Emergency Vet Visit

If you haven’t seen on Facebook or read about it on Instagram, a couple of weekends ago in January Kronos had a trip the emergency vet. We had just gone for a walk in the desert and came home. My friend noted that her dog was worried about Kronos’s foot. I thought he had maybe just torn it up from running too fast and hard like he tends to do which is why he got some Ruffwear booties for Christmas (he’s tried those on once and is still getting acclimated to them). When I came to look at Kronos’s paw, my heart froze in fear. He had a wound with what looked like two punctures.

Like a snake bite.

What if he did get bit by a snake? How would I even know what kind if he had? Was it a venomous Rattler?

Kronos didn’t yelp or anything on the walk-he hadn’t indicated anything had happened.

I carried Kronos to the bathroom to wash his wound while my other friend called the emergency vet since the regular vet was closed on the weekend.

We drove to the vet, showed the people at the front desk his wound (they agreed it did look potentially like a snake bite), and checked in.

Kronos went to the back with the tech without a problem and they asked if they had permission to give him an injection for pain to help. Of course I said yes.

After being shown into a room, the on-call vet started going into alternating things-that it may be a snake bite, but highly unlikely that it is given the time of year, that if it was it could be treated without anti-venom, or with anti-venom, that even a small dog required two whole bottles, etc. Then he kept bringing up his time spent in ‘day practice,’ and mentioned a dog dying from the natural treatment. I was so confused what he was saying and it was not clear what he was recommending that we do; I did not feel confidant in the clinic and its staff. I found it very weird and unsettling that Kronos was not in the room with us. And the way the staff said Kronos would be returned after payment was secured made him seem like a hostage.

The vet went to the back and shaved off some fur around the wound to see it better. He came back and said it did not look like a snake bite because the puncture wounds were too close together.

We checked out and one of the staff brought Kronos back out to us. He was drooling profusely, and stumbled toward us wide eyed. I smelled poop when he laid down while the technician briefly went over the discharge instructions, saying drooling was a normal side effect (and failing to mention any OTHER potential side effects of the pain injection), to only wash the wound continuously with hydrogen peroxide, recommended to give him epsom salt soaks, gave me a couple of prescriptions to fill elsewhere, and said only if the wound got worse to have a follow up appointment at a normal vet.

When I carried Kronos to the car, I definitely smelled poop and checked his tail. He smelled like expression and poo. Once he was settled in the car I went back and asked at the front desk if he had pooped while in the back. The person’s comment was “Yes, the animal defecated and expressed when given the injection.”

That was it.

I just turned and walked out without a word.

I was furious at the people’s supposed indifference and insensitivity.

The person who brought Kronos back hadn’t mentioned anything about the poop smell, probably hoping we wouldn’t notice. My friend commented that that was probably why he wasn’t in the room with us-because they had to try to get him cleaned up.

What had they done to Kronos for him to do that? Kronos has been to the vet multiple times as our readers know (he’s been for more problems in his young life I swear than Bella’s been in her 12 years!). He’s been given shots, had blood taken, a skin scrape done, his rear end temperature taken, had physical examinations, and even had needles put in his head for his BAER hearing test. He’s never once pooped or expressed at any of that.

While I was happy they confirmed it wasn’t a snake bite, I did not feel like anything else was worth it. I felt like even a normal vet would have done better and provided better general care. Especially since Kronos was definitely much worse after going to the ER vet than before we’d gone in.

He even snubbed Starbucks cream that was offered (he loves that). He sniffed it and seemed like he wanted some, but then turned his head away.

That was very sad.

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After the ER visit-wide eyed, drooling (I kept wiping off the drool with tissues), and crying the whole way home

Once we got home I bathed him, wrapped his wound, and then prepared a cozy area in a crate for him to rest.

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Woozy and fighting sleep after a bath

He stumbled around like a drunken sailor and whined for most of the evening. Kronos was exhibiting most, if not all, of the side effects of the pain injection (I only found that out by looking it up-and one of the side effects was hallucinations). Later we gave him some herbal supplements for pain until his vet prescription could get filled and yogurt with his dinner. Then he finally relaxed and slept.

