Bad mommy; no biscuit!

Hey, how was your weekend? Do anything exciting?

Mine? Oh, yeah. Mine was great. You know, just doing the regular weekend stuff. Sleeping in. Buying groceries. Poisoning the dog. The usual.

What? Oh, haha. Yeah, kidding. Of course I’m kidding! I would never poison the dog! I mean, not on purpose, or anything. It was an accident.

Well, yes, I did actually do the same thing once before. I just thought it wouldn’t happen again. I mean… I just… LOOK, LICORICE IS OVER IT, WHY AREN’T YOU? Sheesh! Everyone’s a critic!

I’m telling you, it was an ACCIDENT, and I’m perfectly capable of marinating in my own guilt, thankyouverymuch. Hmph.

So, do you remember back when Licorice got really sick from her flea medicine back in March? (Of course you do. You do nothing but sit around and read my blog, memorizing the mundane details of my family’s life. Because that’s not weird or creepy at all.) After that, we switched meds. Because, obviously. Who wants to make their dog miserable every month? Not me!

We switched to a topical flea preventive and, well, that worked exactly not at all. So we went back to the previous med but split the dose in half and gave it with tons of peanut butter and hallelujah—not only did Licorice not get sick, it killed the fleas.

And there was much rejoicing.

But, see, I didn’t realize that apparently she can only tolerate the meds when Mercury is in retrograde, on alternate Thursdays when the moon is full. Or something. Because yesterday—being the first of the month—I whipped out her meds and dutifully cut the pill in half and fed her globs of peanut butter and then gave her half a pill and went on my merry way.

About an hour later, Chickadee asked me why Licorice was in her crate. Licorice prefers to lay around on the floor of my office or under the futon in here, usually, during the day. But she was sitting in her crate, which is a little unusual.

“Licorice, c’mere,” I called. She ignored me. I got down on the floor in front of the crate. “Come on, sweetie! Come!” She was looking right at me but seemed a little… glazed. I patted the floor. And then her little body shuddered and she horked up the contents of her stomach.

I may have used some Bad Words.

We got her outside, where she continued to be sick, and then she did the fall-over-and-refuse-to-move thing, so we carried her in, and she curled up in a little ball and MOANED. LOUDLY.

Have you ever heard a little dog doing the Deep Moan of Agony? It’s really horrible and pathetic.

The good news is that this time I knew what was happening and more or less what to look for and how to handle it; we had some anti-nausea meds left over from the last time this happened, so we cleaned her up and kept her as comfortable as possible and gave her one of those. And yes, it’s an oral med, and yes, SHE THREW THAT UP TOO, and yes, I took the partially-digested pill and stuffed it back down her throat because I didn’t know what else to do.

It finally took and she slept a while and then woke up feeling a little better.

Of course, then we discovered that her muzzle totally smelled like puke and her breath was positively rancid, so then we added insult to injury and subjected her to tooth-brushing AND a bath, two things which I’m guessing fall low on her list of preferred activities. In fact, I’m pretty sure Licorice’s activity preferences list looks something like this:

1) Eat dead things.
2) Chase squirrels.
3) Be petted.
4) Zoom around the house like a puppy on crack.
5) Eat treats.
6) Lick own butt.
27) Puke.
139) Have a bath with the foofy-smelling soap.
140) Have teeth brushed.
141) Be stepped on while simultaneously having teeth brushed and taking a bath.

Anyway. She’s fine this morning, which just proved that dogs are extremely resilient, or maybe just a little bit stupid.

Today we’re off to the vet to figure out what to do; medicine that works great and she can sometimes take just fine but sometimes turns her into a fuzzy pile of puketastic misery seems like a high price to pay for flea control. And I’m not just saying that because I spent most of yesterday whispering, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to poison you, baby” into her limp little ears.


