Saturday, February 07, 2009

Vet Bills

When it rains, it pours. It all started about 6 weeks ago with Rizzo the pug getting attacked in the back yard. She had some serious wounds on the underside of her chest and was found close to dead in the back yard one winter day when the temperatures were low. She was rushed to the vet and made an amazing recovery, but required sedation on two different days and multiple stitches. The at-home care was rigorous for a few weeks as necrotic tissue disappeared and her body began the rebuilding process. Her wounds required flushing several times per day, but she was a good sport.

And to top it all off, the security cameras weren't at the correct angle to pick up what happened and it was a mystery what happened to her, but unfortunately all indicators pointed to Yoshi, the older german shepherd female we opened our home to when she was retired from breeding at her former residence. Yoshi is an incredible dog, worth her weight in gold, and very non-confrontational, so why the attack? After 3 years of peaceful living?

A week later, we noticed two masses on Yoshi's abdomen that were very tender to the touch. They weren't there two weeks prior, so that would explain the attack if she had been under the weather while these were developing. A preliminary visit to the vet with x-rays to see if it was cancer and perhaps if it were widespread indicated that the removal of the masses might be sufficient. So she underwent a mass removal and spay. Her body looks horrible with all the stitches and a big drain tube coming out of her abdomen, but her eyes are bright. She seems happy and very thankful to be on the other side of that procedure.

In between this, we took in a german shepherd puppy who was rejected by his mother at birth. He had some huge obstacles to overcome, including battling a systemic staph infection, being bottle fed, and the loss of one of his feet. He was the runt and is still far too tiny for his age of 4 weeks, but he is strong and vibrant, with a great appetite and is developing on course other than size. He's been into the vet at least 6 times in all this, getting his paw re-wrapped with bandages and being on anti-biotics.

Back to Yoshi, on day 3 of her post-spay care, we went through the two-man procedure to administer her medications. When she doesn't want to open up her mouth, there aren't many who can make her and successfully get medicine down her. And she was too nauseous to fall for the ole "wrap it in hamburger" trick. So on that morning, two of us got the anti-biotics and the rimadyl in her, but then were distracted and walked away from the scene of the crime, for which we paid dearly later.

That same day, coming home for lunch, it was discovered that 5 pugs had opened up the rimadyl (left on the coffee table) and scarfed it down. The culprit gave himself up when he started puking all over the sofa. He was rushed to the vet for 2 days of IV's because rimadyl can cause liver damage.

So roughly $2000 later, I hope we're done going to the vet several times a week. I almost refused the rimadyl because I have some great natural pain relievers that don't have harmful side effects. Wish I would have followed my gut!!

I'm just glad that everyone is ok and on the mend. But man, I need a vacation...

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