Besides a healthy baby on the way and Mack and Pete’s ever growing tolerance for each other, our family had even more to be thankful for this past Christmas season.
A few weeks ago, Hubs and I decided Mack was ripe enough to toss his ass in the tub and give an old, pissed off bulldog something more to complain about. Mackie got a double shampooing, full-on brush treatment in the bathtub and a detailed wash between his toes, which he absolutely despises. He was good and pissed off by the time the bath was over.
Hubs and I split the bathing of the bulldogs in half, Hubs half being bigger than mine, of course. While Hubs lifts the dogs in and out of the tub, wrestles the bulldogs in the tub and washes them, I chase them around the bathroom and towel dry them the best I can.
Towel drying the bulldogs is a wrestling match all on its own. Mack usually takes a few laps around the bathroom to walk off the aggravation the bath causes. I’m toweling him off the whole way but it’s all I can do not to jump on his back and ride him like a bull.
I went to dry off Mack’s head, neck and ears. Knowing that I had just a few seconds of Mack holding still for me, I quickly and aggressively toweled off his head and ears, Mack fighting back by thrashing his head all around inside the towel. After a few minutes, I finally got Mack dried off enough to set him free, Mack making a bee line for our fuzzy area rug in front of the fire.
After a half an hour or so, we noticed Mack’s right side ear was puffed up. Like, REALLY swollen. His ear flap is normally about an eighth of an inch thick. Now it was an inch thick.
My knee jerk diagnoses was allergies, but Hubs was already on his iPhone Googling away. His diagnoses was spot on: Aural Hematoma.
Mack’s ear flap was bleeding internally, all from my asshole toweling methods. Even worse, every website and thread from dog owners said that aural hematomas were only corrected by surgery, since the bleeding only continues to the point where the ear basically explodes. A visual of Mack shaking his head off in pain, spraying blood in every crevice of our house played out in my head.
I felt awful. Not only did I injure my poor, fat ol’ puppy Mack, now it’s looking like I will have to hand over my Christmas bonus to a vet for the 2nd year in a row (see https://houseoffarts.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/why-i-havent-posted-in-a-few-weeks/ )
Even worse, a 13-year old geriatric bulldog will now have to go under for surgery, which is quite risky.
Distraught, we took Mack to the vet, where they confirmed that he would probably end up on the operating table but the doctor wanted to give it the good college try before doing so, given Mack’s dinosaur age status.
Mack’s ear was drained, then flipped over to flatten it against his head. A bandage was tightly wrapped around his head to keep the ear compressed, hoping the ear would start to heal on its own. The doctor again warned us that this would be a long shot and promised to get a quote for the surgery over to us right away.
We were told to remove the bandage in 5 days. After Day 4, Mack decided he’d had enough and removed it himself. One moment Mack was just sitting there, sporting his head wrap, not giving a fuck.
The next, Mack was wearing nothing but a flesh-colored infinity scarf and a shit-eating grin:
And his ear, was back to its inflammed state. Shit.
The next day, we brought Mack back to the vet. The doctor wanted to try draining his ear again, but this time taping it down to prevent a certain, crafty old bulldog from removing it. They also put him on a regimen of Prednisone to hopefully speed up the healing process. Which, by the way they had to run up bloodwork for. And which we found out, that Mack’s heart and kidney function are FUCKING OUTSTANDING for his advanced age. So that was our shred of good news.
5 more days went by of Mack, trying his damnedest to take his bandage off. Hubs and I started calling him Babushka Mack, made Yakov Smirnoff jokes and sarcastically asked Mack what he missed about the old country. Mack was not enthused.
Hell, Peterbilt even felt sympathy for his dickhead dad and even gave Mackie a lick on the face. It was awkward for all parties involved.
After 5 days, we brought Mack to the vet where they took him in back to remove the tape.
After 20 minutes or so, Mack came running full speed at us, away from the vet techinician……his ear back to normal appearance.
The doctor warned us to keep Mack from flapping his ears around, possibly undoing the healing, for the next 2-3 days.
And I am pleased to tell you that that was 2 weeks ago and Mackie is 100% healed! Hooray! No surgery!
We managed to skirt a risky and most likely painful dog surgery for our Christmas present and that gift beats the PANTS off of anything else we could have asked for. Including those As-Seen-On-TV Glow Candles I got. Thanks, Mom.