Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Jacey at the vet's (again)

Poor Jacey had to have the needle-in-the-bladder experience Tuesday. Three times.

The urine sample I took to the vet's showed signs of a lingering infection, despite two weeks on antibiotics. And it is important to determine whether the infection is in the bladder or not before treatment, so the vet needed a sterile sample from the bladder. Hence, the needle.

He poked once. Oops, that was the colon. He poked again. Still not right. She needed to have a super-full bladder to make it easier to hit the target. (Bless her heart, she just stood there through the whole thing--not a whimper, not a twitch.) So the vet said to take her home, fill 'er up, bring her back in four hours. I could have left her there, but since she has separation anxiety issues, I didn't want to do that. And I didn't want her to associate the vet's office with "the place where Mom takes her and abandons her."

So I took her home. To encourage her to drink, we got nice salty french fries on our way home. She liked that part. But she turned up her nose at water--at first. So the diabolical mom squirted some maple syrup onto the bottom of an empty dish and let her sniff. And start licking. That's when I added water. She lapped faster and faster trying to get the syrup out before the water diluted it too much. (Then Sam came over and drank the rest of the water.) And we did it again. (Sam's part, too.)

Consider: How do you get the dog's bladder full--but not too full--at exactly the right time and the right place?

Answer: You don't.

Before we started back to the vet's, she was whining to go out. Instead, I took Sam out so he'd be okay to leave at home. Jacey, left in the house, decided to relieve that aching bladder. Hmmm. Back to the drawing board.

I took her early to the vet's. And I took more maple syrup...and her dish, and a bottle of water. She obediently drank more water. Then she started pacing, started to whine, started to squat... "No-no-no-no-no!" She jumped up. I hollered to the staff, "I know we're early for our appointment, but you'd better move fast or she'll flood the waiting room." They moved.

Bingo! Success with the needle. And while they spun the sample to get the proper sediment to test, Jacey got to go outside. Three times. The poor, water-logged dog was positively perky by the time she finished.

The test showed that the infection in the bladder has been cleared up. This means it's safe to put her on hormones to tighten the muscles to stop the "slow leak" she developed from taking the Clomicalm (for her anxiety). (You don't want to tighten the muscles and trap an infection inside the bladder, which is why the vet needed to be sure where the problem was. But the minor leak has meant an almost constant presence of urine in areas that shouldn't have that presence; hence, the remaining infection, which won't respond to antibiotics, but will clear up once the leaking stops.)

These hormones are not something humans take, so you can't fill this prescription in a general pharmacy. And the vet can't do it. He knows of one pharmacy in the metro area that can compound the formula. I looked up their address on MapQuest yesterday, so I could go there after work today. MapQuest conveniently neglected to warn me about a critical one-way street. I detoured, I wandered, I circled, I finally found the KenMar Medical Building and pulled in the parking be greeted by a banner that read "The KenMar Pharmacy temporarily has relocated to 55 Whichert Street." I hauled out the map book, re-detoured and re-circled, and found the building. (Free parking for 20 minutes and under. $3 for 21 minutes to two hours.) I found the pharmacy. They filled the prescription ($28). I was back in my car and in line for the parking lot exit--in 25 minutes. The pharmacist said that if I need refills I should call ahead and they'll have them waiting. I'm hoping not to need a refill. This 30-pill prescription should last through Christmas, by which time I'm really hoping she'll be all well. (One pill a day for five days; two pills a week for two weeks; one to two pills a week thereafter.)

Today I took the dogs down to a neighbor's to try to get some nice flower-enhanced pictures of them for the 2007 SEGA calendar. I just timed it right since the neighbor is planning to pick flowers Thursday morning. Between Sam's butt-sniffing and Jacey's "Can I play dead?" pose, you've never seen two dogs less interested in having their pictures taken.

''Can I sniff her butt while you take her picture?''

''Can I play dead?''

But I did get some nice shots. And I have another week or two before the photos are due.

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