I have a feeling that our president is to blame for this, but doggie emergency healthcare is UNREASONABLY priced.
As they say around these parts…. fu**ing Obama….ruins everything.
As you may have heard, we spent Super Bowl Sunday driving back from working in North Carolina and then in the emergency vet. Because our dog had gas. Or something.
It was a little more complicated than that. Jake’s an old dog (yep, Jay and Jake), and drinks water really fast, among other things. When we got home on Sunday he drank 2+ bowls of water in a 30 minute span while we were making some food for the game.
Then, Jay thought he heard someone throwing up (not uncommon with two big grody dogs), so he sent both dogs outside to work out whatever was going on. Jake, who never stays outside more than a few minutes, stayed out for about 20 minutes walking PAINFULLY slowly around, gazing in to the distance, and sometimes making a poop stance with no results. For comparison’s sake, this is how he looks normally, so sometimes it’s hard to tell if “something’s wrong.”
Finally I went to call him back inside and got a blank stare – even when he doesn’t want to come back in he at least raises his head, and his name or favorite words (ride, treat), yielded NOTHING. Homeboy was fully catatonic. Jay went out to check on him, and his belly was huge and hard (HEHE).
Then things got really fun! We have exactly one emergency vet in Greenville, and it is a full-on corporate meaniepooface. When I called to try to describe the symptoms, I got transferred mid-sentence to a woman who informed me that the cost would be several hundred dollars – What I really wanted was to describe the dog to a human who would LISTEN before committing to take him in, but we weren’t given the option, and we were too worried to wait and see. So, Sunday with no other options, in we went.
Poor Jake had to be carried to the car and into the vet – totes pitiful.
After excessive waiting while they x-rayed puppy, they told us that his stomach wasn’t flipped but that it was full of gas and they weren’t sure why. They said that sometimes dogs just get too much air in their stomachs and that this happens. What they couldn’t tell us was 1. if it would have corrected itself 2. if it would happen again, and 3. answers to about 1,837 other questions we had. They also told us that even though he was getting better they wanted to watch him overnight for $1,000. We asked over and over again if that was necessary, and finally they conceded that it was a precautionary measure.
The entire experience was….eye opening. Our vet (and human doctors too) talks to us like humans, doesn’t shame us if we can’t afford certain procedures, and breaks down necessity vs. precautionary vs. frivolous things we could be spending our money on. They fawn over our dogs and cost WELL less than half what the ER vet did. I know it’s a business, and I know it was Sunday. I understand capitalism. HOWEVER, I think that it’s human decency to be moderately compassionate when someone brings an unresponsive dog to your care – we were scared and would have spent all the money in the world for our dog, but not if it was unnecessary, and this particular business didn’t have much of a distinction between the two. FURTHERMORE, Sunday or not, I’d be super cheerful if I was charging someone an arm and a leg, and at the very least make a good case for why I was doing so – we felt like we were pulling teeth trying to get answers to our questions as treatment was administered.
So, home we went, $450 lighter and with a dog that might not make it through the night but that also had very little wrong with him who also happened to be coming down from morphine.
Ever seen a dog come down from hallucinations? Me either. Jay said “oh yeah, this is just what happens when people are coming down,” because comics.
Puppy was LOOPY. The second we saw him we were glad we’d decided to take him home; his energy level was back and he was responsive to our voices, followed me to the car with no leash, etc. BUT the drugs. Legs don’t work! Poor Jake kept wobbling, and when we got home he basically got paranoid. All “ARE YOU REALLY MY PARENTS” and “WHY IS THE ROOM SPINNING.”
Here’s how it went: We got home and sat on the couch. Jake stood in front of us, staring, panting. Then whining, which he never does. Then, sloooooowly, his back legs would just….bend….then give out….then he’d flop on the ground. Then he’d freak out, stand up, make a lap around the house, and repeat the exact same process. He was fine, but the meds didn’t do him any favors. This lasted all night, until he finally fell asleep for a few hours before repeating the process 3 more times in the bed – Jay slept on the ground to “be with him,” but Jake circled from bed to floor and back again all night while Father of the Year slept soundly.
He was tired because he went to the Super Bowl party I’d cooked for while I watched the dogs.
Yesterday morning homeboy was right as rain, eager to get back to gulping his food down and inhaling too much air. He has some meds to help him have gas (yummy) and keep things moving, and we’re putting olive oil in his food, raising his bowls, and feeding him less more times per day to avoid said air gulping.
I went to see about buying one of those cute little cabinets with bowls built inside them and it was $70, so I set his water bowls on top of a large tupperware container. REAL FANCY. If anyone wants to send me a gift card to Petsmart that’d be cool I guess. I got this bed instead! Only one though….I’m still on the hunt for a matching or coordinating one.
One more thing. You know Callie, our other dog? I “woke up” yesterday morning (I’d been up most of the night, so it didn’t really feel like a true wake up), and looked at her sweetly sitting by the door waiting for us to get up so she could go outside.
And I realized we hadn’t given her dinner the night before.