Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Tale Of Three Dogs

Cookie, Gigi and Homer (from left to right)

When you have three dogs, there's never a dull moment. Cookie, Gigi and Homer have all had interesting situations lately.


Some of you may remember a few months ago when Cookie hurt her leg, and the vet's prognosis was that she needed surgery. Yet, a short time later, Cookie was able to walk better. The initial thought was, her CCL was completely torn and that she would need surgery to repair the tear.

It turned out that the x-ray wasn't read as easily as it should have been. Cookie's bone structure can make it difficult to get an accurate reading on an x-ray machine.

Future Steps
While it's most likely that Cookie won't have surgery, I hope to be able to take her to get another x-ray. If it turns out to be a partial tear, then I will do conservative management to get her back to her normal self.

It helps that her activity has been limited and that she doesn't use the stairs much. It has been said that animals adapt to their environment and in Cookie's case, this is correct. I am hoping to get her an x-ray that is more accurate to see the injury more clearly. In the meantime, I'm grateful that her condition has stabilized.


A few weeks ago, Gigi had a huge bulge in her neck. I took her to the doctor that same week and after removing some blood from the affected area, it was apparent she had an infection. The area was drained and there was a sample sent to the lab for testing.

Ten days later, I received a call from the veterinarian stating that there was lab error. Shock that the cost for these tests cost me over 40 per cent of my veterinary bill, I went to the clinic to see if I could get a refund or at least a portion of the money I paid back since both tests were inconclusive.

Two days later, I get a call from the vet tech telling me that the infection "cleared itself up on the way to the lab" and that's why the tests didn't work out. Translation: You're not getting you're money back. Part of me was angry that this happened and felt this reason was fabricated and the other part felt like it was par for the course when it came to the vet.

The Lesson I Learned
In the future, I will be more scrutinizing about lab tests. It's my belief that many doctors take advantage of pet owners' desire to give their pets the best possible care and will suggest extra tests they don't need.

When Gigi had her infection, she was tested for both aerobic and anaerobic infections. If I had only done one test, it would be an accurate enough indicator of what she did or didn't have. The extra test was unnecessary, but I didn't receive the cost breakdown till after I paid.

While this vet has always been caring towards my animals, I will be trying a new vet in the future. I was recommended a vet through a family member and think that at least, this new vet will be more upfront.


Homer is a fearless dog. He will chase any rabbit and chew up almost anything. He loves to patrol the backyard and barks with pride to protect his territory. However, the 4th of July changed all that.

Homer became a different dog. The bold dog who loved to prowl the neighborhood, couldn't wait to get home and wouldn't budge until I headed in that direction. I thought that once the holiday was over, he would be fine. However, the next few times I tried to take him out, he would act the same.

It seemed unreal. Even after the holiday was over, he would still hear noises on his walk that resembled firework sounds.

Steps To Getting Past The Fear
After talking to one of my friends on Twitter(@fearfuldogs), she informed me that you have to be proactive with sound phobias since they only get worse.

While I can't control how Homer feels about darkness, I can control how he goes outside. Last night, I took him for a car ride before sunset. He loved being in the car and being at the park put him in a neutral environment. Other options are taking him to the off-leash dog park, the dog beach and the local pet store. While I can't do that all the time, it's good to know that's an option I can use.

I think it will take time, but with persistence, I hope to get his phobia more manageable.

Let's Discuss!

Have any of you experienced problems that were similar to the ones written in this post? If so, how did you handle it?

Related Posts

A Rough Road Ahead
Cookie Update
The Unforeseen Affliction
One Little Firecracker


  1. That's a great pic of the trio - I love it!

  2. Thanks Pat. I had a photographer take a picture of all three of them since it's so hard for me to get them all to sit still. :D

  3. Wow, it sounds like they’ve been in the wars a bit lately! I hope they’re all on the mend and I enjoyed hearing how the three of them are getting on. That picture is adorable too, although Cookie and Homer must surely be jealous that they don’t get to wear an awesome, colourful garland too! :)

  4. Thank you Sam. It had been a little rough but they all seem to handle it well. Gigi is lucky because she can pretty much wear any color. ;) They were all good in the photo shoot though.

  5. I do prefer having costs dealt with upfront, and not having to ask. I always feel awkward asking how much treatments cost.

  6. I totally agree on that one. It's frustrating when you don't get the bill upfront. At this place, the doctors would never know what anything would cost because they would "refer to their records". Finding a new vet will be a good thing.

  7. We have been looking into ThunderShirt for our dog. He hates fireworks and storms. At one point while we were out of the house he managed to get in behind the washer and dryer he was so afraid. I'm curious if anyone has any experience with the product or thoughts.

  8. Anonymous, I wrote a review about the Thundershirt a while back.
    I use it quite a bit on him. It does work for anxiety. I put it on Homer when I go out so he's more calm and there's much less damage when I get back. I've also put it on him when he gets nervous during thunderstorms. He doesn't mind it at all.

    I really recommencd this product. It's better than having to give your dog anxiety medication.

    Try putting it on him when he's in the house so he gets used to it. Then on days where rain is expected you can have him wear it until the storm is over.



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