Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Tummy Troubles

   One of the things I meant to do as soon as we were settled was to find a new veterinarian office for the boys. Well, time has a funny way of slipping by and suddenly you find yourself in need of a vet. What to do, what to do…
My defense: I have talked to some neighbors and family members about which vet they use for their pets. I also read reviews and checked out Facebook pages of the clinics closest to our home. Still, I had not taken the time to visit any of them.
Westie asleep in B&W
My predicament: Pierre’s tummy was giving him trouble. He has always had a sensitive stomach. It makes insanely loud noises if it gets empty and he will occasionally throw up some bile. This rarely happens but when it does, it’s usually in the wee hours of the morning. I feed him, and he is fine. We have even been giving him a little midnight snack to help.
   Yesterday, his stomach started making “those” noises. He wouldn’t eat his dinner and began to whine like he was hurting. We didn’t want to take any chances, so we hurried to a vet that I had read and heard good things about in hopes they could see him. It was close to closing time when we arrived, but they were wonderful and signed us in.
   Having a long history of dealing with Pierre’s gastrointestinal problems, I was prepared for the questions from the doctor. The first thing they ask is what food do they eat. That is ALWAYS followed up with the suggestion of a prescription diet they sell. That is understandable because many people feed their pets inadequate dog food which can cause problems. I was fast to tell her it was not their food. We have tried a variety of diets over the years and none have made any difference. This includes a prescription diet. The boys eat Dr. Harvey’s. It's an extremely high-quality pre-mix. I add the meat/protein and the oil, so I know it is fresh and premium grade. It is not the food. It is just his stomach.
Westie on Kuranda Bed
   She listened to his belly noises and said, “It sounds like he is about to have explosive diarrhea.” I nod and assure her that he is not. His stools are perfect thanks to Dr. Harvey’s. It is his stomach and if he’d eat it would stop.
   She made several suggestions for tests to eliminate causes. I declined all of them after questioning the symptoms of each one because none of them fit Pierre’s problem. Saying “no” to the vet is something that I never used to do. What the vet said was gospel and if a test was suggested, I okayed it. I’m not sure if I’ve become more assertive because of age, knowledge or being hit with a $700 to find out Bentley had a stomachache, but I am no longer afraid to say “no.” It’s probably a combination of all those things! (I'm the same way with my doctors)
   Believe me, if I thought for one minute that he was in danger or suffered from some rare form of Westie stomach disease, I would not hesitate to run tests or do whatever I could to help him. After living with him 24/7 for the past five years, I know it is none of those things. It is just his stomach.
   It took a few minutes before she told me that she could give him a shot to quiet his tummy and a couple of prescriptions for gastric grumblings. Then, she wrote two OTC products that he can take in the future. The vet and her staff were very nice and I’m sure we will use them in the future.
Westie with orange furry ball.
   The good news is Pierre was feeling better almost immediately. We gave him a bland dinner of chicken and rice. He ate it all and is now sound asleep in his new bed.
   Obviously, this isn’t the post that I had planned for today. I got to thinking after we left the vet about how I used to just blindly let our vets run unneeded tests and x-rays because I didn’t want to look like a bad pet parent. I’ve bought $80 prescription food that I knew was not going to help. I almost had Bentley’s ears operated on when all I needed to do was use The Purple Stuff every month.
   There came a time when I had to say, “No More!” A veterinarian is a doctor and just like our doctors, they work for us. We hire them for their expertise, but they don’t know everything. You must do your research and find the most compatible one for you and your pets.
    Always find a veterinarian that you can speak honestly and openly about what medical care you are comfortable with and what you know is not necessary. Don’t be afraid to tell them “no” if you don’t agree with their recommendations.
   Also, don’t put off finding a trusted veterinarian when you move to a new city. You never can plan for an illness or injury.
   Now, Skipper and I have to get busy finding us a new doctor!
I'm an ambassador for Dr. Harvey's and proud to have them as a sponsor for Barking from the Bayou!


  1. the no-patients will probably never become "patient of the month" but to say no is sometimes the best treatment and it is not as expensive as tests and x-rays.... the vet clinic staff always rolls with their eyes when the mama wants only single shots for me and it is a feast for them to write the higher bill for her after ... ;O)))

    1. I used to be afraid they would think I was scrimping on my dog's health but realized they were sometimes preying on my emotions.

  2. Sometimes you do have to say no - you gotta do what's right for your family member - whether it's a vet or a people doctor.

    1. Exactly! It has taken me a long time to realize these professionals work for me and not to be afraid to speak up.

  3. We hope that you can hear our applause, Miss Melissa! You are the bestest dog mom ever! We are so happy that your tummy is feeling better, Pierre!

