Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Poor Midge

Over the holidays, Midge was restless and panting, drinking a lot of water, and spending more time outside despite the cold.  I was about to take her in to see the vet, and she instantly got back to being her old self.  We figured she probably got into one of the kids' Christmas chocolates and had some chocolate poisoning from which she recovered.

Then over the past week we've noticed that she's been draining the water bowl, but there weren't any other symptoms beyond that.  Then last night she began nervously running around the house with her eyes bulging.  I kept letting her outside, and then she would want right back inside, and then outside.  On and on it went.

I began wondering if she was nervous about all the wildlife she was smelling outside.  Our property is now home to a couple of herds of deer, neighborhood dogs, feral cats, jackrabbits, skunk, owls and coyotes.  We're back to having to shine a flashlight around the property before letting the dogs outside.  Both dogs tend to alert us to when any of these animals show up.

Also, the kids were home over Christmas and right now we have other relatives visiting, so I wondered if the change in our routine was sending Midge over edge with nervousness.  Then last night my husband stayed up all night with Midge to observe her closely in an attempt to solve this mystery.  He said that she was urinating every 10 to 20 minutes, making multiple attempts during one pee session, and she had diarrhea.  If he didn't let her out in time, she'd go on the floor and she was whimpering.

So, I took her in to see a vet this morning.  We have three domestic animal vet offices in town, and you may remember that I will never do business with one of them ever again after the way I was treated when I brought Monty in at the end of his life to be euthanized.  I've brought Scrappy and Midge in to this second vet hospital a few times, but felt uncomfortable because the young doctors were always pressuring me to get the dogs' teeth cleaned, and my experience with canine teeth cleanings is that my dogs come out of it with a ridiculous number of teeth being pulled, and then their health just goes downhill from that day forward and they usually die within a year of the dental surgery.  On the other hand, my dogs who never had dental cleanings lived a long, ripe life.  Some people are against vaccinations.  I'm against canine dental cleanings.  If there is a serious problem with a tooth that is causing the dog pain, I'll will allow surgery, but I will not allow tartar maintenance.

Anyway, I was hesitant to go to this second animal hospital because I didn't want to have to defend my beliefs yet again with these young doctors, but the third vet is an unknown to me.  I decided to give the second vet office a second chance, and this time I was greeted on the doorstep by an older female doctor in a white lab coat and black high heels who I'd never met before.  She told me not to let Midge pee before her exam, because she wanted a sample.  She took me right in to the examining room and had two other assistants working with her.

I brought in a stool sample because she had been having orange diarrhea.  The doctor found that one of her lymph nodes in her neck was swollen, which meant she was fighting an infection.  She took a urine sample, the poop sample, and did an ultrasound.  She found a lot of blood and white blood cells in the urine, so she's treating her for a urinary tract infection.  She thinks the orange diarrhea is orange because of the dye in the Kibbles & Bits dog food we just switched her to, and is happening as a side-effect to the pain and stress of the urinary tract infection. 

She's having me feed Midge rice and chicken broth in addition to giving her pills.  The doctor did find tartar and gingivitis, but did not pressure me into a teeth cleaning.  She said that getting this infection kicked out is the priority.  I liked her.  She was very practical and informative.  I didn't feel judged by her in any way.  The hospital is efficient, yet laid back and relaxed.  Rarely is there any other customer in there when I arrive.  When I called, the receptionist, who is a man with a punk rock hair style, was busy with a customer, so he asked me to hold.  The doctor immediately picked up the phone to help me, so these doctors don't feel like they are above manning the phones when the front office does get a little busy.  Everyone is personable and they treated both Midge and I with respect, so I think I'll keep going back there and giving them my business.

Best of all, they kept my business cards out all year.  I've dropped off my business cards at some animal-related businesses, and they've turned around and dumped them the trash as soon as I walked away, which is rude.  Business cards do cost time and money, so if someone doesn't want to display them, they can always say no,.  So, it impressed me that this vet's office kept my cards on display all this time.  Some people are just naturally nicer than others, and it's good to know that this vet's office contains nice people.


KarenTX said...

Poor Midge! If she's taking antibiotics, did they tell you to give her yogurt to keep the good bacteria alive? So that she won't get diarrhea again? I use FortiFlora from my vet, it's a powder in a packet you sprinkle on their food. I use 1/2 packet in the am and the other half in the p.m. Hope Midge is better soon!

Mikey said...

Glad you found a vet you like and I hope Midge gets better quick. UTI's are no fun!

fernvalley01 said...

Glad you found a vet you like, and hoping that Sweet Midge is better soon

Dreaming said...

Finding a vet you trust who has a similar belief system is so important. We lucked into good one for Tucker in our new town.
I hope Midge is feeling better already! I hate when they are sick - it is so hard to tell sometimes!

appydoesdressage said...

Really happy to hear you found a vet that you like. I am hoping Midge feels better soon, keep us posted!

Linda said...

They sound great. I've had the young ones pressure me, too, but now there must be a note on my chart because after the last time they tried to talk me into spaying my 4 month old Irish Wolfhound puppy, it became such a big deal between us, they had to talk to my husband, too, and apologize. It was BAD. I give my dogs the big cow bones with the marrow inside and that takes care of the tartar completely. A lot of people are against giving dogs bones, but these are so big they can't splinter them off, and instead spend most of the time licking the marrow out. Hope she gets to feeling better soon now that she has the meds!

goodtimetoreview said...

I hope Midge feels better soon! I know how awful it is when you have a sick pet!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Okay. Enough already. I've had several people criticize me for feeding my dogs Kibbles & Bits. Listen folks. I started out feeding my dogs top of the line, most expensive, best quality dog food on earth and my dogs would not eat it. I kept trying different brands until I found dry dog food that they would eat. Each time I go to the store to buy the brand they last ate, it's gone and I have to try a different brand. On my last shopping trip, I was rushed and shopped at a very small store and Kibbles & Bits was pretty much all there was to choose from. If my choice is to feed them that or nothing, I choose that.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Oh, and before people start recommending dog foods and stores to buy them, I am very aware of all the brands and stores. I've owned dogs my whole life, I volunteer at the animal shelter, I wasn't born yesterday. Not everyone has the same dog food brands and stores around them that you do. Also, one of my dogs has special needs. The priority with him is to get the dog food with the smallest bites possible. This is a touchy subject with me, because I've gone through hell trying to find the right dog food for my dogs and the stores keep changing what they stock. I get criticized at home for my choices as well, so please drop the subject. Thanks.