The week in review

photo.JPGI’m composing this post on Sunday, almost precisely 6 days to the hour of “the incident”.  Somehow, despite three visits to the after-hours vet, probably another half-dozen calls to assorted vets for opinions and appointments, we managed to keep our appointments – not counting the cocktail party the snow canceled, which happened to overlap with Gg’s unplanned surgical wound cleaning – and go to work, for the most part.  I did take Tuesday off, and the weather kindly closed the office early a few days, and then Gretchen and I only made a minimal appearance on Friday to cover payroll and a couple of other necessities, but the Knight worked a regular schedule, somehow.  Heck, the DIVA and I even put in 7 miles on Saturday, but given Gg’s panic attack while we were gone, we just did some yoga today…

And it feels we’ve turned the corner, despite the pilling ordeal.  Gg’s original wound looks great, considering all it has been through, and most likely, the drain will come out on Monday, the day this will be posted for you to read.  Ironically, the rest of this post could sound a lot like Houndgirl’s post from about seven months ago, Breaking Up With Your Vet.

First, the pros:

  1. Obviously, the good folks at Greenbrier Emergency are key to our success.  To a woman, each and every person I spoke with, handed my baby girl off to, handed my credit card to, was compassionate, friendly, professional and wholly focused on Gg’s needs, all while being patient with me.  I also can’t help but note how cost-conscientious they are.  Not only did we never feel gouged, but they truly seemed to want to keep costs low without sacrificing care.  Imagine!!
  2. The vet we have an appointment with tomorrow.  No link yet, but she called me back twice, when we aren’t patients.  She and her staff are also easy-going without sacrificing their professionalism.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about that practice, and two vets who know me and Gg have assured me we’ll be very happy there.  Stay tuned.
  3. Friends and family have also exceeded expectations.  That’s saying something.  I know we’re surrounded by dog-lovers, but the support has been nothing short of amazing.  While Sissy’s glaucoma is far from commonplace, Facebook and my friends provided more options for getting medication into Gg than I could have imagined.  (If you have a challenging pet to pill, do click over for a few of the ideas.  Of course, our patient, tolerant bosses happen to be family too, but we’re still lucky to have that flexibility when we need it.
  4. The biter’s owners.  While I was really slow to reach out to them, they responded immediately and exactly in the best possible ways.  When I knocked on their door that dark night, I just wanted to assure that their dog was up on his shots, but instead, Sissy and I walked without incident yesterday and have no fears about future walks.
  5. Our vet of record did call within an hour of opening for business on Tuesday and stayed on the phone for a while talking me through options to get food into Gg so she could take her meds.

Cons:

  1. Well, we’ll start right where the pros left off.  That’s the last I’ve heard from the vet of record.  I know they were faxed the report Thursday night after Gg’s surgery, because I was waiting for the new prescription while the fax went through.  In theory, they know her drain should come out sometime between Sunday and Tuesday, and I thought they might be curious about how quickly things went sour with her original wound.  I truly expected them to check in with me again on Friday.  
  2. See above.  I can’t bring myself to actually look, but I’m pretty sure the base office visit fee for our vet of record is a few dollars higher than that of the emergency clinic.  I am positive that each and every one of our three visits would have cost significantly more through our vet of record, with no increase in services or standard of care.
  3. When I first called our vet of record Monday evening, it was almost immediately made clear that they were going to close before I could get there, so if I wanted Gg seen, I was talking to the wrong people.  Therefore, given that it was around the same time Thursday when I realized we needed a vet, I never called them and instead, kept trying the emergency clinic until they answered.
  4. The emergency clinic is only an after-hours clinic.  Seriously… this is a con.  I’d be very happy there!  At least I know that if ever again we need them, there are some awesome people there.

photo.JPGSo, one week later, Gg and I will test-drive the new vet.  She made it easy for me.  I did offer to call and have the records sent over, but she said she’d be fine with the paper copies from the first two emergency vet visits.  (She doesn’t know about the third… yet.)  Then, assuming we all get along, I’ll call the vet of record and have them send both girls’ records over… and the vet of record will change.

