You may remember a little while ago we said that three important things when we moved into a new area was a good GP, a good dentist, and a good vet.
Our GP surgery is still dire but we are stuck with it for the moment as according to the other ‘local’ ones some 10 and 11 miles away, we are out of their catchment area.
The dentist, which was upstairs in our surgery building has now left the practice and our appointment cancelled as they could
a) not find a replacement and
b) no-one else would take on her patients.
So we have gone back to our previous dentist in Boston, who I shall be seeing for a filling on the 26th.
We have a large vet practice here in town, so naturally we signed on.
The staff are very nice, but there are so many vets, it is rare to see the same one twice, and if you wish to see a specific vet, you may have as long as a week to wait.
Maggie has never been a poorly dog, but she has had a few issues, like her arthritis, mammary strip three years ago, her foot, the constant scratching after the F episode ( we ended up going to another practice in the same chain as we couldn’t get to see a vet here for three days), and of course the growth in her mouth.
A year ago we got it looked at, and believed it would be removed when she went under the anaesthetic.
They just did a biopsy and suggested further Xrays to see how established it was, all at a price of course, and surgery should we wish it, though it could leave a big hole in her mouth which is why they hadn’t removed it then.
Having already parted with £200, our logic was it wasn’t bothering her, the lump was benign, and as it was not affecting her eating or drinking habits, we decided to leave it alone.
Each time we went to the surgery, be it for jabs, check up or something else, they looked at it and said it was nothing to worry about, but we still kept a watchful eye.
Over the past few months, it has grown considerably, but still doesn’t seem to be worrying her, though we had noticed she was favouring the other side of her mouth with her food.
We have therefore been intending to find an alternative vet, preferably a one man show, so that she can have continuity, get to know the vet, and he/she her which is what we had when we were on the boat and also when we lived in Lincolnshire before. That vet is some 42 miles away now so not doable.
We noticed a new surgery had opened in the next town and intended to drop in.
However, our own health issues sort of took over, so it got side lined until recently, and talking to a fellow dog walker, we asked which vet he used.
Apparently, he had used the one we are registered with, and lost confidence not only because he couldn’t see the same vet each time, but his dog was elderly and they couldn’t seem to find what was wrong. He recommended a practice in Louth.
Our neighbour’s little westie has just been diagnosed as diabetic, and they too use the surgery here. However, it has been costing them a lot over the past few weeks with blood tests and treatments, though obviously they don’t object to paying for the insulin, but apart from being instructed to inject their dog twice a day, the back up service is a little wanting.
They therefore made enquiries at the new vet’s five miles away, and not only is he cheaper but they have been given an owners pack for diabetic dogs, access to a 24/7 helpline, and their first set of blood tests to monitor the dog’s sugar levels were done at the surgery during the course of the day for £32 compared to £65 up the road.
Hubby got on the internet the other evening, and looked both of them up.
The one five miles away has his animal hospital elsewhere, not on the premises. He is also part of a larger practice, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
The one in Louth is an independent. Hubby liked the layout of their web site, the apparent sense of humour, and the fact that ops are done there.
So we phoned them up.
Maggie was seen this morning, and what we liked was that the vet got down on the floor at her level, held out his hands and let her sniff them, then made a gentle fuss before looking at the lump. He read the summary of her biopsy and after examining her, said he could remove most of the growth which will definitely make things more comfortable for her.
She’s lost about a kilo in weight, which doesn’t surprise us as she hasn’t been eating as much, but at 15.5 kg is still well within the healthy parameters for her size and age.
The vet says she has a strong and steady heart, with perhaps a murmur, but that could have been because she was a little anxious at being there.
He also showed us some physiotherapy for her arthritis we can do at home, though said she had a good range of movement in both hind legs, and that our dosing her periodically with metacam to ease it was good. Daily exercise was also good for her.
We liked him as he was ‘old school’ and again understands anxious Mummy types like me.
Maggie is therefore scheduled for surgery tomorrow at 11 am, and we will be allowed to stay with her when she has the pre-med, just as we have before in our previous surgeries.
She’s had a special chicken dinner tonight, also eating some of her usual food, and we can leave water down for her.
We might not be flavour of the day tomorrow of course, but now her health must come first.