Bull Terrier Tuesday I: Big Vet Visit

Despite the sheer volume of dog-related posts a couple of weeks ago, I promise that the blog isn’t going to become a dog blog.  Bull Terrier Tuesday won’t be a regular feature, but maybe once a month or so I’ll give some updates on Murphy, the eight-year female bull terrier I’m fostering for The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission.

We’re nearly three weeks into the thirty-day foster-to-adopt process, and today Murphy has a big vet visit.  She had a good first visit the day after I got her, and her bloodwork has come back clean.  She’s also heartworm negative, which is a real blessing.  That first visit got her vaccinations updated, too, so Murphy is street legal now.

But today’s visit is a really big one.  Murphy is an old girl with a number of issues, all of which are easily resolved (I hope), but which will require her to go under sedation.

For one, she desperately needs her nails trimmed.  Her prior owner apparently let them grow wild, and the poor girl has at least one nail that is so curled, it’s beginning to go into her paw, causing her a good bit of discomfort.  Last Wednesday, Murphy began walking with her right paw raised, hopping about from place to place.  Bull terriers are very pain resistant, so for her to experience that much discomfort, the nail must really hurt.  Because of the severe nature of her nails, she’ll have to go under while the vet trims them.

Murphy also needs her anal glands expressed, which the veterinarian tells me is easy to do, but will be much easier while the old girl is under.  Murphy has been rubbing her butt around the floor in circles, which I initially thought was just a dog thing.  Then I started noticing small spots of blood on my rugs (easily cleaned out, thankfully), and found a raw spot with a bit of blood near her lady parts.  It wasn’t gushing blood, but was rather like when you scratch a mosquito bite too much and too hard.  Expressing her anal glands (which sounds very humorous when said out loud) will alleviate some discomfort, and she likely won’t rub her butt compulsively.

The sweetie pie also has sensitive skin—at least, it seems that way to me.  I gave her a good bath Friday—which she did not appreciate—and tried to wash some of the sore spots on her soft underbelly gently with a warm, wet washcloth.  As far as I can tell, she does not have fleas, so I’m not sure where these spots have come from.  Apparently, some of them are skin tags, but they look a bit red and raw.

Finally, folks at the Rescue suspect she has arthritis in her hips, so they’re going to check that out, too.

That’s all to say that sweet Murphy will be out cold this morning—and probably a good chunk of the day.  Of course, she pretty much sleeps all the time, anyway, so it won’t be too different from normal.

She really is a chill dog.  She gets a little excited—and occasionally naughty—around 8:30 or 9 PM, usually about an hour before she conks out for the night.  That’s when I have to watch her to make sure she’s not tearing up couch pillows or the like.  We’ll usually do a little training session, or chase the Kong around.  If I load that sucker up right, she’ll mess around with it for fifteen minutes.  I like to fill it with all sorts of snacks—bananas, peanut butter, dog treats, etc.—and Murphy does, too.

Anyway, that’s the latest on the pup.  In another week or so, I’ll suppose it will be time to begin the formal adoption process, should I choose to keep her.

At this point, I think I will!


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