Murphy Update IV

Hi, friends! I just wanted to share a quick update with you guys about Murphy. As you saw in this morning’s BarkBox post, he’s doing quite a bit better. Physically, he still has a way to go, but, personality-wise, he’s back to his old pug self (i.e. acting like we never feed him, obsessively sitting on our laps, barking at the mailman), and we are especially happy about it!

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So, last Thursday, we visited the vet. We take Muprhy to the VCA now, so he can see various specialists for his health issues. First, we saw his ear doctor, who removed his stitches and “cone of shame.” Because of the surgery, Murphy permanently lost the hearing in his right ear, which we knew going into it, but it’s still pretty sad. He is also dealing with balance issues and a head tilt, which may or may not get better with time. Everything else looked great and the biopsy on his ear tumor was benign. Yay! (We’re still waiting to hear back about the one done on his jaw.)

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We also saw his ophthalmologist. Shortly after his ear surgery, Murphy developed some pretty bad eye ulcers. We’ve dealt with ulcers in the past, but nothing like this before. His right eye (the same side as the surgery) was especially irritated, so the vet thought maybe it was related to his ear inflammation and/or infection. She’s not exactly sure, so, last week, we aggressively treated his eyes with hourly (yes, hourly) drops. Basically, any hour that we were awake, we put drops into Murphy’s eyes, in addition to a 4-times-a-day regimen with two other kinds of eye drops. All of our hard work paid off because the ophthalmologist was really happy with the improvement she saw. Now we’re down to giving Murphy two kinds of eye drops 3 times a day, which is a lot more manageable and enjoyable for all parties involved. Both doctors want to see Murphy again in about a month for a check-up.

So, that’s it for now– all good news for the “Million Dollar Dog.” We hope he just continues to improve!


  1. Aw, pookie with the head tilt! So glad to hear that he is recovering. I’m sure it’s been a long road for you guys, too, so I hope happier and healthier times are ahead. And bless you both for having the patience for administering eyedrops to a dog HOURLY. You’ll surely be well-practiced parents now!

  2. So glad to hear that Murphy is acting like his old, goofy self!! It’s so stressful when something goes wrong with a pup as they can’t tell you what’s up!

    Unrelated question – where is your brown leather bag from? It’s super cute!

  3. Glad to hear he’s on the up-swing! I do have to giggle though at the hourly drops… only because it’s totally something we would do. Isn’t it funny the things you’ll do for a fur baby!? 🙂 Our oldest (10) was at one point a month ago on 7 different kinds of meds every 6 hours… and when you’re giving them that many each day they obviously catch on so it’s lots of yanking jaw open, shoving down throat. The reason for all of it was he got into a fight (and killed) a raccoon in our yard, but before it died it bit his leg causing a bad infection. Then he couldn’t walk on said leg because of it… so we had to carry his 80 lb butt in/out of the car, camper, house. ha. We called him tripod — LOVE THEM SO!

  4. YAAAAAY!!! So happy to hear that Murphy is doing so much better! Good for you guys for taking such amazing care of him. I’m sure the eye drops every hour was challenging in addition to having a baby to chase after. Great great news! You guys must be so relieved (and broke from all the vet bills! Argh!)

  5. So happy to read a good news post about Murphy! I’m sure you all are so happy (and relieved) as well!

  6. Happy to hear Murphy is doing better! The head tilt is kind of cute, but hope he makes a full recovery quickly.

  7. So happy he’s feeling much better! It’s tough to see your pet not feeling well – we had a Golden who had lots of health issues and we felt so badly when she wasn’t doing well. So happy for you and Murphy!

  8. Aww poor puggy!~! So happy to hear he’s doing better – nothing saddens me more than pups that are sick. I’m glad you are keeping us posted on him, he’s such a big part of your blog and one of many reasons I love it. Thanks Tina, Mal and Q for taking care of our pug blog dog. lol
    My heart goes out to him and yourselves.

  9. Such great news! I didn’t realize Murphy was so young. Glad to hear he’s feeling like his old self.

  10. Do you have pet insurance or would you mind sharing about how much this all has cost you? Or where I could get that info? I have been wanting a dog but can barely afford my own expenses on a teachers’ salary and even paying for shots/yearly checkups would be too much for me. I know if I had been in your position I would have had no choice but to put the dog down simply from the expense. Which of course would be a horrible position to be in!

    Glad he is on the mend!

  11. As long as the pug is happy and back to his old self, all is good, right? For some reason, I believe the head tilt will work itself out in a few months. It is still all healing and the infection was around for a half year so it will take its time to clear out completely.

  12. I’m so happy to hear this! We have an English bulldog who has eye issues, so we always refer to her as the million dollar dog, too. She gets 2 types of eye drops 2x daily, plus is on melatonin for skin issues and benadryl for allergies. And that’s just her normal routine – occasionally, if she gets sick/hurt, we have to factor in other meds. But she is our baby and I wouldn’t change any of this for the world.

  13. Poor Murphy! So happy to hear he is doing better, he’s lucky to be so loved. Us dog owners would go to the end of the world for our pooches!

  14. Hi Tina, so great the Murphy is feeling better! I am not a vet, but I am a physician and work with patients with facial paresis and vestibular issues. When the facial nerve is inflamed (as can definitely happen with serious infections) the eye is unable to close completely because those muscles aren’t working. The result is corneal dryness, abrasion, and ulceration. Eye drops are exactly the right treatment and will be helpful until the paresis resolves. Ointments are thicker and last longer, good for overnight when he is sleeping. His vestibular issues also should resolve as his brain accommodates to the deficit on the right side. In humans we can train vestibular physical therapy to help this happen faster, might be worthwhile looking into if there is any equivalent for pups! good luck!

  15. Way to go Murphy! Thanks for taking such good care of him!! Oh, the things we do for our furchildren. We too call our dog the Million Dollar Dog and say she is priceless…ha ha ha!! They are SOOOOO worth it.

    Thank you so so much for the update!! It means a lot to your readers. Keep up the great work!! (for the blog and for Murphy….tee hee hee)

  16. This makes me so happy to see Murphy slowly but surely getting back to his old self. I know he has a long road ahead of him. He is very lucky to have such loving and dedicated “parents” who will do almost anything to help him get through these obstacles. Thanks for continuing to keep us updated! We’re all rooting for him!

  17. Yay! So glad to hear! My Dixie (dog/ fur baby) is 12 years old and just went through pyometra surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago so I totally understand what yall are going through! She’s our baby! Prayers for Murphy!

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