Day Two: Worrying About Worms
Our second day with Annie began as usual: wake up, walk pup, feed pup, feed self, go to work. Things seemed to be going just swimmingly, or so I thought. Around 10:30am I heard my phone buzz indicating that I had received a message. It was from Kyle. As I read the words on the screen, my heart sank. Just when we thought things were on the up-swing, we got knocked down once again. The message read something like this:
“Dude I just took her out for a walk and she had to poop. I looked down at it and there were white-ish colored worms or parasites or something moving in it! I picked up the poop and am probably going to take it to the vet if I can get them on the phone.”
Back to the vet he went with the dog and the bag of what he called “poop-worm delight” so that we could find out what the worms were and how to get rid of them. Like a fancy sports car, my stress level went from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds. What could be wrong with our poor puppy now? I sat at my desk, completely distracted and worried, just waiting for news on the state of Annie affairs. An hour or so later, I received another text message from Kyle. The vet had determined that the worms were tapeworms that Annie had gotten from ingesting infected fleas. Go figure. We had taken care of the flea problem, only to find out that the flea problem had turned into a tapeworm problem. The vet informed us that there was good and bad news to this situation. The good news is that tapeworms are common in dogs that have had fleas. The bad news is that the pills to get rid of the tapeworms cost $60.00. Annie didn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort from the worms. The only thing that was hurting at the end of the day was our bank account.
What in the world had we gotten ourselves into?
The vet instructed us to give Annie two pills with her meal that evening and then give her the remaining two pills in three weeks. Thanks to Greenie’s Pill Pockets, Annie is a champ at taking pills. We gave her the medicine and settled in for the night, hoping that tomorrow would be a better day—and it was. Wednesday with Annie was as normal as it had ever been and we enjoyed a nice walk with her as sun set that evening. I could get used to this, I thought to myself. Annie is a great puppy. She is eager to please and quick to learn new tricks. She is leash trained, house trained, and doesn’t bark much. Annie is everything we could have ever wanted in a puppy—and more.
Now that we had all of the tests run, shots given, and pills taken, we could begin to live our peaceful, blissful lives again…
Vouchers and Shredded Leashes
Thursday was the first day that I had a chance to get off of work early and take care of business. We decided to see about getting a spay/neuter voucher from Be The Solution, Inc. Since Annie was approximately six months old, it was time to get her spayed to avoid the mess and stress of having a female dog in heat. After doing a bit of research, I found out that we met the qualifications to obtain a voucher. We loaded Annie up in the backseat of the car, rolled the windows down, and headed out to the BTS Storefront which was located across town.
In a feeble attempt to avoid Annie jumping out of the car window like Marley did in “Marley and Me”, we put on her leash. This worked for a while and she eventually settled down. Although we didn’t think much of this at the time, she seemed to be calm and quiet in the backseat.
Lesson #1: When Annie is quiet, she is most likely doing something she shouldn’t be doing.
We pulled up to the BTS Storefront to get our spay/neuter voucher and parked the car. As Kyle gathered our documents needed to get the voucher, he heard a crunching sound coming from the backseat. He turned around to assess the situation and found Annie laying there—leash in mouth. He grabbed the leash away from her but it was too late. She had already chewed through the $20 retractable leash, leaving it hanging on by mere threads. We had only just gotten the leash a couple of days prior and now it was rendered completely useless. Luckily, we had another leash back at home but it wasn’t retractable or as nice as the one Annie had chewed through. We knew that she was a chewer but we didn’t realize she would chew her own leash. All we could do was hope that the leash was the first and only casualty of her chewing.
After picking up the spay/neuter voucher and returning home with Annie and her ruined retractable leash, we called the North Florida Animal Hospital to get an appointment for her to get spayed. I heard Kyle say, “Ok, great! We will see you then.” When he hung up the phone, he informed me that we had an appointment for Annie to have her surgery the very next day at 7:00am. That was fast, I thought to myself. It seemed like a good idea to go ahead and get it over with, though.
Friday morning at 6:00am came early and it took everything I had to pull myself out of bed. We had to get an early start so we could drop Annie off at the animal hospital for surgery in enough time for me to get back across town to go to work. She had no idea what was happening because we all went together as one little happy family. We arrived at the vet just as they opened their doors and were first in line to check in. The intake went smoothly and they told us that they would call us whenever she was out of surgery to schedule a pick up time between 4:00pm and 6:00pm that evening. Like nervous new parents, we asked the surgeon question after question until he finally told us that they would take good care of her so we didn’t have to worry. We said our goodbyes and left our sweet puppy at the vet to get spayed.
Check back next week for another episode of The Dog Days to find out what happens next! Click HERE to read the first episode of The Dog Days. If you are a pet owner or have ever been a pet owner, feel free to discuss your dog/cat/pet stories in the comments.
Until next time…
J. G. McNease