Monday, April 17, 2006

Doggie Dollars


(Flounder does the 3-legged gallop)

It was time for Feather's annual check up last Friday and Flounder had been favoring a paw for a two days, so I loaded them both into the Jeep and off we went to the vet.

Our vet is a great guy who always treats you as if your pets were the only reason for him being there. This was our first visit to the newly constructed vet clinic and I was happy to see that the waiting room was much larger than the old place. One of the downsides of rural life in the south is the prevalence of Pit Bulls and I never have enjoyed sitting near one in a crowded vet waiting room.
(note to pit bull lovers...yes, I've met "nice" ones, but I would not trust them for a second,'s not how you raise them, they've been bred to be aggressive and unrelenting in their attacks...they're like a time bomb waiting to go off and they do it more often and with more ferocity than any other dog breed. Personally, I favor extinction of the breed, but at least treat them like the deadly weapon that they are. I have to meet certain requirements and buy an expensive license to carry my concealed firearm in society, the pitbull owner should have to do at least that much)

Whew! I guess I needed to say that. Now that I've angered about 1/4 of the rural population, I 'll get back to the topic...
What was the topic?
The vet visit starts with a weight check. I always dread this part with Feather, because she's got a little problem in that area. Flounder on the other hand could eat hamburgers and ice cream every day and never gain a pound.
Feather stepped up on the scale and I held my breath...90 lbs. I was thinking of my excuses, "Gee Doc, she must be eating the other dog's food" or I could blame it on the kids...

"Great" the vet says, he checks the chart, she's lost 6 pounds.

Posted by Picasa
call me

You go girl! I rubbed her head and then it's Flounder's turn.
72 pounds. Flounder has lost about 2 pounds even though we are constantly giving him the best leftovers and goodies. Oh well...

The dogs are thoroughly poked and prodded, Feather gets the new 3 year rabies vaccine, Flounder's sore paw turns out to be an infected toe.

The vet notices the goopy eye boogers in both dogs and suspects conjuctivitis, but decides to check for tear production since they are both over 10 years old. Tiny tear measuring strips are inserted into their eye between the eyeball and the lower eyelid.

Results: Feather zero tear production, Flounder almost zero. (they are siblings by the way). So they get cyclosporin prescription drops to stimulate tear production.

Also, Flounder gets an antibiotic ointment for his toe, an oral antibiotic for his toe, and a painkiller for his toe. In addition, I get heartworm prevention pills and a topical flea killer product for all 3 dogs.

$$$KA-CHING, KA-CHING$$$ (remember when registers actually made that sound?)

Back out in the waiting room, the receptionist takes the bill from the vet's file, glances at it and says, "Are you ready?"

That's never a good sign.


Three days later and Flounder is putting weight on his foot again and you can tell he feels better. I'm glad...

...but I'm still in pain.


roger said...

it does seem at times that the vet is more expensive than a human doc. no tears in older dogs? i did not know that. interesting.

i often wonder if some men get bad dogs, or big loud motorcycles, as compensation for, uh, anatomical deficiency.

there goes another 1/4 of some population.

Floridacracker said...

Not all old dogs, but it is more prevalent in aged heartbreakers.
Well, soon between the 2 of us, we will have angered all the people with mean dogs and loud motorcycles...I wonder if that's a good idea?

Laura said...

I hear you. everytime I go to the vet.. I CRINGE. We now have to buy diabetic dog food at a cost of 17.29 a bag.. lasts about a week. (!!!)

Had to smile at the weight check for Flounder because labs are notorious for gaining weight! My old lab ate everything in sight.

I worked for a rural vet hosp for years down near Homestead and you're right about the pit bulls in the rurual population. I saw more of the breed than I cared to remember. Only two out of the whole pack were sweethearts. By and large, it was due to the way they were raised. There's one around the corner from us that is 13 years old, sweetest dog i've ever met. But overall, no.. I still don't trust them much.

