Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Scary Vet Adventure

SUMMARY: In which we are all traumatized.

September was a rough vet month for all of us here at Taj MuttHall.

On Sept 16 and 17, Tika was suddenly in so much pain that she could barely stand up (as described here). We ended up at the vet for problem analysis.

Tika abhors going to the vet. So much so that, normally, I give her a tranquilizer an hour before we leave the house. Even so, she completely over-dramatizes the vet experience. For example, I pull into their parking lot, I pop out quickly, open the tailgate--and Tika is lying in her crate (instead of the usual "Let's go!" pushing to open the door), shaking. Quivering. How does she even know? Are the noises in that area so unique? I can't imagine that she smells much there--the windows aren't open. But who knows how--she knows.

I coax her out, and as we approach the door, she pulls on the leash away from there. In the waiting room, she paces and whines and will not settle, occasionally throwing herself at the door to get out. In the examination room, waiting for the vet to come in, she paces frantically in a clockwise circle around my chair, occasionally throwing herself at the door to get out. You know, those vets stick things where things should never be stuck.  She survives; she's actually very good through the exam, just panting heavily and tense and I have to hold her front end firmly.

I like my vet, but my wallet hates going to the vet, too. I can feel it quivering as we approach the front door.

Tika, as previously reported, decided just before we left for the vet that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her (which the vet confirmed), but I didn't give her a tranq this time because I wanted a better evaluation of her state. So, even for an evaluation that everything is OK, my wallet had things stuck where they should never be stuck--the credit card into the card reader.  $57 for the office visit. $55 for a refill on her Rimadyl for future painful episodes. And the standard $5 for "medical / toxic waste environmental fee". It's printed permanently on their invoices.

Meanwhile, Boost has had some potty issues. A week after and again two weeks after her prednisone stopped, but after she started hydroxyzine (all for her over-the-top scratching), she peed on my bed while lying there. The first time it was right after we went up to bed and she didn't want to go outside before that, while I brushed my teeth. Behavior? Illness? Medication?

So *she* went to the vet last Friday for an exam, and returned again this morning to give a urine sample. We arrived and I opened the tailgate--poor Tika is lying hunched in the back of her crate, quivering. Boost is not fond of the vet, either, but what a difference. The office door was ajar this morning, and she pushed it open to go inside. Her tail starts wagging--maybe it's an "I'm unhappy or worried" type of wagging, and she does tend to snuggle up to me a bit, but SO different from Tika! After the vet examines her, Boost gets off the table and lies down, completely relaxed. SOOOOOO different!

But my wallet still quivers: $57 for the office visit. $40 for "cystocentesis" ("a veterinary procedure where a needle is placed into the urinary bladder through the abdomen of an animal and a sample of urine is removed"), $54 for general urinalysis, $136 (!!) to culture the urine to check for a bladder infection.  And, of course, $5 for  "medical / toxic waste environmental fee".  Holy smackeroons.

Well, we will all soon recover from the trauma, I'm sure. Whoever thinks that owning a dog is cheap entertainment is in for a shock.


8 comments:

  1. Aww I hope they feel better soon :) Have to say that your vet has better prices than mine. Just took the puppy to get a parvo vacc. yesterday and it was over $100. Just a vaccine. OMG!

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    1. Based on a Bay Area consumer survey, my vet charges about middle-of-the-road to low prices.

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  2. Yea it's always over $100 a visit, no matter what we're there for. But I only have one dog, so overall it's less for me. Katie knows too...even before we leave the house she starts to shake. She doesn't do that when we go to school, but if we go to the vet or the groomer she starts hiding before we even get a leash on her. HOW DO THEY KNOW???

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    1. If we could figure that out and package it, we could make a fortune.

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  3. Hope everyone's o.k.

    My vet is always 15-20 minutes late, sometimes longer, so I've taken to leaving the dog in the car until she's ready for me.

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    1. Tika stays in the car until they say "bring her in, we'll be ready in a minute," and they usually are. With Boost, I'll double-check that they're at least not a lot behind before I take her in.

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  4. I found a new vet that only charges $35 dollars for an office visit. Everything else is cheaper too. My old vet was 300.oo for a dental. This vet charged me 120.oo.

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    1. Wow! It pays to shop around, I guess!

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