White Dog laughed at Kay who answered the phone at Dr. Julia's office this morning. "Hi Sue," she said, "how are you? Oh wait, it is first thing Monday morning and you are calling, maybe that is not such a good question. Who has a problem?"
I told her the situation with Taiko's ear. This morning he would not even let Steve move the fur to peer inside, He needed to come in to have the ear shaved and truly inspected and perhaps get an antibiotic shot. We did not want to risk serious infection. And Steve and I reasoned, but Taiko be upset with the folk's at Dr. Julia's for poking around than at us. Also while we were in, I explained, I wanted the vet to check Tai's teeth and to push around all over a bit...just to make sure there was no physical pain issue that was prompting Taiko's aggression. If everything checked out OK we would continue to work on making behavioral changes and restore his sense of balance in the Army.
Dr. Julia was only in the office this morning, when Steve teaches, I was told. I really wanted the ear seen before too much time had passed so I suggested that we would be fine with her associate. We made an appointment for late afternoon.
In the meantime, we ran to the grocery after putting Taiko in the Thundershirt and babygating him in the kitchen by himself. The shirt actually seemed to calm him and we decided to leave it on as we went to the vet's office, knowing it would be stressful for our boy.
As expected The Tender Heart was anything but tender during the exam. The wonderful staff understood his fear and REALLY tried to work without muzzling, despite Steve's recommendation that they do it immediately. Tai snarled and snapped to the point that they had to use a slip loop and gauze muzzle before being able to restrain him enough to actually muzzle, hold him down and shave his ear. They were so apologetic.
They came in to tell us the bite did not puncture through the lobe but that the entire side of his face was pretty badly bruised. They administered an antibiotic shot that will last 2 weeks to fight infection as the wound heals and suggested we use Carprofin to alleviate pain.
Before they brought Taiko back into the room were were startled by Dr. Julia's appearance in the doorway. "I am late for my appointment and gotta run. But I wanted to tell you we got him all cleaned up and he should be fine. No other physical issues." I looked at Steve and said, "she was supposed to be gone for the day by now." The tech came back in with our file just in time to confirm that Dr. Julia had extended her day, in part, to include seeing our boy. Have we mentioned we LOVE Dr. Julia and all of the staff?
Taiko is still pretty rattled but this evening managed a tail wag and White Dog Army time where he seemed unstressed. Still we are avoiding claustrophobic pack situations (like gang lineups for treats) and are keeping Tai gated by himself when we leave the house. He is not allowed to take part in the meal prep frenzy and was very vocal about his unhappiness at being leashed to my side.
There has been a lot of tumult over the past weeks with Oso's death and Sachi's arrival and Michael's change of schedule. Taiko is feeling a little displaced. So we are also making sure he gets lots of extra casual strokes and hugs and positive reinforcement. We are confident that this is a problem that time and love will totally solve. We sometimes wish that growth could always be easy and painless.