Friday, September 4, 2009

Trip to the vet

Tomorrow, Sensi will head to the vet’s office for his annual physical and vaccinations.
He’ll be super-excited to get in the truck and be going somewhere with me.
He’ll be excited with a huge helping of anxiety once we pull in the parking lot.
Then, his nose will be overdrive, a hundred miles a minute trying to read the scent of every animal who has passed through the doors.
Eventually, we’ll get in the exam room, where he will hide underneath my legs from the nice vet techs who he honestly believes are there to do bad things to him.
He’ll shake and quiver, even though he doesn’t appear to feel the little injections. It’s never been the needles or procedures that bother him — just these strange people getting close to him.
Despite his inability to relax and be friendly at the vet’s office, this annual visit is so important for his health and I hope everyone takes the time and money to do the same for their pets.
I know times are tough, but let’s not neglect the welfare of our pets.
In years past, I’ve really dropped the ball on the fecal exam. Who really wants to put a load of their dog’s crap in a bag and carry it around? Not me. But this year, I’m going to be sure to do it — and with good reason.
Not too long ago, I was watching one of medical mystery shows on TV. One person featured was a little boy who seemed perfectly healthy, until he went in for a routine vision exam.
The doctor found the boy’s vision was perfect in one eye and practically gone in the other.
What does this have to do with your dog’s fecal exam?
Well, the boy had ingested worms routinely carried by dogs. His mother believed that a handful of sand from a sandbox that the toddler tried to eat may have been the cause.
Worms, the show went on the explain, generally have a negative and noticeable effect on puppies. When we notice the bloated bellies and squirmy poops, we get our puppies dewormed and voila! All taken care of, right?
Not exactly. Adult dogs often carry worms without any noticeable effects. In fact, adult dogs can be carriers and show no symptoms or have no truly adverse side effects.
But, the worms do come out in their poop. Then, they live in the ground for quite some time until another host is found.
In humans, worms don’t do so well. Generally, our immune system kicks their butt. Before this happens though, the discombobulated worms can work their way into parts of our bodies and really hurt us.
The boy featured on the show no longer had any worms in his system, but before his immune system killed them all, they managed to get into his eye and ruin his vision. There is now no turning back the damage that’s been done.
The moral of the story: pick up that bag of poop and bring it into the vet’s office. This way, vets can be sure your dog isn’t carrying any worms and that is a good thing.

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