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.
Yahoo!! Way to go Rigby!!
Hurray for Rigby. Pups are great. I wouldn’t want to be crass and put a price on our beloveds’ health, but, wow, that must have cost a fortune. I too hope Rigby is around for many many more birthdays … And Thanksgivings.
Our little fluffy pup is a vet psychic too! We take her in the car all the time and she loves it. But she shakes like the proverbial leaf when we have to go to the vet. I wonder if she’s sensing something from us? Anyway glad Rigby passed with flying colors! She looks mah-velous!
Our pets are our babies, and we don’t even want to think about them leaving us,,,so yay for Rigby for doing so well on her examination!!!!! She’s beautiful!!! So isn’t my Lily!!!!!LOL
Lisa. F. says:
So glad everything is fine with Miss Rigby! You are great pet-parents. I try not to think about my Ginger (cat) getting older — she’s 8-1/2. I don’t know what I will do when the time comes for her to leave me.
I thought this was going to be about dog photos for a minute. I had my dogs pictures taken and my husband thought that I was crazy, but she died 3 weeks later from cancer. Now he is so happy that we have them. She was like our child, since we do not have any. They quickly become apart of your family. Here is the link to the photos of our girl Summer.
I just wanted to say, these photos brought tears to my eyes after reading your story. I’m so sorry for the loss of Summer, I’m sure these photos must be so precious to you. She looks like she was a sweet girl!
Skipper..our 3 pound yorkie..has to have his teeth cleaned under anesthesia every 1.5 to 2 years. “They” say little dogs have the yuckiest mouths…the french bulldogs have the biggest cleanest mouths you’ve ever seen. It really is very scary to have small dogs go under isn’t it. Glad she is bag to herself, and she is looking quite adorable in the pictures!
I’m sure Rigby’s breath is better now.
She is byooo-ti-ful.
Isn’t it funny how our dogs know when they NOT going in the car for just a fun car ride or to the dog park. I have a peek-a-poo named Dixie and when I put her in the car to travel to our lake house she is fine. When I have to take her to vet she starts shaking even before I’m out the driveway. She just KNOWS. I’m so glad Rigby is back to her spunky self. I love when you update us on Rigby. She is such a cutie pie.
Jena Healy says:
So glad all is well with your little one. – What food do you feed her? My maltese has tear stains and I can not seem to do anything to avoid them for her.
She is on a special food for her bladder and kidney issues. She used to get tear stains when she was a baby, but she seems to have outgrown it!
Nancy Raine Smego says:
Betsy Lou has to have her teeth cleaned under the drugs on January 11 and I am a NERVOUS wreck!!!!
Glad everything went well for everyone. Just an FYI, the”standard cleaning” is a waste of money. The areas where real buildup occurs (gum line and back teeth) can only be reached when they are under anesthesia. Anyone can buy a scaler, and make the front teeth look clean but they are not stopping tooth decay. Glad you took Rigby to the vet for this.
I’m so glad Rigby is okay! I was starting to get worried! We just lost our 11 year old dog last week. He was our “family” dog but lived with my parents, who unfortunately were on vacation when he took a turn for the worse. After a few days in the animal hospital we knew it was time, I called my brother and sister in law and they, my fiance and I were with him at the end. We knew it would be hard, but oh my… it was terrible. Our four legged family members are so much a part of our family! Here’s to hoping Rigby stays around for many, many, many more years!!!
My shih tzu is 10. She is my baby girl.
So glad Rigby is doing well.
She is just the cutest little dog, and you take such good care of her. I took my shih tzu to the groomer a few days ago, and there were three other shih tzus in there. One was a little black and white shih tzu/maltese mix. Adorable! I hope Rigby has a great birthday. Looking forward to pictures of that little sweetie.
mary ann says:
So glad to hear she is doing well. I love that dog!
Phew! Glad Rigby is doing fine! My heart started beating terribly fast when you mentioned the deep cleaning for her teeth & then that she wasn’t herself for several days after that…my cat who was 8 1/2 years old never really recovered from the anesthesia from his deep cleaning & died just a few months later, but the decline started then. You had me freaked out! Glad to hear Rigby is A-OK!!!!
Lenora Dody says:
Happy Birthday, Rigby! I recently took my cats (Aloysius and Snuggles) to the vet for their senior wellness check ups. So much fun (not)! They switched personalities on me; Snuggles, who is afraid of people and hides when people come over, was totally laid back and Aloysius who is the friendliest cat you ever could meet was completely freaked out and hissed at everyone and everything. He had to be sedated before they could do anything; it was interesting watching him do the walk and sway when he got home. I would have done the dental cleaning but the estimate was for $900 for each of them. So not affordable but I wish I could.
Our Yorkie turned 8 a few months ago and we had to do the teeth cleaning as well. He had to get 3 teeth pulled and it cost almost $450. I can see why it was your anniversary gift to each other.
The good thing about small dogs, is that they tend to have looong lifespans My 45 pound psycho Chow mix will turn 12 in March. She was solid black in her younger years, but now has white all over her belly and around her muzzle. Other than that? Would have no idea she’s a senior dog! Regular vet visits are key to energizer bunny dogs, so good for you!