Tag Archives: Elliott Bay Animal Hospital

Chloë Perfects Her Inside Game

Our heroine

It’s harder to get enough exercise in these days of quarantine. My games of fetch have been at a minimum; it’s hard to find a space without people, big dogs, little kids, runners or bikes whizzing by. Over Easter weekend, the mayor closed the park entirely. We were forced to walk along Magnolia Boulevard and around the neighborhood, and  fetch opportunities shrank  faster than Trump’s approval rating. Don’t get me started down that road.

Luckily, I  can always entice Mike into indoor playtime. Heather not so much, but Mike is easy. Whenever I get tired of sleeping, throttling Lamby in the living room or mining for crumbs on the dining room rug, I  sit in front of  Mike and make little whining noises until he succumbs and follows me into the kitchen, where he sits on the floor and tosses Wiffie at me so I can work on my inside game.  I call it “catch and release.” Catchy, eh?

Quarantined or not, I’ve got to stay in shape. After turning 10 years old in February, my weight has been creeping up again, and Mike threatened to put me on the dreaded diet. It was a good thing that last week  was my annual physical with Dr. Aimee Kimmel,  my longtime personal physician. After the exam, she assured Heather that my weight gain was OK. “Overall, she is doing great!” Dr. Kimmel wrote in her report.· “She is a little ball of muscle at 21.0 pounds.” Couldn’t have phrased it better myself! Mike might plan to economize on my daily rations, but even a tyrant like him wouldn’t ignore the science-driven advice of his top medical expert—nobody could be that dumb.

Dr. Kimmel on a previous visit.

The rest of my annual physical was pretty routine, but it was different, too, and not just because Elliott Bay Animal Hospital officially designated me a “senior patient.” Because of virus-prevention, Heather had to wait in the car in the parking lot while I went inside for my exam and other assorted stuff like nail-trimming and anal gland extraction (I’ll spare you the details).

After about a half-hour of examining and some shots, I got to take a break outside and meet Heather for a half-hour walk around the neighborhood. Then it was back inside for more shots. I was hoping all this variation from my normal going-to-the-vet procedures would result in extra treats for me, but I was disappointed. Maybe next time will be better, however. As a senior patient, they want to see me again in six months for additional blood work. I see every appointment as another opportunity to cash in on canine Social Security.

Chloë Tops 20

Chloe’s Crown

Maybe we should just do away with this “annual physical” thing. I feel great, and yet every single time Dr. Aimee, my personal physician, manages to find something wrong with me. Usually it’s an ear infection, but Heather has been trying hard to keep them clean, which means weekly swabbings and more cheese treats for me. At my previous annual physical, she discovered the chipped tooth that led to my shiny titanium crown. This year, she zeroed in on my skin, dry and flaking in spots.

But that was hardly the worst news to come out of this yearly exercise. Even harder to take than the heartbreak of psoriasis was the mandatory weigh-in, which did not turn out well from my standpoint: 20.13 pounds, a gain of more than three pounds in the past year, which does seem like a lot. Maybe the scale malfunctioned, just more fake news.

Poised and ready for the doctor

But I ask you: Do I look heavy? Personally, while I am forced to admit that a few gray hairs sprinkle my back, I’m not seeing any signs of middle-age paunch down below. In fact, I’m leaner and in better shape than most dachshunds half my age. Maybe I’m just starting to take after my brothers Frank and Stanley, a late bloomer into the imposing physique of a  big-boned gal from Washington State.

Hospital anxiety

Dr. Aimee, who a year ago set my target weight at 18.5 pounds, told Mike and Heather that we’d consider 20 pounds or so as my new normal. Even with that reassurance, however, Mike immediately cut back my twice-a-day rations: Now I get 5 of the special Hills Oral Care “meatballs” instead of 6 at each meal. “At least until things stabilize,” he promised me, anticipating my opposition to this latest menu change. We’ll see how long it lasts.

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 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


Chloë Gets Accolades from Her Doctor

I have determined that going to the vet isn’t the trauma that it’s often made out to be by pets much wimpier than I.

Elliott Bay Animal Hospital

When I go to the vet, particularly for my annual physical, I come away filled with praise and a nonstop supply of treats. Other than the anal thermometer, what’s there to be nervous about?

When Mike and I went there the other day,  I had the crucial weigh-in first. My new assistant Corrie put me on a scale recently installed in the lobby that I didn’t even have to step up onto;  it was just flat with the floor. And after I finally planted my butt down, Corrie said, “18.1 pounds, even lower than last time.” Obviously, Mike is not feeding me enough frozen PBBs.

Frozen PBB., fully stuffed.

Frozen PBB., fully stuffed.

Dr. Kimmel

Dr. Kimmel

Then Dr. Kimmel came into the exam room and got things off on the right foot by referring to me as “the healthy one in the family.” She meant that my portly brothers Frank and Stanley, also her patients,  continue to be plagued by skin problems.  Hmmm. . .maybe the broth, eggs and yogurt that Mike mixes in with my kibble every day is having positive, probiotic effects on me, as Mike’s homemade pickles do for him and Heather. I just thought all that stuff he mixed in made the dry kibble taste better, which it does. But I digress.

Dr. Kimmel examined me head to toenail (had them clipped), and she dismissed as insignificant any of the little bumps on my otherwise perfect body that Mike dutifully pointed out to her. One of the bumps turned out to be my microchip, migrated from between my shoulder blades. No big deal, apparently. She also praised my weight and overall physical condition, but she gave her greatest accolades to my dental care. “Beautiful” and “awesome” are but two of her words describing my teeth and gums. On the chart she filled out and gave Mike, under Dental Score (mild to severe), she penciled in a new category below the lowest one the chart and circled it.  In other words,  my dental health lies in previously uncharted territory.

