Thursday, November 01, 2012

In Praise of the Vulnerable Man

P.T. Barnum said there was a sucker born every minute.

No doubt he was correct. I always just try to get through a day hoping that guy ain't me.

I'm a little late posting this, but not only have I been on the road, but I had other posts on the ready that had to be done in October.

I was a single parent this last weekend and everything was going well.....until Sunday morning.

Petey woke me up by coming upstairs at 02:35 and I told him to go back downstairs where he belonged. Oddly enough, I think he complied.  It is possible he slept on the guest bed - either he did or Becky didn't straighten the bed when she left. Possibly both things happened.

But I woke at normal time to take him out.  It was not good.  First the dining room smelled of poop, but that couldn't be - he never does that. Then as he was walking from his bed to me, he puked twice. Nothing solid, just frothy.  He puked two more times before going outside with me.

I was hoping he'd get it out of his system but that didn't happen.  He barely walked, and seemingly had no energy and his breathing was a little laboured. He finally did #2, but it was not solid.  Poor boy....and then he wouldn't walk home.  I ended up carrying him.  Pool little boy.

710 was called and consulted and we decided I would take him to the 24 hour vet place about 10 miles away.

I have always been skeptical of these place - by my own intuition and by experiences I have heard from others. I'm not sure which fed which process, but I was on guard.

Personally, I think they prey on the folks who bring their pets in the middle of the night to be looked at. They are money machines that only intake.

Petey has been prone to pneumonia in the past. He has it now.  It seems the remedy would be easy: antibiotics.

But not when you have a 24/7 clinic to run.

$101 for walking in the door. Literally.  Then bloodwork.  Then x-rays.  Right now we're at $486.

They'd like to do an ultrasound (no).  They'd like to keep him overnight and possibly put an IV in him if he needs. If they do, we're at a $1,700 estimate.

When the internal medicine vet comes in they'd like to lavage Petey, get some cells to see where the pneumonia stems from ($1,700 more). And they'd like to do a bronchoscopy ($2,700).

Get out your calculators folks - so far we're at a $6,100 estimated bill and this does not even include treatment.  This is just diagnostics.

Oh, and they don't want to start antibiotics because that will kill the illness in the cells they want to look at.  Fools!  I WANT you to kill that...and I don't see why he should have to suffer for another 24 hours just so you can collect your  - what I'm guessing will end up being - $7,000.

I adore Petey, but he is 10.5 years old. Treat the poor dog.

After some phone consults with 710 and my sister, who gave me his background on how they treated him successfully before, I told the staff to give me antibiotics and I was going to take him home. We will follow-up with our own vet.

They were nice about it and complied, but c'mon!

I was there for three and one-half hours, each dog coming in after got treated and left before I was able to carry Pete out of there.

He's on two anti-biotics for two weeks (at least), he gets steam baths.  Well, we use the guest bathroom and steam it up for his therapy to loosen his lungs up.

But these clinics are D-pressing. The 14.5 yo boxer a man had to carry in to be put down.  The cat that wasn't eating or drinking. The Akita who had bandages around her abdomen, paw and a pouch that was either a drain or a catheter bag.

We all love our pets. We all don't know exactly what to do for them, since they can't talk for themselves.  The guilt of what to do - or not - makes us vulnerable.  And yes, I think the people in these places are generally nice, but prey on that guilt and vulnerability.  Hell, right at the desk, they have a service for payment plans. ...and trust me, at $7,000 I would have needed one of those plans.

I have to say, I was a wreck for the first two hours, but after making my decision to take charge of his care as opposed to feeling a bit bullied, I felt better.

Petey is still a very sick pup. We squirt water into his mouth (well, 710 has been a superstar w doggie patient care). He's not eating, which means no pooping.  But he is peeing, so that's good. No more vomit, but he is going to the vet for IV and IV antibiotics.

His cough has slowed down and his breathing better, but his energy still isn't there. He's got today for another round and then I'll be home the following morning to give him kisses and pets.

I need him to rebound. I know people die of pneumonia, so why not dogs, but I'm not ready to give up on him.  He makes us too happy.

Here is a picture of the patient resting at home. No bed or blanket is too much for this precious pooch.

Song by: Alanis Morissette


anne marie in philly said...

sending healing thoughts to petey. and to you and 710 also; do whatever it takes to make the little man well again.

BosGuy said...

Oh no... poor thing. I guess to borrow a phrase Petey is "sick as a dog". I hope that he starts to feel better very soon.

Anonymous said...

My worst nightmare. I'm so glad he has you and 710 and that his is responding to treatment. I hope his recovery is complete and speedy.

cb said...

I really really really hope Petey is doing better. Keep me posted.

Erik Rubright said...

I'm late, but I hope Petey is feeling more dog-like. And I hope you two humans are doing well considering.