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Creek Running North
August 22, 2005
And some things are better than reading Gould
So the neighbor's fucking asshole good-for-nothing dog streaks out of nowhere last night as Zeke and I are leaving for an evening walk, and attacks poor old Zeke, clamping down on him but good around the earal region. Zeke - who in 15 years of life has never until now met a dog who he couldn't win over with his boyish charm - falls right over. Brando (the fucking asshole good-for-nothing dog) lacerates his left ear.
So we go to the vet this morning, me half expecting that they'll screen, clean, and betadine Zeke and hand him back to me with a bill. But the vet is concerned about a couple pounds of weight loss in the last two weeks. He wants to do some blood work and a couple more X-rays. I leave Zeke at the vet, though not before he shoots a look of utter betrayal at me as they hustle him through the back door of the exam room.
The blood work is due back tomorrow. The new radiography shows no sign of tumors, no enlarged heart, nothing really out of the ordinary.
But when the visiting consulting radiologist there today took a look at Zeke's pelvic X-ray, he pointed out some slight deterioration in a couple of Zeke's vertebrae that had been mostly masked by the left pelvic "process" - which is a cool, complexity-studies-flavored word for "bone." The vets hadn't seen the deterioration before, because it was really pretty hard to see even when pointed out.
Arthritis. Not degenerative myelopathy. Arthritis. Routine, annoying, painful, increasingly treatable arthritis.
Insert Howard-Dean-style scream here.
Zeke, who right now has a couple little sores on his ear held shut by superglue, still has a shot at becoming the world's best 20-year-old dog. And the owners of the fucking asshole good-for-nothing dog are getting a significant bill handed to them.
Posted by Chris Clarke at August 22, 2005 05:26 PM
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*dancing*Posted by: Allison at August 22, 2005 07:05 PM
awwwwwwwwwwriiiiiiiiight!Posted by: Stephanie at August 22, 2005 07:32 PM
Not degenerative myelopathy?! WOOOOOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go, Zeke, go!
I've never been so happy about a dog I haven't met yet. Scritch him on his good ear for me, and muzzle that damn neighbor dog!
Yay, Zeke!Posted by: Space Kitty at August 22, 2005 07:44 PM
Really, I'm feeling all this relief right now. Good on ya, Zeke! Phew.
And that fucking asshole good-for-nothing dog's owners deserve a good tongue lashing in addition to the bill. Really reckless, that.Posted by: ae at August 22, 2005 07:51 PM
Is the racist asshole neighbor from a few months ago, by any chance?Posted by: Stephanie at August 22, 2005 07:59 PM
Heh. That would be tidy. But no, racist asshole neighbor has a perfectly friendly dog, who's played with Zeke a couple times. These neighbors are actually very nice. And the dog, apparently, is fine with other dogs and good with kids. But this is the second time he's jumped Zeke.Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 22, 2005 08:03 PM
Yay! (Bummer about the ear -- but, Yay!)Posted by: Rana at August 22, 2005 08:22 PM
Wonderful news about Zeke (well, poor doggy's ear aside)! Maybe you shouldn't be too hard on the owners of the fucking asshole good-for-nothing dog because you ended up going to the vet earlier and finding out some good news! :)Posted by: Lei at August 22, 2005 08:45 PM
what allison said, 'cause she beat me to it.Posted by: dread pirate roberts at August 22, 2005 09:09 PM
Happy, here.Posted by: koshtra at August 22, 2005 09:34 PM
Lei, that has crossed my mind. I even said so in a draft of this post.
The FAGFN dog's owners are shocked, shocked I tell you, that their dog would behave in such a fashion. I think they'll make amends.
Or not, and we haul their butts into small claims court and get a vicious dog declaration besides. But I'd like to avoid that, especially as we've been on good terms until now.Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 22, 2005 09:44 PM
Wow - that is fantastic news. I'm with Lei - although that other dog does seem to be a menace.Posted by: eRobin at August 23, 2005 05:37 AM
Lei said what I was going to say. There is a bright side to almost anything. So estactic for Zeke, though it took an injury to get to the good news!Posted by: Nikki (aka Vixen) at August 23, 2005 06:11 AM
I will send in reinforcements. Bailey the Killer Dog is on her way to eat that fucking asshole good for nothing dog. All she will need are the coordinates; she has GPS.
Oh, and great news about the arthritis. The ole boy has some quality time left in him.Posted by: KathyF at August 23, 2005 06:54 AM
Good news, Chris!
BTW: As Alpha Male of Zeke's pack, you do have the duty to gang up with him on this other dog, y'know.Posted by: Hank Fox at August 23, 2005 08:05 AM
I think I'm getting too far along (7 1/2 mo. and counting!) in my pregnancy to continue reading your Zeke stories, Chris. I cried with relief hearing that it's arthritis. I've never been such a sucker for a dog I've never met.Posted by: Annie at August 23, 2005 08:25 AM
Mazeltov! :) :) :)Posted by: Sara at August 23, 2005 08:46 AM
Annie said: I think I'm getting too far along (7 1/2 mo. and counting!) in my pregnancy to continue reading your Zeke stories, Chris. I cried with relief hearing that it's arthritis. I've never been such a sucker for a dog I've never met.