Check out those pearly whites!

Check out those pearly whites!

Mike was so happy about my behavior and my exam results that on the way out he scooped up a handful of the fancy organic treats they leave on the counter, and he gave me a steady supply of treats for the rest of the day. If this continues, that 18.1-pound mark might soon become yet another fond memory of my youth.

Chloë Has a Few Hiccups at the Vet

Dr. Kimmel

Don’t take that headline too literally! I didn’t actually hiccup at my annual physical last week. It was just that a few minor issues arose on this visit. I got a bit nervous while I was there, frankly, from the moment I stepped on the scales. Everyone was watching me, and touching me, and I didn’t know any of them. But I weighed in at a svelte 17.5 pounds, once I settled down enough to make the electronic scale register correctly. That’s 1.3 pounds less than I weighed there last September! I knew Mike should be giving me more to eat, and now I can prove it. Unfortunately, Dr.  Kimmel, my personal physician, advised against it. “Keep her thin,” I clearly heard her tell Mike. “Her weight is perfect.” Dammit.

When we got in the examination room, I sat nervously in Mike’s lap until one of the new assistants took my temperature. You know where, too, right up the old Hershey Highway. This must be what Mike feels when he gets his annual prostate exam, because when I put my front paws up around his neck and glommed tightly onto him while this foul procedure was happening, I could tell that he could feel my pain. We bonded.

Dr. Kimmel Examines Chloë

And having my temperature taken wasn’t even the worst of it. Dr. Kimmel also told Mike that I had too much waxy gunk deep inside my left ear, so now Heather’s going to have to clean my ears more often for at least a couple of weeks, and I hate it, treats or no treats. And then the doctor showed Mike that he’s missing spots on my rear upper teeth when he brushes them. A small section of plaque buildup is forming,  marring my otherwise spotless choppers. Again, this likely means more agony for me from the fingertip toothbrush of that Mean Mr. Mike.

On the plus side, Dr. Kimmel pointed out that I have avoided anal sac draining and the recurring skin problems that brothers Frank and Stanley endure. Maybe that’s the result of all of those diet extras (veggies, eggs and broth) that Mike adds to all  my meals. Of course, my easy-going disposition also has a lot to do with maintaining my excellent physical health.

Chloë warns: “Get your shit outta here, bub!”

When my lab results came back the next day, however, we found out something was amiss: Despite my preventive medication, I’ve contracted a worm, an internal parasite. Disgusting, isn’t it? Even worse, I caught it from sniffing the poop of those asshole raccoons who live in the trees in back of the unoccupied white house next door. The heck with PETA; I hope somebody shoots those foul critters, if I can’t first get to them first myself. They have supplanted the Bartons’ cat as No. 1 on my enemies list.

Anyway, Heather got a prescription from the vet and Mike had to sprinkle some white powder on my dinner for three consecutive days (I don’t think it was cocaine, either) and repeat the same dosage in two weeks.  Then he has to bring another stool sample to the vet, and hopefully that new poop will restore my clean bill of health.

Chloë looks for raccoon through kitchen door.

In the meantime, I’m feeling fine, but somehow violated. I survey the trees behind the house every morning before my breakfast, looking for those damn raccoons. Just wait until the next time I see them. Nobody’s going to hold me back.

Chloë Goes Under the Knife

When I didn’t get any breakfast that morning, I knew something was up. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Chloë’s spaying certificate.

I got spayed. Officially, I had an ovariohysterectomy*. Alas, now I will never be able to know the full palette of my womanhood. But I’m OK with it. The pain was never that bad–and still isn’t. I’ve got good drugs. And  now that it’s over, I’m getting lots of sympathy and special treatment. Mike carries me home after I pee. Heather gently cleans me with a soft, warm washcloth (even my woo-woo) and then lets me gnaw on my rawhide bully stick–in bed! I even overheard that steak and ice cream will be on my menu. This kind of stuff has never happened before. Kids? Who needs ’em? Big pain in the butt; that’s what I heard my own mother say.

*According to PetEducation.com, “An ovariohysterectomy (OHE) or spay is the complete removal of the female reproductive tract. The ovaries, oviducts, uterine horns and the uterus are removed. Not only does this procedure prevent the animal from becoming pregnant, it also eliminates the twice-yearly heat cycles. The surgery removes the source of production of such hormones as estrogen and progesterone that are responsible for stimulating and controlling heat cycles and play a major role during pregnancy. They also have other effects on the body, and some of them are potentially harmful.”

So I’m with the program. ZPG and all that. Everybody at Elliott Bay Animal Hospital said I was a model patient, well behaved AND cute (I’m not too modest to admit). While I was knocked out, I also got a microchip implanted, and the very next day Mike got me a dog license (qualifiying for discounts for having me spayed and for having a City of Seattle Gold Card for Healthy Aging, making Mike very happy!).

Now I’m offcial, just another set of numbers. My days of playing it footloose and fancy-free are coming to a close. I must curtail post-operative activity for at least a week, meaning no long walks, no ball chasing, no roughhousing. and certainly no visits with Frank and Stanley.

Chloë licks her Kong through her Elizabethan collar.

It will be just a lot of lying around. About the most strenuous thing I can do is chew a bully stick or lick a Kong. Life  like that can get boring.

Yeah, it’s really hard laying around all day and getting waited on hand and foot.  I’ll just have to make the most of it.

Chloë catches some zzzzs.