Friday, March 9, 2012

My poor, poor dog

Meet Lulu Belle. She is a chihuahua and she has problems. We have had our little baby lulu since she was a puppy 3 years ago and since then she has probably been to the vet way more than most dogs her age.

{Lulu was actually not feeling well in this photo}

Seriously. If there is something that can go wrong with a dog, it has or probably will happen to her. When we first got her she seemed fine. Then about a month later it started. She began hiding under our bed and not wanting to play anymore. She would just sit under there and shiver like she'd been beaten. Fast forward 3 months, after visiting the vet almost once or twice a week, after blood tests of all kinds, and after so much worry, she was diagnosed with canine lupus. Since then she has been taking a small dose of steroids every day and she is fine as long as she gets her pill. She also developed a bald spot on her head and a small one on her leg (lupus can cause hair loss).

She had poop problems for a long long time and had to take pro biotics for that. After a couple years she got over that problem. She also has patella luxation. This is when her knee cap dislocates and it is a common health issue in chihuahuas.

She throws up a lot. Like a couple times a week. For a while it was all the time though. She has little white spots in her eyes that the vet calls "lipids" or something like that. She can still see but it's like looking through a snow storm for her.

Since she jumps off our really high bed, she has back problems which causes her to loudly yelp in pain when we pick her up sometimes. It scares the crap out of me every time.

She can't get certain vaccinations because she is allergic to them and develops a large lump for months where the needle went in.

Not to mention the horror that was her potty training. That poor apartment will never smell right again. Also, sometimes people call her fat, which I don't think she appreciates.

Honestly, when we got a dog I had no idea that I would have to visit the vet this many times to keep her alive. But when I get a pet I am a person who doesn't give up on that pet because they are now a part of the family and I have a responsibility to take care of them. (nothing against people who do have to give up their pet, I totally understand). But if I had the great idea to bring the pet into our home in the first place, then I need to take care of them to the best of my abilities. No giving up. If it turned out that lulu's health problems were going to require a surgery that would cost thousands of dollars, I would have her put down. I'm not crazy. But I will shine it on through most anything else. She is my furry child.

Anyway. Wednesday night I was looking at her teeth. I started removing some of the build-up on her teeth when suddenly one of them came out with very little effort. I was horrified. My 3 year old dogs teeth are just falling out of her head. Willy Nilly, I might add. This was not good. I started panicking a bit. I was a bad mother. I was supposed to be brushing her teeth and I had giving up on this long ago because she wouldn't have it. And now her teeth were rotting. Beyond rotting. Cody woke up to me crying to him. He comforted me and told me we would both go to the vet the next day. Later the next day he told me that when he woke up for work he hadn't remembered what happened until it slowly started coming back to him. Something about waking up to his wife crying about Lulu's teeth falling out and us not having enough money and how I am a terrible dog mother. Either a weird, messed up dream or a weird, messed up reality.

So today lulu is at the vets all by herself getting her teeth cleaned and 9 of them removed. Apparently Chihuahua's are known for having "chihuahua teeth" which sometimes have genetic problems. This made me feel better about my poor dog parenting. She will be able to eat normal food in about a week or so.

I am just thankful that I have her still after all that she has been through and that most of the time she is a happy little peanut. And more so that I have a husband that loves her just as much as I do and doesn't want to just shoot her. He is always fully supportive of keeping her around for as long as we (and she) can.

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