08 April 2010
So here's the story. The good folks at Edgerton Vet (who allowed me to post these xrays.) haven't had much luck treating Nigel's ear infection with topical or medicinal care, so we ended up taking two trips to the UW Veterinary Hospital for treatment and a CT scan. Unfortunately, his many years of reoccurring infections has caused the membrane surrounding his left ear drum to become calcified, leaving him nearly deaf on that side. His right side doesn't fair much better. He can hear but has a hard time locating where the sound is coming from. Not a great life for a dog already blind, with diabetes, hypothyroidism, and a poor liver that may not even be able to handle a surgery that would make him completely deaf. But as of now, he's on pain meds and does not seem to be suffering. Last week, if he bumped into you or the wall, or you cleaned his ear, he'd let out a yelp. This week, he seems pain-free again and is happily begging for treats and enjoying a good butt massage. (Who doesn't?) And I'm feeling his death isn't as imminent so I can actually discuss all this without bawling. Even so, he'll be 8 in less than two weeks, and I have to come to terms that he may not see 9.
But, I'd like to send out a warning to anyone out there who comes across pugs for sale in the area of Rewey, Wisconsin. Nigel came from the same farm as another pug in our neighborhood, named Otis. Otis and Nigel shared many of the same health issues, and Otis was just 10 years old last fall when they finally had to put him down. In his case, his hearing went before his eyesight. Both dogs were/are great companions, friendly and very smart, (Before Nigel went blind, he could pick out a dozen different toys by name.) But neither of us were clued in enough to know what to look for, or just too polite to look for pigment in their mother's eyes or waxy build-up in dad's ears. Educate yourself on the problems of your breed and ask to see health records of the parents. If they have something to hide, there's a reason for it. Don't believe people when they show you their dogs "papers". They can be falsified. God only know how much inbreeding was going on there. When we asked to see Nigel's dad they had to go bring him in from the barn. That should've been the first sign. Of course, you fall so quickly in love with this little puppy and sell yourself on the fact that you're "not getting one at a pet store because those places are awful."
Our second pug, Kensi, came from a home of just four adult pugs who lived in the house with the family. All dogs were calm, well-behaved and obviously loved. Didn't have the factory atmosphere the farm harbored. Hide-sight is 20/20, of course.
The lesson we learned is that any future dogs we acquire will be rescued. Which doesn't guarantee a healthy animal, but I won't feel like someone has pulled the wool over our eyes either. And on that note, here's an excellent place to find your next best friend... :o)
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little known facts
- bon bon
- fly over country, United States
- this blog is my "live" photo album of sorts. occasionally, i'll throw in some art i've done or some work of my husband's as he's an artist as well. we have a nice yard in a quiet neighborhood with two pugs and a cat, all black. which most of my photos will attest too. ;) i'd love to hear from you, but happy for you to just browse. hope you find something to make you smile. b.