A tail of…my beach bod!

So, today I found out that I’m fat.  I can’t believe it.  I thought I was just fine because I look the same as so many other dogs that come in and out of here.  Jenn, the resident fat shamer, told me that I was.  I didn’t believe her, but I checked with the docs and they said she was right.  I tried so hard to defend myself, telling them that I only eat one cup of food in the morning and one cup at night, but it turns out my red solo cup holds more like 2 cups!  I was wondering why it has been harder for me to jump up to the chair to type.

As it turns out, it’s not just about how I look and whether or not I have a nice beach bod (or, in my case, a dog park bod).  Apparently having some extra pounds on my frame can cause many different health problems and actually shorten my life.  How can I keep telling you about this wonderful place that is WVG if my life gets shortened?  My joints, bones and ligaments are more likely to get damaged.  Arthritis will make it really hard for me to get up and down and I surely don’t want to be staring down an orthopedic surgery.  I am more likely to get “the diabetes” (My friend Bruno’s dad called it “the sugar”) which can cause a whole host of health issues.  As it turns out, these few extra pounds that I’m carrying around can really affect my health in a whole lot of ways.

I’m going to start measuring my food in a real measuring cup and stop begging for so many treats in the form of human food.  I’m going to make it a point to get myself some more exercise.  Sitting at this keyboard qualifies as me being rather sedentary.  I want to keep myself in the best health I can!  This human/animal bond thing is really cool and I want to stick around, feeling well, for as long as I can.  I have full faith in the doctors here to do their part in keeping me healthy, so now I guess it’s my job to watch my weight!

A Tail of…being hot and bothered!

At this time of year, if I’m thankful for anything, it would have to be air conditioning.  When I go out to take care of business, some days I just can’t wait to come back inside where it’s cool.  If I do go out to play, I keep it brief and then get a big drink when I come back in.  Think about it, I have to wear a coat all summer long.  I keep looking and looking for the zipper so I can take it off, but haven’t found it yet.  And I don’t sweat, or if you would rather, call it perspire, like you humans do.  I can sweat a tiny bit through the pads on my feet, but the main way I get rid of heat is by panting, and that doesn’t cool me down very quickly.

The other day, my buddy SmooshFace (well, that’s what I call him anyway!) came in very overheated after a hike in the Watchung Reservation.  He is a Pug which isn’t a very fancy word, but he has another very fancy word to describe him.  It’s called brachycephalic and this describes a bunch of other dogs too, like Shih-Tzus, Pekingese, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Boxers and any other dogs with smooshed in faces who have trouble panting well in the first place.  These guys (and gals!) really need to relax in the cool air when it’s hot out!  No long walks, dog parks or games of fetch in the middle of the day.

Another friend named Bella (yes, I even have girl friends…just not cats!  I don’t like cats!) came to see Dr. Witham because she went for a walk with her owner and burned the heck out of her feet!  You people are protected from the hot black-top, but we dogs don’t wear shoes.  Do you have any idea how hot that asphalt can get?  Sometimes it’s hot enough to fry an egg.  Let me tell you, if you can fry an egg, then it can burn the heck out of dogs’ paws.  Here’s a little test you can try:  put the back of your hand down on the surface for 5 seconds.  If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for me!!

And don’t even get me started about leaving pets in the car.  Not even for a few minutes.  Even with the window cracked, it gets so hot in there.  Within just fifteen minutes, it’s hot enough to cause brain damage or heat stroke which can lead to death.  It’s just not worth it.  Please, please don’t trap us in a hot car.  It’s really, really awful and we have no way of getting out.

I really do love the summer though!  Well, except for the fireworks on Fourth of July……..


Tail of the… creepy crawlies!

Who knew that veterinarians also know a thing or two about bugs!  Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, roundworms, hookworms, heartworms and so many more!  And let me tell you, they are not just pesky and gross, but these guys are responsible for spreading all kinds of horrible diseases that can make not only my friends and me sick, but you and your family as well.

My friend Bandit the Labrador came in so sad one day.  He was so brave the week before when he had the needle stuck in him to pull out some blood, but when the laboratory sent back the results, it turned out that he was positive for heartworm!  Apparently those annoying mosquitoes are not just responsible for giving you an itchy welt.  They can spread heartworm to dogs and even cats!  Sometimes cats don’t think they can get it because they never go outside, but pesky mosquitoes certainly invite themselves inside!  Now, I’m not a huge fan of cats, but it makes me a little sad when they get sick…just don’t tell them I said that.  It’s bad for my image.  Bandit now has to take lots and lots of medicine, and over the next 2 months has to have several hospital stays.  But worst of all, he has to stay in his crate for 90 days!  If he gets too active, fragments of dead worms can block his blood flow!!!  That’s not only disgusting, but can be life threatening!  I heard the doctor delivering the news to Bandit’s family and holy moly it’s going to cost a lot to make him better.  I don’t know why they wouldn’t just give him that tasty little treat every month like I take.  It’s really yummy and keeps me healthy at the same time.  It protects my belly from disgusting bugs that can live in my belly too.  I’ve heard the doctors say that some of these worms can infect humans too.  That should be incentive enough to protect your pets!


Now let me tell you a thing or two about ticks!!  They are out in abundance right now.  Like a little army of little eight-legged creatures just waiting to jump aboard something nice and warm and take a nice blood meal.  Yuck!  And these guys (and gals!) can transmit all sorts of horrible disease, such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and a bunch of other ones that I can’t pronounce.  Lucky for me and my dog pals, there is a vaccine for Lyme that can at least help prevent us from getting that one.  I heard that Lyme disease can be pretty bad and cause all kinds of problems.  I get another treat each month to help protect me from these nasty diseases caused by ticks.  Some of my friends get a little bit of liquid applied to their backs.  I’ll bet you humans wish you could just eat a tasty snack instead of covering yourselves with DEET!

As long as I stay as protected as I can from all of these bugs, I really enjoy the spring time!  I can spend more time outside running and playing, and the flowers are really pretty too!

Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you soon!


The tail of…my introduction.

The tail of…my introduction.

Hello and welcome to my blog.  First off, let me introduce myself.  My name is Wes and I am the official “spokesdog” – self-appointed, of course, for Westfield Vet Group, where I have taken up residence.  Who better to be in charge of an animal hospital than an animal?? This blogging malarkey is perfect for me because although I can’t talk, I can type like nobody’s business.  Luckily, the doctors are very hard at work taking care of all of my friends, so it leaves their chairs empty throughout the day, so I just jump right on to their computers.  They sometimes wonder why their chairs are warm and furry.

There is an awful lot that goes on here, so I’m going to try to give you a first-hand account, with an insider’s perspective, of what happens here!  It’s sometimes hard to keep up, because this place stays open all the time.  Can you believe that?  It never, ever closes!  I feel bad for my friends that need to come in the middle of the night because some of them are pretty sick, but let me tell you, the doctors, techs and actually everybody that works here are so smart and so very kind.  And of course I’m here to let them know not to be scared.

I will try to update you when I can and certainly when there is exciting news to report.  I hope you will follow along with me.  Until next time…