Kiki Goes Under The Knife

We all have fears.

I am afraid of spiders, 18 wheelers, big waves, alzheimer’s, flying in airplanes, poisonous snakes, and most republicans.

Tree is afraid of global warming, people who don’t believe in global warming, and getting splinters.

And little Kiki is afraid that one day the people that love her most will herd her into a taxi, take her to Clini-Pets, and then forcibly hold her down while a strange woman shaves her head, pokes her with a needle, and gouges out the flesh between her eyes.

Sadly, Kiki’s biggest fear came true.

Here was the situation:

Let’s take a closer look:

Pretty unsightly, even from a mommy’s perspective.

This growth appeared as soon as we crossed the border into Mexico last year, and everyday it seemed to get bigger. Even though most veterinarians told us that it looked benign, it was time to get it off of her face and into a laboratory for testing.

Step 1, before we even got in the taxi, was to dope Kiki up.

I didn’t want to let Kiki have general anesthesia because it can be dangerous for dogs, especially senior citizens like Kiki, but I also didn’t want her to be stone cold sober for the operation either.  This meant that we were going to have to medicate her ourselves, however, because they just don’t offer anti-anxiety medication to dogs in Peru.

So, my beloved, dog-loving friend Reagan helped me figure out which pills in my arsenal would help Kiki not freak the F out, and at what dosage to give her them so that I didn’t accidentally overdose my baby.  We decided on 1 mg of alpralozam, otherwise known as Xanax. This was perfect because I happened to have two 0.5mg pills in the first-aid kit!  We gave Kiki the first one, and it seemed to do nothing, so we gave her the second, and that worked like a charm.

Look how happy she looks!  Normally Kiki shakes like a scared bunny at the vets office or the groomers. Sometimes she gets so scared that she just shits, literally, as soon as we walk through the door.  But not this time.

Step 2, shave the perimeter.

Look how big it looks now!

Step 3, inject local anesthetic.

Step 4, cut the growth off and put in a stitch.

During the surgery, Tree held her down and kept saying “Stay” and “Good Girl” in his deep Daddy voice while I stared in her eyes and sent telepathic messages telling her that she was going to be okay.

 And she is A-Okay!!!.

The growth is on its way to Lima to be tested, just to be safe, but the vet said that it didn’t look like cancer, which alleviates my biggest fear of all–too big and scary to even write it down.

If any of you have dogs with vet/groomer anxiety, I highly recommend giving them Xanax. It made Kiki’s experience infinitely better, which in turn made our experience worlds better as well.

Thanks again Reagie for all of your help!



  1. Oh no!! i am glad Kiki is ok!!! no bueno….good thing you had xanax can i give that to my cat? he is anxiety 101 all the time…LOVE YOU!

  2. Wow! I am so happy she is doing well. Hi Kiki!!!

  3. Hope the lab results are good and glad that she came through the procedure well!

  4. Yay! I love Kiki. Give her a kiss and a hug from me.

  5. P.S.
    Can I skype with Kiki soon?

  6. I don’t even want to THINK of something bad happening to Kiki. I love the animals too much. Glad that growth got removed though. We should all hug our animals tight tonight. 🙂

  7. I Love xanax! Hi Stevie! Miss u!
    April Y

  8. Hoorayyy! So glad Kiki is alright! Mr. Choons beats up his paws pretty badly. He’s like those kids that are born without the ability to feel pain, so you have to watch him constantly to make sure his tail isn’t on fire or anything. Good to know xanny’s work, we definitely have a few of those lying around. Like sweet Kiki, I shit myself upon entering airports without them. Happy save travels to all three of you 🙂 xo

  9. Dog and Bruisey think Kiki is VERY brave!!!! They both want to try Xanax the next time they have to go to the evil vet place!!!

