It’s his third thong of the week (there’s no accounting for taste); her fourth toad venom intoxication (she must relish the buzz); his fifth serious quilling (he’s clearly convinced all those evil porcupines must be punished); and her sixth tampon (nasty!). What’s a frustrated owner to do???

I recommend a deep, cleansing breath, a 90-minute Bikram yoga sweat-fest, and a tightly-fitted basket muzzle. That, or a snug crate and a tightly-fitted basket muzzle. Compliance on these recommendations is a b---- though, and it’s not just the yoga bit that keeps my clients from taking drastic measures when they’re obviously required.

Apparently, there’s something about the Hannibal Lecter look that unsettles most pet owners. But as far as I’m concerned, it beats another trip to the surgeon for a three-foot linear foreign body extraction (Kitty got into the dental floss again) … or a two-hour, two thousand dollar bill for an internist to remove all those Matchbox-style cars from her stomach via an endoscope equipped with a toothy claw for grasping those toy cars by the tires before sliding them back up the gullet … or another expensive stomach-pumping session for the tenth koosh ball he’s consumed.

I got to thinking about this topic last week when Mini and Mona walked in the door … a-gain. The two of them had gotten into it over a plush toy this time. Puncture wounds, bloodied ears, and a ripped eyelid. Could’ve been worse. As it is, I know from experience that the crushing injuries these two bullmastiffs can pull off on eachother can mean weeks of wound care. It isn't fun. And then, three to six months down the line, they’ll be back in for more of the same.

After that early week "Groundhog Day" scenario came the mid-week version: Darned if my parent’s dog didn’t manage to latch onto another toad. The first time was the worst. She seized for about eight hours — or rather, she would have if we hadn’t kept her on a propofol drip. Every time we tried to let up on the "milk of magnesia" she would get going again.

By now, it seems her body has acquired some tolerance to the toad’s venomous slime. Either that or she kills them faster, ingesting less toxin. Who knows? Either way, when she shows up frothing at the mouth and shaking her head (with extreme oral irritation), she now gets her mouth washed out and goes on her merry way. But still! You’d think we could keep her out of the yard after a heavy rain (when the toads come out to play).

This and every other pet-related repetition of events always gets me to thinking about Albert Einstein’s brilliant quip: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Amen, brother. Except that in almost all these cases, the insane are all walking around on two legs, not four.

Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: "Oliver With Arms Extended" by Mr. T in DC