Archive for September, 2008


Cooper and his litter mates had their dew claws removed very early in life — sometime in the first week. The vet operates on their very tiny feet and removes their even tinier dew claws. So it’s not entirely surprising that the vet didn’t entirely get all of Cooper’s left dew claw. What was left grew in sort of deformed, like a cork screw — all twisted and curled.

If the dew claw had been merely ugly, we’d have left it alone. But it tended to catch on whatever Cooper was running through, and sometimes it tore. Clearly, that was painful, so we knew we’d have to have it removed. Sometime.

But there has never been a good time. Getting the dew claw removed meant shaving fur down the the skin, and that’s not good when you might be called upon to be beautiful in a dog show within the next couple of months. And also, it meant that someone had to be home for at least a few days to take care of Cooper and prevent him from chewing on the surgical area.

But this week, Providence intervened. The IWSCOPS show is over, Tammy has just recently given Coop a very easy-to-care-for trim, and Russ has to be home anyway to take care of Patrice, who is home recovering from shoulder surgery. So why not simply turn the house into a surgical recovery ward? Thus, a little over a week ago, Cooper went in for surgery.

Note the doubled Elizabethan collar in the pictures. We started off with one — and sure enough, despite our scoldings and interventions, Coop figured out how to get past the collar and bandages, and pull the stitches out of his foot. So, back to the vet about five days ago. They had to put him under anesthesia again, “freshen” the edges of the wound (I don’t even want to think more about what that means), and re-stitch it shut. And then a very clever vet tech put TWO collars on him. It seems to be working. Try as he might, he can’t seem to get past the two of them.

He also has a hard time getting through doors, past the furniture, into the car, into his crate, and around the corners without bashing the collars. You can see creases in the plastic in the right-hand picture above. I wonder how long they’ll hold out. (Note added later: I had to replace the creased bucket after about a week…)

And of course, we’ve been instructed: No running, no ball chasing, and no leaping, jumping, or boing-ing are allowed for at least another couple of weeks. Yeah, right.

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