How to Pick a Vet

Afraid of the VET? Don’t be, just be smart!

Part One, assess the situation before you go or don’t go to the Vet

Hi everyone!  There are always inquiries about your beloved pet and illnesses.  Minor or major, it is pretty scary when you can’t really communicate with your pup, right?  Does it hurt?  Does it not?  Is it a big deal?  Or am I just going to the vet to have them do nothing and bill me a ton?  We go through this all of the time, especially with three fur babies, and it does cost money, but then again, you have to be responsible for your Corgi.  It’s pretty intimidating.  Read on for some of the decisions and situations that we go through all of the time.

corgi health

Number One:  Knowing your dog

So, since this blog is about Corgis, I am going to focus on this breed; however, it can be applied on a general level, but always know about your breed and possible hereditary conditions that may be related to physical conditions.  Ok.  Basically, Corgis are always in the mix, meaning they are a part of the family all of the time.  Whenever one of them is not “in the room,” and hiding somewhere, that is my first notice of concern.  I look to see where.  Cupcake typically hides under the bed.  Hambone goes outside on the side of the house.  Wolfgang has not been sick so far, so I don’t apply this.  Next, I coax them with food.  I make a big stink about a snack to see if they have the energy to come out from hiding.  Most of the time, this is good enough.  If they decline food, this is a sign that they are definitely not feeling well.  This is the first step in the process.

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Number Two:  Poops YO!

Now, poops are the number one way to understand the condition of your pet.  They reveal a lot about stuff, what they ate, if they are eating, if their body is out of whack.  Sound gross?  Well, it is really gross, but get used to it.  By checking out the poop, you can assess most problems.

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What a poop tells you

Know the regular poop.  Color, length, softness, how long it takes to do it.  Why?  Color will tell you what they ate.  So, for example, Wolfgang ate a bunch of gummi bears, like an entire bag.  Guess what?  His poop was brown with some red and green speckles.  Yeah, so gross.  One time he ate an ornament, so his poop had a bit of glitter in it.  These guys eat a mixture of vegetables and ground turkey with a supplement that is very green.  So, their poop is super green.  If I notice that the poop is brown, then I assume that they are passing something that has not digested as well, like any human issues.  The trick is to look for inconsistencies.

Moving on to length determining dehydration, so little pellets mean they need water.  No big deal, yet.  Softness is the most gnarly of the gnarly.  The worst ever for us was when all three had the craziest diarrhea.  They obviously had eaten something, or gave each other a bug.  They were all in good and alert spirits; however, but the skid marks on their backsides were monumental.  We literally when through 3 boxes of baby wipes!  So, when did we decide to take them to the Vet?  After 48 hours.  Within the first 24, it is quite normal for the body to process whatever is crazy out, but passing 48 hours is near emergency.  And, why?  Major point is dehydration.  Having “the runs” will dehydrate your pet, and we all know that you cannot force them to drink water if they do not want it.  Always always always take your pet in if they diarrhea does not subside after 48 hours.  This will decrease the risk of kidney damage.  I fed them chicken brothy rice to get water into their system in the meantime.

Squatting.  Ever see your pup squat and squat and squat?  This is also a sign of diarrhea.  Basically, I let the Vet know that there is significant amount of squatting.

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Number 3:  To eat or not to eat

I mentioned earlier about drinking and a bit about eating.  If they do want to do either, be happy and don’t panic.  If they refuse, try to coax them with the most beloved treat ever, ice cream, cheese, chips, meat, whatever it is, just to see if they have any appetite.  So, if they refuse wait a few hours.  I’ve read that you should cease feeding if their diarrhea is super bad, to get their system to move the bug along.  Now, the worst of the worst is not drinking water, but add foamy vomit to that.  If it is foaming, that means that they are not drinking water and regurgitating their saliva, which is very bad.  Hambone, in the worst case ever, was hiding, not wanting to go on a walk, squatting like crazy, refusing food and water, the whole nine.  But when we told the Vet that his vomit was foamy, it was emergency time.  He ended up being in the Vet hospital for two days.  I was so scared.  To this day, there is no answer as to what was wrong, which we will get into that next, but he could have destroyed his kidneys or even died of dehydration.

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Lastly, why go to the Vet if they can’t figure anything out

I’ve been burned many a time by the Vet bill.  Yes, I’ve taken Hambone in because he has diarrhea and they say, “he’s fine.”  And, then I get a bill for $175.  Yikes.  Or, they give him antibiotics, take a few tests, but do not know what the heck happened.  If you are pressed for cash, and you don’t want to be irresponsible, you have to make decisions.  Taking your fur baby to the Vet is about learning.  Understand that medicine is not an exact science for humans, let alone animals.  So, by spending the time with your Vet and understanding why the assessments they make are what they are, then you can gauge the severity of your pet’s condition much better.  For example, I know longer panic when they barf regular barf.  Or, if they have a bout of “the runs”, I wait it out, make sure they are eating and drinking brothy, bland food, and take it from there.  Like I said, you have to be smarter about your dog, and as the owner, you are the only one that can speak for your pet by knowing what is normal and what is not in their behavior.

Next up, I will tell you how to assess the actual Vet!  Lovely, you say?  Exciting it is…

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