Staples

Well, he did it again. My little daredevil got himself into something and wound up in the vet’s office.

A few days ago we were eating dinner and I notice A.J. twisting himself all up trying to get at something on his back. I assumed he just had an itch or a little bug or something and didn’t think anything of it. The next day, he was twisting his head all around once again trying to get at something on his back. But this time he kept at it, there was definitely something bothering him. I took a look at where he was going and saw a clump in his fur. Clumps in the fur are typically one of two things: mud or blood. Being a fairly sizable clump on the back, I was sure this was blood.

I put some soap on a washrag and tried to wash away the blood and get a look at where it was coming from. Unfortunately A.J. is not especially cooperative in situations like this. As a result, I couldn’t get a very good look at where the blood was coming from, or even get it cleaned out very well.

At that point I ran into the typical dilemma: What do I do now? I’m always astounded by people on those veterinary shows on TV who say “Oh yeah, he’s had this giant lump and hasn’t been eating much for about two months, so I decided to bring him in.” Or “She got hit by a car and has been limping and bleeding. That was two or three days ago.” Why in the world do these people wait so long to take their pets to the vet? On the other hand, I don’t want to rush my dog to the vet every time he gets a little scratch. This obviously wasn’t life-threatening, so I decided to wait, hoping whatever it was would clot up and heal.

It didn’t.

After a couple more days, A.J. was still trying to lick at that spot, so I finally called and made an appointment to take him to the vet.

When the vet started looking at him, at first we couldn’t find the spot. I was starting to feel like that paranoid owner who rushes to the vet for everything, but I was certain there was something there. Finally, after an eternity (about five minutes) of searching, we found the spot. The vet got a look at it and told me A.J. had a sore that definitely needed to be treated.

It had been several days since he did whatever it was he did, so stitches weren’t an option. Instead A.J. came home, still groggy from sedation, with two staples in his back.

Speaking of sedation – my little boy has a tremendous amount of willpower. When they brought him out to the waiting room, he didn’t even greet me; he headed straight for the door. I was at the counter paying for the visit and getting instructions on medication and care from the vet tech. A.J. was so groggy he started sinking to the floor. But he refused to go down all the way. His legs were giving out, he was about an inch off the floor, but he absolutely refused to go down. I felt so badly for him, I told him “you can lay down, Bud” at which point he managed to hoist himself upright before once again starting the slow sink towards the floor.

AJ in his t-shirt
AJ needs a t-shirt to cover up the staples on his back.

When I was ready to go, A.J. charged forward out the door. (Something I normally would correct him for, but not in this case.) I was sure I was going to have to pick him up to get him in the car, but I opened the door and he jumped right in. He then collapsed and didn’t get up again for the next several hours. I had to carry him from the car into the house and lay him on his bed. But before he collapsed he managed to keep himself going long enough to get out of the vet’s office and into the safety of the car that would take him home.

For the next two weeks, A.J. has to wear either a t-shirt or a cone, and he can’t be outside without a leash on, even in the backyard. He also can’t go to daycare. Tomorrow I leave for a week-long business trip. Greg is going to have quite the week.