Well, it may be pregnancy hormones in your case, Annie, but I cried about Zeke last night too, and not for the first time. And I'm pretty sure I haven't anything unusual going on, hormone-wise. Though I am a sucker for critter stories (I wasn't allowed to watch animal movies as a kid after the "Bambi's! Mom! Is! Dead! incident, and the elephants-falling-apart incident at the circus.) I think it's just that Chris is such a damn good writer that we feel like we know him and his family.Posted by: Stephanie at August 23, 2005 09:07 AM
Great going, Zeke. I am happy for you. Love, GrandmaPosted by: Rita Xavier at August 23, 2005 10:07 AM
Yay, Zeke, Champion of the Paw to Paw face-off!
That is wonderful news. What do they treat arthritis with, these days?Posted by: CaseyL at August 23, 2005 11:07 AM
Well, Casey, I don't know about "champion," but at least Brando didn't succeed in getting Zeke's face off.
There are a lot of things vets do for canine arthritis these days. We've had him on two non-steroidal antiinflammatoriies so far, and once it gets worse - which it undoubtedly will over time - we can graduate to steroids. This will, of course, keep Zeke out of the Olympics. There are concerns about long-term health implcations with steroids, but since he's pushing 15, "long-term" might be wishful thinking for Zeke.
There's also alt-med stuff that's been recommended, the least unlikely of which is glucosamine/chondroitin. I'm willing to try those if I can find a flavor Zeke will eat.Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 23, 2005 11:20 AM
Indeed, there is nothing worse than a fucking asshole good-for-nothing dog - and I should know because my parents own one.
They consistently come up with bullshit reasons as to why the dog is not a complete freak good only for fertilizing the daisies (if that) after someone puts a steel bolt through its useless goddamned skull.
It doesn't BITE, though it is highly aggressive towards other dogs. And it's just a general pain in the ass to most people (unless you're my parents).
Poorly trained dogs S-U-C-K.Posted by: thingfish23 at August 23, 2005 11:49 AM
Where'd my comment go?
SHIT.Posted by: thingfish23 at August 23, 2005 11:50 AM
Oh. There it is. Silly me. Sorry.Posted by: thingfish23 at August 23, 2005 11:51 AM
irony in sheep's clothing . . .
congrats on the ex-misdiagnosis, though i'm not one to wish arthritis on anyone or anythingPosted by: tony g at August 23, 2005 05:55 PM
The first day that we were allowed a walk after Angus had his surgery (more about that, below)a neighbor's dog was running loose and jumped us in the street. He went after Bramble, and I would be surprised if Angus didn't pull some internal sutures loose while trying to defend her. Johnny kicked the dog several times and beat it with the poop bag, which burst, smearing crap all over it! At least we had the satisfaction of imagining it rolling around on its owners' berber carpeting.
Angus is an Airedale terrier, a big guy of about 90 pounds, all muscle and heart and goofy sense of humor. He is the love of my life. We almost lost him to GDV, or "bloat". Here is a link to a good article about it:
Fortunately, I was with him when he started exhibiting signs of distress. I immediately rushed him to the clinic, where our vet had to perform emergency surgery which included removing the spleen. Unfortunately, it happened again about 6 months after the first case. I didn't realize it, but a dog's stomach is suspended much like a hammock, and like that most unstable of swings can literally flip over, cutting off the blood supply with tragic results. The second episode (and we suspect the first) was caused by his drinking a large quantity of water from our backyard pond/fountain. His front paws were down in the water while his back legs were on the bank, and when he jumped back from the pond we think his stomach flipped due to the volume of liquid sloshing around.
The article gives a few ideas about cause and prevention, but the best thing to do is never wait if your dog shows those symptoms. Angus kept trying to throw up, but all that he produced was a little bit of white foam. Same thing the second time. Speed was what saved him.Posted by: Via at August 23, 2005 08:28 PM
Via: You mean there really is such a condition as "twisted stomach?" They used that on the Simpsons and I thought it was a joke.Posted by: eRobin at August 23, 2005 09:20 PM
eRobin, bloat is a scary nightmare for those of us with deep-chested dogs. Zeke's first really good dog friend, a wonderful solid white husky-wolf mix named Zhivago, nearly died of it about thirteen years ago.
Zeke's chest is about three times deeper than it is wide, so I've kept the symptoms in mind since I learned about it. Fortunately, he's never been particularly boisterous right after eating or drinking.
Actually, I think he's only ever eaten until he was full twice, both times on thanksgivingPosted by: Chris Clarke at August 23, 2005 09:32 PM
Yee-haa!Posted by: coturnix at August 23, 2005 10:29 PM
Sorry this is so late, I'm just back from abandoning... no, delivering my baby daughter to the mercies of the University of Pittsburgh. What wonderful news! Yes, Zeke!
Binky adds a high-5 to the clamor.Posted by: Vicki at August 24, 2005 12:57 PM
The last few days I'd been thinking to myself "I'll probably never see Zekey again." :(
I still got time. :)Posted by: craig at August 24, 2005 07:57 PM