Tips and tails

It’s been an expensive two weeks.

First the cat developed an abscess on her chin…

That's not her tongue.

That’s not her tongue.

…so off we went for a day with the vet for draining, antibiotics, and pain meds for home.  Because I was so worried about her that I paid for the additional $69 bloodwork fee, we now have the comfort of this good news: she has a clean bill of health (minus the infection at the time).

But what kind of people do they think we are? We were told to apply warm, moist compresses to her wound site several times a day for the following few days. Have you ever tried to hold a damp washcloth on a cat’s sore chin? Guess how many times we accomplished this task?
Answer: exactly once. It traumatized all of us. That was also the only time we managed to get pain meds into her. She preferred to hide from us whenever she saw us over next 2 days instead of repeating the experience.
Luckily, she’s back to being herself now.

On Wednesday morning, EB took the dog for a walk. Then we received a call to tell us that Moses had tangled with a porcupine and needed to go to the vet. SuperDad called the vet (a different one — the cat’s vet is in a cat-only clinic) and made sure they could fit us in while EB carried the 70-pound labrador up from the woods by the river to a road. He called us when he could tell us where he was — about 5 miles from home. (My sons seem to think that 8-10 miles is a perfectly normal walk for a 10-year-old dog.)  I got ready to go to work while SuperDad drove to pick up the injured and his accomplice and take them to the vet. They got home before I left, the 22yo looking like he’d been at a crime scene with blood all over his clothes, and my dh talking about a $400 vet bill.

The dog, whom I normally credit with above-average intelligence, saw something small-ish down by the river and lunged for it. Turns out it was not a squirrel but a baby porcupine. After shaking it thoroughly in his mouth, the baby’s mama (I’m assuming it was the mama) got irate with our sweet dog. (In her defense, I would have done the same thing. It is not sweet to shake a baby! ) Pretty soon there was a battle with both dog and prickly beast looking worse for wear. EB rushed down to break it up and managed to not get any quills of his own.  I hope the mama porcupine recovered, because it really wasn’t her fault. Moses had bites in his right ear, about 40 quills in his mouth, and approximately 20 quills on each foreleg — this was after EB pulled about 20 quills out, so we’re guessing that 100 quills became successful ammunition.

Mr. Silky Ears, post-sedation face

Mr. Silky Ears, post-sedation face

If only we had a blue collar to go with that bright green bandage -- then he'd be wearing Seahawks colors!

If only we had a blue collar to go with that bright green bandage — then he’d be wearing Seahawks colors!

Despite 40 quills to his mouth, his licker still works.

Despite 40 quills having to be removed from his mouth, his licker still works.

We go back in to the vet tomorrow and get his wound and stitches checked. Moses is hoping to leave without the bandage. I’m not sure if that will happen.
I’ll be the one going this time, because this is the weekend of the big Boy Scout winter campout.  Good thing SnakeMaster got over his illness (oh, yeah, that happened too — he missed a day and a half of school) because SuperDad was going with or without the boy.

Oh, and this happened.


How are things in your neck of the woods?



14 thoughts on “Tips and tails

  1. OMG..porcupine! that green thing is unreal….we pay big mucho deniero for our pup…we had to keep our dog from scratching a surgical incision on her belly and used a pink baby sock with a rubber band to hold it on. You do what you must.

    • PJ, the green bandage was replaced today after his wound check. He’s now rockin’ a bright red bandage sticking out of the side of his head like a devil’s horn. He’ll be wearing for a while. I finally read the original paperwork: stitches don’t come out until a full 2 weeks have passed. Poor pup.

  2. Poor Moses. So many quills! I don’t even know if we have porcupines around here –I’ve certainly never seen one.

    Cats are an entirely different story when it comes to injuries and nursing. I had a cat (my cats have always been indoor/outdoor pets) who ended up with an abscess on his rear –I was told that it meant he was running away from the fight and got bit on the butt, so a bit cowardly. I wonder how yours ended up with a wound that abscessed on his chin?!

    • Cassi, it is quite odd that the cat had that abscess. The vet suggested it might have been caused by oils/dirt/germs that collected on the edge of the old pink Tupperware bowl we were using for her dry food. (That can lead to kitty acne, so why not a worse infection?) We’ve switched to a ceramic bowl at their suggestion.

      I was wrong about the stitches being removed for the dog. Today was a wound check and replacement bandage. The stitches will stay in for 2 full weeks.

  3. Oh I know all too well how expensive vet bills can be. But it’s what we do. Cats and compresses… that’s almost funny. And that poor pup. I almost hate to ask but did the baby porkie survive the shaking?

    And yay for the ScoutMaster.

  4. That is some weird and bad luck with your pets. Your poor pup. And I would have tried the compress ONCE on a cat–but really? As if they’d sit for that.

  5. In the medical chart of every feline patient, there is a note that says, “Patient is uncooperative.” I feel sorry for the cat, but especially for the dog.

    But then you pop that last little bit of news, only in a photograph. Scoutmaster is a big deal and probably will be a big deal for you, too.

    • “Patient is uncooperative.” Bwahahahaha…. YES.
      Our scout troop meets on Wednesdays at the same time (but different place) as my choir rehearsal for church. The big deal for me has been the stress for my husband. His laid-back retirement just got a wake-up call.

  6. Karen, I’ve been having quite a week too with my fur baby. We’ve been to the vet 3 times trying to heal a very bad ear infection. My dog looks and feels awful. I was told to bring her back again tomorrow. Wish us luck!

    Happy New Year!

  7. I’m grateful Homer is pretty easygoing and takes his daily meds without too much complaint. We get them compounded into a beef flavor liquid. If only they had bacon flavor. Good luck to everyone!

  8. Oh my Karen what a time you have had with those loved pets. The event we have had with out cat is that she decided that the snow on the new deck what a good litter box! NOT!!
    Hoping and praying this week is better for both you and the pets.
    Yay for Scout Master! Always fun to be part of something so great.

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