Hope your vet bill pain ends soon. Amazing, the way those fees add up.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

I'm with you about pitbulls. Inherently nasty dogs. It's interesting,I don't really remember them being as popular when I was growing up. We were always afraid of Doberman Pinschers.

We once had to give our cat Bonsai some pink liquid antibiotics after a particularly nasty abscess. It smelled like bubblegum. I'm sure he thoroughly enjoyed that.

Laura said...

*rural... not rurual. today must be Typo Monday.

Deb said...

Ouch! Sally has her first appointment today, and we're getting a cat neutered next week, so we'll see what the damage comes to. And I totally agree about pit bulls; I have not yet heard one good argument for keeping one. Rottweilers too.

swamp4me said...

Pit bulls do seem to be linked with the owner's ego, at least around here. I have met many nice and well-behaved pit bulls, but I never turn my back on them.

$300, you say. Of course, if you're like me you'll spend the money on the dogs long before you'll spend it on yourself. Just what is this power that dogs have? Oh, oh, I know, it's called unconditional love :)

(my security word: dglkkkt
seems to me that should be pronounced "dog licked")

Floridacracker said...

Ouch. I just multiplied 52 weeks times $17.29 per week. Wow.

You'd think cat medicine would be sardine flavored.

Sounds like an expensive trip...just the neuter alone. That Sally is just too cute.

I know, unconditional love vs. new digital wins.

threecollie said...

Pet vet pain...ouch, they do good things for our furry pals, but every trip that one of the canines makes to the wonderful spa-like facility where they get health care costs me more (often a lot more) than our farm vet charges to come in to vaccinate, pregnancy test, wrestle around checking teeth and generally go over on our whole darned herd of great big cows. Hope she doesn't compare notes!

Hick said...

What's Feather's secret...maybe it'll work on me.

by the way...a dog with the name "Feather" couldn't possibly have a weight problem in the first place.

I'm changing my name to Feather...or maybe Flyspeck...


Floridacracker said...

I think there's a looming farm vet shortage for that very reason. I know I read something about that a while ago.

She finally lost some weight when we spread out the feed bowls so she can't easily go intimidate and then gather the other dogs bowls.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Nevertheless, you're a good man, Cracker.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

With 7 cats that go to the vet we feel your pain.

All but one have had surgery, one was hit by a car, two had to have C-sections, all have been fixed now. All wear Frontline Plus (not cheap either). NONE of our cats are purebred...all have been dropped at our house and are strays.

So, like I said...I feel your pain.

Floridacracker said...


I'm sure the cats appreciate it.

doubleknot said...

Vet bills - well just part of that love. I had a pit bull by default once - from a tiny puppy he recieved nothing but love - was neutered and well cared for. When he grew up it was like a different dog. I started getting worried when he would eye my ex and my son when they got to close to me. But the day my brother-in-law parked at the shop and started to walk towards me was the day I decided that something had to be done - the dog started to attack and was still watching me so when I yelled for my brother-in-law to stop and don't move and called the dog back the dog came but reluctantly. Unforunantly I decided to have the dog put down because I would hate to be responsible for a terrible incident. Since then I know first hand the pit bull mentallity and like you said people should have a licence for a deadly weapon.

Lightnin said...

I think I know the cause for the weight much would you be able stomach with "ol smelly dog" sitting next to you while you are trying to eat? Maybe I've answered my own diet issues here.

Floridacracker said...

That story is just what I was talking about...they just can not be trusted.

I'd buy that excuse if he hadn't just come back from rolling in a dead deer by the pond.

Leslie said...

We had a grossly obese cat who slept by the food dish (free-feed, with one of those "hopper" things). I put him on a diet and restricted his intake. He only got what I gave him. We went to the vet for a checkup and I was all excited to hear his weight... and he'd *gained*. He was 100% indoor and too fat to jump on the table or counters so my "teeny bit" of food was obviously way too much.