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Limping Husky - Owner won't approve vet trip

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Hunter88 View Post
    And yes - I think I will go beyond the just gathering of vet information next time and specifically let them know in writing that they are agreeing to me taking the dog to the vet if I feel there is reason for concern! Excellent advice.
    Make sure you get in writing what they will allow you to take the dog to the vet for and have a clause where you must contact them first before taking their pet. Last summer I received an email from the boarding farm saying my horse was lame. They did a full workup on him, flexed him, trotted him, looked him all over and were thinking about calling the vet. I called the BM back and told him not to call the vet and I will be there after I got off of work. I'm so glad they didn't call the vet because he was sore from chipping his hoof from stomping from the flies. I would of been stuck with a huge vet bill for something that wasn't major.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by independentlyawesome View Post
      Um, if my dog comes in severely limping with a bloody foot I'm definitely going to take it seriously. That does not mean I'm going to pay for an emergency appointment at the veterinary orthopedist. But I would certainly take my dog into the vet if she wouldn't let me do basic first aid on her. Any injury like that should be cleaned at the very least, and bandaged if needed, plus pain medication. Those injuries HURT and I actually like my dog.
      I like to ask myself, what can the vet actually *do* to help?

      I don't think it sounds like there is much to be cleaned; she said the blood is pooling inside (aka a bruise). I'm not sure what bandaging would accomplish.

      Every little injury does not need pain medication. Pain is USEFUL; it warns the animal to not overuse the injured part while it is healing. Healing is something the body knows how to do.

      Good gravy it's not like the dog got caught in a bear trap!

      The husband stayed home from work to keep an eye on her? A dog in a crate who stubbed her toe? Really, you don't think that's a bit dramatic?
      Jigga:
      Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

      Comment


      • #23
        My darling baby - aka a 14 week old Springer - greeted me this morning with a limp. Not a severe limp, but a limp none the same. My first thought was shock and horror; Load the car, we're off the to vet!

        And then reason kicked in. She is at home with orders to rest (Ha! Springer Puppy? Rest? Impossible!). I palpated the leg and checked her over and she didn't even flinch, so I'm guessing she somehow bruised it. If it persists, she'll go to the vet.

        I find it helps if I look at my animals like I'm looking at a horse - I tend to be more objective with horses, even my own.
        Fit Dog Blog
        Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitDogBlog
        Blogger: http://fitdogblog.blogspot.ca/
        Blog Post: How I Became a Werehorse and a Bit About Bites

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Originally posted by saultgirl View Post
          The husband stayed home from work to keep an eye on her? A dog in a crate who stubbed her toe? Really, you don't think that's a bit dramatic?
          My husband works from home about 50% of the time. He just chose to do it yesterday to keep the dog from scratching at her crate. I am sorry for all of the folks who feel I am being dramatic - wouldn't it be a better use of your time to just ignore me all together? All i wanted to know was if I should be concerned, clearly I should not. So There's no need to name call.
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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          • #25
            FWIW, I would have taken my dog to the vet for that.
            And if you were my pet sitter, I would want you to do the same.

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            • #26
              If it makes you feel better I DID take my dog to the vet for a broken toenail. She's a real worrier, and every time she snagged the broken nail** and it hurt she acted like she was being punished for doing something or being in that spot. She was a shaking mess after a while, and I couldn't hold her and trim the broken piece safely by myself, so off to the vet. He was quick and firm (something I'm not good at) and the actual cutting hurt, but it was over quickly and she was fine afterwards.

              So no, I don't think you're being dramatic, I think you're being cautious with someone else's pet. BUT, if I told my pet sitter that I did not approve a vet visit (after hearing a description of what was going on) and the animal was taken anyway, I'd not be happy at all. That really is something that needs to be clear to both sides before the job is taken on.


              **Important detail in why this was a big deal: the dog only has one front leg, and it was a front nail that broke. She had no choice but to use that foot, and it hurt about every 4 steps, poor girl!

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              • #27
                As both a pet owner and a pet sitter what I might do for my pet may be different that what I do for a pet that is not mine. I am much more likely to do a watch and see on my own pet. I know my own pets better so know which one is stoic and which one is the drama king.
                With a client's pet I am much more likely to call the vet and err on the side of caution.

                I have one client that used her stalls as a run in shed. There was always hay in the stalls and in the hay feeder. You have to cross a bridge over a creek to get to the barn. If the creek runs high it goes over the bridge. She always told us that if it was too high the horses could skip a meal or two. That is fine for her with her horses. If the water is too high for me to wade across I am taking my truck through the water. I am not leaving her horses unchecked for that long. Not my horses, not my comfort level.

                I think as a pet owner that knows their own animals you can afford to take the watch and wait. As the pet sitter I prefer to not take that approach.

