Twenty-four pounds of love takes a hard hit once in a while and for my Big Guy, that hit came yesterday. On his last couple of unhappy vet visits the doc mentioned that Hakeem had a tooth that needed to come out, but that he probably wouldn't show signs of it because animals are stoic when it comes to pain. But I couldn't wait any longer, so worried was I that Hakeem was suffering but not revealing his pain, that I scheduled an appointment to have his tooth extracted. While they had him under the spell of anesthesia, I requested that they also do his semi-annual blood work for his bad thyroid and, my favorite thing, his anal gland expression! How do you express your anal glands? I have to laugh about this hideous subject or I'll cry.
Speaking of crying, I was close to it when I dropped him off yesterday morning on my way to work. I just couldn't stop worrying about how miserable he would be in that smelly office full of barking dogs and hissing cats. He's the sweetest creature you could ever imagine at home, but put him in a vet's office and he turns evil, and he doesn't want to but he has to protect himself, you know. After a full day of worrying about him, I called the vet at the end of the work day and they told me they'd need to keep him a few more hours. By the time I picked him up, he was waking up from the anesthesia and none too pleased that I had dumped him there. The vet tech explained to me that they ended up having to take three of his teeth (!) because they were in bad shape, and told me they had given him a Fentanyl patch for pain that he would keep on his back leg for the week. He looked like an old, matted teddy bear with sad, red-rimmed eyes. Just to make it as awful as possible, they had humiliated him by shaving an entire band around his front leg that gave it the appearance of that of a well-groomed poodle, the foot still fluffy but the leg bald. In addition to the part of his face they shaved as well as his back leg, it was almost too much.
I got him home where he made a beeline for his food even though the vet thought he probably wouldn't be hungry. I know my boy better than the vet does. Hakeem's chin fur was matted with blood from his tooth extractions and he was fighting the feeling of the anesthesia by walking around over and over when he should have been relaxing. A visit from his grandparents yesterday and today plus a lunch time visit from me today have proven that he is progressing well. He's not back to normal, that will take a few days, but he's better. In a few days I will have to remove his Fentanyl patch, an operation that doesn't feel like anyone's going to enjoy it, and I've been instructed by the doc not to touch it with bare hands. It's a controlled substance and I'm told that if I touch it with my skin I will become nauseous. Not so sure that's true, seems to me they're just trying to avoid turning me into a Fentanyl junkie like Hakeem, but I will abide by the rules. Anything for my little buddy.