Be Your Dog’s Protector Against Scary Vets
When we receive a serious diagnosis for ourselves or a family member, we usually obtain a 2nd opinion or visit a specialist. We want to obtain as much information as we can before pursuing a treatment. Why are we hesitant to do the same for our fur babies, especially since they can’t speak for themselves? I learned this valuable lesson a couple of months after adopting Suki.
When I adopted her in 2010, I noticed her belly hung pretty low (affectionately called the “buddha belly” now). Since she was my first dog, I wasn’t sure if it was from her being overweight, pregnant when she was found, or something serious. I took her to a walk-in type vet recommend by a friend for her initial checkup. I asked about her belly and was advised it was nothing to worry about. I took her back a week later due to a stomach bug and saw a different vet (the bad thing about a walk-in clinic). I again asked about her belly, and again was told not to worry about it. We were back at the vet a couple of weeks later for a cut paw…again saw a different vet. She said not to worry about Suki’s belly too. When I returned to have the hard wrap removed from her paw, the vet (yes another new one) was alarmed at her belly and took an x-ray. The vet came back and said she saw a mass in Suki’s abdomen that was pushing her belly down. She believed the mass was a tumor and wanted me to have an abdominal ultrasound at a clinic she recommended. She also said Suki likely had Cushing’s Disease, and it was a very grim prognosis…as in death likely. I left the vet crying and believing my sweet baby was going to die. I was also extremely upset that the previous 3 vets at the clinic told me not to worry about Suki’s belly. She could have received treatment much sooner! I Googled Cushion’s Disease which only made me cry more!
Luckily, I decided to obtain a 2nd opinion. Another friend recommended her vet clinic which includes a hospital facility where they could perform the ultrasound. Her pets are her babies, so I felt confident with her recommendation. I made an appointment and took the previous x-ray with me. Not only did the new vet (my savior) not see a mass or tumor, but she also showed the x-ray to every vet working that day for additional opinions. No one could see this mass/tumor the previous vet saw. The new vet also said there was a blood test for Cushing’s Disease. What? The first vet never mentioned a blood test. How could she diagnose such a serious disease and tell me my baby would die without performing a test? I had a few choice words for the first vet! The new vet performed the blood test which came back negative! That’s right…no Cushing’s Disease! After a thorough exam, the new vet determined the pot belly was partially due to the excessive weight and partially due to weakened stomach muscles from the pregnancy. The blood test also revealed elevated kidney levels, so the new vet put Suki on a medication to stabilize her kidneys.
Not only did Suki live…she doesn’t have Cushing’s Disease, doesn’t have a tumor, and her kidneys are now stable! After a diet and exercise program, Suki has lost 11 pounds, and her belly doesn’t hang nearly as low. She still has a little “buddha belly” which adds to her cuteness. Her current vet is a godsend! Not only do I have an amazing vet now (the same one each time), but I also learned to trust my gut! I could have saved myself hundreds of dollars and a lot of stress! It’s my job to protect Suki…even if that means going against someone who supposedly knows more than me.