Just go to the vet! - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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My dog once uprooted an Oleander bush to give to me as a present that we could play with. She spent the night in an emergency vet clinic full of charcoal and having her vitals monitored. Thank god she showed no sign of being poisoned. But there was sap in her toothmarks on the branch she had in her mouth, so she had to go.

We were un the process of moving and our new house also had a huge Oleander bush. We used the tractor to tear it out by the roots! It's pretty but not something you want around with animals! I never wanted to see an oleander bush again after frantically calling the er vet all night to be sure she was still okay.
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 02:33 PM
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Most of the time, calling your vet about a worry is going to be more helpful than posting online about whether you need to see the vet. If you have a good client relationship, they will nearly always be glad to talk by phone to help you figure out if you need to come in. If you don't, and they haven't seen your dog in forever, they have to tell you to come in.

If you have a Home Again microchip and pay for their annual "premium" membership ($17, last I checked), the premium service gets you unlimited 24/7 access to an emergency phone line staffed by a licensed vet. The phone service is EXCELLENT -- I used it when I had that membership, and I liked it a lot -- when the dog vomits in the middle of the night, they can walk you through the decision-tree of whether it's an emergency. They also have access to the poison control database.

If your dog ate something it shouldn't have and you don't have Home Again, in the U.S., you can call the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control: (888) 426-4435 -- it's a $65 fee charged to your credit card, but they can calculate whether the amount eaten of just about anything that is potentially toxic based on your dog's weight, and tell you whether you need to induce vomiting immediately (or not), administer activated charcoal (or not), etc.


ETA: I understand not having a long-term vet relationship because of cost -- I remember being young and poor, living on student loans, and chasing coupons and specials for annual preventative care to save money. I think that the lack of a good vet relationship in my early 20s probably shortened the life of a Doberman I loved dearly. She died of an undiagnosed heart issue that wasn't picked up by a vet during any of her annual visits. I think they missed it during her annual exams because she never saw the same vet for those visits. It was always someone new. I had no long-term relationship with any clinic as I thought we were just doing basic preventative care on a healthy dog. We just went where it was cheapest, if we needed to see a vet. The dog got a quick, routine exam, and that was that. I'm very sure that the excellent, careful vet my dogs see now would have picked up on the anomaly and referred me to a vet cardiologist -- seeing the same perceptive, careful vet several times a year means he picks up on very subtle things because he has a chance to spend a lot of time getting to know them and their "normal." Exams take a while, with that level of care (and also cost more than at high-volume/discount clinics). We missed out on that kind of vet relationship when we were vet hopping, when we were very young, unfortunately. For the young people reading and learning, please try to invest in building a relationship with a good vet -- your dog's care will be better over its lifetime, if you have someone you can trust who's totally invested in good outcomes for you.

Last edited by Magwart; 12-28-2018 at 02:55 PM.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 03:23 PM
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I don't have a list,but I try to allow the dog to heal on it's own. It's amazing how quickly we rush off to ERs,Vets etc.
That works just fine with some things, not so much for others. And the point I think the OP is trying to make is that we don't always know which is which. Unless you're absolutely sure your dog WILL heal on its own, it's prudent to at least call your vet and discuss the symptoms.

You also have to know your own dog/s very well since signs that may seem pretty minor could actually be serious. Dena's first signs of something wrong were that she ate half her breakfast and walked away. For a dog with a poor appetite that would be no big deal, but she ALWAYS finished her meals, so that stood out. And then she seemed unusually lethargic, kinda mopey. That was "off" for her, even if it wasn't pronounced. That was a Friday. I was concerned, my husband thought we should wait and see. And we did over the weekend, and then I left work early on Monday to take her to the vet because we were still having to coax her to eat. Fortunately, we have been going to the same place since 1986, and he took my concerns seriously.