                Another case: dog is a big Irish Setter. Need help to walk outside to do business. Dog lays around quite a bit as he is elderly. The dog developed a slight raspy breathing. The dog had pneumonia about 3 months before. I rushed that dog right to the vet. The vet thought he might be hearing something so put him on antibotics. Life is good, the owner thought I was being a bit paranoid but fine.
                Fast forward 2 months, and the owner hears a bit of raspiness in the morning by the next morning she is rushing him to the emergency vet. He didn't come home. He got pneumonia again.
                With my own dog I likely would have taken a wait and see approach. With a client's dog I prefer to be proactive and get the dog into their vet rather than risk a bigger bill at the emergency vet. I am glad that I had taken him when I did.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                • #28
                  I don't think you're being dramatic: in your first post, you didn't know what was wrong!

                  If you were my pet-sitter, I'd be very happy that you were taking good care of my dog, and if you took him/her to the vet after consulting COTH, so what - better safe than sorry.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Paddys Mom View Post
                    FWIW, I would have taken my dog to the vet for that.
                    And if you were my pet sitter, I would want you to do the same.
                    Me too. Most boarding kennels require a signed release that allows them to take an animal to the vet, probably need to add that to your contract when you pet sit, OP.

                    When I was boarding, I had the same stipulation in my boarding contract...and I kicked out a boarder (24 hours) for refusing vet care.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Romany View Post
                      I don't think you're being dramatic: in your first post, you didn't know what was wrong!

                      If you were my pet-sitter, I'd be very happy that you were taking good care of my dog, and if you took him/her to the vet after consulting COTH, so what - better safe than sorry.
                      I agree - I'd rather go to the vet unnecessarily than the opposite situation. I also fully expect to sign an agreement that a pet sitter or boarding facility will contact a vet if they feel it is necessary, and I will pay the bill. I wouldn't want the person in charge of caring for a pet to feel uncomfortable or that the animal needed a vet that I wouldn't authorize. I would also feel uncomfortable with a pet sitter trying to examine a painful injury when that might cause a bite. If one of my dogs injured a paw, I might feel comfortable checking it out but I wouldn't want or expect a stranger to do the same.

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                      • #31
                        I was taking my dog out for a walk, just put the leash on her out the front dog and bammo - she was whimpering, foot up in the air, wouldn't put weight on it..would walk, then go in my lap, then she'd whimper again - loud enough that little kids down the street came running to see what happened. I thought OMG she's broken her leg.. of course it's 5;00pm on Sunday and i'm think gripes VCA = $2,500 when you walk in the door. for some reason i called Banfield/PetSmart who were open to til 6:00. ON the brink of tears i'm carrying my lame, broken footed pooch to car..

                        We get out of the car. She's walking better w/ slight limp. By the time the vet saw us she was happily greeting every client at the clinic. Turned out she had gotten a carpet thread caught in her toenail. Talk about drama queen!.

                        The problem is w/ animals they can't communicate verbally with us and you never know if something that's minor could turn into something more serious. in the OP's case - sure the dog might have cut it's toenail -but it could heal up just fine or end up getting an infection of some sort.. Is it more cost effective to see the vet now or wait until sometime more serious could come along?

                        I can't fault the OP at all for wanting to take dog to vet - always better to er on the side of caution.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by gottagrey View Post
                          Is it more cost effective to see the vet now or wait until sometime more serious could come along?
                          It's not going to be more cost effective if you're running to the vet for every little thing.

                          I'm shocked to hear so many people here (horse people!) call on a vet so often. Does no one learn any basic first aid for animals any more?

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by PlanB View Post
                            It's not going to be more cost effective if you're running to the vet for every little thing.

                            I'm shocked to hear so many people here (horse people!) call on a vet so often. Does no one learn any basic first aid for animals any more?
                            It depends on the pet and the symptoms. If my old cocker is limping, she goes to the vet ASAP, my lab gets a Rimadyl and we wait overnight...if my hound refuses dinner we wait til the next day, the cocker goes to the vet immediately (and glad I did, she needed emergency gall bladder surgery.) So it depends.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                              It depends on the pet and the symptoms. If my old cocker is limping, she goes to the vet ASAP, my lab gets a Rimadyl and we wait overnight...if my hound refuses dinner we wait til the next day, the cocker goes to the vet immediately (and glad I did, she needed emergency gall bladder surgery.) So it depends.
                              Of course it depends. The subject dog was not bleeding, the nail is not partially broken-off, split or dangling (which would require some intervention), there is not even any swelling.

                              And so many posters here are saying bring the dog to the vet and never pet-sit for these horrible people again??

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by PlanB View Post
                                Of course it depends. The subject dog was not bleeding, the nail is not partially broken-off, split or dangling (which would require some intervention), there is not even any swelling.

