Shih Tzu Vet Update: Four Star Visit

I wanted to talk about flowers today, but Mom said I should talk about our annual vet exam we had yesterday at Clear Creek Animal Hospital. First, Mom tricked us. She knows that whenever we get in the car we think we’re going to the nice park for a walk, but we were wrong. It was too late to escape once we saw where she was really taking us.

She was happy I didn’t get frightened and pee on the floor like I used to. However, Nigel “marked” his visit and they had to rush to get a paper towel to clean it up. That’s probably why he got to be examined first. Before Dr. Lindsey did that, though, we all got weighed. Candy weighs the least, at 13.40 pounds. When we came to live at the Freeze Hacienda after living at the puppy mill, she weighed 11 pounds. The doctor says she is a nice weight. Dottie is a little more “plump.” She weighs 18.40 pounds! The doctor wasn’t that concerned, though, since her weight has hardly changed over the last few years. Mom says she is a “big girl.” When Nigel came to live with us he had been very sick, and he only weighed 10.80 pounds. Now, however, he weighs 14.40 pounds. Well, now I have to say what I weigh. I weighed 13.60 pounds in 2011. Now I weigh, gulp, 16.60 pounds. The assistant put me back on the scale because she didn’t think that was right, but it was. The vet says I should lose at least a pound so Mom says I am going to get less treats. Bummer!

We all got a Leptospirosis vaccination — whatever that is. Mom and the vet talked about Nigel’s eye scare earlier this year. He had a corneal perforation. We aren’t sure how well he sees out of it. I guess Mom needs to take him in for a checkup at the specialist for that. Beyond that, she thought Nigel was pretty healthy.

Candy might have a food allergy and Dottie might too, because of some problems with their ears. Candy’s ears are a little “thick” and Dottie has a lot of wax in hers. The vet asked if they itch them a lot. Mom said they used to but that she was cleaning them (with Vet’s Best Ear Relief) and Candy and Dottie didn’t seem to be having a problem lately. Dr. Lindsey said that if it gets worse, Mom might have to do some food tests to see what food might be causing the problem. Dottie is 8 years old and her vision might not be as well as mine, but otherwise, the vet said she was in good health. I don’t know why she didn’t say she needed to lose weight!

Besides the vet saying I need to lose a pound, she also said I have to go in to get my teeth cleaned. Ugh. I guess I have too much tartar on my teeth. Mom was disappointed since the vet always told her how good our teeth looked. Mom thought our teeth were good because of the chew sticks she gives us, but they must not be helping my teeth. I hope that doesn’t hurt!

The good news was that the vet told Mom if she had gold stars, she would give them to us! So I guess we did pretty good!


Related Posts:

Shih Tzu Day 356: Vet & Escape

June 19, 2012

Vet Visit 

Flower and Nigel on the way to the vet.

Flower and Nigel on the way to the vet.

Nigel hasn’t been feeling good, so I decided to make a vet appointment for him and take Flower in for her annual checkup at Clear Creek Animal Hospital. I put her and Nigel on a couple, and she did well in the car on the way to the appointment. She also did well in the lobby and in the exam room, although she did pee on the floor. I was very proud that she let Dr. Lindsey examine her. It was quite different than her exam last year!

Flower with Dr. Lindsey.

Flower’s checkup with Dr. Lindsey.



I shared with Dr. Lindsey how she had been kicked out of grooming class but how she has improved so much since then. She was also good with the other dogs in the lobby on our way out. I stopped at McDonald’s for a Coke and then decided to take her and Nigel into Petco to try on harnesses. And there the perfect morning ended!

The Great Shih Tzu Escape

As we were coming up to the door to enter Petco, it opened and the noise scared her. She bolted, pulled out of the harness she was wearing, and ran out into the parking lot. I was frantically trying to figure out how I was going to hold Nigel and chase her when a woman near the door asked if I wanted her to hold Nigel’s leash. I quickly handed it to her and took off running after Flower.

Flower's new harness, which hopefully is escape-proof.

My hope is that Flower won’t be able to pull out of her new harness and escape!

I chased Flower for five minutes, calling her name, trying to keep my voice calm. She was getting dangerously close to the road, and I was panicking, thinking, “All that hard work and she gets hit by a car!” She finally slowed down and stopped on a grass area near feet from the road. I sat down, opened my purse and pulled out the heartworm treat from the vet, and then coaxed her to me. When she came close enough, I grabbed her. When I finally got back to the door, I thanked the woman profusely for watching Nigel and took them both inside. I found someone to help me fit Flower for a harness that I hope will be escape free!

Related Posts:

Shih Tzu Day 133 (Nov. 9): Flower’s Gold Star Visit to the Vet

shih tzu vet visit

a shih tzu with tear stains.Flower had a vet appointment today with Clear Creek Animal Hospital. I wanted to talk to Dr. Lindsey about her blinking and watery eyes, to make sure she doesn’t have an infection particularly. I brought Nigel with me, to show Flower that vet visits don’t have to be terrifying.

