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: