Tag Archives: Dr. Kimmel

Chloë Injured in the Line of Duty

Returning to the scene of the crime.

I could tell from well down the hill that this dog would be trouble. I tried to pull Mike in another direction, but we were on a narrow trail near the top of the South Meadow, and the dog was standing right next to our path. His person sat to his left, holding his leash.  He wasn’t that big, but I wanted no part of him, going as far to my left as I could, so Mike was between me and the other dog. He was actually cute, in a Benji kind of way, and Mike thought he was harmless, so he spoke to the dog, told him we were nice guys, and extended his palm for sniffing.

That move backfired, however, as the dog lunged at Mike and barked. I yanked Mike in the opposite direction to save him (and get out of the way myself), but as I dug in my paws, a sharp shard of rock shot up into the bottom of my foot and up between my toes. While the barking dog’s owner mumbled apologies, I hustled Mike up the trail to where it intersects with the paved park road. Only when I knew we were in the clear did the pain hit me, and from that point I limped home, hurting every time I put my front right foot down. Mike stopped to check my paw a couple of times, but there wasn’t much he could see or do. I stumbled home.

It’s the right front, doc.

Heather tried to remove the shard using her high-powered flashlight and  tweezers, but to no avail. When she still couldn’t get it out the next morning, it was off to see Dr. Kimmel, my personal physician. After she examined my paw, she sent me right to the dreaded Back Room, where all the really nasty stuff takes place. Plied with many treats, however, I held my squeals to a minimum, and the sharp little prick finally came out, making me feel better immediately.

Luckily, I didn’t need stitches or even a bandage. The only special instruction Dr. Kimmel gave Heather was to cover my paw when we walked in the park, so dirt didn’t get up between my toes. Heather disdained bandaging it, opting instead for fastening an old sock from her rag bin around my right front paw with rubber bands. I wore it on our walks for three days, but on the third day it fell off and dropped somewhere along our path. Maybe some dorky rodent found it and used it for nesting material, but I didn’t care. I was about done with it, anyway.

 

Chloë Hits Her Target

Figure 1: Chloe Weight Chart May 2018

As we all knew would happen, my food honeymoon is over. After nine glorious weeks of uber-rations, I reached my target weight (18.5 pounds) at my most recent vet visit, when I weighed in at 18.69 pounds. That visit was the one after the last one on the accompanying chart (Figure 1). On that very day, twirling his imaginary handlebar mustache like the mean Simon Legree we know him to be, Mike immediately cut me back to his unilaterally imposed and strictly observed meager limits. Oh, the agony of it all! The only saving grace right now is the extra broth Mike is adding to all my meals, since I have to eat softened kibble until Dr. Crocker installs the cap on my recently root-canaled chipped tooth. (Meaning more sedation and great dreams to come, no doubt!)

Double dose of goo.

While I was sad when my bulk-up menu ended, I will always savor the glorious nine weeks that it was! I gained almost two pounds in nothing flat. I can see how some members of the dachshund breed can get precipitously porky. Not me. . .at least not as long as Mike and Heather are paying attention, anyway. I’d settle for some middle ground.

I also had a great visit with my buddy Lynn, who came over for some play and cuddles one evening when Mike and Heather went out to watch the first-place Seattle Mariners. I always go absolutely nuts when Lynn comes over. She really knows how to talk “dog talk” in a higher pitch, if you know what I mean.  When she’s around I always get plenty of attention, plenty of play and plenty of treats. Heather even moved my big, round toy pillow back to the middle of the living room, so Lynn and I could get at them easier while she was here. So we did a lot of playing, upstairs and downstairs, too. But the best parts of Lynn’s visit were cuddling on the couch, jumping up on her lap and biting her nose. Every time I look in her eyes, it’s true love. Thanks for coming over, Lynn!

Big, round toy pillow makes brief reappearance.

The downside of the week was yet another ear infection, this time in my “good ” right ear. Heather and Dr. Kimmel each took a bunch of ugly black goo out of my ear and squirted some soothing white goo in.  I don’t like it one bit; when Heather says the word “ears,” I run. But after this now-daily ordeal is done, Heather gives me cheese. Not the little bits of chopped-up mozzarella sticks Mike gives me, but thick pieces of smoked Gouda. Less goo, more Gouda, dat’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout! For that level of payoff, sign me up for an ear massage every day.

