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Dog Crazy Newsletter

    

 

Animal medicine is not always cut and dried. Vets, just like doctors, are limited by the capabilities of their diagnostic tests and machines. Animals unfortunately, are limited by their ability to communicate what is wrong to us. Sometimes, it’s just hard to understand what is wrong with a pet or to be certain that anything is wrong at all.

Sometimes the best route to a diagnosis is an attentive owner. When a vet sees your dog, your poor pet is in a new place, uncomfortable and unable to express what if anything is wrong. At home though, a familiar owner might notice that something is off. Recognizing that your pet isn’t well could save his life.

I just read a story from an attentive dog lover who knew that her terrier/Chihuahua mix was ailing, but no one could figure out what was wrong. Gwen Todd in Baytown, Texas writes that the little dog, who normally had a voracious appetite had suddenly stopped eating. She was on a healthy diet and rarely got treats, but she was a scavenger, so there was always the possibility that she had gotten into something that she shouldn’t have. The vet took a look at her, but couldn’t find anything obviously wrong, so he sent her home.

The next day the dog was lethargic and still not eating, so Gwen brought her back. There was still nothing obviously wrong. Even on the third day when the dog had become restless and stopped drinking water, the vet couldn’t find anything wrong other than a slightly elevated blood count and a tender abdomen. She was prescribed antibiotics, but nothing seemed life threatening.

The little dog wouldn’t take her antibiotics though and on the fourth day she could barely walk. Again they went back to the vet. Gwen was certain that her dog was going to die if something wasn’t done. So the vet sent her to a specialist and they wanted $1,800 for the tests and likely another $2,500 for surgery. Gwen was devastated and broke down in tears. There was no way she could come up with that kind of money and something had to be done. Fortunately, the specialists called her vet’s office and talked them into doing exploratory surgery.

The poor little dog had dug a chicken wrapper out of the trash and ingested it. The cellophane had gotten stuck in her bowels, which were bunching up and had perforated in several different places. About 16 inches of her bowel had to be removed and she spent eight days in the hospital. It still cost Gwen $3,500, but her vet agreed to let her make payments.

Gwen says as soon as she paid back the money she got Pet Insurance. She never wants to be in the desperate position of not having the money again. And she says that she will always trust her instincts and that you should too!

Until next time…

Dr. Jon

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December 13, 2007 - Posted by | K9 Health

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