Clean Bill of Health

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Cooper da Rescue!

Someone mentioned I hadn’t talked about Cooper lately. Never fear, he is doing fine. Actually, he had his yearly checkup recently and is fit as a fiddle, according to the vet!

I’ve mentioned plenty of times he is prone to severe health issues. I honestly didn’t expect him to make it past age 5. After all these years together, I’m proud to say he is still strong and robust. Ironically, he was just getting over a summer cold prior to our vet visit.  I booked the appointment and by the time it rolled around, he was past it.

His allergies are still ever present. With all the warm weather lately he has a had a few flare ups. Otherwise, the sausage is doing quite well.

Luckily, when Shawn and I travel his Uncle Chuck (our neighbor) keeps an eye on him for us. He gets to stay home where he feels safe and Chuck is just across the hall. The cleaning lady tends to spoil him with extra treats as well. She adores him. No matter where we go, he always steals the show. He gets almost weekly walks around the ‘hood and every store we visit is fond of him. The Starbucks crews will ask where he is when I pop in without him. The Posh Bagel crew always smile and say hi to him.

His age is ever so slowly creeping up on him. His hyperactive fits have shrunk significantly. He also refuses to jump up on our bed most days now. He’ll whine and beg until one of us picks him up. He still hops on the couch and the guest bed (it’s lower) with no signs of discomfort. He is in my heart and I just adore him. I shudder to think what his life might have been had I never rescued him. I still to this day get angry telling the story of how he was abandoned.

Anyway, there you have it. The Pooper dooper is most excellent and sends you all slobber kisses and stinky farts.

 

Switch

About once a year, Cooper‘s skin issues get really out of control. Being a bully and white, he really struggles with it pretty much constantly. I manage them pretty effectively most days but every so often it just goes berserk; necessitating a visit to the vets office.

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He was recently exposed to fleas for the first time and it set him off like a rocket. I took him off his flea meds as he just never spends much time with other dogs. He has never picked up fleas from the park so it seemed overkill. Clearly a decision I need to rethink. He was scratching and itching like crazy. It also made is other skin issues flare up something fierce. Time for a vet visit.

Having felt a little disgruntled with treatment over his skin problems from the SPCA, I decided to switch to a new vet. Don’t get me wrong, I still highly recommend the SPCA vet clinic here in SF. For trauma treatment, they are the go-to place. However, they don’t always seem to have good experience for special needs dogs like bulldogs. Or at least not in my experience. I’ve had more than one frustrated visit so I decided to make a switch a while back.

I did an old fashioned Google+ search for vets w/good Bulldog experience and found Avenues Pet Hospital here in the city. I was not opposed to going further if need be. And while slightly further than the SPCA, they are right off the MUNI so getting there is quite easy. Cooper loves to go on MUNI.

I felt good just walking in. While in a much older and smaller building, they had a bulletin board full of pics and a large percentage were bullies and frenchies. Score 1 point. The female vet was super friendly and eagerly greeted Cooper and made contact with him as well as myself. Score 2 points. We discussed his ongoing issues, the recent flea outbreak, and his history. She understood his situation almost immediately. She got bonus points for knowing his color makes him all the more sensitive. Obviously, the first goal was to get his flare-up under control. Thru a combo of oral and topical meds, he is much better two weeks after the fact. Actually, he even seems to have more energy than usual.

On our follow up visit, I was again impressed with the expertise and recommendations for Cooper. She was open to trying various treatments to find one that works best for him. We discussed long term care options. As loathe as I am to put him on permanent meds, it might be the best solution. We are trying a lower dose broad spectrum antibiotic that is 1 pill a day plus a topical shampoo with meds to help kill bacteria on the surface of the skin as well. He started the meds this week and we’ll see how he does. If it is effective, it gets reduced to 1 every other day but he’d stay on it.

Wish the Pooper luck!

Grace

Striking a pose
Striking a pose

And just when you thought you’d seen enough posts dedicated to the Cooper Pooper, here’s another one.

Ain’t he just adorbs in this pic? So regal, so graceful, so elegant…NOT! Don’t let that smile fool you. He is the farting-ist, smelly bulldog you could ever meet! Even with a very strict diet, he routinely stinks up the place. heehee

Otherwise, he doing quite well these days. It doesn’t even seem like it’s been 3 years since I rescued him (and he me). He is coming up on his 6th birthday in May.