Chloë Weighs In

Chloë gets physical.

I had my annual physical with my personal physician last week, and the results were both good and bad. Good news first: I am finally getting some medicines to control my two recurring maladies, ear infection (left ear worse) and skin rash. Dr. Kimmel prescribed antibiotic pills, gook for my ears, shampoo for my skin, the whole works. Hopefully this will get rid of this once and for all. If not, well, at least Heather gives me extra cheese treats after every treatment, so it’s not all bad.

Speaking of food, I got even better news from Dr. Kimmel. After I weighed in at a mere 16.95 pounds, well below my target weight of 18.5, which is exactly what I weighed a year ago. That means what Heather, Caroline, Charlie, Lynn and other people who really care about me have been saying for months was true: I am too skinny!!! That mean Mike is starving me, and Dr. Kimmel had the perfect prescription for that: “Bring Chloë’s morning meal to 3/4 cup while she is active to help maintain her weight.” It’s written right there in black and white under “Notes to Owner.” Got that, Mike?

Dining festival on tap.

So I’m going to get more food! When I heard that, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

So  after all that good news, what could be so bad? Well, after eight straight years of praising my exemplary dental hygiene, Dr. Kimmel discovered something no amount of brushing could have prevented: I chipped a tooth. (I can’t imagine how that happened! A bone? A stick? A plastic food container?) Unfortunately, this upper molar is one of the most important ones for chewing, which I’m planning to do a lot more of since my rations have increased. I’m going to need that tooth in the future, too, anticipating lots of joyful gnawing to come. I wouldn’t want to be without one of my major tools.

Being careful with chipped tooth.

The chipped tooth surprised Mike, whose attentiveness to my dental hygiene has impressed my doctor at every previous checkup. In his defense, the tooth was too far in the back of my mouth for him to see it, and if the exposed area was the source of  any pain, I wasn’t showing it.  Apparently dogs don’t complain about pain, facing it stoically to avoid showing weakness to predators and the rest of their pack. I’m not sure this veterinary truism applies to me, however, since I squeal like crazy if someone steps on my tail, I complain about almost everything and I whine every time I don’t get my way. It’s always easy to know where I stand.

Anyway, since the interior of the chipped tooth is exposed and possibly infected, treatment is required. The question was whether to try to save the tooth by doing a root canal operation and perhaps putting a cap on it later, or to extract it. The extraction, while less expensive, is more dangerous, as it could lead to bone loss in my jaw if the tooth’s roots are deep. Mike and Heather decided the root canal was the clear choice, so in a couple of weeks we’ll meet my doggie dentist and schedule the procedure. I foresee a lot of cheese after this one.

Please, sir, I want some more!

Meanwhile, I’m not having any trouble scarfing down the humongous bowls of food Mike is plopping down in front of me twice a day in an attempt to put some weight on this frail body of mine. I predict, however, that as soon as I get back to my target weight, Mike will cut back on this current largess, so I’ve got to enjoy every one of these lumberjack meals to the fullest. So far I seem to be doing a good job of it, judging from the changes in my daily bodily functions. Ironically, at the same time the size of the poop bags is shrinking, the frequency and size of my poop is expanding. Something’s got to give.

 

 

Chloë Slims Down for Boot Camp

Exam room: The weighting is the hardest part.

With Heather officially retired and  boot camp looming, I approached my annual physical with some trepidation. After all, my most recent weigh-in last December hadn’t gone so well: an all-time high of 19.5 pounds. That explains why on our February staycation,my best friend Lynn was much stricter with portion control. But the diligence paid off: At last week’s weigh-in I has dropped a whole pound to 18.5, which Heather says is my “ideal” weight, and she should know. The vet’s assistant weighed me twice just to make sure I wasn’t cheating.

Don’t touch me there!

My regular physician, Dr. Aimee Kimmel, was back from maternity leave, and even though I had no new concerns to report, Dr. Aimee made sure to poke her instruments (or fingers) through every orifice in my body. While she, as usual, praised my dental work (“Beautiful!” she exclaimed), she did chip a big hunk of tartar from my upper right molars, which are understandably hard for Mike to get with a toothbrush. “Please keep brushing her teeth daily,” the doc told Mike. “It is really helping.”

Bonding with Dr. Aimee post-exam.

