Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm Always Right

Poor little Richie had to go to the vet again yesterday. Back in March, we were walking at Allmend (the dog park area we love) and stopped at a kiosk to get a drink. A yucky, dirty, matted, nasty little dog kept trying to sniff Richie's rear, and since he is such a gentleman he tried desperately to scoot away. Unfortunately, he scooted underneath a bench - a very light, flimsy bench - and his leash tipped it over and it came crashing down. Right on his little back. He started limping and wasn't using his back left leg, was crying, couldn't sleep, so we took him to the vet. Turns out the bench hit his spine and caused a disc to pop out, which was putting pressure on his nerves and partially paralyzing his back. Of course, when the vet told me this I started crying, demanding "Well, can it be FIXED? Can you make him BETTER?!?!" He had no idea how to handle me, and his assistant just kept staring at the ground, but that's another story. Anyway, he told us that he would give Richie a Cortisol injection, and that if it didn't help the disc go back into place he would need to go to a special clinic for spinal surgery (insert more gasps and snot into the scene when he says this).

Luckily, the injection worked wonders, and little Richard has been back at it for the past few months. However, about two weeks ago he started squealing, crying, and acting like he was in pain again. I took him back to the vet, who already thinks that I'm just a paranoid dog mom (I'm not) and he told me that sometimes his back will hurt and sometimes it won't. He'll have good days and bad days. I tried to explain that he hasn't been having good/bad days the past 3 months, he's just been fine every day. Problem is - I can't speak German, and his English isn't that good so we have a really hard time communicating. He gave me some dog ibuprofen and sent me on my way.

I really felt like he wasn't taking my concerns seriously enough, and it was proven on Monday night when Richie was up ALL NIGHT crying, squealing and whimpering. I gave him 2 of the pills - did nothing. Gave him another in the morning, and he finally started feeling a little better. I went on English Forum to find a recommendation for another vet to go to, and brought him there yesterday. He confirmed my feelings, saying that the way Richie's back was arched showed that the dog is in pain. He gave him an injection, and a box of Cortisol-type tablets, and Richie seems to be A-OK now. He also gave me a referral for a spine specialist in case his pain comes back.

Moral of the story - I'm always right. Okay, the real moral is that if you think something is wrong, go with your instinct and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I knew Richie wasn't just having some off days; something must have happened to re-injur his little spine. I can't wait to begin our German lessons so that I can finally start to be able to communicate better with people here. It's really difficult trying to talk about serious things, make appointments, etc., when there is such a language barrier. I couldn't communicate adequately with the first vet, which is why Richie ended up crying all night long on Monday. :(

He's now feeling much better, and so is back to being a naughty little boy. I tried to make him get up this morning to go out and he wouldn't. Then I put his leash on him, thinking he'd get the hint, and this is what I got:

"Come on Mom, I don't wanna!"

A side note - I finally bought a good steak from the grocery store last night. 33 CHF but so yummy. And now, back to chicken...

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