Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Good News and Good-Bye Dewclaws
Let me begin by saying that we have found a new vet and she is fabulous!!!! I cannot tell you how relieved I am about this. As you may recall, I had decided to switch vets and I have been having trouble finding one.
What I look for in a vet is a person with good skills as a practitioner but with a level of self-confidence that allows for a partnership. I do not do well with veterinarians who have a “my way or the highway” approach, or whose own insecurities or arrogance do not allow for discussion. In fact, such people bring out qualities in me that I prefer not to admit I have!
The problem with being a well-educated “expert” (as people are fooled into thinking I am about some things) is that you know how much you do not know, and therefore how much other so-called experts do not know, and so you are no longer especially impressed by blustering or titles or things like that. Some people need us to be impressed by such things and I just can’t, and so I am happy to say that I have found a vet who impresses me with her skills, honesty and willingness to be partners as we seek what is best for my beloved berners.
That is the great news – the bad news is that we had to meet over nine day old dewclaws. This should not have happened to our sweet Glitterati. It was a much bigger deal because it did not happen last week as it should have, and the puppies spent a miserable night complete with moaning to make sure their collective point was heard (it was!).
The vet has a mobile clinic (and a regular clinic) and so we met her at the end of the gravel road we live on. It was a three-hour ordeal and bless Galen’s pea-picking-heart (as Chaplain Jackson would say) for sitting in our van with Cadi and the survivors. I spent the evening telling the seven de-dewclawed puppies to eat because Cali said that would make them feel better, but they still moaned and were sad and hurt. I feel terrible – like I betrayed their trust that I would keep them safe. Sigh.
A couple of days ago I noticed that Cadi’s gums were a little less pink than they should be, and the new vet picked that up right away. So we did full blood work on Cadi and now I have yet another thing to worry about. Cadi is acting in normal ways and her physical exam was also normal, so we will see what the blood work shows – results will be back tomorrow.
In spite of their traumatic afternoon, the puppies are doing well this morning. Only a couple had normal weight gain overnight, further informing us that dewclaw removal was not easy on them. However, the moaning has all but stopped and they are acting more like their little, round, clean selves. They are working on the standing up skill but it is hard to capture in a picture because their belly clearance is, well, they are definitely low riders!
I finally ran out of the New York Times that Joan brought up. It has been fun to line the whelping box with such an interesting newspaper! And big! One section would about cover the whole box. It is a good thing that I am going to work today so that I can get a supply of the campus newspaper from the recycling bin -- it is not as interesting or big but it does the trick. It is amazing all the small things that are harder when you live in the sticks -- like getting a good supply of newspapers!
I hope you like today's pictures. We have Baby Zoey Rose saying hello to her cousin, Hudson. Zoey was three months yesterday -- what a difference! I took a picture of Dr. Lawson and her wonderful husband/right hand person, the other Dr. Lawson. He is not a vet but rather a chemist so Mrs. Dr Lawson has the best educated technician around, I suspect! Toronto has his head up, and there are two close-ups of Geneva. I took one so you could see the pigment on her nose coming in, and then I took the other so you can see how the milk comes from her nose. Dr. Lawson thinks she has a long soft palate and that is why this happens, but it is much better and she is not aspirating milk so she should be just fine.
Sydney is the profile shot, and Jamaica is on Cadi's paw. Look at the tummy on that puppy across Cadi's leg in the group picture -- now that is impressive! And the puppies are so big that only four fit in a laundry basket -- I thought that was a cute look at puppies. It is a lot of pictures today but I suspect you do not mind!
Hope your day is a good one, and the puppies recommend that you avoid letting anyone cut off your toes! Thanks for visiting us today.
Posted by Mary-Ann Bowman at 5:34 AM