I’ve mentioned several times my concerns about his future health. Bullies are prone to health problems, but being white makes Cooper even more so. So far he is still doing well.1 Other than his ever present sensitive skin, he has only shown small signs of developing arthritis. It seems minor and does not need medication as of yet.

Since he loves being under the covers anytime he is allowed in the bed, I’ve taken to throwing one of his blankets over him at night before he goes to bed. He looks so cute all tucked-in in. And make no mistake, he loves it.

I’m starting a new vitamin/supplement regimen for him soon. He already eats really healthy, but I am hoping to be as proactive as possible. I want my Pooper to have as much quality of life as quantity as he moves into his “golden years.”




  1. Bullies that are over-bred can die sometimes as early as 6 []

Leave

It is probably a good thing I am not a parent (of a human child). I can barely Cooper Smilestand to leave Cooper alone when I go on trips, I’m not sure I’d be able to with a kid.

We’re traveling to LA this weekend and I’m already sad that I have to leave him behind? I haven’t even left yet!  Granted, he is in good hands w/his Uncle Carl, but that isn’t the point. We would take him but our hosts already have a dog and I’d hate to cause them undue problems if they didn’t get along.

We went for a nice walk today and played on the floor for awhile. He got all his wrinkles (and ears) freshly cleaned so he wont’t be a burden to his Uncle. He is currently passed out from his walk and will probably not even notice I’m gone for awhile. lol We’re back on Monday so I’m not even gone that long. I’d probably be one of ‘those fathers‘ if I had a kid. hehehe

I’m headed to pick up Shawn from the airport and we are driving down to LA to see his two besties.

Vet

Cooper survived his first vet visit last week since coming to live with me. I’ve been putting it off as long as I could to avoidcoopervet the anxiety I thought it would cause him. He got left at a animal shelter/hospital and I was worried he would think the same thing was happening all over again. Dogs have long memories and bullies are especially known for theirs.

Cooper knew the moment I opened the door where we were. Be it the smell, the look, or a combo of both he immediately got anxious. He kept getting between my legs while I was walking and would occasionally whine. While we were sitting in the waiting area he refused to sit anywhere but partially laying on top of me. I soothed, petted, and reassured him with a loving tone in the hopes he would understand. I was almost in tears at the very idea that he thought I could leave him. To this day, it is beyond me how anyone could abandon an animal capable of so much unconditional love.

Anyway, to his credit he did better than I expected. While very much on his guard, he calmed down after we got in the vet’s office and he got treats and attention. Having done such a good job with Spike, I figured I could trust the SPCA clinic with Cooper’s care. He has had some reoccurring skin infections and I needed an expert opinion. I put it off as long as I could but it was time.

Anyway, I explained to the vet why he was anxious and she immediately begin to help sooth and calm him down. She rubbed him and got him to touch her with his paws, which is usually a dog’s way of showing trust. I’m continually impressed with the veterinary services offered by our local SPCA. They do such a wonderful job. The vet was very thorough with her questions for me and her examination of him.  She wasn’t rushed, answered my questions, and had obviously treated a bulldog before as she ruled out a couple different brands of meds right away.

In the end, she prescribed some antibiotics for his skin infection. We both thought his skin problems were related to his allergies. I’ve since put him back on Benadryl at a slighter higher dose, hence the picture of him almost zonked out. lol  I took him off of it originally as I didn’t know what effects, if any, it might have on him. The vet said he could tolerate it w/no problems and it would help keep him from getting reinfected. Bullies are often prone to skin problems so it wasn’t a surprise for either of us. I also got his heartworm meds refilled. While he doesn’t spend much time with other dogs, I still want to prevent him from ever getting heart worms. It is very hard to get rid of after the fact vs 1 pill a month prevention.

As for taking his meds, well that has presented a challenge. Normally, I just use the pill snacks, which is just a little treat hollowed out so you can insert a pill. The antibiotics must give off a smell because he absolutely will not eat them. Knowing how much he loves cheese, I wrapped his meds up in a small piece and he gobbled them down right away. Problem solved. hehehe

I took the day off from work and spent the rest of the day with him. I was kinda having a headache already so it worked out. He got to nap in the bed with him while I napped. We went to the park for a romp and I generally spent a lot of time showing him affection. By bedtime, he was perfectly settled down again.

I’m hoping next time we have to go to the vet he won’t associate it as a bad thing anymore.