Rigby is turning eight in a few weeks, which is crazy to me. In my mind she’s still the little puppy I picked out for Valentine’s day. Last month her vet sent us a postcard notifying us that it was time for Rigby’s Senior Wellness Exam. I don’t like thinking about my doggy getting old, but since I want her to be around as long as possible we scheduled her for the exam.
On the way to the vet’s office, Rigby started flipping out in the car. It’s like she knew. And unfortunately, she didn’t calm down for her exam.
She was shaking like crazy during the entire exam. At one point the vet said he thought he heard a heart murmur but he couldn’t say for certain because of all the shaking. Luckily, most everything else checked out fine. But because of her kidney stone history, the vet strongly suggested that we have blood and urine tests done to make sure everything was functioning properly.
The other thing the vet strongly encouraged us to do was get Rigby’s teeth deep-cleaned. She’d had standard teeth cleanings, but at almost-eight, there was a fair amount of build up on her teeth, which could lead to other health problems. But, to have the deep-cleaning, the vet would need to put Rigby under anesthesia. I wasn’t wild about Rigby being put under, but Mike and I both wanted to do what we could to make sure Rigby had a long, healthy life. So we agreed to the deep cleaning. As a little two-for-one bonus, the vet also planned on removing a skin tag from the middle of her back. He said if he didn’t, there was a good chance it would continue to grow and it could possibly be accidentally cut off during grooming (yuck).
Rigby’s teeth cleaning was the day after I went into the ER, continuing our tradition of (almost) simultaneous hospital visits. She was in the office for about seven hours before Mike was able to pick her up.
The vet reported that Rigby did great. Her teeth had build-up, but nothing awful. She didn’t need any extractions, and the removal of her skin tag was simple. He wanted us to bring her back in six months to check the potential heart murmur, but otherwise everything looked good – the blood and urine tests had all come back clear, too.
When Rigby arrived home, however, she was totally out of it. We chalked it up to the anesthesia, but after two days she wasn’t her usual perky self and we started to get worried.
The vet called to check on her, and I mentioned how lethargic Rigby had been. He said, “Oh well, that’s probably from the sedative.” It turns out that Rigby was so nervous before the surgery that the vet gave her a sedative to calm her down. I’m cool with that – Xanax for everyone! – but it would have been nice to know that before we brought her home and started to worry. The laid-back Rigby would have been very enjoyable had we not been worried about her lack of spunk.
A few days later, and she is definitely back to normal. Her back is healing nicely, so she should be able to have a snazzy birthday haircut in a couple of weeks. Most importantly, she’ll be able to enjoy a doggy biscuit on her birthday this year, and hopefully for several more years after this one.