    1. Thanks so much! I think dog parenting like human parenting comes down to when you know better, you do better.

  4. Mom is assertive about her own care and ours as well. She knows us pretty well and is also not afraid to say no to the vet. With a new vet who doesn't know you it is even more difficult, but if you find a place to go regularly, it will get easier. It took us trying about 4 different clinics before we found our current one after we moved back from Germany.

    1. I really liked this vet and they called this morning to check on him. I'm hoping to have positive experiences with them because I need to love my vet! LOL!

  5. Very wise words here! My peeps have learnt the 'no' word wiv the Vetman as well, again after years of experience wiv their own paws. They have a savings plan instead of insurance fur us pups so the Vetman asks first before running a barge of tests - peeps and Vetman can discuss what's best fur us paws first!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  6. We're glad Pierre is feeling better now.

  7. A mom's intuition generally is spot on and knowing the idiosyncrasies of your pet makes a difference. Kudos to you for knowing your pup so well and willing to say no when necessary. Glad to hear Pierre is feeling better.

  8. Great job for sticking up for Pierre! I find it hard to be assertive, but I am doing better. A couple years ago when our cat Sam was not eating, they told us they thought she might have a growth in her stomach, and suggested taking her many miles to get an endoscopy. We considered her age, how she hated traveling, and what would happen if she did have cancer. We decided to pass on the test and asked what else we could do. They prescribed medicine and that helped to get her eating again! Two years later it's obvious she didn't have cancer, and we're glad we made the decision not to do that. It's tough to make those decisions, but sometimes you just have to consider how much better you know your pet than even their regular doctor might. In the end, we think Sam's appetite issues were from the stress of the tests she had already been through for her hyperthyroid, and being put on a new med for that.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  9. Yes, it can be tough to say no to a vet, especially one you don't know. And even one you do know who has always had your pet(s)'s best interests at heart. So, kudos to you for being Pierre's best advocate!

    It took me several years to find a vet for Kissy when we moved from Long Island to South Carolina. But when I started working full-time again, I needed one with Saturday hours. As it turned out, the good vet we had at the time had a Saturday backup. And he was already taking care of our parakeets. So, I had all of Kissy's records transferred to him and we've been with him ever since. And he has known all my girls since Kissy from the day after they came to live with us. I've rarely had to say no to him because I know he would never suggest a course of treatment for any of them that he wouldn't follow for his own dogs.

  10. Oh do we hear you loud and clear and 100% agree. Madi had a flareup with IBD(that we have been dealing with since 6/17) over the weekend.
    In the past I've rushed her to ER vet where they too want to try all the tests but in fact it is clear she has IBD and would be tremendously helped by anti nausea but at the ERVEt they won't administer it w/o tests. I was able to get to eat a nausea pill and pepcid crushed in her food on Sunday. Avoided a 300+ bill and saw her vet on Monday and again on Tuesday. But she is back to her normal senior Diva self. Now.
    Hugs Madi and mom

  11. We're so glad Pierre is feeling better ! Purrs

  12. So happy Pierre is feeling better. Usually, our vet is telling Mom to stop worrying about things and she's begging her to do more tests on me. Ugh! I'm fine!

    Love and licks,

  13. Finding a good vet, one that you trust, is so hard sometimes. I'm kind of the opposite...I usually ask my vet to run tests that she may not have recommended. But then, I'm a helicopter pet parent. :) Glad Pierre is doing better now. ~Island Cat Mom

  14. Our vet is a good friend so I have no problem saying no and knowing when I should trust him.

  15. Finding a new vet or doctor is hard. Sounds like you are on the right track

  16. Great advice. We are fortunate to have a vet who views us as her partners in figuring out what to do when our dogs are sick. I am glad that Pierre is feeling better.

  17. We're so glad Pierre is feeling better! We're lucky to have a vet who listens and knows that each and every pet is unique.

  18. OH NOES! Oh Pierre, I hopes you are still feelin' fine todays...I am glads your Moms knows just what to do, and found you a good vettie who listens to your Moms!
    Sendin' lots of POTP and healin' vibes and pepto...wait, I thinks that's for Ma...☺
    Ruby ♥

  19. It is good to hear Pierre is feeling better. We have been going to the same vet office for so many years they trust we know our dogs which means a lot. Hope you find a good vet that you feel comfortable with
    Hazel & Mabel

  20. Wooftastic blog post!
    HuMom agrees with you totally.

    Fursister Q also has tummy issues just like you described. HuMom feeds her & she fine. Now she gets a spoonful of raw honey late at night that seems to help her.

    Happy to read Pierre is feeling better.

    Nose nudges,
    CEO Olivia


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