The New Vet

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.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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18 Responses to The New Vet

  1. colinandray says:

    All the best tomorrow, and a big supportive “WOOF!” from Ray. 🙂

  2. Poor Maggie! I’m so glad you found someone you like and trust. Keep us informed. BTW I had two diabetic cats (not at the same time). For the first one I had to use insulin daily and blood tests (cha-ching, cha-ching) every 3 months. For the second, they taught me how to test the blood for the glucose level at home and as long as he was in good health otherwise with normal readings, he only went in once a year. It was the same vet but the protocol had changed. Of course the second cat required people insulin which was more than 4 times more expensive than the insulin the first cat had. However he lived 5 years longer than the first cat and had less issues. Hugs to you all!

    • Thanks Kate. Our neighbours were being charged for each visit and blood test which equated to around £50 a time, plus the insulin, which they could inject at home.They seem happy with their new guy and their dog has a little more pep than when I last saw her, bless.
      Obviously we are still anxious with Maggie but the growth is noticably larger and even though it can’t be completely removed, better to have it reduced rather than leave it,

  3. Sadje says:

    All the best for tomorrow. Hope she gets better.

  4. The best for tomorrow

  5. fransiweinstein says:

    Sending positive thoughts for all of you tomorrow. Sounds like you have found a wonderful vet and that’s so important.

  6. Hugs to Maggie, and to you. Hope all goes well.

  7. Bee Halton says:

    Hope all goes well and our Sherks sends a woof 🙋

  8. I’m so glad you found a ‘good’ vet. They’re rare. Up here there are three options, one of which mostly sees ‘large’ animals (i.e. farm animals…cows, sheep, horses) and the dog & cat practice is a sideline. The second I actually used for a little while, until my elderly chihuahua, who had endured an annoying and frequent ‘hacking’ cough, was seen and they basically said “We don’t know what’s wrong with him. Put him to sleep.” Um. Nooo. Now the third is a busy modern practice, but I was warned about them by a relative who used them and had a bad experience. I go to that third one because what other option is there really…but recently they fired three or four vets because of incompetence. I don’t have a great deal of faith in them any more and Huny is developing that hacking cough. I believe it HAS to be environmental (something around here that’s toxic to dogs), but again I’m getting the “I don’t know” business and they’re blaming it on her heart. She’s eleven. Too young to have developed the severe heart problems they’re saying she has. Most other vets are over 50-75 miles away and I don’t want to play roulette with Huny. It’s a nasty situation when you get ‘bad’ or indifferent vets so I’m very glad that you found someone ‘good’. Best wishes to Maggie tomorrow! ❤

    • Hi Melanie,
      so sorry to hear about your vet problems. We were lucky with the one in Spaulding when we were in Lincolnshire before, and we also had an excellent vet when we were on the boat. We signed up here for the convenience, and as I said, the staff are nice, but there is no continuity and we think that Maggie needs familiarity (one on one) at her age. OK so this guy is new to her, but he wasn’t threatening and did get down to her level rather than us lifting her up on the table.
      You could be right about environmental. Could it be something in her bedding perhaps? Are any other dogs suffering from this cough which could suggest it’s something in the local area?
      It is difficult, and as you say, good vets are hard to come by. Our fur babies can’t tell us what’s wrong and we have to be in tune with them to know when something is out of kilter.
      I’m naturally anxious about tomorrow because of Maggie’s age, but she’s in good health otherwise so she should be OK.

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