Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Day 2396

I wonder why it is so hard to take a dog's blood pressure? Dot's physical therapy vet tried to get a good reading today and didn't have any more success than the oncologist did last Friday. Dot always becomes alarmed when the technicians place the blood pressure cuff around one of her legs and starts to struggle. You need to be relaxed to get a good reading, so her blood pressure is always elevated. It's hard to tell whether the abnormally high reading is caused by hypertension or stress. We were hoping to get a more accurate relaxed reading by taking her blood pressure while she was having acupuncture today. That didn't work.

Vets seem to like the doppler ultrasound technique for taking an animal's blood pressure. A small crystal is placed over an artery which converts the blood flow into audible sound. When the cuff is inflated to a pressure greater than that of the blood pressure, the audible sound goes away. The pressure in the cuff is then slowly released and when the audible flow signal returns, this is considered the animal's systolic pressure. There is definitely an art to doing this well. I have watched vets use the doppler technique many times and it only seems to work about half the time. Modern multi-function surgical monitors tend to provide more reliable results than the older Parks Doppler machines, but these very expensive Oscillometers are usually only found in surgery suites and are used to monitor animals under anesthesia. I don't know if we are ever going to get an accurate reading with Dot. She definitely doesn't like people messing with her.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to get her to therapy again without having to deal with poop in the car either. She's had an accident for the past three weeks in a row. Again, this is probably caused by stress. I took her out in the back yard for fifteen minutes before we left for our therapy session and she did nothing. Within three blocks after backing the car out of the driveway, she pooped. It's hopeless.

I had to call the plumber again today. The new faucets they installed in the bathroom sink are already leaking. I think they just didn't tighten things properly, but who knows. Maybe the faucets themselves are defective. Since this is Janet's sink, I can't just ignore the problem like I could if it were my sink. I'm anticipating another fun day that probably involves a lot of barking and poop all over the place. The dogs really don't like plumbers very well.

One day after I returned the defective router to AT&T, I receive a bill from them with a late charge of $150 for not returning the equipment soon enough. Give me a break. They should have known that I would be forced to upgrade the router eventually. This definitely isn't the first time that U-verse equipment has broken. I had my reasons for not installing the new router immediately and I still think they were good reasons. I'm sure I'll eventually be reimbursed for the late charges, but it was just one more small irritation in what has already been a very irritating month.

It didn't rain today. I guess that's a good thing, but the rain did cool things down a bit. I'm going to just have to live with the fact that I'm stuck in Texas and it's going to be very hot for the rest of the Summer.

Cisco is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day