December is the time of year that is both anticipated and dreaded. The anticipated part of the month is all the well-known, happy celebrations. The dreaded part: taking Samson to the vet for his yearly checkup. Usually, it's such an effort to get him there that I feel like I need a checkup too. This year was different. Getting him there was easy. As you can tell by the rapid wagging of his tail, he was anxious to see who was opening the door. The vet gets in the floor with him for the checkup because putting him on the table makes him VERY anxious and defensive. This visit was stressful in that he needed four shots, a stool sample and a blood-draw. His toenails were also clipped. He hates that more than the shots I believe. He's lost five pounds, which is great. He has a few small tumors but nothing that can't wait a while. He's had two surgeries for tumors in the past three years. I'd rather him not have anymore if at all possible for a while. Overall, he appears well and happy.
In anticipation of his high stress level, I gave him acepromazine. The vet tech told me to give it to him one hour before his appointment time. That one hour was not long enough. He was full of vim and vigor for the entire evaluation. Unfortunately, on the way home, it took affect. The photo below is what he was like when I was trying to get him out of the car at about 5 PM to go into the house. It only got worse. I couldn't get him to comprehend what he needed to do. I couldn't pick him up. I felt helpless. I wanted to cry. I came into the house and got several blankets because it was bitter cold. I covered him very well so he wouldn't get cold. The acepromazine lowers body temperature and that worried me. I'd given him the pill at 2:30 PM. At 7 PM he was still out of it and sound asleep in the car. I went out every 30 mins to check on him. Finally, at about 9 PM I got a pocket full of jerky and headed to the car. I couldn't leave him there all night and I wanted to prepare myself for the night. I gently woke him and let him get a sniff of the jerky. My prayer was answered and it was working! Whoo-hoo! I helped him out of the Blazer. I broke very small pieces of the jerky off and tossed them, one by one, a few feet ahead of him. He'd make his way to the jerky, stop to eat it and plop down for a rest. That happened six times before we made it to the top of the ramp. Finally, after about 20 mins, we were in the house and he was on the couch under his blanket and snoring. I didn't feel comfortable not keeping an eye on him so I put the ottoman by him on the couch and I slept in the recliner. I checked on him several times throughout the night. It was the next evening before he began to stir. That pill definitely has a 24-hour effect. Unless he has another surgery, I will never again give him that sedative. ha
We made it through the checkup of 2013 and will not give it another thought until the postman delivers the reminder card for December 2014.