Thursday, July 22, 2010

This would explain things

Oh my little girl. My little, EXPENSIVE Rikki. 

Sure, I knew owning a dog would cost a lot of money--you are taking care of a living being, after all.  The food, toys, leashes, etc.  And the all obliterating vet fees.  Like with Bunni (our first pug) and her multiple UTIs.  But Rikki has put her sister to shame in the health department. I feel like little and big things keep popping up with this monster.  Not all of them required a vet visit, but let's go through a quick rundown.

The day I pick her up, the breeder informs me she has a hot spot. Fine. No biggie.

The day I pick her up, I notice that she has a wonky rib, probably because she broke it a long time ago and it healed funny. Fine, no biggie. Oh except that every single person who touches it asks about it with an accusing look like *we* broke it, on *purpose* or something.

Before we get a chance to have her spayed, she went into heat.  HEAT.  She proceeds to bleed all over the place for about a month.  My poor sister and brother-in-law got stuck with the bleeding heat pug while we traipsed off to Bali.  They did come up with the cutest MacGyver-ed diapers for her, though.

 Why the pirate eye, Rikki? Don't give your auntie any stink-eye, you're the one bleeding all over the house.

Turned out she has pigmentary keratitis on her eyes, a scarring on the cornea common to pugs that can lead to blindness, requiring multiple vet visit and prescriptions for eye ointment.

She picked up a tapeworm somewhere, which we realized after Kevin saw what looked like a little grain of rice crawling around her nether region. Yeah, GROSS.  Another vet visit, and meds for both dogs.

We got her spayed.  At our very convenient but expensive nearby vet, the cost is about $350-400, including a teeth cleaning (the dog is under so why not scrape the plaque off). Fine. But we go into pick her up and are informed that she had to have some teeth pulled.  Fine. I expected this because when we got her I noticed that some of her teeth, especially the bottom row in the front, were in horrible shape. Like, discolored, obviously loose, and probably decaying.  So she had some teeth pulled. Or to be more exact, 8 of them, almost all from the offensive bottom front row.

If it isn't obvious, Rikki is on the left, showing the gaping hole between her lower canines. Toothless wonder.

What I wasn't expecting? The bill. One thousand dollars.  I practically fainted.

Upon bringing the little money-suck home, I begin to look at one of her habits in a new, we-just-spent-$1000-on-your-teeth kind of light.  Rikki, in what we used to think was one of the most adorable poses ever, likes to fall asleep with a plush toy wedged in her mouth.

Yes, she likes to cradle this bacteria-laden toy in her teeth.  Have another look.

Yeah, right where her lower teeth used to be. I have a feeling this "cute little habit" of hers contributed to her dental issues.

Right after taking these photos, the toy was gently wrenched away from her mouth.


  1. But she's so adorable!! And that diaper?? I'm dying! Do you have pet insurance?

  2. Poor, sweet Rikki! The fact that she fell asleep with her toy in her mouth is just too adorable.

    Isn't it funny how much we adore and love our pets and would do anything for them? We once spent over $1000 on treatments for our guinea pig and everyone said we were crazy. Then there's my current dog, whose neutering cost over $600 and although we could've taken him to a place that charges only half that, we love our vet and knew that they would do the best work...we really didn't trust anyone else to do this relatively simple procedure! Then I spent all night, barely sleeping a wink taking care of him. But at the end of the day, our pets are ALL worth it.

  3. oh my little rikki. your mama is complaining about all the joy and love you've brought into her life. don't worry, I will rescue you and take you home with me.

    those toy-chomped sleepy poses are just to die for.

  4. Oh my gosh! That is a wad o cash. So worth it though. SOOOO worth it!

  5. I so deeply empathize. Jellyby just got 8 teeth pulled last month. And b/c she has a slightly heart murmur, she had to get an EKG before they'd put her under for the dental procedure. The bill came to over $1000.

    BTW, if Rikki's not the type to let you brush her teeth, get the CET chews: they have an enzyme on them that get rid of teethgunk.

    Give Rikki a tummy rub for us.

  6. mintedlife: we have pet insurance for bunni, but were too lazy to get it for rikki. oops.

    hotcocoa: i've never heard of those chews, i'll have to check it out, thanks!

  7. Unexpected fees for my dog:
    heart murmur/subaeortic stenosis diagnostic EKG
    3 recurrent ear infections
    5 vacation stays at Pet Hotel

    but lets not forget:
    one chewed sofa
    one chewed footboard
    3 ruined comforters
    5 pairs of shoes
    1 pair prescription sunglasses
    1 pair prescription eyeglasses
    1 area rug
    3 chewed dog beds

    But I love her and wouldn't trade my spoiled baby for anything :)

  8. I'm so glad someone else exists in blogland that shares dog stories. I feel like a loser because my most interesting stuff is about Boomer. Thanks for being awesome (or just as lame-ass as me.)

  9. Wow $1000! Yikes, I think I'd nearly faint too if we had a $1000 vet bill, but of course we'd do anything for our 'kids'! If they were human babies we'd do it, so why not "fur babies"? Our pup Lucy came from the shelter with every imagineable shelter ailment; giardia, kennel cough, UTIs out the wazoo, but luckily the shelter we adopted her from provided 60 days of health insurance for any kennel related illnesses, so it didn't cost us anything. I know it would have cost a grand at least if not for that!

  10. Wow, and I almost fainted at $300 the last vet visit!

  11. rrrrrrrrrrrrrikki!!! i love you no matter what.