cone head pug: a poopy post

I was on quite a roll with regular blogging, and then… life got in the way.

We took Mimi Pug in for anal gland removal surgery and tooth cleaning and extraction last Wednesday, and I’ve gotten very little done since then.

(I’ve been wondering if I should write a more detailed post about the anal sacculectomy surgery and recovery for other people considering it for their dogs. I might do that. If I do, you don’t have to read it. It’s a poopy story!)

The tooth extraction was postponed, but the gland surgery went well. The vet confirmed that one gland in particular was much better out than in. The recovery was a bigger deal than we had anticipated though. I have been keeping Mimi company on the couch for the last 10 days, making sure she doesn’t over-exert herself, and most importantly, doesn’t do anything to prevent her incisions from healing. She’s wearing an Elizabethan collar, her “cone of shame” to make certain that she can’t chew out her stitches, and she needs to go out for potty walks several times a day. We’ve had quite a few poop accidents and one of my tasks has been to clean her butt to make sure her incisions don’t get infected. Yuck! Watching her drink out of a glass is endlessly amusing, but feeding her kibble by hand got tiresome very quickly.

We’ve also had a bunch of medications to make sure she takes – one for inflammation, one for pain, and another to prevent infection, as well as her usual antihistamine. Mimi is usually so good with pills, to the point that she thinks they’re treats and gobbles them down. But not with these pills. The first night was a real battle, and we lost. Even cheese wasn’t working. I had to pull out the big guns – spam. Thank goodness that worked. I was at my wit’s end. Since then I’ve had more success – hiding the pills in tiny Pill Pockets, spam, or cheese, trying to change it up and use as little as possible, because she’s probably allergic to all of those things.

coneheadpugblogoneMimi’s cone is fairly small, like she is, so we haven’t had too many problems with her knocking things over. But she does tend to bump it into walls and door frames. And our legs have been scraped up a little bit. She likes to stand right behind me with her face a few inches from my legs, which means that the cone end is digging into my skin. She can’t see us standing or sitting behind her and she’s missing her face cuddle time. We decided that giving her a break from the cone would just make it worse to put it back on, and honestly, it isn’t bothering her that much anyway. Of course she’ll be glad to have off! But it’s not really causing her discomfort or anything. Making sure she doesn’t damage her stitches is so much more important.

This week of caring for the dog coincided with me catching a cold. I haven’t had a cold in ages – I literally can’t remember the last cold I had, but I’m thinking it was about 18 months ago. But wouldn’t you know it? The sore throat and sniffles started the same night Mimi came home, and then I was laid up on the couch with her. I have a well-researched strategy for dealing with colds. You can minimize the snot-producing immune reaction with an antihistamine, but it needs to be the kind that makes you drowsy. So for the first few days of a cold I take Benadryl every 4-6 hours and nap a lot. It works really well, but no matter what you do, a cold will always last about 7 days. I always joke that you can get rid of it in a week if you treat it properly or 7 days if you just let it run its course.

I couldn’t get out of walking the dog 3 times a day (6am, noon, 5pm at the least), but she was slow moving most of the time, only picking up speed later in the week as we both started feeling better. Mimi must be the only dog in the world who is not happy to go on extra walks. One is her ideal, two she will tolerate, but the third walk of the day is more of a drag, literally. I also spent the week walking over to my friend’s house to look after her hens and her garden while she was out of town. That amounts to an extra mile or so of walking every day, although I did find the least hilly shortcut I could. So even with all this couch lying laziness, I have managed to hit or exceed my fitbit goals almost every day – 10,000 steps/5 miles, 30 “active minutes” and 15-25 flights of stairs/hill climbing. Over the last 9-10 days I have walked 105,500 steps, or about 43 miles!

(Yeah, I got a fitbit one and I love it. I thrive on quantifiable feedback. I love getting my green smiley faces each day. Knowing the true extent of my inactivity on lazy days is a good wake up call too.)

After a week of poop and snot and too much time on the couch, I was really glad to get out of the house for some library work yesterday. And I put away all the laundry I had done the previous day (clean! blissfully clean!) and tidied up some messes (of the non-potty variety) that were getting on my nerves. Our house is still full of supplies for our business, which is something I can’t control. Hubby is really good about keeping most of it neatly stacked against the walls. But I’m the only one who can do something about my piles of procrastination! I took care of the sideboard, putting away a bunch of things that I could have put away properly the first time. I have a couple of “projects” out that I need to finish, but getting that space cleared off and dusted made me feel so much better.

coneheadpugblogtwoBefore Mimi goes in for her massive 16 tooth extraction next month I will make sure to get the house clean and picked up. I don’t think her recovery will be as bad as this one was, and I don’t plan on being sick again. But it helps to have everything in order before the stressful times hit. Keeping things neat and tidy, well organized, and simple every day means that even when things get a little out of hand, nothing gets too bad. Even if there is poop!

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll have something a little less poopy to talk about next time.


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3 Responses to cone head pug: a poopy post

  1. Dale says:

    I definitely sympathize with you about the pill taking for animals. If you could have seen Allan and me trying to get a pill into Smokey you would have laughed out loud. When I looked after the cattery for a friend of mine I cleaned out the cage of one animal and found the spat out pills under her mat. Hope you are feeling better now and the tooth extraction for Mimi goes OK. Love Dale

  2. Amy says:

    I’m wondering what you did to make sure you kept area clean without hurting her or disturbing the stitches?? My dog just had the surgery. I want to make sure I am doing everything I can for messy accidents and not missing something. Thank you!

    • Hi Amy! I’m glad you found my post. I hope your dog is feeling OK. The first few days are the worst.
      The vet advised us to keep the wound clean by using a damp washcloth or paper towel. I grabbed the pug under my left arm to hold her still, grabbed her tail with my left hand to hold it up and out of the way, at which point she would sit down to try and protect herself. With my right hand I would hold the damp towel over her backside for a few moments to try to soften things up and then I would wipe as best as I could. If you have a second person to hold the dog still then you can better concentrate on gently wiping off all the poop you can.
      We were pretty worried because the stitches quickly got caked in poop. She was going several times a day and it was quite wet (despite the pain meds which constipate some dogs). We asked if it was OK to use soap or give her a little bit of a bath but the vet said not to. They said to keep things dry and not use any soaps. Unscented baby wipes were OKed though. We didn’t have any so we just continued with the wet paper towel routine after every poop and hoped things would be OK. After a few days it was clear that the poop-crusty part of the stitches were not really in contact with the wound itself (the thread tails were quite long) and everything seemed to be OK. At the 10 day checkup the vet said she had healed perfectly and the stitches came out.
      The most important thing was keeping her cone on to stop her from trying to pull out the stitches, and making sure she got her antibiotics and pain pills (the latter kept her nice and druggy so she didn’t over-exert herself). We also checked the wound every day to make sure there was no swelling or pus or anything.
      btw she continued to have poopy accidents for about 3 months after the surgery, pretty much every time she got upset and barked. I thought that would continue forever, but thankfully it stopped a few months ago :) she just farts A LOT now!
      We’ve been so happy not to have to take Mimi to the vey every month, and I imagine she feels the same way! :) I hope your dog recovers quickly.

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