Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tails from the court


Our Chelsea (3.5 year old Maltese) is a cute, smart little princess -- and she knows it. Unfortunately, she's been a little under the weather lately. She began having "coughing spells" on Easter Sunday. One of them lasted 20 minutes. It was like she was trying to cough up a gigantic hairball.

I took her to the veterinary clinic on Monday, where she was examined, X-rayed, and diagnosed with a collapsing trachea. This condition is rather common in toy breeds such as Maltese. It's typically treated with medications (she's on cough syrup and Theophylline, a bronchodilator) and weight loss. Chelsea's a chow hound, and she's obese. She must lose 2 pounds (which is a LOT for a Maltese) . . . and this is going to be hard for a little girl who loves her Baa-Baa Q's. Her veterinarian prescribed some special dry food. She can eat 3/4 cup a day of this food, along with some peas, carrots, and/or green beans.

Oh, My Stars. The Princess is Not Happy.

Three days later . . . thankfully, the coughing spells aren't as often and don't last as long.  Chelsea detests the cherry flavored cough syrup . . . red streaks on her "beard" from near-misses make her look like a vampire. (We joke about her drinking TruBlood. BTW, why can't they make CHICKEN flavored cough syrup for dogs?!!) She senses something "nasty" in the Pill Pockets we use to wrap the Theophylline pills in -- we pretty much have to force feed those. She's very angry about the new treats (Baa-Baa Q's have been replaced with green beans) and is refusing to eat her new dry food (even though I'm mixing it with her old food to get her used to it.)

THE PRINCESS IS NOT HAPPY.

Poor Chelsea. Of course, her Royal Court is suffering, too. Cody (nearly 7 year old Maltese) and Misha (10 year old gray tabby) were sympathetic for the first day, but now they're just bored with the whole situation. But Chelsea is seriously angry now about the food thing. She's growling at me, snapping at her siblings, barking at the wind and every little noise -- even more than usual. I know exactly how she feels: it's called BEING ON A DIET.

Hopefully, she'll get used to her new way of eating soon, and the collapsed trachea will improve as she loses weight. I'm sure she'll feel much better, and soon the Kingdom will be happy again!