Murphy Update

A huge THANK YOU to all of you who have sent well wishes and prayers for Murphy. The poor pug has had a rough few days, so we really appreciate it.

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Ok, let me back up a little and give you guys the whole story…

Back in January, Murphy had an ear infection and then some hearing loss. We tried approximately, oh, a million different medications to cure it with no luck. We finally saw a specialist at the local VCA, who prescribed him some new meds that seemed to work. Hooray! Murphy seemed so much better. But, last week, we took him for a check-up just to make sure things were 100%. Unfortunately, they were not, so Murphy was prescribed another new drug and, a couple of days later, everything went to sh*t. He ended up with vestibular disease, which messed up his balance and coordination and gave him a permanent head tilt.

With the long holiday weekend, we couldn’t get him an appointment with his usual vet until Tuesday evening. It was only a consult, so his vet couldn’t do anything for him then, but she scheduled a CT scan for the next day (yesterday). She thought maybe a tumor/mass might be causing all of Murphy’s ear issues since none of the previous treatments seemed to make any difference and things were just getting worse and worse.

After the CT scan, I received a call from the vet and she said everything looked great””no tumor, no mass””so she’d continue on with our plan, which was giving Murphy’s ear a deep “cleaning.” Basically, she would get all of the gunk (i.e. pus, bacteria) out of his ear and then take cultures to figure out what was the cause of the infection. Well, once the vet started the deep cleaning, she found a tumor/mass inside Murphy’s ear canal. Whomp whomp. She didn’t want to keep him under anesthesia longer than needed, so she scheduled a surgery to remove it next week. 

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So, that’s where we are now. Murphy seemed okay after the procedure””just tired and kind of out of it, which we assumed was from the anesthesia””but we had a rough night after that. He wouldn’t eat or sleep and he would periodically yelp in pain, which, of course, woke up Mal and me in a panic. We absolutely hate seeing Murphy in pain, especially when we can’t do much about it. We feel so helpless and it totally breaks our hearts. Murphy is on pain and anti-nausea meds now, but they make him so mopey and out of it. Ugh. Guys, I hate seeing him like this. I just want him to be well again.

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We’re counting down the days until next Tuesday when he has his surgery, and we really hope everything goes according to plan. Please keep the little furball in your prayers.


  1. Best of luck Murphy! You will be in my thoughts and I am sending LOTS of positive energy your way!!! Tina, it’s so difficult and stressful to watch your furbaby silently suffer. Just make sure you are taking care of yourself so that you can be there for him. I hope all goes well 🙂

  2. I am so very sorry! We have two pugs and one of them had mast cell tumors that had to be removed. Very scary. Praying for everything to get better and for surgery to go smoothly!

  3. Thanks SO much for the update! Ugh…poor Murphy (Mom and Dad too)! Seeing our furbabies in pain is so incredibly hard. Sending positive thoughts and wishing him a speedy recovery! You can do it Murphy!!

  4. Sending good vibes Murphy’s way and keeping your family in my thoughts. I think Murphy hit the parent jackpot having you and Mal as his parents (and his super cute brother, Quinn), you take such amazing care of him and your love for him comes through on your blog posts! Hang in there!

  5. Gosh my heart goes out to you guys. Reading about Murphy over the years never fails to brighten my day, I wish I now could do something to brighten his. Sending positive thoughts. I had never heard about vestibular disease until I started following @Marniethedog on Instagram, she has the aliment and is a bit of a doggy inspiration!

  6. Sending good wishes and lots of hugs to Murphy! It’s always hard to see a pet hurting since they can’t reassure you or communicate verbally with you. I’m sure all your love is helping him a lot and I hope he’ll be back to normal soon!

  7. Oh Tina, I wish I could reach through the computer screen and give you each a very big hug. (Ok, on second thought that would be a little creepy, huh?) Will be thinking about Murphy and all of you and sending good thoughts! Thanks for keeping us updated.

