As we prepare for our future adventure, we included something very important to our list, and that was taking care of our pets’ health too.

We’ve been downsizing and bequeathing our treasures to friends and family. We have our fifth wheel and truck. We’ve thought about our own health care and insurance issues. We’ve prepared a long list of income alternatives. Most people do all of this. One thing I don’t recall reading or hearing about is how they prepared their pets and their health care before heading out for the Grand Adventure.

We took our Daisy (9 yo Collie/Border Collie mix) and Kaylee (4 yo Norwegian Forest Cat) to the vet. “Check ‘em over” we said… we wanted to make sure they were healthy and then requested the vaccines and preventative meds they would need for anything nature would throw at us.

Upon examination of our Daisy, a fox tail sticker was discovered lodged in her ear. Also, we hadn’t been good dental parents. Yikes! Brushing our pets’ teeth was a “shrug our shoulders” thought. It crossed our minds, but we never pursued it. Big mistake!

So, an appointment was set for Daisy to go in for “surgery”. Since she is NOT accepting of anyone ‘messing’ with her, she would have to be under anesthesia to clean her teeth and also to remove the rogue fox tail from her ear. She also had a small growth on her lower right eyelid that she’s had for years. Now and then she would scrape it on something and it might bleed or get “yucky”. It was recommended that it be removed since she would be under anesthesia, so approval was given to do this procedure too. She also had a pedicure. We clip her nails, but never far enough down as they should be. This was something else that needed to be taken care of while under so that in case of clipping into the quick (the blood vessel), the bleeding can be stopped without a large loss of blood. It can be dangerous.

Now, here is where complete diligence is absolutely necessary: not only did she have one fox tail in her ear canal, she had one stuck in the ear drum and one that had made its way to the inner ear!!! Yikes!! We thought that we were pretty good pet parents, brushing her frequently and always checking for those dang fox tails! However; they are sneaky buggers! It’s almost as if they had legs and crawl and bore their way into pets’ ears and skin. We’ve pulled many out of her skin. She has long hair… how do they get that far down before we catch them? Evil and sneaky, I tell ya! So, now, we will be pretty much be going over her with a fine tooth comb and checking those ears, no matter how much she protests. If you don’t know what fox tails are and have never lived or visited an area with them, that’s awesome. (But, I’m sure you have something just as evil lurking in your yards).
Here is what the plants look like:


This lovely grassy plant is fine when it is green and sparkles in the sun and breeze. However; when dry, becomes these horrible little demons:

foxtails dry

Here are a couple of the fox tails that were pulled out of Daisy’s ear:

foxtails from ears

The other item – her teeth! They are white and sparkly now.  Yes, now we will need to be parents of young children and be ever vigilant with the “brushing teeth” every night to keep them that way. I’m sure this is NOT going to be a fun “before bed” ritual. We’ll see. However; it’s really, really important. (Just as it is important with us humans.) Why do we pay so much attention to our own dental hygiene and dismiss the fact for our pets? Aren’t their teeth important too? Yes! They are important.

So, with all of that said, the moral of this story is:

Keep up on grooming and dental hygiene. Also, have a complete check-up exam and vaccinate and protect your pets from what ever you might come across on your big adventure, whether you are out on the road full timing or just going on a long journey to exotic destinations. If your pets are your family, like ours are to us, you’ll be grateful you did your due diligence.

Another tip: accidents can happen and illnesses pop up. Pet insurance might be a good idea too.