Thursday, April 2, 2009

Florence Nightingale

Either I have the word “SUCKER” written across my forehead or the veterinary business is a bit of a racket these days. It wasn’t always this way. I don’t remember my parents taking our family dogs for dental cleanings and yearly check ups throughout the 70s and 80s. Rather, they took our dog to the vet when there was a problem or when they needed to be spayed or neutered or vaccinated.

My dogs on the other hand, visit the vet more than I see a doctor. There are teeth cleanings, vaccinations, thyroid monitoring, anal gland excretions, and nail clippings, grooming for two out of my three dogs and most recently, cryosurgery. This one took the cake. (Not to mention it also took much of my anticipated SEP IRA contribution!)

I don’t have children. So, my dogs are my “babies.” When something is wrong, I take them in. I once took Smitty (our wire fox terrier) into the vet because of two dark freckles that mysteriously appeared inside his mouth. I think that visit signaled to my vet that I am easy target….

On Monday, my super-sized (43lbs) Cocker Spaniel had cryosurgery to remove the little hairs on his eyelids called Distichia; a common condition with American Bulldogs and Spaniels. I was sent to a veterinary eye specialist to obtain a consultation. The first office visit alone was over $500, which included one oral and one topical medication. This wasn’t a good sign, but I elected for the surgery nonetheless.

For three days now, I have been “nursing” Riley back to health. You would not believe the amount of post-op medications I was instructed to give him: three topical ointments, including eye drops and a gel that I am required to apply 3-4 times a day and three oral medications including an antibiotic, a steroid and a pain killer.

The two-page post-op discharge sheet was so complicated that I had to create a flowchart to make sure that that I would give Riley the right medication at the right time of day. I’m wondering if the vet has some back-end deal with Pfizer?

Maybe I don’t have “SUCKER” written across my forehead, but there is no doubt in my mind that I exude “CRAZY DOG LADY.”

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