a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Morning Update on Tika and Her Foot and Vet Bills

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Morning Update on Tika and Her Foot and Vet Bills

SUMMARY: Not broken, but sore. Budget a little broken, though.

The vet took 3 x-rays to be sure of what he was seeing but charged me only for the two he said he'd take. He sees nothing broken or chipped, so it's soft tissue of some sort, but without an MRI to determine whether anything is ripped to shreds, we treat it with rest and antiinflammatories and see what happens.

Vet suggested wrapping it in a little padding to give it a bit of support and protection, but said that if the padding gets wet at all, I need to take it off immediately because damp wrappings can cause other problems very quickly.

I put the still-sedated-looking but happy-to-see-me Tika into MUTT MVR just after 5:30, drove up to Redwood City for our Silvia Trkman tricks seminar, took her out to potty in their little gravel potty area around 7:30, and she found the only puddle in the place and put her foot right into it.

So the wrap comes off and instead I'm going to use one of our little hiking booties.

Vet said no food last night until 8 or 8:30, so at 8 I took her out of her crate and quickly taught her the first trick for the seminar. (We're auditing only, so we hid in the back of the room while the participants did their thing.) Despite her eyes still looking like she's halfway in another universe, she had no problem at all responding to click-and-treat shaping. (I used "yes!" as my click.) Then I took Boost out and got most of the way through teaching her the trick, too. I love "operant" dogs! (Dogs who know they're supposed to do something and keep trying until they get a response.) And I love knowing that I've got a pretty good eye for what to look for and how small the pieces of progress sometimes are in order to quickly put together a successful whole. (If you try to use too big chunks, it takes longer!)

I digress.

Tika also had her anal glands expressed; one was very full and one only partly. But with 3 infections already in her history, I wanted them checked while she was there.

Home at 10:30, she was happy about having half a dinner although still looking weirded, then went straight to bed without wanting to go outside.

This morning, still looks a bit sedated to me, which worries me a bit. She has shown no interest in coming downstairs, even for the morning treats ritual. ...Well, she did get off my bed and come to the top of the stairs to look down at me. Then after a couple of tossed treats, right back to bed. It's now 9 a.m. and still no interest in coming downstairs.

Vet bill--compare and contrast (to your own expenses or whatever you'd like)--my vet rates in a local consumer rating group as "good at keeping costs down."

Exam/consult: $57 (My vet will give me detailed info about everything and talk to me as long as it takes; I never feel rushed or pressured. It's well worth the cost.)
Heartguard, 6 months  for 2 dogs: $72
Rimadyl, 20 tablets (40 doses): $44.50
Half a day hospitalization: $28
Technician/nursing for half a day: $35
Two foot x-rays: $184
X-ray interpretation: $30
Sedative: $59.50
Bandage/padding left paw: $13.50
Surgical pack/suppplies: $8.50 (Hmm, not sure how that's different)
Express anal glands $28.50
Toxic waste/environmental fee $5


  1. Well, I guess I'm both happy and sad. I'm happy that nothing is obviously cracked, chipped, or otherwise broken. But I'm sad that there's nothing obvious that can just be "fixed." But I'm happy that you got the opportunity to get those troublesome anal glands expressed. ($5 toxic waste/environmental fee?!?!? I've never seen that. Maybe this is how they are "keeping the costs down" -- splitting it all out -- but I would think that this would be included in the "Express anal glands."

    BTW- The "Surgical pack/supplies" are for the bits they used to deliver the sedative and bandage the spot afterward.

  2. They actually charge the $5 fee always for every visit. I guess that's their way of saying that they're not just charging you a lot for the vet's time.