Monday, June 13, 2016

River's Manhattan Veterinarian Visit

Today was the day of River's appointment to get his ears checked.

I have to admit I was concerned that they'd never be able to get close to River. But was reassured when I made the appointment by the woman on the phone at the City Vett. She was able to slip me in a full schedule and gave me an option to have River escorted through a side door when I told them about his proclivities. She asked if I would muzzle him and I said I would be fine with that. I didn't have one but they had one I could use.

When I arrived about twenty minutes before our appointment time, I saw a room full of dogs on leashes and green-jacketed employees rushing around. Everyone was busy so River and I stood by the landing for a while as he adjusted. When he was relaxed, I walked him down the ramp to the desk where a woman greeted me and handed me a clipboard to sign in. I felt like I was giving the secret password when I mentioned that the woman on the phone mentioned a private entrance. But she told me to go outside and met me there to open a back door and let us in. River and I hung out on the back staircase and filled out forms and tried on muzzles. I started with a medium, but with his big head, he turned out to need an extra large, and even that was really tight.

After a while we were escorted directly into an exam room and River sat up on the bench with me as we waited. The tech brought in a scale and he hopped on it. He was full of energy, but finally settled down enough for us to register he weighs 52 pounds.

When the doctor came in and started talking to us, River barked and growled a bit. But she took it in stride, as did the technician with whom River didn't click either. Part of our discussion opened my eyes to thte possibility that River had been restrained roughly by several people in the back room of my old vet. Or something happened there that he didn't like, since his behavior there seemed to get progressively worse. What I didnt' like about them was that they took River away and wouldn't let me go back there with him. At City Vet, I was there there whole time.

We decided it would be best to sedate him for examination, cleaning and nail clipping. I was totally on board for that. They had a magic drug that sedated him very quickly and then, after the procedure, they shoot him with something else that wakes him up again. The tech had me hold River up against my body as she gave him an intramuscular injection of the tranquilizer and left the room while it took affect.

I could see him yawning and his eyes were getting heavy, but he resolutely remained awake. I rubbed on his head that place that makes him close his eyes, and they closed. But as soon as the tech popped her head quietly in, he grrrrrowled at her. Eventually, I suggested he needed a larger dose, and she gave him another half dose. Eventually he seemed to be asleep in my arms and didn't react much when both the doctor and the tech came into the small room.

I laid him on the table and I held his face while they clipped his claws and poked swabs in his ears. They also gave him some updates on his immunizations. Considering his love for swamps, I thought it might be best.

The test came back just as I suspected: The right ear was clean and the left ear had some yeast infected. The tech taught me about a dog's ear canal. It is a lot bigger than I thought. And it's L shaped, so there's very little danger of poking into his eardrum with something like a rolled up wad of cotton. She showed me how to apply the medicine and clean it out.

When I mentioned his recent escapade in the swimming pool she said that's most likely what caused it.

Before we left, I asked if it was really necessary to undrug him. I thought it might be nice to have him relaxed for a while. But he couldn't even walk. So they dosed him with the undrugging drug and he soon pepped right up again. We left without incident. The tech even allowed me to pay in the exam room without going into the chaotic main room.

So he's going to be fine. Certainly none worse for the wear. And I learned a lot about what a good visit to the vet can be like. And I might have to look around a bit more

2 comments:

Ferebe said...

I have a sweet dog also. That is until other dogs are around. I found a vet here in town who never has anyone in the waiting area. It is a huge difference on the stress level. The whole appointment now is under 7 minutes. I have started bringing my cat to this vet also. Thank you for writing about River and this issue. There are a lot of us -- people with dogs that are stressed by others -- out here. It is good to know that there are strategies, we are not crazy, understanding vets and techs, and our gut instincts have a positive place. xoxoxo

Marcia Vigil said...

Thanks for the sharing of how it went. I had been wondering, glad it went well. Marcia