On the down side, literally, was that the rash on my underside has returned (or never really left), meaning another course of little antibiotic pills that Mike sneaks into my dinner when he thinks I’m not looking. I also get weekly shampoos from my personal trainer, Heather, in which the lather has to stay on my sensitive skin for 10 minutes. Trust me, it’s a long 1o minutes for everyone.

If the treatment for this skin rash doesn’t do the job, Dr. Kimmel said, “We should discuss possible allergic causes and allergy medication.” That didn’t sound good. My brothers Frank and Stanley have been down that road, and I would rather not go anywhere that might involve giving up such favorites as chicken broth on my food or, worse yet, Frozen Peanut Butter Boneys.

That’s why I put up with this shampoo for now. The things you do for love.

 

Chloë Marks Her Spot

The Spot Revealed

The spot revealed.

It was about time to address the elephant in the room. Mike first noticed the tiny bump on my head way back in the spring, shortly after my annual physical exam. Since my personal physician (Dr. Aimee Kimmel) has just examined and drained two less visible lumps on my side, Mike decided to just keep an eye on this new one, about the size of a pimple. I Mike didn’t feel around for it, he wouldn’t even have known it was there.

Months passed. The tiny lump on my head got bigger, but not much. Then Mike read a book (try not to laugh) called Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley. It’s a novel about a dachshund named Lily. The “octopus” is a tumor that grows on her head. It’s a metaphor, but  Mike took it literally. He checked my lump every day. When he got back from his trip to see his mom, he decided it was big enough to take me to the vet, especially after the lump broke one day during grooming and some gook came out. Nurse Heather made it stop, but off to the vet I went.

In the tub.

In the tub.

Mike looked nervous, so I had to sit on his lap in the waiting room to calm him down. Dr. Kimmel was on maternity leave (what nerve!), so Dr. Crow examined me and set Mike’s mind at rest. It was only another  subcutaneous cyst, like the other ones. The doctor drained it, but warned that it might come back. That means, of course, that my otherwise perfect countenance may forever be marred by a small bald spot on my head. My choices appear to be either a comb-over (too vain) or to just tell anyone who asks (and few would be so forward as to bring it up) that it’s just a visual balance to my naturally bald ears. Perhaps the hair will grow back and cover the spot, but that will probably  be too much to ask for. As long as the lump doesn’t devour me or the spot get much bigger, I can live with it. I’m still cute enough, believe me. I’ve been practicing, just in case.

Unfortunately, Dr. Crow didn’t stop her examination at my head. By the time I got out of there, I got some gook pressed into my ear to stop a yeast infection and a shampoo for my belly to get rid of a rash and dry, flaky skin. Who knew I was such a physical wreck when I went in there? On the other hand, it’s always good to know you don’t have brain cancer. And my weight at 18.6 pounds is still within my normal range, so I won’t have to suffer through another diet. I hate those.

Mr. Monkey

Mr. Monkey awaits his roommate’s arrival.

All the consternation was worth it, however, since I got extra treats from Mike for being good at the vet and lots of cheese from Heather for being a good girl at home in the bathtub to get shampooed. She also laundered all of the sheets and blankets in my crate to remove any pesky germs or foreign bodies that might remain and bring back the rash, which Dr. Crow thought might be related to the yeast infection. Mr. Monkey was happy to have his living space renovated at no cost, and Mike was so happy to have one less thing to worry about. A win-win for all, even if I did have to endure a visit with a new vet. With any luck, Dr. Aimee will return to her post before I do.

 

Chloë Slims Down

Chloë in doctor's waiting area under the Cat Corner.

Chloë in doctor’s waiting area, guarding the Cat Corner.

I knew my annual physical was coming up as soon as Mike started cutting back my twice-daily rations. Not by a lot, just a few nuggets of kibble every time. He remembered that my personal physician told him to keep an eye on my weight when I somehow had gained a half a pound (!) the previous year, to an all-time high of almost 19 pounds. Mike wasn’t going to let that happen again.

Well, it turned out Mike went a little overboard. When I slid onto the electronic scale in the doctor’s lobby last week, the lights stopped flashing at 16,6 pounds. Mike was shocked. “Maybe her paw isn’t all the way on the scale,” the tech advised. So Mike led me off the scale, turned me around and did it again, with all paws accounted for. The digital display read 16.7. It was official: Since my last physical a year ago, I had lost 2.2 pounds.

