Dogs, Cats and Other Phenomena

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nikki Goes to the Vet ... Dog Flu ... Distemper

Took Nikki in to the vet today for her heartworm blood test. I have to wait until the results tomorrow to give her the preventative heartworm medicine but I'm sure she's fine. I wanted to know how much she weighed as I suspected she was at least 58 lbs. Yep! Nikki weighed 59.2 lbs.!

She isn't even 9 months old yet and she already weighs almost 60 lbs. I wonder how big she is going to be? The standard for a female is 55 to 65 pounds. I keep thinking that she's going to be at least 75 lbs. if she keeps up this growth. I need to measure her. Females should be 21 1/2 to 22 1/2 inches at the withers.

When I told the vet, Dr. Malo, that she knocked me over the other day, and about my arm and my knee, he asked if I thought of getting her professionally trained. Actually, I have. He highly recommends the trainer that trained his son's (Dr. Mark) huge bull mastiff. Dr. Malo knows him and I guess Dan has worked with vets, etc. In fact, I had called him when I first got Nikki. He costs more per day than PetsMart but he'll do the training. I will have to wait on taking her to this trainer until my financial situation is on more secure ground.

He said Dan is very careful about the dogs' health, as I was concerned about that. When I brought up the problem of dog flu, he said that the amount of cases that he's seen has gone down considerably. There had been lots of cases that he saw personally, but by the time that the media was reporting the dog flu, cases were already winding down. In other words, they were late in reporting it.

Dr. Malo did say that the amount of distemper cases has gone up. This is easily preventable if PEOPLE WOULD VACCINATE THEIR DOGS!!

Obviously, this reporting about dog flu and distemper only pertains to Garden Grove, or at the most, Orange County.

I also asked Dr. Malo about dog parks - he doesn't always think they're safe - and he's not too thrilled about dog beaches either. And I understand what he's saying. You don't know if these dogs are healthy or not, vaccinated or not. So I'm hesitant about them too.

These photos, taken today, show my little girl - oops, change that to BIG girl - engaged in her favorite activity, retrieving. That instinct is strong in her. This "basketball" is her favorite and is easier on her mouth than a tennis ball. She usually shoves this ball into my lap several times per day. This last photo is typical Nikki. She's retrieved the ball, wants to continue playing but doesn't want to Drop It either.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the mark on her nose, it's from the Gentle Leader. I had put it on her earlier today because I expected someone to put the trim around the windows today and I needed to control her without her ripping my arms out of their sockets. He didn't show, so I took her to the vet instead. It's an amazing Dr. Jekyl, Mr. Hyde experience with or without the Gentle Leader on.


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