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Friday, November 21, 2008

Have You Ever Put An Active Dog On Complete Bed Rest? It’s Not Easy…



cat ball muzzle on
makes dog look like Spaceman Spiff
all to check his back



Blitzkrieg is a very active little dog. And he’s smart. He knows tons of tricks sit, speak, down, wait, shake, and high 5 with his left and right (blind side thankyouverymuch) paw and the favorite of the neighborhood kids, dance on his hind legs, which Peke people commonly refer to as The Pekingese Dance. Teaching Blitzkrieg these behaviors has helped us use positive reinforcement training turn the shy and fear aggressive abused dog we rescued into the confident and well-adjusted goofball we have today. One of the Blitzkrieg Rules is that if Blitzkrieg wants to join a human who is already sitting on the sofa then he has to “ask” permission by sitting first before the human (me) tells him “OK, hup”. This is Blitzkrieg’s cue to jump up on the sofa for a good snuggle.
As of last Saturday, Blitzkrieg couldn’t hup.



Friday Blitzkrieg was fine; he even jumped up to greet Husband when he came home from work. This is rare for our now well-behaved dog because Blitzkrieg knows he’s not allowed to jump up on people. By Saturday night as the pack setting on the sofa to watch TV instead of springing into the air and landing on the sofa, my dog weakly rocked back and forth and his back legs. Something was wrong.

Husband and I took Blitzkrieg to our wonderful vet at the Gahanna Animal Hospital. I have to give them a huge plug and props because they are very patient with Blitzkrieg because his abusive past makes him a difficult patient. In the beginning, he would squirm, shriek bloody murder, and try to bite upon exam, which made even simple tasks like checking his ears difficult at best. It’s only after the Gahanna Animal Hospital allowed our amazing behaviorist, Greg Schneider of Bark Busters and us to work with Blitzkrieg on Sundays when the offices were closed that we could help Blitzkrieg work through his fear of the vet’s office.

Blitzkrieg no longer shrieks or screams in terror upon exam but given his past (and disdain for having his toenails clipped. We have yet to convince him that a toenail trim will not rob him of his doggie mojo), we all agreed that we should try to muzzle Blitzkrieg before the exam. The problem is that since Blitzkrieg has a smashed face, you can’t use a regular dog muzzle on a Pekingese. As an experiment, our vet suggested using a cat Air Ball muzzle; it’s a clear plastic ball that fits over the cat's, or in my case, dog’s head.

Sorry no photos, given the circumstances. Blitzkrieg kinda looked like this, only different.

Funny Pictures
Photo courtesy of Icanhazcheeseburger.com


Blitzkrieg actually seemed to like the ball muzzle, “What choo lookin’ at? Major Tom to Ground Control, I haz Tang!”

What in Jack Hanna?! I think modern veterinary medicine turned my ailing dog into an LOLcat.
After the exam, our vet said that Blitzkrieg has mild case of intervertebral disc disease. The information sheet the Hospital gave us says it best:

“The intervertebral disks act as shock absorbers between vertebrae…When a disk becomes diseased, either through gradual degeneration or through injury, the thinner top portion of the outer ring gives way, and the disk bulges into the spinal canal located directly above the disk…The spinal cord is located in the spinal canal. A budging or ruptured disk causes pressure or damage to the spinal cord, resulting in pain, weakness, incoordination [sic], or paralysis.”

Our vet prescribed anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and complete bed rest for two weeks to let the bulging disk heal. If after two weeks Blitzkrieg still isn’t up and around, then we will have to do x-rays and possibly surgery to correct the problem.

The good news is that even after a few days of drugs and downers in his food, Blitzkrieg is trying to run, play, and climb up and down The Condo’s stairs.

The bad news is that even after a few days of drugs and downers in his food, Blitzkrieg is trying to run, play, and climb up and down The Condo’s stairs. Climbing stairs, moderate exercise, and rough games of Chase Me Let’s Chew Lion’s Face Off are all against Doctor’s orders.

Have you ever tried keeping an energetic and independent dog, who’d much rather bound up and down the stairs after you than be carried around the house or outside to potty like some spoiled sissy purse dog from doing anything active? It’s not easy.

Depending upon whether Blitzkrieg is up or down stairs we use a baby gate to block off the stairs so he won't climb up or down them. When he wants to be up or down stairs with his people, I play sherpa and carry him. I blocked the living room sofas and chairs with large pillows to keep Blitzkrieg from jumping up on them. Since Blitzkrieg's exercise is severely restricted he isn't even allowed to walk down the block for a potty, for the time being he rides in his wheeled carrier, which I'm not fond of using. When I'm forced to use it I usually meet someone on the street or in a store or whereever that automatically assumes that I am one of the Crazy Ladies With The Dog In Her Purse. Which I am not. I am just The Crazy Lady. Honest. My nieghbor's will vouch for me.

We’re managing. Most of the time, the downers keep Blitzkrieg as mellow as his namesake Ramones were in their video, I Wanna be Sedated. (Oh? What’s that you say? You didn’t realize that the name Blitzkrieg was heavily influenced by the Ramones song Blitzkrieg Bop? Well, it was.)




Because for most of the day, Blitzkrieg is sedated. Hey, ho, let’s go.

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