Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Old Man

I didn't even get a chance to write Kabo's 13th birthday post. (no he isn't dead)

He turned 13 on September 21st, and he had his own little birthday cake and Kale had a donut. They loved it. I think even Sampson got to join in on the feast.

The nights in Michigan have been getting cool. Its like someone flips a switch on Labor Day and cold air moves in and the leaves start to turn their brilliant colors of red, orange and yellow. Septembers are always hard for me, the rapidly changing light, the hot-then-cold weather, the changing leaves...which means barren winter is ahead of us. I like green. I like color. I don't like brown trees with no leaves and naked branches stretched to the sky.

Since the nights have gotten cooler, Kabo has decided that he likes to be outside. Especially at night. For hours at a time.

One night the last week in September, he had been out for quite a while and then he knocked on the door to be let in. I don't even know who let him in, probably Sam. After a minute or so, Workaholic says, "Hey, what is wrong with Kabo's eye?"

I look up and sure enough, there is something there. I figured it was mud from rolling around like a puppy in the grass. He was just standing in the living room, looking at us, like "Hey, I'm tired."

As we got closer, I realized it was more of a "Hey, I'm hurt" look. He had somehow, in his nightly wandering, managed to cut just above his eye. Actually, he sliced his eyebrow. It was about an inch long and an inch deep into his forehead. It didn't bleed a lot, but there was definite cause to go to the vet. Not the emergency vet. I will only go there if I think my animal is dying, like, right now. And since my animal just looked like he'd been in a bar fight, I figured he could wait a day.

We go to bed and the next day he is seen. And sure enough, it needs stitches. Do you know anything about dogs getting stitches? By their eye? It requires them to be put under. Fan-fucking-tastic. While he is under, I consent to x-rays to see if he has arthritis in his hind end, since his control of his back legs has gotten a bit worse. I was pretty sure I had gotten these x-rays before, but really couldn't remember. (Yes, yes I have gotten them done before.)

So he gets to have "emergency surgery", which just means unplanned and immediately necessary. The vet calls me that night after 8pm to let me know he was OK and awake and I convinced her to keep him overnight. Two kids and a cat and another dog in one house does not exactly make the best environment for recuperation.

I get him the next day and he looks like an honest-to-God pirate. With an Elizabethan collar on his head. (we just covering all time periods here) He is a little down, but shows absolutely no symptoms of pain, unless lethargy is his way of saying "Ouch, I'm hurt."

I get his prescriptions and go over his after care, and confirm once again that yes, he has no arthritis in his hind end, the loss of function in his back legs is neurological and will get worse, rather than better. Fan-fucking-tastic.

I go to pay the bill and it is literally hundreds of dollars. Which I happily paid, seeing as how the office got me right in and took care of him well and basically did everything I asked. I was surprised by the amount though. It just seemed like a lot of money for a random cut over his eye. OK, slice. Slice over his eye. And no, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED. (that was for you, dear sister)

What is the point to this kind of random story, you ask?

If you get a dog, and are planning on it living a long, healthy life, get pet insurance on him when he is a puppy. The first 7 or 10 years of his life you may feel as though you are throwing money out the door every time you pay the bill. But one incident will probably make up for those years of paying for insurance. (It'd be way too expensive to buy it for him now.)

Vets are DOCTORS. Which means they went to school for years and years and fought for one of the few spots at a prestigious veterinary school and then incurred thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loans. They have intimate knowledge on several species of animals, get paid much less than what you would think, and have to deal with many, many clients who have to make (literally) life and death decisions about members of their family...based on finances. I LOVE VETS. I just really, really wish I had splurged on pet insurance when Kabo was younger.

But at least my old-man/pirate-who-got-into-a-bar-fight is OK. And back to his disappearing ways. (this was one day post-surgery, he is much happier now that the cone is off!)

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Good advice! Our 7 year old Beagle had a serous health issue this year, and it was months of vet visits and medicine and the bills were astounding. She's doing great now, thank goodness. Hope your pup is healing up great!