the subject, and apparently there is an International Society of Veterinary Acupuncture. They may be able to tell you if there's some sort of certification that your vet should have.

    You should be able to access PubMed through your university, but let me know if you can't.

  4. I think it's cool that you are looking into giving your dog the same treatment you would consider for yourself if you were in a similar position. I am curious to find out if acupuncture works for him.

    When I was in middle school, my family dog was diagnosed with bone cancer in his front right leg. We ended up having to amputate it. People thought we were crazy for spending all that money and not just putting him down, but for us the idea of letting him just die from the disease when there was a way to help him was just unthinkable. He ended up living a happy life as a tripod for another four years.

    So yeah. Anything you do for your dog, I totally support. Poor puppy.

  5. Tessie - I think your little girl must be easier to deal with? You are a saint for keeping that pup!

    Black Sheeped - Oh, yes. I-know-who.

    Lisa - thank you for the PubMed tips! I have already found two articles to show A. tonight when he starts rolling his eyes at me. ;-)

    Jess - my coworker thinks it is crazy to spend money on a dog instead of a child in need. He does have a point, but goddammit if MY CHILD doesn't have four legs and a helluva lot of hair!

    Thanks for the support, guys!

  6. You know, your coworker does have a point, but honestly, that same logic can be applied to any money that you ever spend on something that isn't absolutely necessary to your survival and wellbeing.

    So I think in a situation where you're responsible for a living, feeling animal who is, in this instance, unable to take care of himself, and who depends on you entirely for his own wellbeing, you are morally obligated to do something to help alleviate his suffering--whether that be putting a dying dog to sleep so he no longer feels pain or giving a hurting dog acupuncture to make him feel better. And if you still feel bad about not donating to needy children, give the money you would have spent on an outrageous pair of shoes or something to charity.

  7. My mother has always said that if I take 1/2 as good care of her in her old age, as I do my cats, then she knows she's in good hands.

    By the time my first kitty died, at the right old age of 19, she was on two different medications, required special food that I could only buy from the vet, and had one barely functioning kidney.

    My kitties are members of my family. Buster is a member of your family. And you don't turn your back on family just cause they a pinched nerve or bum leg or bad kidneys.


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