Emergency Vet Hospital: Our First Visit

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In all the years my family had a dog, I had never been to an emergency vet clinic until the other night. And, it wasn't a pleasant experience.

First off, every emergency vet clinic should have a vending machine in the waiting room filled with Xanax, or some other human anti-anxiety medication, because I think I would've been able to make better educated decisions while medicated than in a frantic, complete state of panic.

A very long story short, while out to dinner I got a call saying Toby wasn't putting his leg down and was yelping. After several more phone calls and a long debate over feeling bad about ruining everyone's night, (thanks Amy and Lynette for being so amazingly understanding!) I went home to find Toby in extreme pain, unable to put weight on his back right leg and hopping around whining.

[Enter complete panic/worse case scenario thinking]

We had been through similar things before, because Toby has luxating patella in both his back knees. But, this time it was way different. He had a blank look on his face, almost like he was in a different world, would let out a loud yelp when I touched his foot and wouldn't even let me hold him. Something was definitely wrong. 

I had some leftover rimadyl from last time he hurts his leg and while researching how long the medication is good for (ours was over two years old) I found some information that said a dog could go into shock if they broke or sprained their leg. That was when I decided it was time to go to the emergency room.

Wrapped in a blue blanket and me almost in tears, Toby and I headed to our first emergency vet visit. Now, you have to understand, Toby's vet has been used by my family for as long I can remember, and vets from his practice also work at the emergency hospital.

That said, the first question out of my mouth probably shouldn't have been, "Is Dr. O'Neil or Dr. Lewis here tonight by any chance?" followed later on by, "Do you think I can wait till morning for x-rays since I would really feel more comfortable with Ira?"

[Note to self: Don't piss off the vets who are taking care of your dog at 1 a.m.]

Now already after 2 a.m., I trusted my gut and decided it was better to wait till morning and go to my regular vet. They gave him two shots, and we went home.Toby had to stay crated and warm, so I put out a futon cushion on the floor and slept next to the crate to make sure he was OK. We woke up to call from my vet's office asking what time I could bring him in.

My vet came to the conclusion Toby had an anterior cruciate rupture. He walked me through all my options and what the next steps were, as well as showed me photos of what it should look like and what a ruptured one looks like. When I walked out of the office to put him in the car, the receptionist ask if he was OK? I said, "kinda." She followed up with, "Are you OK?" Didn't even have to think, "No." And, she smiled.

Toby still isn't using his injured leg, but is on rimadyl and confined to his crate. He did finally start barking again, and doesn't have the spaced out look in his eyes like he had when we left the vet hospital. Monday morning we go back to see my vet, and if Toby is still in pain they will do x-rays and depending on the results, will operate on him.


Michelle Maskaly

The Adirondack Chick

My Tail Hurts From Wagging So Much


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