                                And so many posters here are saying bring the dog to the vet and never pet-sit for these horrible people again??
                                I wouldn't want a pet sitter trying to examine a sore paw. I'd be afraid of the dog panicking and perhaps biting out of pain. On my own dog, I'd examine the nail and trim the nail up if possible. I wouldn't want to do that on a different dog. In that situation, I'd rather the pet sitter go to the vet so the dog could be sedated if necessary. I'd also not want to leave a pet sitter with an animal the pet sitter was really worried about if a quick vet visit would put everyone at ease:

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                                • #36
                                  I think it would all depend on the dog as to whether to go to the vet or not. I would expect a pet sitter to notice and alert me of the problem but in this situation there isn't enough info to really take sides.

                                  It is very possible that the dog has done this multiple times before so they know it is just a matter of a few days rest and then it will be back to normal. If this was the case they probably should have mentioned something up front so that the dog sitter didn't have to worry.

                                  I have been in the situation with my own dog where I panicked because she went to sleep normal and woke up 3 legged lame. I rushed her to the vet in the morning, paid the emergency fee, paid for x-rays, almost got talked into an MRI as the clinic was pondering the possibility of nail cancer (came to my senses as this was the first morning she had ever shown symptoms) and the dog was sent home with the diagnosis of a stubbed toe and the recommendation to have her rest for a couple of days. She is fine, had I thought logically I probably could have waited to see if things improved throughout the course of the day. If she does that again I am waiting 24 hours prior to making any decisions about taking her to the vet.

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                                  • #37
                                    When I go away, I leave my barn owner, my equine vet, my cat sitter and my cat vet written letters of authorization giving the barn owner and cat sitter the power to make decisions if I cannot be contacted. I also leave everyone multiple contact numbers. These letters of authorization detail what I do, and do not, want done for the animals. I would much rather pay the bill for an "unnecessary" vet visit, than risk the safety and well-being of my animal.

                                    My barn owner probably knows my horse better than I do, as she's boarded her through her last four owners and leasers, so I'm pretty sure that any vet visit won't be "unnecessary." I want my cat sitter to be confident enough to be able to make these kinds of decisions without fear of repercussions, and would be horrified if they were in a position where they were unable to do anything if I could not be contacted right away.

                                    So, yes, OP, get all that straight before sitting with any of your clients, for your own well-being.
                                    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                    Desmond Tutu

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      The issue is when do you make the call when it's not your animal. For example, NOW two days later, I know that it's her nail. When I initially posted this question, I had a dog that was NOT mine and I had no general knowledge of previous behaviors, would not put ANY weight on one paw, screamed and yelped if you got anywhere near it, and I couldn't even get close enough to her to see what was wrong.

                                      If it was my own dog, there are a lot of things and additional/peripheral information I would have at my disposal: IE, my dog's normal schedule and habits, his tendency to not show any side effects until he is very sick, the knowledge that I am in control of him and his financial budget, the care and attention to keep his nails at a reasonable length and the SOLE responsibility of my decisions. But it wasn't my own dog. So now add in some liability, and not having extensive experience with the dog in question and not having a clear understanding of what is wrong in the first place. It's just not a fun place to be and group think is stronger than the individual, so I reached out.

                                      I definitely see both sides to everyone's perspective and I appreciate those who have responded respectfully - even saying "nah, you're probably fine!" is a helpful answer, I wasn't looking for everyone to rally around hype and telling you all that the dog was on her death bed, just wanted your opinions. But looking back, I am glad that I reached out to a community of animal lovers to get a 2nd opinion and I won't accept the embarrassment some might be trying to project my way. And - YAY - didn't need to make an awful call or push the owner past her means. I will say that in the future it might not be wise or welcoming to encourage that another's genuine concern for the livelihood of an animal is embarrassing or stupid or otherwise ignorant. I've been pretty inactive on COTH for the last 4 years or so since I graduated and couldn't afford horses anymore, and was especially disappointed upon returning when seeing myself get poked fun of in an entirely unrelated thread in addition to this one and I think that's something to take note of so that others in my position don't neglect to ask an opinion at risk of ridicule. This is a community built on a love of our beasts, and to see SOME of the responses (although the minority), it was a bit disheartening.

                                      Thank you to most of you for your support and encouragement. I'm glad that I had your experiences to learn from and make a good judgement call and to utilize in the future so thank you for sharing them! And of course, the whole purpose of starting this thread was to make sure that the dog was cared for properly, whether in my own home or elsewhere and thanks to your suggestions, I was able to gain her trust, and keep her foot clean and she can go back to being a happy cuddly beast.
                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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                                      • #39
                                        I would want a vet visit. I do a lot of the diagnosing myself...lameness exams, cuts, etc.

                                        BUT, I like to have the vet tell me that I was right...no big deal.
                                        As far as I'm concerned, the best emergency vet visit ends with "nothing really wrong".
                                        Ride like you mean it.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          There is nothing inherent in "basic first aid" that precludes getting a consultation with a vet.

                                          Originally posted by PlanB View Post
                                          It's not going to be more cost effective if you're running to the vet for every little thing.

                                          I'm shocked to hear so many people here (horse people!) call on a vet so often. Does no one learn any basic first aid for animals any more?
                                          Ride like you mean it.

                                          Comment

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