Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vet Ventilation

The quickest definition of ventilation is movement of air in and out of an enclosed space. Circulating it, purifying it..replacing toxic air with clean air. Sometimes that's just what has to be done to clear your system and the purpose of this blog. Last Friday, I had to take 2 of my dogs to the vet for their Rabies vaccines so we could board them. Jazz had only been once before and didn't have a good experience, so I knew we'd have some struggles again. Patches has been going there for 7 years, so I didn't think it'd be a big issue. I was so wrong and the experience I had has me wanting to switch vets.

I took Jazz in first while leaving Patches in the car. I told them they couldn't take her from me without some rebellion on her part, so they weighed her and brought her back in the room for the rest of the work. They asked me to put a muzzle on her and I obliged b/c she doesn't like strangers..especially when they're poking her with stuff. I had my arm around her neck and was petting her head while the vet tech prepared to take her temp. Jazz is very sensitive about her butt anyway and doesn't even want her tail touched, so temperature is a huge issue anyway. The tech didn't tell me she was ready and when she put the thermometer in, Jazz sat down and bucked her head up, slamming me in the jaw and nose. The tech doing the temp goes, "Well..we'll just make a note in her file not to do her temp unless she's really sick." I told her I just wasn't ready and wasn't holding her tight enough and to go ahead and try again. I put my leg up under Jazz's belly to keep her from sitting down and held her head against my shoulder and told the tech to go ahead...and she just stared at me like, "You want me to do what??" So, I said, "If you're going to do it, do it now." She was just very tentative and I kept thinking.."Good Lord! Just do it already!!" So..she finally got her problem. step was drawing her blood for a heartworm check and the tech chose to do her back leg...I don't know if that's standard or if she was afraid of being near her head..even though she was muzzled. The first try was an epic fail. So was the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th try. All the same needle...she'd stick it in, not get anything, pull back a little and stick it back in. AT this point, Jazz is getting angry and starting to shake with fear while trying to get free. She turns her head and looks at the vet tech with a look that clearly says, "If I didn't have this muzzle on, you'd be lunch meat right now." So, I asked her if the other vet tech could try and she said that Jazz just had shallow veins. Ok..well is there someone with more experience that could hit a shallow vein? She tried the other leg and Jazz gave me that, "Oh Mama please help me" look and I felt so bad for her. Attempt number 5 failed. So did #6. Finally..with needle # 2 and attempt 7, they got enough blood to run the test. I got to take her muzzle off...but not before they backed up to the farthest side of the room as if she was a raging bull. All she did was wag her tail, hide behind me and press against my leg. It just angered me that they treated her that way.

Then the vet herself came in..made me remuzzle her, gave her her rabies shot, checked a few things, said she was a good weight, had a negative heartworm test, had good joints, etc..and then said that b/c of the difficulty in getting her temp. and blood, they may have to start sedating her to get it. Um..NO. I asked for sedatives in order to trim her claws and they if they're not going to do it for that..they're not doing it at all. They still got her temp and blood..but who said anything in life was supposed to be easy?? Jazz was fine..but they were so afraid of her that she was feeding off of their fear. I was just so frustrated with them for being pansies. I'm not saying they should've been aggressive and force Jazz into a corner or anything..but at least show some compassion for the dog's fear and some persistance. If they're that afraid of being bit, they're in the wrong job.

Anyway, after taking her muzzle off, the Dr. gave her a cookie and Jazz was so gentle in taking it out of her hand that it made me that much more upset that they treated her like some crazed wild dog. I know the muzzle was for protection..and I was ok w/ that b/c if Jazz doesn't like something, she'll put her teeth on you to let you know..but doesn't bite. I would not however, want to take that chance w/ strangers. Jazz is very sweet and gentle and wants so much to be loved on and part of what you're doing that she gets so excited and rambunctious at the thought of you playing with her. She's just very high spirited and can scare some people b/c she likes to jump. that's the end of Jazz's story. On to Patches.

I took Jazz out, brought Patches in and the 2 vet tech's walked in the room and started to approach Patches. It seemed all good b/c she was wagging, but as soon as they got close to her, she barked and backed up...and they jumped back as if she'd already bitten them. They took her to be weighed, took her temp, etc..and then I heard some huffing, puffing and little dog feet scrambling. They'd muzzled her. She's almost 9 and has NEVER been muzzled..and they were getting snippy w/ her b/c she was fighting them. She was clawing at her face, huffing, tongue hanging out through her teeth, drooling and the most horrible look of fear in her eyes I've ever seen. Rage started bubbling up inside me and it apparently showed on my face b/c the vet tech goes, "She got a little snarly when we tried to draw her blood." Ok..I understand, but it didn't make me any less angry to see my girl like that.

They did a quick exam and while the vet was listening to her heart, she reached up and clamped Patches mouth closed b/c she was huffing and breathing so heavily. I know it was to hear her heart better, but it just freaked Patches out more. As soon as the vet let go, she started shaking her head back and forth and pawing at the muzzle...and both the vet tech's and vet backed up..1 actually left the room. She's muzzled you morons!! What's she going to do?? After Patches calmed a little bit, they let me take the muzzle off and she just sat there..totally fine. It probably didn't help that they called her fat..maybe Patches is sensitive. =) I know she needs to lose about 23 lbs, but we had her thyroid tested and should get the results back in a few weeks. The vet said Cushing's Disease could explain her weight we'll probably have to have her tested for that too.

It was just an upsetting vet trip. The vet tech's were too timid and scared...which only scared my dogs when they were already on alert. They weren't very friendly and I can't say they were inexperienced..b/c I've seen them there for a few years now. I know they mean well..but I just wasn't happy with the way my dogs were treated and they completely freak out when I pull into the parking lot I think it's time for a change. Patches did fine when we took her to a different vet for a ruptured tick cyst and our vet was closed. Granted...Jeff was with her and she's his dog. She doesn't trust me like she does him. She loves me...but she's a daddy's girl, no doubt. I'm considering going to a mobile vet who will come out and charge me a $50 house visit and treat all my animals. I had Patches and Jazz's appt at the same time and they charged me $30 a piece for an office visit. I paid out almost $300 for that one visit. Insane! Anyhow..I just wanted to vent a little on my bad experience and get it off my chest. I felt bad for my girls so when we got home, they each got a yummy doggie mini-bagel from the Bone Appetit Pet Bakery in Myrtle Beach. They love that place and despite a horrible day, they had a great weekend with Terri!!