July 17, 2015

Five Things I Learned at Ruby's Annual Wellness Check

cute red and white dog waiting at the vet's office

Ruby did great at her annual wellness check last week. We were able to snag the last appointment of the day and so there were no other dogs coming or going from the office. She took her first ride in her new travel crate and was fairly calm upon arrival instead of all fired up from seeing dogs, cyclists and pedestrians from the car window on the way over. She met the new office cat, Whisper, and greeted her with interest but politely. Whisper even tried to help me hold Ruby's leash while I paid the bill. Here are some results of Little Sister's most recent check-up:

Ruby weighs 18.2 pounds.
It is very important to me to keep my dogs at ideal weights. I was happy to see that Ruby received a body condition score of 5/9, which is perfect...not to brag or anything. People that haven't met Ruby in person are surprised by how small she is - I guess it's true that the camera adds ten pounds! She and Boca often end up looking the same size in pictures, even though Boca is almost twice as big. Ruby is the smallest dog I've ever had but I really love being able to pick her up easily, and she's cute and cuddly without being teeny-tiny.

Ruby does better without me in the room. 
When I lifted Ruby up onto the exam table, she began to struggle and tried to climb up my neck. It was obvious that this wasn't going to work. The vet took her to the back for her parvo shot, heartworm test and physical exam and said she did great. My friend (a mother) said Ruby is like the toddler who throws a fit at daycare until its mother is out of sight. There's that pesky dog/kid comparison again...

The vet described Ruby's temperament as "friendly and outgoing but nervous." 
Ruby is too smart for her own good. When the vet tried to lure her over with treats, Ruby wanted the treats but knew it was a trap. Once her exam was over she was happy and effervescent, even showing off some of her tricks to the vet. I'm glad that even though she is nervous, she recovers quickly, and that even when she is scared she doesn't growl or snap.

Ruby has a tooth that I need to keep an eye on. 
When I pointed out the tooth I wanted the vet to take a look at, she said "I've never seen anything like that..." Leave it to me to have another medical mystery! One of Ruby's big back teeth has a horizontal band running through the middle where the enamel has worn away. It's been this way since I adopted her, noted as something to be addressed in the future on her post-adoption exam. My vet wasn't overly concerned, and since all the rest of her teeth look great it didn't make sense to anesthetize her for x-rays. It's something to watch, and she may need to have it pulled down the road. 

Ruby's microchip scanned correctly.
I was pleasantly surprised when the vet asked if Ruby was micro-chipped and if she could scan her. With all the stories of pets lost around the 4th of July and reunions with owners after being missing for years, this is something that I think should be part of every vet visit, to make sure the chip is functioning properly and the information is up to date. 

After all of the vet visits for Boca's eye this year, it was nice to have one that was straightforward and stress-free, especially with a reactive dog. I was really proud of Ruby's behavior at the vet's office and she definitely deserved the extra treats they gave her. As much as I love my vet, I hope we won't see them again until next summer!


  1. Good girl, Ruby. So glad everything went well.

    I'd love to write a post one how dogs sometimes behave differently without us than with us but I don't know how to get a handle on it. Perhaps I need to gather some info in a poll.

    BTW, check the floor when you take Ruby somewhere scary. Pups will sweat through their paws when they're nervous.

    I thought Honey was perfectly at ease at the vet. But one visit I noticed little wet paw prints on the floor signifying she was more nervous than I thought.

  2. I think my vet is remiss in not checking our microchips on our check ups. It makes sense to do that but we have never had it done. Thanks for the advice.

    1. I don't think it would have occurred to me, but I'll try to remember to ask from now on.

  3. Sounds like a pretty good report
    Lily & Edward

  4. Glad to hear your vet visit went smoothly too! I have the same tactic regarding vet visits, except that I asked for first thing in the morning rather than at the end of the day. Glad I did, those places get busy! Good job Ruby! She definitely deserves extra treats!

    1. The problem I've run into with early morning is that people are often dropping pets off for surgeries/dentals.

  5. Glad to know it went so well, I'm proud of Ruby, the vet is a pretty scary place. And I think I assumed she was a bit bigger as well - I think with a face like hers & so much personality she just seems a little larger than life :) That's funny that she doesn't easily fall for the treat trap, such a little smarty.

  6. I knew I was forgetting something last time I was into the vets...gotta have the chips checked!

  7. Great job, Ruby! That's awesome she's doing so good! The vet is so scary!

  8. Ruby is so pretty, and her harness/leash set-up is adorable, too!

    The last time we took Nala to the vet, they took her to the back to examine her back-end (I'll spare you the details). Nala was very displeased with attempts to check her behind in the room, and distrustful of treat lures, too--I ended up using our chin rest behavior to get her to cooperate. But when they took her to the back, they said she was great and gave no issues, just like Ruby. I wonder if it's like the "honeymoon period" when you get a new dog--your dog doesn't know these strangers, so they decide not to raise a fuss in case it goes pear-shaped?

  9. I had no idea she was so little!


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