Spent the day on the phone with the real estate attorney and getting a locksmith and DOING MORE ADULT SHIT, so I got behind on things and didn’t get around to getting my tetanus shot when I wanted to, so I had to combine our doctor visits. I went and picked up the dog (I named him Walter, after Walter Matthau, which I will explain later), and gave him a long bath with a shower hose. I used the Natural Chemistry flea and tick shampoo that my dogs and my parent’s dogs just love, and gave him a good scrub down and got rid of layers and layers of filth. He immediately looked better an I got a chance to get a good look at his coat.
After I got him cleaned up and dried off, mom was kind enough to sit with him at her house (we used their hose because Thurston would have been freaking out at my house and I think Walter needs calm for now) while I went home and showered. Threw some comfy blankets in the rear of the car, and off we went:
We went to my doctor first, and rushed in and got a tetanus and pertussis shot. I had called ahead and said I would have a dog in the car, so I just left Walter in the car with the AC on. Then went and picked up some more baccitracin w/ zinc, which took longer than it should have because the pharmacists demanded to see Walter after I explained what happened. After that we headed to the vets.
It was packed when we got there, and everyone looked horrified at his condition and looked at me like I was some kind of super villain, so I told everyone the story and could see all the people there mentally grabbing pitchforks and torches to go after the guy who did this to Walter. Decided since I was sure Walter still had fleas and tapeworm that we would just sit outside until everyone was done. We sat under a shade tree and Walter lay down next to me, which was a first because up until now all I had ever seen him do was pace nervously (although I think he was smiling in the back seat picture above).
They finally called us in, and first things first- Walter is a trooper. Just a good natured and gentle dog, and very trusting despite what he has been through. And he has very expressive eyes and eyebrows We weighed him, and he was only 63 lbs, when he should probably be around 100.
I told them the story and the background info I had, and told them I just wanted “the works” to get the old fella back up on his feet and healthy so we can find his forever home. They poked and prodded and did all sorts of tests on his hips and joints, and he never complained and was just amazing- better than any of my animals except Lily. In fact, he is a male, older, bigger Lily when it comes to temperament. He smiled the whole way through:
So here are the details, starting from head to toe:
1.) His eyes are those of an older dog, perhaps 10-11 was the vets best guesstimate.
2.) His teeth and gums are in good shape, and he has this adorable underbite with these teeny tiny teefus that you can make out in the picture above, and the nurse quipped he has very kissable lips. His breath could use a little work, but I got some dental treats that should fix that right up and much of it might be caused by the digestive issues created by the neglect.
3.) His left ear has a mild hematoma (think cauliflower ear on a wrestler), and his right ear has had multiple hematoma that makes the earhole very, very tiny and really hard to clean, but he let them anyway despite being in pain. His left ear was “yeasty,” so they treated that, and the right ear had a different type of infection, so they inserted a tube and gave him a different treatment.
4.) Despite my bath, he was still littered with fleas, so we treated him for worms and gave him a nextguard flea treatment. His coat, overall, is not too bad and should grow back nicely. He doesn’t have a typical lab coat- it is a thicker hair, so he is mixed with something but I do not know what, but he has a very “houndy” Roman nose. He has a couple of fatty tumors that dogs just get with old age, but they are nothing to worry about.
5.) His nails were a mess, so we cut them.
6.) No anal gland issues.
7.) He has three arthritic knees, but his hips are fine (which was my main concern because he walks so gingergly).
8.) His bloodwork was, for his condition, great. He was anemic from the fleas sucking the life out of him and the malnourishment, but everything was fine or within normal bounds for what he had gone through. Most important, kidney and liver functions were good, and, drumroll…. NO HEARTWORM!
In summary, not too damned shabby. Because his bloodwork was so good, I decided we should give him some pain meds to make him more comfortable and he got an injection of rimadyl and some chewable tabs for the next week. Also, I asked if they would give him some antibiotics just to clear up anything we might not know about, and since his digestive system is probably messed up, we went for a two week shot instead of daily tablets, which was more expensive but I think a much better option. We have a checkup next Friday when we will do the rabies shots and other vaccinations. We didn’t want to give them to him today because we wanted a week of good food and water, walks, and to get his immune system back up.
All in all, he is in remarkable shape considering, and I parked my car on the street and quarantined him in my garage with all sorts of blankets. I have some samples of good prescription high protein prescription food for a couple days, and I am going to go to Petco tomorrow and get him some chewbones, good canned food, and a nametag and a collar worthy of the dignified old guy. All in all, this is why this is the best vet in the world- they not only worked on him for an hour and a half primping and preening him (an hour of which was after closing), but every nurse stayed just because they wanted to. And it only came to $420.63, which I think is downright amazing.
Now, the important part. This is where I decided to name him Walter. I couldn’t decide on a name (I had just been saying “hey buddy,”) and we were just going to put him on the chart as “stray” until I came up with a name or homed him, when my favorite nurse went on about his kissable lips and I got an awesome picture:
IMMEDIATELY after that picture, he turned and looked at me and shot me this goofy yet also lugubrious sly look and instantly reminded me of Walter Matthau.
And thus he became Walter. Commenter Debit- email me. Trust me, you want this dog. He was made for a couch or a nice dog bed on the front porch. Really pretty remarkable dog considering what he has been through.
And that was my day, which ranks up there as a pretty good one and I’m glad I can share.