    • Lorraine, it was awesome. Xanax is the ticket. She was still totally lucid, just not shitting herself scared. I need to get some more just in case we ever need to fly her. That’s the other thing that absolutely terrorizes her. After the surgery, I told the vet that I had given her Xanax so that she would know before injecting her with anything contraindicative, and the vet was very surprised but agreed that it worked very well. My friend Reagan says that it’s becoming more and more common in the States to alleviate a dog’s anxiety with either Xanax or Benzos, and I’m happy to hear it. I don’t feel so guilty for having to take her their now. FYI, a dog’s dosage is actually a little higher by weight than a human’s. Kiki weighs 40pounds and I gave her 1mg.

  10. Julie Belknap says:

    Ahhh Kiki, I’m glad she’s ok. I love the picture of her in the examining room, she looks so “medicated” she doesn’t care whats going on:) I hope everything turns out ok.

  11. Cyndi C. Morrell says:

    Ohhh My Little Grandaughter Kiki.

  12. Teri Hogan says:

    So happy Kiki is okay and she didn’t have to have the dodo scared out of her. Sure the lab results will be aokay.

  13. Louisa Baxter says:

    oh no…miss kiki sending you big love x

  14. Tony Sarabia says:

    Hope Kiki is good and you are too funny.

  15. Cheryll Anglin says:

    Oh no! My poor Kiki! I’m sending up a little prayer that her labs come back a-okay. Please give her a huge hug and smooch for me. You and Tree were very brave, too. xxx

  16. Michael Tuohy says:

    Hey guys, you can always ask.

  17. Layla Morrell says:

    o…. m…. g.

  18. Careful with medicating your own pets folks. I am glad that alprazolam worked for Kiki, but always check with you “evil” vet first (of which I am one). This drug is not right for every dog, and I have never used it in cats!!

    • Hi Daniela. Thank you so much for the words of warning. We’re big animal lovers and certainly don’t ever want someone to accidentally harm their pet because of something I said. And, we humans don’t think vets are evil at all, but our dogs at times fail to appreciate the benevolence at work 🙂 Is there a different drug other than Xanax that you have found to work as well, or better, with dogs for alleviating temporary anxiety? I’m only asking because I am in Peru, as you know, and will have to medicate her myself in the event we fly somewhere or she needs another minor surgery. Thanks again for commenting!

  19. Sally sends her best wishes woooff

  20. Glad you are OK Kiki.

  21. Ahh, the poor baby!
    Good that it was cut out, she was sedated and with reports from the front, things are fine!
    Have to make the tough choices on the road.
    You two are wise, adjustable under fire and come out well in the end.
    Kudo’s to all 3 of you.
    To your continued success on the road!
    John D. Wilson

  22. Jeremy Jones says:

    O i hope your blog-dogstar is doing well. i know what it’s like angsting over our pets. i never pitted out at the airport as much as i did bringing jack and jolene from sea to shining sea. and just like kiki, they were fine…. i’m the one with the extra greys… anyways…

  23. Cathy Alexander says:

    This is some spooky unholy alliance shit. Not surprising though. It sums up EXACTLY what is wrong with our system in 4 short pages of ‘memo’

  24. Heather Dougherty-Acevedo says:

    My dog had one of these on his nose, I had it removed (turned out to be nothing) and it grew back???

    Looks like Tree could have used a Xanax, as well; dude looks like he was going to pass out. 🙂

    I saw a car yesterday with “kiki was here” painted on the all the windows. Thought maybe she had escaped to Portland. Glad to hear she’s safe and sound.


    • Hi Heather! Nice to hear from you 🙂 The first thing the vet here asked me was how many times I’ve had the growth cut off, which surprised me at first because I hadn’t considered the idea of it growing back. Anyhow, I’m hoping that it doesn’t come back…I really don’t want us all to have to go through that again. Tree and I both could have used a couple Xanies too!

  25. Cathy Alexander says:

    Hi Stevie & Tree I hope the test come back ok and Kiki is on the road to recovery! Take Care: Lots of Love: Cathy Alexander

  26. Zaina Shuibi says:


  27. yay kudos Kiki for being such a good girl. Glad everything went so well – Nala sends her love for speedy healing.

    Good to know about Xanax. Nala gets pretty anxious so I should stock some for emergencies.

  28. I enjoy, result in I discovered just what I was taking a look for.
    You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God
    Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

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