If you've been following our Facebook page in the last couple of weeks, you might have heard about Bolo's surgery. Bolo, our third husky, problem child, rescue fail, snuggle bunny, mischief maker and composer of bizarre sleeping positions, turned 10 on the 1st of January. That's just the official date - dogs who come through rescue groups with no known DOB and only a guessed at age are given the 1st January of the year the vets THINK they were born. Having surgery is a pretty poor birthday present, so we probably owe him a better celebration... once he's all healed up. At the moment, he has a nasty incision and shaved patch on the side of his face, like a really bad facelift, or something out of a canine Batman movie.
Bolo had had a lump in the skin folds of his neck for a few months. At first we thought it was just a skin tag. Then it got bigger. We took advantage of having time off between Christmas and New Year to take him to the vet, who put a needle into it to take some cells for analysis. On external examination, it looked ok and the vet wasn't overly concerned. However, Czar decided it needed to be checked. Czar started licking at the lump, perhaps because of the needle puncture releasing a little bit of fluid? Within a week, the lump was red, raw and weepy. It was now at risk of becoming infected, so we rang the vet who agreed to surgery the next day.
The surgery went without a hitch, and the vets took the opportunity of having Bolo under anaesthetic to take some x-rays of his lungs to check for lumps there too. They also checked out his stifles (knees) and hocks (ankles), looking for any sign of joint deterioration that might have been slowing him down. Bolo just hasn't had the same bounce in his step for the last year, and the vets have suspected a little bit of arthritis developing.
When we went to collect Bolo from his surgery, the vet showed us the x-rays and told us she felt pretty positive about his prognosis. In terms of arthritis, there was no cause for concern on the x-rays. The lungs, which she explained are often a common place to pick up spreading cancer, looked clean of any nasty white patches. The only sign that anything might be wrong was that the lump had actually penetrated quite a long way into the muscles, rather than being a surface level fatty lump or skin tag. The lump was sent off for histology analysis. We got to take Bolo home, under instructions to give him an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic, twice a day, to help him heal.
These days, most tablets are chewable, and taste ok... I assume! I know with our dogs that some tablets get gobbled up almost like treats - everyone loves their fish oil tablets with breakfast every day. Bolo seemed to like the anti-inflammatory. But that pink antibiotic? No way!! The first day, after breakfast, I found pieces of it in his bowl, next to his bowl, and tucked under the mat the bowl had been resting on. I tried hand feeding it, no way. I tried folding it into a cheese slice, he ate the cheese and spat out the tablet. I tried squashing it into a lump of peanut butter, and that worked. I said to J, there has to be a better way to do it!
J's suggestion was so simple! Put the tablet UNDER the food!
Works like a charm! Mind you, I could always try smearing the tablet into the mess of the baby's breakfast.