A Big Day for a Pug

Do you see this face?
      I love it. It makes me smile. She lays around, lazy pug girl that she is, and gives these faces
      She reminds me of the simple things in life. She reminds me that life isn’t so bad. That I should stop and smell the roses (because really, she does stop to smell the flowers). She just reminds me to love. A lot of times, when I look at her smooshed up face, I am also overwhelmed with a sense of sadness. I am sad to think of the life she had before she found us. I am sad to remember the condition she was in when she moved in. I am sad to think that she still flinches when I go to pet her. I am sad to think so many people mistreated her, and sad that she was neglected to such a horrible degree. She has been a part of our family for almost two years now, and the progress that the pugzilla (seriously, is that not the cutest word ever?! my friend Solei gave me that one…it’s my new fave!), the progress taht she has made is just incredible.

There is one battle that we have been fighting since the day we got her, and that is her ears. She was so neglected before we got her, I truly believe that she may never have had ears cleaned. Ever. They were bad. worse than I ever knew was possible. She is deaf, and though I got numerous stories as to why she went deaf, I question, as does my vet, if the true reason is from infections. When we got her, she was having what I thought were mini-seizures. Come to find out, because her ear infections were so terrible, they had affected her balance, adn she was suffering from vertigo. Not only did she snore like a drunken sailor, she walked like one as well.

Last summer we had to take the doodle (aka Punky) to the emergency vet clinic because I thought that something was terribly wrong with her. As I drove with hubby to the clinic, I was trying to prepare myself for the ride home, without my pug. It was bad. I thought for sure that she had a brain tumer. She was unable to stand up, let alone walk. Her eyes were moving back and forth at a speed that I did not know was possible. I was terrified. And sure enough….when we got to the vet she got out of the car…..and pranced into the clinic like it was spa-day. figures. What we discovered was that once again, the infection had traveled to her inner ear, causing all of the neurological symptoms. It is important to note- we have never stopped treating her ears, in all of the time that we have had her, she has been on either ear drops, oral antibiotics, or medicated ear flush. I clean her ears, on  average, every two to three days, and it is a battle that I hate.

Finally, we decided that something needed to change. I feel like at this point, all we have been doing is putting band aids on her. Everything we have tried has not gotten rid of her problems, just lesened them. I am tired of putting her through the ear cleanings, because it stresses her out beyond belief. I am tired of forcing pills down her throat when they don’t clear up the problem. So we talked to our vet about what our next step should be. We decided our next step would be a consultation with a dermatologist, to basically find out if she felt that this was something that could be treated, or if we would be better off just going ahead and having surgery to remove her ear canals.

Today we drove two hours (how it took us two hours, I have no idea!) to Tampa to meet the specialist and see what she suggested. I must admit….I was hoping for the recommendation for the surgery. I am not sure if that is bad of me…I just know all that Punky has gone through, and all the flushing and treating and medicating we have done….I have little faith that any more of that will help her. I just want her ears to feel better, and to me, after battling this for almost two years, I am ready for a step like surgery. However, the vet feels that this is something that can probably be cleared up without surgery. Maybe it is because I am still sick, and very tired today. maybe it is because after driving two hours to meet with this doctor, and spending two and a half hours at the clinic, we only spoke with her for a total of ten minutes. but I did not leave this visit feeling better. or relieved.

I left crying. I felt like all that I have done for my pugger was wrong. wrong shampoo. wrong food. wrong cleaner for cleaning her face wrinkles. wrong wrong wrong. *sigh* wrong for thinking surgery was the answer. wrong for not thinking about how much this visit was going to cost. A "low" and high" estimate was put in front of us, and then they took my dog out of the room, and me and hubby were left to stare at these two estimates, feeling as though we may vomit. Were they doing these tests on her right now? oh my god…go stop them!!!! Do they expect us to pay all this right now? oh my god stop them! Hubby said "you didn’t sign anything, right?!" no! I didn’t sign anything! But where is my dog?! hubby suggested maybe they take your pet for ransom, and that is how they make sure you pay. We sat in that room, fretting these estimates. Were these people on crack? Seriously, maybe they drink on the job, and that will explain these typos, because they cannot clearly think that these are reasonable prices!

In the end, we informed the vet that we were going to vomit on her floor if we had to pay a bill like the one they were suggesting. SO, she tallied everything up, and said, well right now, with all that we did your total is up to $740. yup, they definitely drink on the job. We started dry heaving, and she backpeddled. If we don;t send this test in, and maybe not send this blood test in….your total is $450. *sigh* crack smokers I tell ya. Finally, we told her not to send any tests in. None. We would pay for the cultures that they took (that had nothing to do with her ears, mind you), and we would obviously pay for the office visit. So I walked out broke. and crying. feeling like I am not doing the right thing. that I was a jackass for not thinking this would cost so much.

And seriously, if you read all this, you are my new superhero!!!! I just needed to vent about this, because it has made me really sad, and my heart is just a tad broken today over it all. I just want my doodle bug (yes, my dogs have lots of names) to be better. I want her to never again have to be reminded of the ickiness that she came from. I just want her to feel loved, and today I feel like I somehow failed her.


2 Comments to “A Big Day for a Pug”

  1. I made it through the whole thing Kristi. Sounds like you could use a hug. If I was there I’d give you one. You’re such a good dog-mom. I’m sure she knows you’re just trying to help her. She’s a lucky dog!

  2. ITA. She is so lucky to have you. And I feel your pain with the emergency visit – my furry baby starting foaming at the mouth, I remembering wiping away goo, hand feeding her (water too), so terribly worried that she wouldn’t live through it. It turned out she was (almost deathly) allergic to some medicine they had given her. These fur-babies are such a part of our families, aren’t they. We love them so much. She knows that. ((hugs))

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