Thanks so much Nandini, for coming around to knock me out of the stupor I have been trapped in the last few days.
At about 3:00 Tuesday morning, I woke up to hear my dog Biscuit crying, very unusual for her. She’d been sick for a week, we’d been nursing her around the clock, but the last couple of days, she seemed to be getting better. I got up to see what was the problem, and found her burning up with fever. My husband got up and helped me cool her down with cold compresses, but the fever just kept coming back. We were at wit’s end by 6 am, and called our vet’s service. They advised us to hurry down to a vet here in town that works with our vet.
At 8 am we hurried her in. They were concerned, but not hysterical like us. They would be glad to keep her for the day and run tests, she’d be fine with them, they assured me again and again. We’ve left her two nights now, and it’s like having bugs crawling all over me wondering what she’s doing, how she feels, when she can come home.
When I was in college, a lady from a drug re-hab center spoke to my health class about “Core Dependency.” As I left the vet, I realized, I had not been away from Biscuit more than a night or two in all these 11 years, and on those occasions she was left to be completely spoiled by our son and his girlfriend. She’d get so excited when they got here I started to get jealous, but I felt okay about making a trip somewhere. But always on the way home, I’d get a sick stomach ache, the anxiety would be awful, I’d get so pent up, I wanted to get out of the car and make a run for home.
It isn’t just Biscuit that doesn’t like being separated – I don’t like it either. The good news is, she gets to come home this afternoon. The vet says she had some sort of infection, and her pancreas is inflamed. It’s getting better, but it’s looks like she’s officially diabetic. She will have to have two shots of insulin a day and other medication.
We been here before with our son’s Newfoundland. He got so sick, we took him to a couple of vets before we got a diagnosis and a treatment plan. In the beginning, that involves monitoring their blood sugar every day to come up with the right dose. We had a hard time finding a vet who would work with us – most of them just expected us to leave him for weeks, we knew that kind of mental stress would kill him. Finally we found a vet who would work on a daily appointment basis, but he seemed to lose interest after a few months and we found ourselves sitting in the waiting room for hours, every day.
One day that vet did not have insulin for us, so his office manager told us we’d have to go pick it up at Raley’s. She had no prescription for us, so she called over to Raley’s to tell them we were coming. The pharmacist was very caring and concerned – he had never sold insulin for a dog before. We also needed some new needles, so we handed him the last couple the vet had given us. Then we got a shock – and the pharmacist was also shocked. He saw that the vet had been selling us tuberculin needles. Those are special needles used to take TB tests – they are like a tiny straw, they poke out a chunk of flesh to be tested for TB. No wonder our dog cried every time we used those needles! Twice a day!
The pharmacist was disgusted, sold us the proper needles – at half the price the vet had been charging us for those tuberculin needles, which he bought by the gross for pennies each. Then the pharmacist let us in on another secret – the vet had been marking up the insulin, more than double what he paid at Raley’s.
We never went back to that guy, and we’d been through the mill with a few others. We didn’t know who to trust. We got a recommendation for Evers Veterinary, on Hwy 32. Wow, what a whole new world. They let us use urine to test, and we were allowed to gather that the natural way – no catheter! The other vet had been catheterizing our dog and poking him full of needles every day, but he hadn’t found the thyroid problem that had been preventing the insulin from working very well.
As soon as we got him on the thyroid medication, he really started to improve, started to get his coat back, started to be playful again. It took us the better part of a year to find a vet that was not motivated by money, but motivated to help our dog. We got another four years out of Danger before he ended up with pancreatic cancer and died.
Our doctor at All About Pets was so different from the start – she was worried that Biscuit needed us to get well. She worked to get Biscuit strong enough to come home. After two very comfortable nights at the vet (yeah, I got a little jealous the way she was being kind of kissy with staff!) I will be able to bring her home this afternoon. I’m going to go visit with her this morning.
Yeah, I know, the clock is ticking. I know she’s going to die. We’re all going to die. I just didn’t want her to go out yet, I think she wants to stick around a little longer too.
You people are so wonderful, thanks Nandini and all the rest of you who have made me feel so strong.