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Exhausted and finally sleeping peacefully and quietly
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Tired and cold

Since I hadn’t realized till later I had an e-cone in the house (and the one that was ordered was in the mail), Kronos had been able to lick his wound quite a bit which made it bigger. And it was then that I noticed that Kronos had a puncture underneath his pad, which was strange. The ER vet hadn’t mentioned anything about that, which was off since most of what we paid them for was their high general examination fee for coming in the door. Apparently they hadn’t even given Kronos a thorough examination or they should have noticed that. We had basically spent a bunch of time and money at the ER vet for them to really say nothing and not do much. Not to mention that the exact same medicine from Wal-Mart filled from the prescription was at least four times less expensive than the same medicine the ER vet sold.

We scheduled a second visit during our next trip to Phoenix to the regular vet my friends use, and the clinic I’d used before to remove Bella’s growth on her forehead. The lady was very nice, clear, and explained everything in depth. She said it was important not to cover the wound because it needed to drain, that antibiotics were imperative because it was potentially infected, and that general salt soaks instead of epsom salt along with warm compresses and the antiseptic wipes she provided would help it heal. She then sent us home with some medicine and clear instructions.

Kronos has been wearing a cone and been on bed rest which he’s not too thrilled about. But he’s been a trooper.

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It seems more comfortable than the plastic one although it’s not very practical for his back paw wound since Kronos can still reach it

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Kronos’s wound is doing better. It’s going to take some time to heal because it’s pretty big. But what I think initially caused it was a piece of barbed wire. I walked in the desert after Kronos’s incident with the other pups and found a strand of barbed wire toward the end of the walk laying in the path. Based on his wounds and at the speed Kronos runs, it would definitely make sense that the wire punctured underneath his foot then sprung up and ‘bit’ him on his leg which would account for two ‘fang’ marks.

We have another vet appointment scheduled to follow up about Kronos’s paw for the vet to check the paw and area because the area had had slight swelling before this incident. It’s ballooned up since then.

This has been keeping us pretty busy along with the new foster sibling and preparing for an internship opportunity that is a few months long.

What makes you feel at ease about a vet or clinic? Or what makes you nervous and run as fast as possible out to a different one?

9 comments on “Emergency Vet Visit

  1. I am always uncomfortable when they take my dog out of my sight. I’m sure Bentley feels the same way. I am so sorry that the ER vet treated you so poorly. I hope Kronos is feeling better soon. ☺

  2. I can relate. I’m grateful for the vets I have brought my dogs to over the years. They have been caring to both my animal and me. My pet is always with me and they never take him/her away without my permission. Anything that is done is first discussed. There was one huge exception. One of my dogs was attacked and suffered severe laceration and bites to his neck and leg. He nearly died the first night. However, with intensive vet care for 24 hours, it looked like my dog was going to pull through. We had to transfer him from the night vet to the day vet for two days (night vet only for emergency cases during the night). On the second morning, the day vet was having trouble getting the IV to flow again (had been shut down during transport in our vehicle). The vet advised that our dog was strong enough to travel to the specialist in a neighboring city. However, when they finally got the IV running again, they let it run wide open. This caused a lethal overdose and our dog died within seconds. It was horrific. Vets and vet techs do make mistakes. Instead of seeking revenge, we pushed for a 24 hour emergency clinic so dogs would not need to be transported back and forth every day. It worked. Within the year, everything changed. All the vets involved in our dog’s recovery and subsequent death were heart broken and remorseful. It has been a lesson for me as a dog owner to be mindful of what vets are doing; and never hesitate to get a second opinion if you’re unsure about the correct treatment. Blessings

  3. so sorry i hope he is better now. sometimes the er vet is terrible. i have had my share of really bad problems and being charged for their screwups. i try not to go to the er vets now unless i absolutely have to now. they dont listen, at all.

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