Sadly, breaking up isn’t so hard to do.  It gets easier when you do it a lot.  Hem.  A quick recap for those of you not around for the whole journey…

DSCN0145

Mugsy & Fred 2006

Mugsy was the last new patient my family’s vet since oh… 1960-something took on.  Fred was assigned to the woman she’d already tapped to become the managing partner when the original vet began to retire.  After Fred’s death, the Knight announced we needed a new vet.  That break-up was HARD for me, and still bothers me sometimes, as my sister and several friends use the same vet/practice.  Mugsy then saw one close to our work, but when Sissy’s new puppy well visit exam happened under the Knight’s watchful eyes, he informed me to find yet another vet.

We were VERY happy at the little country practice where we landed, until Sissy’s anal gland problems exceeded their scope of operation.  That’s when we found Wondervet, an allergist-nutritionist masquerading as a general small animal vet at the vet of record place.  It was love at first chat, and I am SO HAPPY she remains a part of the fur-girl care team even though life took her back to her home state of Texas, going on two years ago.  We were content with the vet in the same practice she handed us over to, and I think almost all of you were around a few months ago when I called and learned she was no longer employed at vet of record…

It might also help to know that we were all very comfortable with the vet who diagnosed Sissy with glaucoma, who was covering for Wondervet while she was on maternity leave.  It matters, because my first response when I learned Wondervet was leaving was “Well thank goodness for Dr. X.”  Hem.  Dr. X left the vet of record when Wondervet returned from her leave.  I count her as our first loss from vet of record, so that makes three awesome women we’ve lost there.   Wondervet is the only one who moved out of the area, in case you’re curious.

Anyone else see a pattern?  I’m pretty sure it’s them, not me.  Frankly though, I don’t care.  I’m voting with my feet and we’re moving on to a vet that will actually call when my dogs go to the ER.  I know this isn’t a crazy expectation, because the boy-dogs and Sissy have frequented said emergency vet, and Friday was the first time I didn’t get a call.

Is it ideal to switch right now?  Sure.  Why not?!  Vet of record hasn’t seen Gg since last February for her annual visit.  (Or was it March?)  Sissy has a local eye pressure check coming up around March 1, so I still have 30 days to find someone that might suit me/us.

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3 Responses to “The week in review”

  1. HoundDogMom Says:

    Oh my gosh, we are so behind in our blogs. We are just finding out about Gg and are sending drool and Power of the Paw to her. We are sorry about what happened to her. Did you do a post on what happened because we looked back and can’t find it. Poor girl I sure hope those people are going to help pay some of her bill for you. So glad you have found a good vet again. I don’t know what I would do if I had to leave my vet. I have been with him for 30 years, but we do have a good back up vet already in place in case something happens. She is about 30 minutes away but worth the drive if we need her. She helped our Cleo so much when she was sick and then diganosed with Cancer. Prayers and Hugs to everyone especially Gg. Sniffs, The HoundDogs and Mom

  2. Marjie Says:

    By all means, vote with your feet. If they don’t care enough to call, then they don’t need your money and time. Jeepers, even Thor’s vet called numerous times after his cyst removal a few months before he died, and he’d only been seeing them about a year, and therefore had only been there a couple of times. (They were the “cheerful chubby ladies” that Jeffrey liked so well.) Glad to learn that Gretchen’s doing well, despite her anxiety over Mommy and sister disappearing for an unsupervised walkie!

  3. Jed & Abby in MerryLand Says:

    OMD!!! Our unsatisfactory mama has not been keeping us up with our friends’ blogs and we just heard about Gg’s terrible experience! We hope the drain removal went well and that she is resting comfortably. We’ll be keeping our paws crossed for her as tight as we can. We’d offer to come serve as her body guards on your walks, but it sounds like the miscreant’s owners stepped up and will be keeping him confined or on a short leash. We assume the full story is someplace we don’t go, like Facebook. But it doesn’t matter. As long as Gg is healing and fully recovers, that’s all we care about.

    Pilling Gg sounds like pilling a cat – not one of mama’s favorite things. Except Gg probably doesn’t bite you with fangs while trying to scratch you raw. We’ll keep out eyes open for one of those pilling devices. Even if it’s too late for this event, she’s bound to need pills again sometime in her life.

    Hugs and slurpy kisses!

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