Flower shook on the way to the vet, but was so much better than last time. She did poop when we got to the vet door, and only got a little on my pants. Her shih tzu companion  ran into the clinic and then ran around visiting everyone. Nigel had been there before for his sterilization and hernia surgery, so they all remembered him.

Flower was also much better in Dr. Lindsey’s office. She didn’t poop on the floor like last time and didn’t fight at all throughout her examination or try to jump off the table. The vet said that Flower didn’t have hairs growing in her eyes, a common reason for shih tzus to blink and have watery eyes. She also checked for blocked tear ducts by putting some dye in Flower’s eyes. She told me that if it didn’t go out her nose, it was a good sign that her tear ducts were blocked. None came out. She said the best thing to do would be to have her eyes flushed when she is under for a dental exam or for some other vet procedure.

I asked the vet about the tear stains caused by her watery eyes. I had already read that the reddish-brown tear stains (epiphora) are actually caused by bacteria and yeast growing on the wet skin caused by excessive tearing. We talked about what causes the excessive tearing. The vet confirmed that the causes include allergies (corn, wheat, soy, artificial food colorings, additives, preservatives), water minerals and genetics.

Dr. Lindsey mentioned Angels’ Eyes. I had already researched Angels’ Eyes, which is a beef liver powder mixed with a small amount of tylosin (tartrate), an antibiotic used in vet medicine. I hesitated getting it, because I wasn’t sure about giving her or the other shih tzus antibiotics. The vet said she didn’t know if it was good to take antibiotics forever, but that she hadn’t heard of any real drawbacks to Angels’ Eyes, which the dog must take daily. Ironically, I have an eye problem that requires I take a light antibiotic indefinitely, so I think it will be safe to give some to Flower as an experiment. I just need to find out who sells it.

The vet also mentioned someone telling her that they had tried corn starch on the stains. I have already tried that, but I should research more exactly how people use it. I didn’t try it for very long.

The vet also looked at Nigel’s eyes and confirmed that they were overflowing. While we talked about dog food, Flower lay down on the table next to Nigel. I knew I should have brought my camera!

post-vet treat

I stopped at McDonald’s after the vet visit, but Flower was too nervous at first to eat her share of the hamburger I got; I did get her to eat a couple of small pieces. Since she did so good at the vet, I also thought I would take her into a local pet store, Paws ‘n’ Play, with me. She was very good. I even walked walked her a little bit before I realized that she doesn’t walk on a leash! Once I realized that, I coaxed her to go a few more feet.

It was tough with both of the shih tzus, since I am not used to walking with two dogs. I kept getting tangled in the leashes. I also dropped Nigel’s while I was talking to a customer about sheba inas, allowing him to aggressively run after a big dog. I caught him before he could do any damage.

I bought Taste of the Wild bison and venison kibble for the girls to try, since it is grain free. Flower was very relaxed on the way back. After leaving Paws ‘n’ Play, she even lay down in the front seat with Nigel instead of sitting up.

Related Posts:

Shih Tzu Day 92: And Then There Was Nigel

Spot Collins

a tabby next to a shih tzu on a dog bedThe girls still don’t quite know what to think of Spot Collins. He makes regular trips to Shih Tzu Central, to drink from the girls’ water bowl and to try out the dog beds. He seems to prefer lying next to Flower, although she doesn’t seem as happy with the arrangement.

grooming practice

a shih tzu sitting on her sisterDelores at BFF Rescue called me today and asked if I would have time to help her groom some new dogs she got in that will soon be going to foster homes. Barbara, her daughter-in-law, usually helps her, but she was out of town and I had told Delores about my grooming class. If John had been available, I would have asked him to come with me, since he does the most grooming, but he was working, so I agreed to help out.

maltese-poodle mix on couch

When I got there, Delores was conducting a necessary procedure: using flea and tick shampoo on one of the dogs that looked like he might have had a problem recently. My Yorkshire terrier never had that problem, so I wasn’t sure how to tell if it looked like fleas or ticks were present. Delores pointed out to me small dark spots on one of the dogs. She said if they weren’t moving, the problem had been fully taken care of by the treatment they received before she took them into her care. That seemed to be the case, but to be safe, I helped her wash another dog with the shampoo as well.

Once we dried them off, I went to work clipping a maltese-poodle mix and then a type of terrier. They both handled it better than our dogs. The poodle lay down on its side and went to sleep while I was clipping him. I plan on trying that on the girls, since I just read that was a good way to groom in some instances, since you need to teach fearful dogs how to be calm and relaxed on the grooming table.

introduction to Nigel

black and white shih tzu on couchWhile I was there, I met Nigel, the shih tzu Delores asked us to foster. He is about a year and a half and only 10 pounds, which is a pound and a half lighter than Candy. He seems smaller though. Nigel is what is referred to as an owner release. He was dropped off at a shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, where they discovered he had a serious cause of pneumonia. I imagine the family wasn’t able to afford the veterinary care he needed.

