Bisou was due for a rabies shot, Wolfie for his distemper booster. But instead of automatically giving Wolfie a possibly unnecessary vaccination, I had him titer-tested–an expensive way to determine his immunity. Both dogs needed their heart-worm tests before I could start them on heart-worm meds in May. As long as we were drawing blood, both were also tested for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
Both were praised for their just-right weights, shiny coats, friendly attitudes. It is not often, these days, that I get such positive reinforcement.
Alas, Bisou tested positive for Lyme, and Wolfie for Anaplasmosis, another tick-borne disease, despite faithfully-administered tick repellents. So far, both are asymptomatic, but will need antibiotics if they become listless, have painful joints, lose their appetites, have vomiting or diarrhea, and so on. Bisou got some homeopathic pellets to help with post-rabies-shot discomfort.
During the visits, they made me proud. Bisou greeted everyone effusively, sat to be petted and abstained from jumping up, perhaps because the experienced staff dropped to a crouch the minute they saw her. She submitted patiently to fruitless efforts by the vet-tech to pierce a vein. She was stroked and cooed over and smiled at, but when it was over she barked urgently at the door of the exam room to be taken back to the truck.
Wolfie was serious and inquisitive. He sang a dirge while we held him and the vet drew blood. He wasn\’t too happy about having his hindquarters palpated, but dealt with it o.k. Unlike harmless Bisou, he got a bunch of treats from the vet. Everyone was relieved that this big black dog had proved so mild.
During the half-hour drive over hill and dale to the vet\’s, both dogs had been upright and alert, looking out the window at the teeming rain. On the drive back, even though it was past their dinner time, they both collapsed in a heap. Emotional strain tells on all of us, but dogs really know how to deal with it.
I am glad that my husband and I worked hard for many years so that now we can pay for vet bills. I wonder how less fortunate families deal with the spiraling costs of veterinary care–today\’s bill was almost equal to our individual medical deductible. People are already having fewer children because of the costs of caring for them. I hate to think of those kids being deprived of dogs and cats because their parents cannot afford veterinary care.