With Dr. Kimmel, Chloë's personal physician

With Dr. Kimmel, Chloë’s personal physician

It must have been from all that exercise I get from walking and ball-playing fetch with Heather, Mike and Charlie. Dr. Kimmel’s thorough examination showed all my organs working fine and all my vitals stable, so my weight loss wasn’t the result of an undiagnosed disease. My heart, lungs and eyes were all in top shape, and my teeth were, as they always have been, “simply beautiful.” In her written report, the doctor rated my overall health an A- (the minus only because of a slight, lingering infection deep inside my left ear). Under “general appearance,” she wrote, “Cutie Pie,” and drew two cute little hearts! Moreover, her summary comments contained what was for me the most important part of the whole report: “Chloë looks great but has gotten (emphasis added) a bit too slim (when do I ever say that about a dachshund!) Let’s bump up her food by about 20 percent, goal 18 pounds.”

Got that Mike? More food! I have received new license to become the wirehair Oliver Twist. “Please, sir, I want some more,” I will whine at every opportunity. And I better get it, Mike. Doctor’s orders!

Chloë Passes Her Annual Physical

Waiting for the vet

There was good news and bad news from my annual trip to the vet this week. The good news, of course, is that it’s my first trip to the vet since my last annual physical. Frank and Stanley, my brothers, are there all the time. My predecessor, Heidi, was at the vet several times a year for one thing or another. Me? Once, for my annual physical and shots. I guess I’m in pretty good shape, eh?

My personal physician, Dr. Aimee Kimmel, apparently agrees. In her hand-written report, under “General Appearance” she wrote: “Adorable girl.” And almost needless to say, next to “Mouth, Teeth, Gums” she scrawled, “beautiful teeth!” (With an exclamation point!) During the examination, in fact, she looked at my teeth and told Mike, “Awesome job.” Hey, don’t praise him, Doc: only my personal compliance makes my dental hygiene and grooming possible, and I may revoke consent at any time. I am a dachshund, after all.

Don't touch me there!

Don’t touch me there!

My compliance even extended into Dr. Kimmel’s examination and injections, of which there were four, which must be some kind of record. for one appointment. After the first two shots, Mike and I were instructed to walk around the block for a half hour before I could get the next two shots. I guess a little girl like me can’t consume too many drugs at once without ODing.  Anyway, I was well-behaved and barely flinched at any of the injections. When they clipped my nails a little close, however, that was another story. I let out a couple of ear-piercing yelps for the techs back there, just for show.

Sadly, the nail clipping wasn’t the only bad aspect of the physical. Nor was it having my temperature taken (and no, they didn’t attach something to my ear to do it), nor was it having my anal sacs expressed (you don’t want to know what this entails).

No, the worst part came first: the weigh-in. On the same, walk-on scale in the lobby that registered 18.1 pounds a year ago, the numbers stopped spinning at 18.6. Not bad for a 4-year-old dachshund, you might say. Dr. Kimmel, however, was quick to bring it to Mike’s attention, because 18.6 is a full half-pound more than my weight a year ago. “She’s not overweight,” Dr. Kimmel told Mike, but even though Mike agreed with her, I could smell the wood burning in his evil noggin. I’m not certain whether Mike will cut my rations or just reduce the number of between-meal treats he slips me every day. Either way, I fear my halcyon days are over, and an era of belt-tightening about to ensue. I am feeling hungry already.

Tale of the Tape

Date Age Weight Notes
4/1/10 8 weeks 5.8 pounds Elliott Bay Animal Hospital (EBAH)
4/23/10 11 weeks 7.75 EBAH
5/7/10 13 weeks 8.75 EBAH
5/21/10 15 weeks 10.3 EBAH
6/11/10 18 weeks 11.6 EBAH
7/1/10 21 weeks 12.3 EBAH
3/29/11 1 year, two months 17.1 EBAH 1 year exam
9/23/11 19.5 months 18.8 EBAH exam for nose spot
3/30/12 2 years, two months 17.5 EBAH 2 year exam
9/11/12 2 years, eight months 19.0 EBAH for ear infection
9/25/12 2 years, nine months 18.6 EBAH for ear followup
4/2/13 3 years, two months 18.1 EBAH 3-year exam, lobby
3/31/14 4 years, two months 18.6 EBAH 4-year exam, lobby