  1. Jen

    Dogs are very forgiving, fortunately. Hoping you find a good solution soon!
    Mind you I live where the winter freeze kills a lot of the little buggers so ours aren’t QUITE as tough as those GA fleas, but we have had GREAT luck with Diatomaceous Earth. We had a bad infestation when we moved to this house (fleas in the carpets, ack!). And I spread the earth around the yard and house, waited two days, vacuumed the carpet and no fleas for seven years even though we have indoor-outdoor cats. (I’m very sensitive to chemicals and didn’t want to use poisons, and I do flea comb the kitties just in case so I’m sure we haven’t had any!) This year for the first time in 7 we had fleas again, and I just worked some diatomaceous powder into their fur and combed it out the next day–no live fleas and I haven’t seen any new ones. So far so good, anyway, and no guilt from me for poisoning the fur-babies…
    (Just make sure you get the food grade DE–apparently they use a coarser version for pool filters that won’t do the job on the little vermin…)

  2. Nelson's Mama

    Since we have so many pets, (four cats, plus Nelson) and it gets very expensive to flea treat everyone – I’ve discovered that I can wait until a flea is actually “spotted” on somebody, (Comfortis starts killing fleas within 30 minutes I believe) which pushes the flea treatment well beyond it’s month, sometimes as long as 45-60 days. I don’t even treat them in the winter months. Not only does it save money, but I like the idea of not putting chemicals them as often.

  3. Suzie

    I am again struck by how easy my cat is.

  4. dad

    Dear Dr. Mir,

    I greatly enjoyed your list of puppy preferences.

    Please note that I also object to “being stepped on while simultaneously having my teeth brushed and taking a bath.”
    Does that mean I am extremely resilient, or maybe just a little bit stupid?

    Well at least I have smart progeny.

  5. Megan

    Heh. I read Jen’s comment as ‘WAILED for two days’ which made total sense as that’s exactly what I would do (“AUUUGH! FLLLLEEEEEAAAAAS! !”)

  6. Karen

    I want to second Jen’s recommendation for food-grade Diatomaceous Earth. My experience is with cats, and most of the available flea treatments are toxic. There are too many stories about animals getting ill, having neurological damage, and even dying after flea treatments.

    My sympathies for you and Licorice.

  7. Rachel

    Move to North Dakota… I think the winter here would kill the flea problem & clear up Chickie’s rash. You already have a friend here (never mind that we’ve never actually met, details, details!)… see you soon! = )

  8. Lindy

    Did you give her the medicine after she ate a meal? I mean I guess that’s part what the peanut butter is for. We give Rosie flea medicine in pill form and if I don’t feed her a whole pile of dog chow first she’ll barf it up everywhere. I don’t know if you’ve ever tries those Greenies pill pockets, they smell like ass but they’re worth their weight in gold when it comes to getting dogs to take pills.

  9. Kim W.

    This weekend I did the following (in no particular order):

    1) Got into an argument with our 10-year-old neighbor (yeah, really mature, Kim)
    2) Let our 16-mo-old help stir the eggs and get a 2nd degree burn between his fingers from the pan
    3) Poured iodine on 7-year-old’s cut and then when he screamed out of proportion, I realized it was the iodine tincture with ALCOHOL

    I’m sure there was more. I was a mess this weekend.

    (But at least I didn’t POISON THE DOG, Mir.)

  10. Tracy

    Well, my weekend was a lot better than yours…of course, the 115º weather was very pleasant. (Insert sarcasm here) I hope the doctor can figure out a good remedy for Licorice. It’s so miserable when they are sick because you don’t know what to do, where it hurts or anything. My Cooper sprained his back last week. He’s fragile at a whopping 5 lbs. Anyway, I got him some pain meds that we had gotten from when he had his teeth cleaned. I really felt bad for him afterwards. He was so drunk, he just looked at you with the most pitiful eyes ever. The next day, off to the vet. I don’t know how our vet does it but the minute we are back in the car and home, he has a 110% recovery…every single time. I don’t care, as long as he’s better. I know Licorice will be better soon as well!

  11. Amy

    At least you knew why your precious baby was sick! Milo was ridiculous for about 3 days and then threw up and pooped all over the place for no apparent reason on Saturday. Except that I think he may have eaten a mushroom in the backyard. And now we are going to have a “just say no to drugs” talk with him. Parenting, sheesh.

  12. j.lee

    Aw…poor doggy!

  13. Shirley @ gfe

    One has to have a sense of humor about these things. Thankfully, you do and nobody/no doggie was permanently injured. My giant collies never did well with flea meds. We did the flea shampoo only. They stayed flealess unless they were exposed to other dogs. I did use DE once in the house though. It worked. Hope you figure out the best approach for you and Licorice!


  14. Lori N

    Just gave the dog her heart worm medication & tonight she gets the flea/tick treatment. Luckily no problems here yet (knock on wood). Love Licorice’s priority list — you could add roll in dead things. Experienced that one for the first time today. Really don’t want to do it again.

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