She went downhill from there. Her temperature climbed, her liver values were elevated. Her RBC and platelets plummeted. She had a whole host of tests over the next couple of weeks, she got fluids almost daily, she got a blood transfusion, and ultimately three weeks after that Friday, she died. It wasn't until later that we discovered she had lymphoma, since her symptoms didn't point to any one cause, and her tests all came back negative. Delaying a few days probably didn't make a difference, but the point is, she didn't SEEM sick even though she was very seriously ill.

I'd rather be safe than sorry.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18 *** Keefer 8/25/05
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 04:51 PM
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I have two sick dogs and my family are all visiting so the last thing I planned to do this week was go to the vet. My first dog had a skin flare which looked weepy and oozy, so we rushed to the vet. That was expensive. Then today my other dog vomited blood, third time this year, no known cause, so that required another vet visit with meds. That was less expensive. They think itís a mild ulcer, and yes, she was already tested for everything. Both trips cut huge chunks out of my family time and were very inconvenient. But I love my dogs more than having fun, so we went. Iím glad I did not wait.

My vet knows us well and I always call even if I think a visit isnít necessary. There have been a few times they were willing to treat over the phone because they know my dogs and they also know if itís serious, I would be there as fast as I could drive. They trust me and I trust them.
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 06:03 PM
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Sometimes I do feel like a bit of a crazy over-protective dog owner when I bring Luna in (what seems like) every little thing, but we also have pet insurance that covers anything past the exam (meds, xrays, etc) and I prefer knowing she's fine rather than ignore something. However, I do still like posting our experiences here and asking questions particularly in behavior/health concerns (such as with her diagnosis of pannus - where as I had already mention in the post we were being seen by a vet/referred to ophthalmologist.) I am new owning a German shepherd as an adult, and it is a lot more comforting to hear about other people's experiences with their dogs through these kind of things and to seek some support in making sure we are on the right track for taking care of our girl. It's been a great help and has kept me from stressing out!

I do definitely believe people should first and foremost consult their vet for unusual things or concerns. Especially when it comes to concerns of bloat, new skin problems, eyes, limps, etc. I am the same in I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 07:07 PM
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Bloat can look different in different dogs. A previous dog bloated and had unproductive vomiting. My dog now had it and we caught it immediately. All he was doing was licking his lips rapidly and pacing. His stomach did not feel distended, but I called the vet and they said it sounded like bloat, so we went right to the ER. Both times, the receptionist didn’t sense the urgency and told us to wait (two different offices, same reaction). Do not rely on a receptionist or even a new vet tech to recognize a life or death situation over the phone. The first time we waited and the dog died. The second time we demanded to talk to the vet immediately, got the right information and rushed out. That dog survived and is living a happy life.
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 07:36 PM
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Constipation, especially if your dog has done an uncharacteristic 'dumpster dive' in the rubbish/trash. An enema saved my dog's life.

My dog's vet is happy for me to email her anytime, and send photos of his poop when appropriate to do so. I am careful not to abuse the privilege. With my dog's ongoing health issues, she is happy for me to have prescription only pain meds, and a course of antibiotics, on hand. She has dropped off medication at my place 2 or 3 times, the last time was Christmas Eve.
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 09:29 PM
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Both times, the receptionist didnít sense the urgency and told us to wait (two different offices, same reaction). Do not rely on a receptionist or even a new vet tech to recognize a life or death situation over the phone. The first time we waited and the dog died.
How sad. When Keefer bloated and we took him to the emergency vet, they took him back almost immediately. We walked in, I went to the desk while my husband sat down with Keef. The woman asked can I help you and I said I think he's bloating. She picked up the phone and called to triage, who came out and asked his name, his age, and if he was on any medication, then took him straight back for an x-ray. We were called to a room a few minutes later and they confirmed bloat with a 180 degree torsion. They had him on fluids and had already run some blood work too. I'm so glad they treated the situation with the urgency it warranted.
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-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18 *** Keefer 8/25/05
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
Most of the time, calling your vet about a worry is going to be more helpful than posting online about whether you need to see the vet. If you have a good client relationship, they will nearly always be glad to talk by phone to help you figure out if you need to come in. If you don't, and they haven't seen your dog in forever, they have to tell you to come in.

