Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The True Story of why I got yelled at by the Vet
There are two things I've been avoiding: posting last Sunday's sermon, and telling this. As of now -- one down, one to go.
A week ago Monday, a date which will live forever in infamy, we had another of our now quite common thunderstorms. It started off at about 11:00, after we had gone to bed. The first thing Scout did was get up and run down to the basement, under our futon sofa.
You see, not everyone in our house had gone to bed. Stepson and his girlfriend were downstairs watching some kind of a cartoon marathon. I got up and shouted down to keep an eye on Scout. Then I went back to bed, or tried to, anyway, with all of the crashing and booming sounds.
The next morning when I got up, the first thing I noticed was that Scout was not on her bed. "Oh well, she's sleeping with Stepson," I thought, not too worried. But then, when I headed out to the living room and looked out the front window, I noticed: Stepsons car was not there. Apparently he had decided to sleep at his mom's house.
I opened the door to the basement and there, sitting at the bottom of the stairs, tail wagging, was Scout. And behind her -- I could see even from the top of the stairs -- chaos. I didn't even want to go down there. And I didn't. I called Scout upstairs, and we called Stepson to warn him that he might want to come over and check out what Scout destroyed (or possibly ate) of his.
I was pretty sure my "dog who has always had a sensitive stomach" was going to be sick. She once ate a loaf of wheat bread (please, don't ask) and it took a long time for her to get back to normal. I also noticed that she was chewing her paws, and that when I touched them, they were kind of sticky (you know, like caramel). But I didn't really get worried until Stepson told us that it looked like she had eaten part of a hacky sack. And he was really worried about her too.
So I called the vet. I actually wasn't sure what the hacky sack was made of. I thought, like a bean bag, it had beans inside. (Actually, it had sand inside, which explains, I think, why Scout was so thirsty).
He didn't seem all that concerned, but wanted me to find out what was really inside the hacky sack, and what it was made of. That's when he asked me what Scout's diet was. And I told him about the chicken necks and thighs, and the rice, ground turkey and egg.
That's when he yelled at me. He said that the chicken necks were a greater risk than anything else. He said they could make her really sick.He said, "Would you eat those?" (I wouldn't, but I wouldn't eat kibble, myself, either.) I felt shamed and angry at the same time, and said, "Can we not talk about this right now?" He said, "Does she get any kibble at all?", to which I replied, "Yes, a little." He said she should probably not eat anything hard for a few days.
"Tell you what," I said. "I'll just give her the rice, egg and ground turkey I give her in the evening." (I happen to know that this diet is often what vets recommend to dogs who are sick.)
By now you are probably thinking as badly about me as the vet. Even though this is not a veterinary approved diet, it was not my idea. Until January, Scout was getting a special prescription food exclusively. It was a very strict diet. She couldn't eat anything else. In January, we left Scout with our trainer and took our annual trip to Phoenix. A few days into our stay, we discovered the answering machine didn't work, and that our trainer had been trying to contact us.
It seems that Scout had gotten violently ill at her house. After trying to contact us for a couple of days, and not knowing what to do, she put Scout on the diet her dogs eat. Which is the part raw food, part cooked diet that I have described. Curious, I asked her, "how is she doing?"
"Really well," she replied.
"She hasn't been sick?"
"Not at all."
(At the veterinary hospital, there are two full pages on Scout. Besides the broken leg which I have written about previously, almost everything has to do with diet. She will eat anything; she is not picky at all. But she has had problems since puppyhood finding something that agreed with her. Before the latest prescription diet, she was, at one time, down to 47 pounds. She now hovers between 57-60. Also, when she eats something she isn't supposed to, she doesn't get as violently ill as she used to.)
To be perfectly honest, I am not totally comfortable with how I am feeding Scout. The vet succeeded in making me ashamed of what I was doing. But I'm not really sure where to go from here either.
By the way, Scout is feeling much better.