Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On loving your vet and knowing your vet loves your dog!

Most dogs hate the vet.  At least, this is what we're led to believe.  And sitting in the vet's office, seeing the dogs shaking in their carriers, hiding behind chairs, and generally looking miserable, I can believe it.

Which is why I'm always so thankful that Dahlia can walk into the vet's office so calmly.  Granted, she usually hesitates at the door, but she often does when I'm struggling with a heavy door with one hand and trying to get her to go through.  She doesn't like the movement.  I think she's worried it's going to close on her.

We had to visit the vet last week as Dahlia has developed a lump between her shoulder blades.  First she was taken back for weighing and while she hesitates because she wants to stick with her mother, she went back easily enough.  The vet tech returned her to me and said "What a sweetie!"

The vet came in shortly thereafter and squatted down to talk to Dahlia.  She petted her for a moment and said "What a nice girl she is!" and then finally found the lump.  Dahlia stood there, patiently allowing her to move it around, feel around it, and generally check it out.  A fine needle aspirate was suggested and off she went to the back for that.

The vet returned with her and told me she was fantastic.  "She took it like a pro!"  She showed no fear, no stress, no worry, and happily accepted her ear scritches afterward.

While standing in the office paying for the visit and lab work, one of the techs came up to pet Dahlia, told me what a pretty and nice dog she was.  She asked if she could offer her a treat.  I acquiesced and she fed her a few small treats.  As she was doing it, she said "Wow she takes them so gently!"

I imagine that vets and vet techs often see animals at their worst: when they're in pain, sick, or just generally stressed.  Everyone in the office was completely enamored of Dahlia and it was so nice to leave there knowing everyone cares about her and thinks she's a wonderful dog.

She is, really.  Some of it is her personality, some of it is her training, but much of it, I think, is how secure she feels in her home.

The diganosis, by the way?  Benign, though removal has been recommended.  We may or may not pursue the removal aspect.  At this point, we're waiting to see if anything happens to it and waiting until we're done with our current agility class before taking it more seriously.


  1. Glad to hear everything is going ok and look forward to good news when it gets removed.

    Both my dogs LOVE the vet. Byron has only had one visit so far and did great. I'm honestly surprised that after everything Bernie went through at the vets office she looks forward to going and squeals until she gets to say hi to all the vet techs (that pour out of the back as of on cue when she shows up). She loves the vet too. I always make sure that I take along my treat pouch when we go and play games in the waiting room. It doesn't hurt that they love people too. My clients never thought to take toys or treats with them when they go to the vet and that was one of the top things I suggested in my classes.

  2. I ALWAYS bring treats with me, which both helps with Dahlia but also helps clue me into her stress levels. She'll take treats much harder if she's more stressed and when she's really stressed she won't take them at all. Since she took them with a soft mouth the entire time I was in the office, I knew she was feeling calm.

    I haven't yet decided on removal. I need to talk to the vet again. I have this horrible stupid nightmare idea that it could ultimately be her microchip (they're supposed to create scar tissue around it and stay in place, but sometimes they DON'T and it's right where they put it!). I keep thinking I'm going to spend $400, put Dahlia through surgery, and then get the news back that they just removed her microchip.

    I haven't quite figured out how to ask the vet if that's any sort of remote possibility and how we would find out if that were true or not.

  3. Sometimes they migrate - I get mine checked every six months to see where it has ended up. When was she last scanned?

  4. About two years ago when we had it implanted. *hangs head in shame* I keep meaning to have it scanned and then forget.

    If it's migrated it's basically just come up to the surface because the lump is pretty much right where they implant microchips. Maybe I should just stop down and have her scanned to find out if that could potentially be it?

  5. I doubt the lump would be a microchip reaction two years later.... it wouldn't hurt to get her scanned and see where the microchip is right now especially if you are concerned about it.

    Byron was chipped before we brought him home so it is going to be interesting to see if it stays in that localized area or moves down his back a bit as he grows.

  6. It's not so much a reaction I'm thinking of, but more if it can move somewhere, it could surely move upward in the skin a bit so that you can feel it, right? That's more what I'm thinking of.