Maybe I expect too much, but for the amount of money the vet's and specialist have been charging me, I did expect them to be a little better in their communication.
I phoned the specialist on Tuesday because my dog wasn't "right". She'd been to my own vets on the previous Thursday for her 2 week check-up (where she was given an almost clean bill of health) and she got some more antibiotics; these were the same generic brand as the one's she'd been on, however, they were made by a different company and instead of being small and white, they were large and pink. Within 36 hours of taking them my dog had gone back downhill, quite dramatically, occasionally wandering around as if she was going to be sick and her bowel movements had changed. I assumed it was down to the pills and that they would sort themselves out. By Tuesday I'd had enough and was on the phone to the specialist to ask if I could have the ones they gave me previously as I was sure the new ones were the cause of my dog's downhill slide. I rang the specialist at 9am when they open. Again at 10, 11 and 1, each time being told the vet in charge of her was "just in a meeting" and would call me back. Finally, at 3.30pm I did receive a call. It took me a lot of explaining about how the pills were different, before she agreed to put me some of their pills up for her - she never asked me to take the dog along, which I thought odd!
She took her first of the new pills Tuesday evening. On Wednesday she was still not "right" but the new pills hadn't had a chance to work. She was also drinking a lot more than she would normally, so a few alarm bells began to ring in my head because she had also begun to bloat up a bit - the bloating was what led them to the heart fluid when she was first admitted. However, her heartrate which over the weekend had risen to anywhere between 26 - 30 (we've been told only to be concerned if it goes over 35) dropped back down again and is currently anywhere from 20 - 26, which is a perfectly acceptable range. She also seems more alert, is eating like a horse and yesterday her drinking was 'back-to-normal' too. What wasn't normal though was the bloating in her tummy and by yesterday teatime I was worried enough to ring the specialist about it; not only because of the size of it (have you ever seen how a pregnant horse's tummy bulges at the sides? That's what my dog's tummy was doing - still is, although not as bad) but also because she really didn't seem very enthusiastic about anything.
My vet wasn't available so another looked at her notes, asked if the bloating had come on over the week, or just during the day and when told gradually said it wasn't an emergency, to ring the girl who's been dealing with her this morning, and she may want to see her, or may say to leave it until after the weekend. This put my mind at ease a wee bit, as I am sure if they thought it was a bad thing they'd have said to bring her straight in.
As the evening wore on, little bits of my "usual" dog began creeping back in. For 4 days she would only lay on the floor, never being able to really settle. Last night she jumped up on the sofa next to me, stretched and didn't move until I made her go to bed. She has the same routine every night at bed. She goes out for a wee, has a piece of chicken for doing so (none of this shop bought high fat stuff for her these days) then she runs upstairs, waits on the landing for me, has another piece before leaping onto my Mum's bed for a bit more. This week she's plodded up the stairs and really had to think about how to get onto the beds - in fact until last night she'd made it up on my Mum's got down and laid on the landing. Last night, however, she was "normal". Once she'd had the bit on top of the stairs she took off and was sitting waiting for her next bit before I had chance to think. She then got off, snuffled around the landing a bit to see if she'd missed any, before heading in to me, jumping on my side of the bed.
She wasn't completely settled during the night, but was better than she had been and this morning, aside from being so bloated you'd not look at her and think there was anything wrong. If she didn't have this big tummy I'd not be worried and there is every chance it is still to do with the antibiotics which didn't agree with her last week, but I don't know that for sure, so I got on the phone at 9 this morning to chat with her specialist. I called again at 10, 11 and 12, each time being told she was "on rounds" or "in a meeting" or "not at her desk" and would call me back. It's currently 2.05 pm and still nothing - it's a good job I'm not overly worried!!! As a result 10 minutes ago I phoned my usual vets, have an appointment for 9.45 tomorrow morning, just to get her heart and lungs listened to in the hope there is no murmur and the bloating is down to tummy issues; if it's not it would appear they have a better chance of getting through to the specialist than I do so maybe they'll get the call back I've still yet to receive.
I appreciate they are busy but they also need to understand I am not a vet, I have no idea what is going on inside my little fat bum, and I can only go by what they have told me to be on on the "lookout" for.
Honestly can't say I am overly impressed with either of them right now. I may not know much, but I do know an extended tummy and bloating in a dog can be life-threatening, and if I know that, they must know that too!