Willie wasn't the only one who had surgery late last week. Trooper, our hound with the bent front legs, was always very "jowly," with thick folds of skin under his jaw. Recently we noticed some swelling there, but then it would disappear ... only to come back. It was soft, felt like fluid, wasn't painful, and didn't interfere with Trooper's eating or drinking.
But when it ballooned up again, making Trooper look like a pelican, we took him to our primary care vet clinic in Whitefield. They diagnosed it as a salivary mucocele, which means one or more saliva glands are damaged and don't drain properly. The fluid collects in pockets under the skin. To repair it -- by removing the damaged saliva glands -- requires a board-certified surgeon, which is why we took Trooper to see Dr. Josie Mallinckrodt, who did Willie's surgery.
She performed surgery on Trooper on Friday, and I drove over to Burlington on Saturday to pick up Trooper and Willie and bring them back to the farm. Both are doing fine, by the way. Alayne and I took these photos of Trooper this afternoon.
Here's a close-up of Trooper's incision site:
This boy has saliva glands left, don't worry. And as a drooling hound dog -- feeding him was always an exercise in not getting slobbered on! -- we joked that he could actually afford to lose a couple!
The question is, how did his saliva glands get damaged? The culprit, we believe, is Austin the blind Beagle, who shares Trooper's yard during the day. We had noticed in the past year that Austin had started "playing" with his Uncle Trooper's jowls ... he'd take the folds of skin in his mouth and gently chew and suck on them. And oddly, Trooper would let him. We didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until the swelling first appeared that it occurred to Alayne to ask, "Hey, I wonder if that's from Austin chewing on him?"
So when Willie and Trooper came home this weekend, we moved Austin to a different play yard. He's now with Louie the blind Beagle, Bugsy, and eventually Willie (Willie will be in the house most of the time over the next couple of weeks as he recovers).
Austin is one of those dogs who loves to chew on things. Over the years he has destroyed everything from countless beds, electric cords, chair legs, satellite TV cables (subsequently placed in metal conduit), and just about anything else he can find. Kongs and chew toys do not interest him. Generally only expensive "novelty" items will do. Apparently we have to add jowls to the list.
Please Vote for the Farm!
The latest Shelter Challenge started Monday, July 9 and ends at midnight on September 16. Grand prize in this round is $5,000, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** We are now LISTED UNDER OUR NEW NAME, ROLLING DOG FARM. State is still NH for New Hampshire. ***
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We just won $1,000 as a weekly winner in the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
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