Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Work in Progress

Yesterday I took Tessa to the vet.  I found a tick on her on Sunday.  It was engorged, and after I removed it, a red ring appeared around the bite.  When she was my foster, I had her tested for lyme and she tested positive.  We treated her for a month with doxy as a precaution since there was no information about where she had come from, or her medical history.  Since that time, she has tested positive for lyme every time she is tested.  Because of that, I keep a close eye on her for signs of lameness, etc.

Since there is no way to detect the disease, I wanted to treat her with antibiotics as a precaution, so she had to go to the vet.

The vets office is probably the one place where Tessa has made the least progress with confidence, for the simple reason that she rarely goes.  She has gone in once a hear for her annual exam and heartworm/lyme test, and she went in the time she was bit by a groundhog.  She has been healthy as an ox.  One of the fleeting joys of a young dog!

Anyway, a trip to the vet is always interesting with her.  We manage it, for the most part.

In the waiting room, she was decently confident.  A little clingy, but she stood on her own four feet and looked around with some level of interest.  She did get on the scale willingly this time.  In the past that has been a bit of a challenge, but she got right on and stayed nicely this time.

She did not want to go into the exam room.  This was new, actually.  She has never liked going into small rooms, but she has always gone into the exam rooms there.  I'm not sure if it was because she remembers those rooms and doesn't like them, or if it was because this was the corner room and it would have looked to her to have a smaller "opening" to get into it.

I actually had to pick her up and carry her in there.  But - that, in itself, was big progress.  She trusted me enough to let me do that with no objection.  I had to get some of her tail fur out from under my foot, but that was my own problem.  Once in the room, she was fine on her own feet again.

When it came time for the tech to see the bite - which was on the left side of her face, just past her jaw a bit - she did lie down and try to shimmy back into me a bit.  The tech joked to her, "Tessa, you can't go into your mom's pocket!"  It did seem like her back end was going there.  But she tolerated being handled and looked over.

And then she tolerated the same with the vet.  She even let me lift her so he could see her underside.

Really, we need to do some work with this.  The day may come when she might need a surgery or senior blood work or an x-ray or something.

In a lot of ways she is better off than Speedy started out.  At one time we actually had to muzzle him at the vets.  She tolerates things much better than that.  Speedy started out diving under chairs and cowering behind me when the vet even looked at him, and he went on to be able to be x-rayed without sedation and to be able to go into the back without me to get blood drawn.

Tessa has quite a way to go.

This whole thing really serves to remind me that a dog with any kind of fear issues is always a work in progress.  The dog can overcome quite a lot, but there is always some area where there is room for improvement and growth.

At one time I would have found that thought burdensome, but at this point it is just a fact of life.  I love the "he or she has come so far" moments, but you don't have those without first having the "we have quite a lot to work on" moments.

I also marvel at these times at the amount of confidence that Tessa does have at Agility trials and in training.  She really is a remarkable dog.  She might try to hide in my pocket at the vets office, but put her in a ring to compete and she will preen and prance and shine like a star.

Two weeks of amoxicillin.  Hopefully no more ticks after this!

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