Shih tzu face offThat shelter treated him before sending him on to BFF Rescue. As is the usual case, BFF took him to Clear Creek Animal Hospital, where Doctor Lindsey examined him prior to his needed sterilization procedure. During the exam, she discovered that he had a large hernia that would need surgery as well. She performed both surgeries yesterday, and prescribed antibiotics and pain medicine for ten days. Delores and I had arranged that I would get him Friday, but since I was already there, I said I would just take him home with me.

I would describe Nigel as a scrawny little dog, probably because he has been sick for a while. His face is so black that it is hard to see his eyes. It wasn’t the color as much as the wildness of his fur around his face that made me think of James Brown. The white fur around his neck is quite a contrast to his black face. His paws look huge compared to his tiny legs.


tabby cat and shih tzu on couchI wasn’t sure what the girls would think about Nigel. When we walked in the door, they didn’t get excited, but they also didn’t seem disturbed by his presence. They just watched him. He toured the house, including Shih Tzu Central. A little later, he visited their corner again, this time to begin stealing bones and mainly unused toys from them. We will have to get him his own dog bones and toys, as well as a dog bed. He didn’t come with one, like Flower, Candy and Dottie did.

welcome committee


shih tzu waiting for treatNigel gravitated towards Spot Collins, maybe because they are the “outsiders.” When they heard John’s truck in the driveway, the girls started barking as usual. Candy ran to the door, wagging her butt. Spot Collins followed, with Nigel right behind him, wagging his tail.

John was happy about his welcome committee. He has been so patient with the girls, even though they still shy away from him — especially Flower and Dottie — three months after getting here. It was nice for a dog to instantly respond well to him, since he is such a dog person and so good to all animals.

When the dogs followed us outside for their nightly treat from the Treat Man, Nigel forgot his manners and maneuvered his way quickly to the beginning of the line for possibly his first taste of Milo’s Kitchen chicken jerky.

Related Posts:

Shih Tzu Day 21: The Terrier Makes Himself at Home

Shiloh, the Terrier: There’s a Strange Dog Following Me

Back to our Terrier guest, Shiloh. Once he had sniffed out his surroundings, he followed me all over the house. I hate to say this, but I wasn’t crazy about the idea of this dog following me everywhere. I admit it. Partially, I felt disloyal. After all, Dottie, Flower and Candy don’t yet feel that secure, so usually only Dottie follows me. Very quietly. Very slowly.

Having three shih tzus sitting in their safe zone in the corner all day, to emerge for brief periods of time, is much different than having an energized dog following you. I was getting a little nervous. I envisioned him needed lots of attention — more than I could give. My vision was he could pal around with John, since the shih tzus won’t.

Shiloh took it upon himself to take John’s seat on the couch and also to sit on Flower’s couch. Flower must not have wanted to fight him over it. She jumped on the couch next to me and Dottie.

Shiloh Enjoys a Brief Walk and Invades Our Bed

When John got home, Shiloh ran up to the door and greeted him enthusiastically, wagging her tail and putting her paws up on his leg. John was surprised. Although Joey, our Yorkie, was his darling, lately, he’s used to mainly having three sets of shih tzu eyes stare at him from afar when he comes in.

John took one look at him and said, “That’s not a Boston terrier.” Okay, this is an honest blog, so I have to tell you that John thought Shiloh was kind of peculiar looking. He determined that he might be a terrier/chihuahua mix. I guess I have to look at pictures on line to see what other dogs look like him.

John hasn’t walked a dog since months before elderly Joey died, so he considered putting the leash on him and taking him out. I told him that the doctor at Clear Creek Animal Hospital said he loved to walk.

Shiloh eagerly accepted the offer and followed him out the door. He said Shiloh did wonderful on his ten-minute walk and that it was obvious that he was used to someone taking him for walks.

Once they got back, the shih tzus mainly ignored him, except Flower. Unless you can keep a constant watch, it’s hard to see who is causing trouble, but a few times, I heard Flower growling at Shiloh and saw them circle each other, and a few times, leap towards each other, mouths open. I put myself in alert mode, hoping I didn’t have to pull them apart. They backed away. Maybe Flower was trying to size him up, or maybe to tell him that she was the pack leader, and he’d better not try to take that role.

Shiloh goes into his kennel easily, so he must be used to it. He crawled in there before bed, so I thought he would be fine, but then he started whining. As soon as I let him out, he ran upstairs and jumped onto the end of our bed. I gave in and decided I would let him stay there. After all, he probably hasn’t slept on a bed for a while. I do admit, though, that I didn’t like it. My girls don’t even sleep on the bed, so I really hated a “stranger” coming in and taking that position.

Related Posts: