Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Boy, is my face red
Here's Kelly with her, "Mom, what did you do to me" look. Okay, so here's the embarrassing story. Yesterday I was giving Kelly her belly rub, when I noticed a tick. I may be a bit hyper-paranoid about ticks, because both my dogs have had ticks before, and they both acquired Lyme disease, which is prevalent in this area. Lyme disease was expensive to treat, required weeks of medication and blood tests, and resulted in joint and muscle weakness in my Yellow Lab. It can be fatal if left untreated. So, when I find a tick, I do freak out a bit.
My husband held Kelly in his lap while I got out the handy tick extractor. This works by gripping onto the tick, and then with an easy twist, the tick is removed. But, try as I may, I couldn't get the tick out. The worst thing you can do in this situation is to break the tick, removing half the body and leaving the other half embedded in the dog. So I tried again to be real careful and get it out. But it wouldn't budge. Worse, it started to bleed a little. And Kelly was squirming and whining. Something didn't feel right to me. I knew the tick should have come out easier. And, it was natural for a dog to squirm a bit, but Kelly shouldn't be that uncomfortable. So I stopped. "We're going to have to take her to the vet's tomorrow," I said. "I can't get it, and I don't want to hurt her."
The next day the vet examined her, parting the long hair to get a good luck. Okay, I might as well tell you now. It turns out I was trying to remove one of Kelly's nipples. ( I Know!!! as Craig Ferguson would say.)
Not only did I feel totally stupid. But I also felt horrible for twisting and tweezering poor Kelly's nipple. Fortunately, I didn't pull or twist too hard, and knew to stop when things didn't seem right. But I feel horrible! I have been around dogs all my life. I should know a nipple when I see one. I've groomed Kelly, brushed her, clipped her, and rubbed her belly enough to be familiar with her anatomy. So what can account for this misidentification? Who can say. I'm just glad that she doesn't have a tick. And, in addition, all her body parts are well and still intact.
Be careful what you try to pull off or Look before you Tweeze.