If you have a Home Again microchip and pay for their annual "premium" membership ($17, last I checked), the premium service gets you unlimited 24/7 access to an emergency phone line staffed by a licensed vet. The phone service is EXCELLENT -- I used it when I had that membership, and I liked it a lot -- when the dog vomits in the middle of the night, they can walk you through the decision-tree of whether it's an emergency. They also have access to the poison control database.

If your dog ate something it shouldn't have and you don't have Home Again, in the U.S., you can call the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control: (888) 426-4435 -- it's a $65 fee charged to your credit card, but they can calculate whether the amount eaten of just about anything that is potentially toxic based on your dog's weight, and tell you whether you need to induce vomiting immediately (or not), administer activated charcoal (or not), etc.


ETA: I understand not having a long-term vet relationship because of cost -- I remember being young and poor, living on student loans, and chasing coupons and specials for annual preventative care to save money. I think that the lack of a good vet relationship in my early 20s probably shortened the life of a Doberman I loved dearly. She died of an undiagnosed heart issue that wasn't picked up by a vet during any of her annual visits. I think they missed it during her annual exams because she never saw the same vet for those visits. It was always someone new. I had no long-term relationship with any clinic as I thought we were just doing basic preventative care on a healthy dog. We just went where it was cheapest, if we needed to see a vet. The dog got a quick, routine exam, and that was that. I'm very sure that the excellent, careful vet my dogs see now would have picked up on the anomaly and referred me to a vet cardiologist -- seeing the same perceptive, careful vet several times a year means he picks up on very subtle things because he has a chance to spend a lot of time getting to know them and their "normal." Exams take a while, with that level of care (and also cost more than at high-volume/discount clinics). We missed out on that kind of vet relationship when we were vet hopping, when we were very young, unfortunately. For the young people reading and learning, please try to invest in building a relationship with a good vet -- your dog's care will be better over its lifetime, if you have someone you can trust who's totally invested in good outcomes for you.
Yes! I am pretty sure I have used both emergency numbers. The first time was when my dog was chewing on the dreaded oleander and they confirmed that I did need to rush her to the ER.

The second time one of my dogs licked some kind of fluid that apparently leaked from a four wheeler the power company was using up on the power line while we were out for a walk. They were very helpful.
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
How sad. When Keefer bloated and we took him to the emergency vet, they took him back almost immediately. We walked in, I went to the desk while my husband sat down with Keef. The woman asked can I help you and I said I think he's bloating. She picked up the phone and called to triage, who came out and asked his name, his age, and if he was on any medication, then took him straight back for an x-ray. We were called to a room a few minutes later and they confirmed bloat with a 180 degree torsion. They had him on fluids and had already run some blood work too. I'm so glad they treated the situation with the urgency it warranted.
I wasn’t clear that was on the phone. The first receptionist did not understand bloat or symptoms. We ended up at the ER with both dogs, but the first was too late. The second was several years later, much younger dog and we insisted on bypassing the receptionist and talking to the vet immediately. The girl on the phone wanted us to come in later that day. We said no, then demanded the vet come to the phone. The vet said it sounds like bloat and get in immediately. They are not equipped for bloat and sent us directly to the ER. We were inside an exam room less than 30 minutes after the first symptom, and that includes driving time. Our dog was saved due to us catching it immediately, happening to be home at the time, and fast driving. Also his young age. We weren’t sure it was bloat at first because the symptoms were much different from the first dog’s.

The first dog was almost 14, had not eaten, and likely was the result of underlying illness. They think he had cancer or a tumor causing the blockage. They would have made him comfortable but wouldn’t have operated, so getting in early would not have mattered.

Last edited by LuvShepherds; 12-31-2018 at 06:14 PM.
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