When Harlow Goes To The Vet

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"I did not eat no dirt." -Harlow

The amount of time Harlow and I spend together is a little ridiculous. He doesn't leave the bed until I get up in the morning, and he doesn't go to bed at night until the moment I do. Occasionally he'll pretend to put himself to bed in the evening, but if I'm not up there within twenty minutes he'll peak his little head out the bedroom door like, "hey you coming?"

So it's safe to say when I notice him acting a little different I'm on high alert. *also see: neurotic. It usually goes like this-

I'll notice Harlow slightly limping at the park. I'll call Chris. Chris will say, "just keep an eye on it." I can do that, I think. If it persists for a few weeks I'll call the vet.

Then I casually get on google to see what it may be. CANCER. It's always cancer. Within one hour of seeing the limp we're at the vet. This happens every time. Harlow goes to the vet no less than 10-15 times a year.

The most recent visit last week was due to dry patches on his shoulder. He licked them occasionally, but not every day. According to google they were because of arthritis.

And so I began learning about treatments. We would need to install a therapy pool for him in our living room. Sure, it wouldn't be pretty. But anything for Harlow and his arthritis!

We were at the Wicker Park vet within 24 hours. The doctor came in and saw Harlow sitting on my lap as he always does, laughed a little as all vets do, and then began looking him over. Within ten seconds she pointed out that his harness rubbed in the exact same spots where the dry patches were.

Could it be from that? She asked kindly, not wanting to humiliate me for being such an idiot.

Yes, yes it could.

While we were there we did some routine blood work as it was that time of the year. I paid my $170 bill for peace of mind and reminded myself (as do I after every unnecessary vet visit) that it's better to be safe than sorry. It's kind of funny to me that I had shingles for over two weeks before I forced myself to go to the doctor, but the second I saw one skin irritation on Harlow we were at the vet within 24 hours. Priorities.

Two days after the visit I had all but forgotten about the vet until I got a call from the doctor.

"The results from Harlow's blood work came back," she said and I interrupted,

"Does he have cancer?" I asked. More like shouted.

"No, but we see small signs of tick disease. We're not sure if it's still active, so we need him to come back in for more blood work to be certain."

"Is he going to die?"


"How long does he have?"

"Probably 7-10 more years."

"Oh no, it's that serious huh?"

"Not at all, are you even listening to me?"

"Should I install a therapy pool?"

Long story short, I was terrified when there was an "issue" with his blood work, but after one more vet stop we have confirmed it's all good. He may have had tick disease last summer, but luckily his body fought it off.

Moral of the story- spring is here so get your tick meds!!!  The vet suggested NextGuard and said that Frontline isn't as good as it used to be, if you use one that works what do you suggest?

Thanks for listening. Now Harlow has to get to hair and makeup because he's filming a commercial at our house today.... More to come on that tomorrow!


  1. I just dropped off my Louie at the vet for a dental cleaning about 20 minutes ago. I have literally four post-it's and two strips of masking tape listing her allergies (she MIGHT be allergic to ketamine .. but aren't we all really?), what she's there for (so they don't harvest a kidney or something), her name and microchip number, my name and phone number, emergency contacts, reminders, her favorite blankie, and still I cried when I dropped her off.

    BELIEVE ME. I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN! oh and I get full blood work three times a year because I'm convinced she's got cancer/kidney failure/diabetes.

    The vets are so kind to me. I'm so crazy. And apparently I can talk forever about this.

    Please pray for Louie as she gets her teeth cleaned and her poor mom stress-eats all day.

    1. Oh and I LOL'ed a lot at therapy pool. Def necessary.

    2. Lumen went thru her dental surgery completely fine!!

  2. I literally LOLed so much at this. Within 3 months of having Austin we rushed him to the vet because he was acting lethargic and would cry whenever you touched him (definitely dying). $1,200 later we found out he was "constipated." So entered 10 years of spending too much money on a dog with an overactive imagination.

    When we got Zoe we were so confused by the fact that she only needed to go to the vet for her yearly appt.

