Dog Pharmacy

Bear with me this week, as I expect that much will be centered around Iona. I will attempt to periodically break up the dog stories with the other events in our life, but her impending hospital visit is keeping her top of mind.

In preparation for Tuesday, her surgeon requested that she start taking Propranolol, which is a beta-blocker known to help prevent heart failure in dogs. Apparently this is a potential issue when removing the tumor from her thyroid. While this alone isn’t entertaining, the process of picking up the medication was.

Since this is people medicine, the vet just called it into our local Rite Aid. I first attempted to pick it up on Thursday afternoon, only to discover it wasn’t ready yet. Then Michael went back that night and still nothing. The initial issue was that there was no “Iona Dog Stealey” in the Rite Aid database. (Yes, that is who the prescription is written out to. I will be interested to see how fast Blue Cross insurance kicks this one back!) Then they realized they only had Propranolol in tablet form and not in the liquid. Apparently the dosage a 29 pound dog needs is significantly less than that of an adult human!

On Friday it was finally ready! Of course I needed to read through all the side effects before I would give it to her, and this is where it became truly hysterically funny. Keep in mind…THIS IS A DOG.


  • Unusual dreams may occur (Does she now dream about flying and shopping, instead of running and chasing cats?)
  • Reduction of blood flow to hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Restrict tobacco usage and dress warmly (Well, she IS covered in fur and she didn’t ask for a drag off my mom’s cigarette, so I think we are good here. I am not looking to repeat the great biting incident that resulted from my attempts to dress her in a Halloween costume, so she better be warm enough in her fur.)
  • Blue fingers and toes (Um, how exactly do I check for this?)
  • Mental mood changes/depression (Hmmm…we will keep her away from the sharp objects this week.)
  • Fainting (Does napping count?)

It is also apparently common for the medication to make one feel tired, and that is a side effect that we are seeing. Within 15 minutes after she takes it, she is napping. That gives me three short periods of time throughout the day to get some things done without the orange ball of craziness nipping at my heels. More importantly it gives Chupa the cat the opportunity to walk throughout the house without fear of being body slammed by an orange blur. There is a bright side to everything.

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