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.


  1. Congratulations M-A, on finding a new wonderful vet! Our vets are important people in our lives, and it is really important that we connect with one another both skill-wise, and interpersonally. I actually interviewed several vets here in Illinois before deciding on one after leaving my vet of 12 years in Florida. I take comfort in knowing if I move to SLC next year, I will have a fabulous vet waiting for me there!

    Ok, pictures . . .

    Oooh, I love that picture of baby Toronto -- looks like he's taking a big morning stretch.

    I also love Geneva's "got milk?" impression.

    I just love all their big round bellies, they just get more adorable with each day.

    ~ Liz, Sam, Kiko who L-O-V-E-S the vet (no, seriously, he really does), and Lilith the cat

  2. I don't think I've seen a more healthy looking litter of BMDs! These pups are fabulous ~ I can't imagine how neat it must be to have them living in one's house :D I know I would'nt get much else done.

    I wonder if Cadi's lack of "pinkness" of her gums has anything to do with removing her from the litter so the dewclaws could come off...a bit of stress for a new mom, I think. Just my thoughts...

    Thanks for the darling pictures. And I am so glad you found a good match for a vet. What a relief that is, I'm sure.

  3. Congratulations on finding Dr. Lawson -- it must be a huge relief and a pleasure.

    Too many photos? Not possible. Let's see, which ones do I like best: the one with Zoey Rose? the one of Jamaica across Cadi's leg? the close-ups, especially of a milky Geneva? The scramble of all the puppies together? Hmmmm....

    Best wishes that Cadi's blood work will indicate nothing serious. And I'm so glad -- but probably not as much as you are! -- that the puppies are feeling better today.

    Susan and Djinn

  4. Here's a name that Sam and I are thinking about:

    Kaibab's Ghost Rider -- call name Blaze

    (After the comic book and subsequent film, "Ghost Rider," with main character Johnny Blaze)

  5. Morning...
    I am so glad the dewclaw removal is over with and that every one has survived the ordeal. I have seen my vet remove dewclaws and, although I don't find it pleasant to watch because I understand what it is she is removing, it still surprises me at how quickly the puppies do bounce back. I think that gives them the right to voice their owwwie.

    I must say that I am amazed at the growth in the puppies. Look at them all lined up at the milkbar - they can barely fit in between Cali's front and rear legs now!! Imagine them again in another week when they can move around more freely and weigh more. I don't think I would want to be the puppy underneath Toronto in a few weeks when he is having lunch!!! :)

    So M-A, you are going back to work today? I bet you will miss being around the babies, but you have a lot of mouths to feed! ;0)

    Trish & Jed