Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I've created a MONSTER

So...Chassis is fine. After blood tests and urine tests, we've found out that she just had one heck of a bladder infection. She's been on meds (again) since last Wednesday and as of tonight will be on a new set of meds for the next few weeks. They'll test her again next week to make sure that the infection is going away and then after that, I may be able to convince the bank to let me keep my house.

Alright. I'm kidding. But let's just say that if you want to buy plasma, I have some I'd be up for selling really cheap.

The great news is that the antibiotics this time around are really strong. And in case you didn't know this, that means that she could have diarrhea. And in case you didn't know, diarrhea from a 175 pound dog is, in a word, absolutelyfreakindisgusting.

SO to counteract that, she needs to eat food with her meds. It's hard to get a 175 pound dog to do anything she doesn't want to do - and eating is one of those things. So I've discovered some great treat options to throw in her food bowl so that she'll eat the treats and the food. Yay team!

But now comes the problem of getting the meds in her mouth. One of the best ways I've found is to slather these two huge pills in peanut butter and then plop it in her mouth.

It's important to note these two things:
1. Chassis does not enjoy having things shoved in her mouth, so she's quick to spit it out.
2. Holding her mouth closed so she swallows is effective, but it's kind of like a test of wills. She doesn't want to swallow and I want her to. She will stand there for 15 minutes with it in her mouth, not swallowing JUST BECAUSE SHE CAN.

Because of the standoff, she has learned that she doesn't like to take her pills. BUT she does love the taste of peanut butter.

So our twice daily routine is this:
1. I encourage Chassis to get up from sleeping to get a treat.
2. She raises her head and looks at me.
3. I encourage her further (note: this usually means using a higher tone of voice such that my neighbors will start to wonder if Minnie Mouse is at my house).
4. She eventually gets up and lumbers towards me.
5. I get the peanut butter/pill combo at the ready.
6. I take a deep breath, put her in a weird headlock, and try with all my might to pry her jaws open. This is usually accompanied with me praying/pleading with Chassis to please just open her mouth.
7. Chassis smells the peanut butter and because she loves the taste of it, she starts drooling. Profusely.
8. My hands, after being lubricated with slobber, start slipping over her mouth and mouth flaps*...my grip starts to falter!
9. Chassis, sensing weakness, will try to squirm from the headlock position, making peanut butter smear all over her face and/or what I'm wearing.
10. Repeat steps 6-9.

Eventually after several shots of alcohol, lots of cursing, and a little crying, the pills actually manage to get in her mouth and she swallows them.

In case you're wondering, it is exactly the amount of fun you think it is.

*Mouth flaps are my way of describing her lips....they're actually flaps of lip material that completely cover (aka flap over) her bottom jaw when her mouth is closed.


turleybenson said...

Hooray that Chassis is OK. Really, I've been thinking about you both a lot this week.

But BOO that you have to seriously go through that to get the pills down her throat. Bejeezers.

JayneSees said...

It's like having a small child. Except for the part about being the size of a grown man...I applaud you. I'd have lost long ago.

Erin said...

Your dog sounds just like my Great Dane. She HATED to pee in the rain (unlike our lab, who would stay out in the rain for hours if we let her) and hated taking medicine and was the sweetest dog ever. Unfortunately the military handed us a surprise move overseas and we couldn't afford to take her with us. But she's now living on a farm with two little girls and another Great Dane who I'm sure doesn't like to pee or take medicine.
I'm glad Chassis is doing better, even if it is a chore just to get her medicine in her. She sounds like a great dog.
(found your blog through Lisa's)

Lisa (the girls' moma) said...

I'm soooo behind on reading blogs -- I'm sorry about that. I'm sorry about what you've been going through with Chassis. I love the mental image of you wrestling your 175 pound dog, though.

We'll talk soon.

Love you.

Marc said...

You have just eerily described a night of relations between Gretch and I. Yes, that's how we get down. Don't judge us!

Timp said...

Though I've never had a dog, I'm pretty sure I have some excellent ideas to help make the process of getting your dog to take her meds just a little easier.

This win-win solution for both dog and owner is a must-try for everybody who ever cares for a sick pet. Simply place the tablet in the dog's mouth, hold up the lower jaw lightly and dab a spot of honey on the button of the dog's nose! It's a reflex action of the dog to lick up whatever is on his nose, so the honey gets licked up immediately - and the dog swallows automatically. In the process, the tablet or capsule goes in - lightly guided by your holding up his lower jaw at a slight upward angle, so the pill slides down his throat, and doesn't get dropped by "accident"!

When he realises it also tastes good, he licks it again a couple of times, so even if the capsule is still halfway down, it goes down smoothly in the next round.

If it doesn't happen the first time, no need to worry. Simply place the tablet again, and dab some more honey on the nose. It's a great way of getting the job done, with a treat for the dog to boot. Check with your vet, though, if honey is acceptable for your pet.

Now that you know the trick, caring for a sick canine need not be as stressful. Administering a pill or two in the interest of dog health need never be a nightmare again.

kristi said...

I'm glad that Chassis is seemingly doing better, but I'm sorry you have to deal with the medicine delivery!!