My continuing relationship with Lemmy over the next seven months consists of regular phone calls with his owners.
He does well and shows no signs of lingering damage following his surgery to remove an intestinal foreign body.
I tend to fret over my patients. So, this continued trend of health eases my mind.
Then comes Lemmy’s next yearly visit.
Upon examination, he has a little dental calculus build up. The scar along his abdomen where the surgery took place is noticeable. But otherwise, I couldn’t ask for a better physical specimen.
Lemmy is even maintaining a good weight, unlike so many of my patients. This is especially important, as he’s not a true adult, but no longer a food-burning adolescent. His owners have carefully monitored his weight and titrated his food to avoid even the beginnings of obesity. This ounce of prevention prevents pounds of frustration later.
While Lemmy hasn’t gained weight, the same cannot be said for his female owner. But she has a good reason. Lemmy’s human “mom” is with child.
At the time of the exam, the owners estimate the little human will arrive in six months. They’ve talked with their own physician regarding health concerns about the baby, but now they have questions for me. Primarily, what will Lemmy do? How will the baby affect Lemmy?
Few questions make me feel as valued. This is important, as Lemmy has been the major recipient of attention for a couple of years, and now a bigger star looms on the horizon.
First things first: Lemmy is current on his vaccinations, including those against diseases that can affect humans, especially little ones. And just as important: Lemmy is current on parasite prevention, protecting his human housemates from possible exposures.
But no one can guarantee a dog is safe with a child. Even for Lemmy, I cannot do that.
The best bet is to safely expose him to young children, let him get used to the idea, and monitor. A new era of training begins.
Matthew Sisk is a practicing veterinarian from Habersham County. Have questions about your pet? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.