  3. We found our pup covered in ticks in the woods. He has Lyme disease but after a round of antibiotics, is just fine. The easiest thing we did with both of our dogs is get them an 8 month flea/tick collar. It's a little pricey but much cheaper then giving them medicine monthly and you can always find it on amazon at a lower price. They're called Serestro and they're water proof and you just leave them on all the time. Have had our other dog on them for 2 years plus with no issues. We usually do just one a year since it covers most of the year that we have warmer months with possibilities to get fleas/ticks. Hope this helps!

  4. I'm a nutcase. He limps for 5 minutes, or sneezes three times and i'm all CALL AN AMBULANCE!!!

  5. Girl. Me, too. Every damn time.
    And when the vet compliments their weight or ears or fur I react like it's the most beautiful thing anyone's ever said to me, then I brag to my parents and all my friends.

    1. omg, spit out my water at this comment because that's me too! hahahaha!

  6. I use and all natural flea/tick spray I make and it works like a charm! We use it a lot when we go to Wisconsin with the pups. You can buy all natural ones too but the one I make is easy and does the job. This in addition to their monthly HW meds.

  7. I laughed at this because I am absolutely the same with my dogs. Me - i never go to the doctor. But my pups, the minute something seems "off" I have the phone in my hand ready to call. Anything for the pups!

    So, I am very picky about my dogs and mostly all the chemicals. Found this on Amazon and so far - I like it alot. All natural - safe for humans and dogs. and no - i have absolutely no association with this product other than I like to keep things natural if at all possible. Hope this helps!

    "Arava Flea and Tick Control Collar for Dogs and Puppies, Length-25'' - Natural active ingredients, Safe for Babies, Natural Coating Safely Repels Pests - Prevention, Control & Enhanced Defense"

  8. I had a meltdown this weekend when Quincy slept longer for his afternoon nap than usual. It might have something to do with the 2 1/2 mile walk we went on instead of normal few blocks in the AM, but I was sure he was sick. He's totally normal today, but I wasn't - thanks to google.

  9. Keep on being the overprotective and neurotic mom! My husband took our pup in because he was just acting strange and it turns out that he had a tumor burst on his spleen and he was bleeding into his stomach and they had to do emergency surgery. If my husband hadn't been overprotective, we could have had a very different ending with our sweet boy!

  10. This is totally me with our pets too! My neurotic mind always jumps straight to cancer 🙈

    Allie | www.lunavidablog.com

  11. nextguard hands down is the best - pricey but worth it! I would also recommend keeping a box of cap star pills on hand. Basically kills all fleas on dog within 4 hours so great to give right after a trek in the woods/swim in the lake. My golden has sensitive skin with issues and he's had no issues since using that combo. Hope that helps!

  12. Um, I'm taking my dog to the vet tonight so they can check one of his nails because I'm worried he may have chipped it a little too deep. Some might think this is an unnecessary visit but I think it's 100% necessary.

    I'm glad Harlow is ok and I hope he has fun with his commercial!

  13. Ok I found this funny but I am one of those laid back take it as it comes type of people

  14. This is 100% how things go with Knox. He was limping a couple of weeks ago. I went to the ER vet with him (FOR A LIMP) because Google said it could be a dislocated hip and he's so active and he was in pain and I was going out of town... $365 later (emergency X-rays ain't cheap), he had a "soft tissue injury." And was fine 2 days later.

  15. Oh, Harlow! I am glad that he is all well & fine. Cannot wait to watch your Snap/Insta for the commercial fun. :)

  16. We've given our three fur children NexGuard for a few years now, and have had zero issues. They love the taste, and get as excited about them as they do when I pull the treat bag out. I don't know if it makes a difference, but I always give it to them right before or after they eat a meal.

    Also, petsofoz.com has some great discounts on mass orders! I saved at least $30 buying one years' worth. It does take a bit longer to ship from Australia, though. :)

  17. Hahah, YES. This so describes the life of a dog mom. Sheba gets allergies in the springtime, so we're gearing up for those. Ugh!