  8. Praying for you guys and Murphy – so horrible to have to wait it out like that! You guys are such attentive dog parents – he is one lucky pup!!!

  9. I read your blog nearly everyday and usually don’t comment. But, this pug situation is killing me, poor little guy! I hope he (and you guys) will be OK! It’s never easy when a fur baby isn’t well.

  10. Poor Murph!! It’s so difficult to watch your dog go through that, because you can’t explain to them why they hurt or that you’re hoping to fix it! Puppy hugs from our household to yours.

  11. Poor Murphy! My dog had vestibular disease also and no fun it makes them so dizzy. I hope the surgery goes well and he is back to normal in no time! I hate it when my dogs don’t feel good….you just feel so bad for them and you wish they could talk so they could tell you what is wrong.

  12. I will definitely keep Murphy in my prayers…It’s so, so hard to see them in pain. Our chocolate lab got hit by a car 2 years ago and broke her hip. They gave her very little chance of survival, it was devastating. She is 100% healed and still with us!

  13. I’m so sorry; I know how scary it is to see your pet in distress. This fall we thought my little Chihuahua Rat Terrier might have a tumor on his leg (bone cancer = very bad), but fortunately, it turned out not to be. He’s had other scares and it is no fun at all. Sending positive vibes to you and Murphy; hopefully, the surgery will solve it and he’ll be good as new!!

  14. I will be thinking of Murphy and all of you Tina! I love my pug Lola more than anything in this world, so I know how scary a surgery can be. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!


  15. Poor Murphsicle (new nickname for him)! I know how hard it is to see your pup struggle and he can’t tell you what’s bothering him or what helps. I hope all goes well with the surgery and that Murph makes a full, healthy recovery!

  16. 🙁 poor Murphy, so sad. Too bad the vet could not remove the tumor right away, and it seems Tuesday is a long time away. Hopefully, he is not suffering too much with the meds. Murphy not eating sounds heartbreaking.

  17. Sorry to hear about Murphy 🙁 Hope He Feels Better soon.

    Do you have pet insurance? Is it covering these things? I’m having a bad experience with mine covering basically anything my dog needs, so I’m curious.

  18. Oh goodness, as a pug owner too, I can’t imagine this for my girl. I hope that the surgery goes well and he’s back to his normal spunk.

  19. Murphy asleep on the Boopie is one of the cutest things ever. My pug, Maggie, and I are sending lots of well wishes and good thoughts your way. I hope the surgery goes smoothly and doesn’t uncover anything more serious.

  20. Lots of love and prayers to Murphy and your family. I know it is hard to sit and wait for your pets to feel better!

  21. Poor guy. I am so sorry. Pets are family and its so hard to see them sick. My golden is sending his love to Murph.

  22. It’s heartbreaking when your fur baby is sick. I’ve been there – giving love and lots of cuddles is all you can do! Sending good thoughts!

  23. I have a soft spot for dogs named Murphy – I had my own Murphy (only mine was a female black lab) until December when sadly, we lost her to cancer. I know how hard it is to see them suffering. You’re a good dog mom- good job taking such good care of the poor guy. Give him an extra kiss from someone who misses her own Murphy very much.
    Feel better little Murphy!

  24. I’m so sorry. You are all in my thoughts. Hopefully the mass turns out to be benign and surgery will be the end of it. Poor guy. Thanks for the update and please keep us posted.

  25. Tina, I’ve been reading your blog for years now and feel like Murphy is my buddy! My real life furball and I are sending so many positive vibes your way. Murphy seems like such an important part of your beautiful family and I hate to see you all going through this. Hopefully next week will see the end to the pug pain!

  26. Will be thinking of your little guy next Tuesday and hope for a speedy recovery from the surgery. We just had some medical issues with my kitty it’s hard when they are hurting and there is nothing we can do.

  27. I just lost my almost-11-year-old pug very unexpectedly two weeks ago. It’s been awful. Keeping Murphy in my thoughts.

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