My poor Emma-baby has an ear infection in one of her adorable little flopsy earsies. (Sorry, the maternal instinct took over for a second there.) We went to the vet and learned that such things are rather common in bulldogs. Joy of joys, I thought. But when the vet techs showed us how to clean her ears and then administer the medicine, it looked so simple! Emma took it like a trooper and even gave one of the techs a big kiss for his troubles. We went on our merry way, thinking two doses a day for two weeks would be a piece of cake. (Spoiler: nope.)
That night was total chaos. Emma – all 70 pounds of brute, bull-headed strength – refused to be kept still, held down or otherwise calmed by my husband and I. The ear-cleaning solution ended up everywhere except the dog’s ears, and when it came time for the q-tips, forget it. She wriggled and whined and, after finally breaking free, ran out of arms reach. Luckily, my husband is skilled in martial arts, and apparently grappling with large, sweaty men is very similar to wrestling a panicked, 11-month old bulldog to the ground.
After a couple days of us trying different techniques (hold a biscuit in front of her nose! swaddle her with a towel! beg!) I turned to Google. Not surprisingly, “how to restrain a stubborn and willful as all hell bulldog” didn’t turn up much. However, I did find a couple videos specifically aimed toward restraining large dogs to give them medication. This one displays several holding techniques, although that beagle is certainly smaller than my moose of a dog. This one from eHowPets was especially helpful because it teaches something I hadn’t considered: move slooowly and calmly, and your dog will react less. My husband and I thought it better to move quickly, to get it over with; but when I think back about the vet techs’ successful calming of the beast, they moved slowly and calmly, speaking in soft tones and making no sudden movements, so as not to frighten an already on-edge doggie. So, lesson(s) learned and ready to be implemented in tonight’s medication application! Cross your fingers for us.
Do you have any tried and true ways for calming your pet, big or small? Is administering medication A Big Ordeal for you and your furry children?