Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fort Washington Barks: Max is back!

Max had minor surgery, Tuesday before last. There was a crack in his nose caused by excessive dryness, back in Winter '07. It got a little better in the spring, but never went away. Cut ahead to this winter--I brought him to the vet, concerned that the crack was still there, and getting worse. She recommended that Max undergo a little procedure to stitch it up, and she'd also take a biopsy of the affected tissue.

This meant leaving him at the 145th St. Animal Hospital for all of Tuesday, and part of Wednesday--it meant sedating him too, of course.

I walked him over on Tuesday morning, before work, and left him with Dr. Butler's assistant, Nick. Max likes Nick very much (the feeling is mutual), but he still looked confused and frightened, and strained a little at his leash when he saw me walking out the door. I told him this wasn't goodbye--then cursed myself afterwards for using the 'g' word.

Those of you who have left a beloved pet at the vet's for surgery, without having any way of explaining to your non-lingual friend what is happening, or why, already know how it feels. If you've never had to do that, it's roughly equivalent to this.

So he was fine, of course. We knew he would be. I only called the vet's office eight or nine times that day.

He behaved beautifully. No barking, no crying, no scratching at the door of of his cage (yeah, he had to be in a cage part of the time). He just lay there and watched everything going on around him, and when he was taken out the cage for walks, seemed to want to play with the other animals there, which of course was not a good idea, but they were touched by his friendliness. The humans, I mean. The animals were probably a little freaked out.

Anyway, Yolanda went to pick him up on Wednesday, and he drank a ton of water, had some food, and then fell into a light coma for the rest of the afternoon. He was mainly back to normal by Thursday. But there were stitches, of course. So we had to take it easy with him until they came out. No dog run, no playing fetch down by the river, no nuthin. And he couldn't understand why his normal active lifestyle was being put on hold. It bothered him almost as much as leaving him at the vet's overnight bothered me.

Well, the stitches came out yesterday. And we got him down to the park this morning.

His nose isn't completely better, and we're going to have to work on that (Dr. Butler recommended hydrocortisone cream). But at least now we know more about why the condition was so persistent.

See you out there. And as for in here, I've got a few more updates coming up over the next few days. Fun photos from the run, and a little troubling news on a subject I've brought up here in the past. Stay tuned. And if you've got a dog staying over at the vet's, or otherwise temporarily out of action, stay strong, and keep telling yourself, "There will be fun."

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