I'll say upfront: our vet is amazing. He really likes Shibas and has worked with them a good bit. I like him both as a doctor and as a person. He never says "do this" - instead he says "this is what I think and would recommend, but it is your choice". He gives you the information and let's you stay in charge of your pet's health.
First thing that came out in the exam was Zuko is a bit chunky. I knew it as soon as he stepped on the scale: 31 pounds. He was 28 pounds. Oops. Someone has been getting a little too much cheese! The doc said it wasn't too bad and Zuko carries it well, but he'd be better off a couple pounds lighter.
The rest of his physical exam was good: heart, lungs and so forth - all good. Teeth are starting to get some plaque but not too bad. During this entire time Zuko was standing on the table being a good dog. He wasn't thrilled, but no shaking, no whining, just the "martyred Shiba" look. Of course, he was also getting a little bit of spray cheese, so it wasn't all that bad.
Then came time for the blood draw. Oh boy. Our vet did it there in the room with me present and two nurses holding Zuko. I was ready for the Shiba scream. I was ready for thrashing, violent craziness. Nothing. I am not kidding - he didn't even whine. He did tuck his tail, which is the first time I've ever seen it truly tucked! I was so proud of the little dude I gave him tons more spray cheese. As soon as he came off the table, the tail curled back up and he decided he wanted to go explore the rest of the clinic since his leash wasn't yet attached. As usual, he bounces right back after "trauma".
So why the bloodwork? I told the vet I have a lazy Shiba. He gets the zoomies, he goes nuts at the beach, he's a monster at daycare - but given what I have always heard about the breed, he seems lazy. And I wanted to rule out any underlying medical issues. The doctor tested his thyroid and blood levels, and checked for heartworm. We received the results Saturday morning: all clear.
Official vet report: "He's a chill Shiba". We have that shocking rare Shiba, probably almost as rare as a Shibasquatch*: a mellow, chill Shiba.
One final note: We did start him on Heartgard. Northern California rarely has cases of heartworm due to the fact we really don't have many mosquitoes here. Dr. Layba has never recommended it, but we discussed it this time. He said he and his fellow Bay Area vets have seen a slight rise (meaning a couple cases a year) and if Zuko is what he called an "adventure dog" and goes everywhere with us, then it would not hurt to have him on it. I tend to believe we over medicate ourselves and our animals, but I also believe in preventative care so I made the decision to start him on it. Of course, the nice tasty chewable "pill" was rejected by Zuko. I broke it up into smaller pieces and he spit them out.
-- Posted by Paranoid Puppy Mommy
*Shibasquatch is a Twitter hashtag reporting the odd occurrences of a Shiba being spotted off-leash and behaving. Much like the Sasquatch, the Shibasquatch has true believers and those who think this is just a myth. For more information, run a Twitter search!
|"I believe in Shibasquatch"|