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  #391  
Old 03-14-2011, 06:49 AM
pgcor pgcor is offline
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Hi Natalie - glad everything is okay with Jack's blood tests. Pip has gradually become more and more frightened at the Vet. I can't blame him either! His last visit, he just shook like the beds in the old motels that you put money in? Remember those - Magic Fingers?

Anyway, all I can do is hold him and reassure him. He used to give himself bloody noses even when they just wanted to cut his nails. Ran himself into the wall...sometimes I just have to wonder what happened to these dogs?

Will Jack let you cut his nails, or is it that he doesn't want anyone to touch his feet?

Carol, someone with a bird told me about the "swaddling" and we tried that with Pip in an attempt to test his blood. But he struggled so much, it was just awful. I thought it would work because Pip is the kind of dog that likes to be under the covers.
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  #392  
Old 03-14-2011, 09:59 PM
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I got some details on the MRI, made an appointment for the 29th 28th, hung up the phone, and fretted about the whole thing the rest of the afternoon. I don't know if I should trust the alarm bells going off in my head but I can't ignore them either.

For one thing, there hasn't been enough discussion about the best way to handle Jack. Something that made a world of difference between the last two blood draws. In the past I've always wound up regretting getting involved in a situation that doesn't feel right.

I'm hoping to talk to the semi-retired vet later this week or next week in an appt for Gus and I'm going to talk to him then about the various options. We are fortunate to live in an area where there are three or four neurologists so we do have options. Maybe there's a better one.

There's no rush. We can postpone. Will see what I can find out this week.

Pam... sorry to hear that Pip is not feeling well...

Natalie

Last edited by k9diabetes; 03-15-2011 at 06:11 PM. Reason: correct date
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  #393  
Old 03-15-2011, 02:13 AM
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CarolW CarolW is offline
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Natalie - sorry the decisions are being difficult. I've had similar difficulties at times - but not so much with THIS particular vet I have - earlier, with other vets. Had difficulties with trainers at times.

What I've learned is similar to what you mention - trust your gut. It's often difficult to identify details of what doesn't feel right. I'm thinking likely, you'll be able to sort things out enough to do the very best possible for Jack; for Gus, too, of course. The fact that you CAN postpone is a great aid.

It also strikes me as appropriate that you're wishing well to Pam and Pip in the same post, as, Pam, you too are sometimes faced with having to trust your gut. Come to think of it, the same is true for every member of this forum.

All I can do, I will - as in, marshaling the forces of the Universe, as best I can, in your favor.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 02:12:38 (PDT)
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  #394  
Old 03-15-2011, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

At least the 28th gives you a little time to sort things out. Keep us posted.
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  #395  
Old 03-15-2011, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

I cancelled the appointment and am exploring other options. There is another neurologist in Sacramento plus two at Dr. Nancy Kay's hospital, which is within reasonable driving distance.

We are very lucky to have the number of veterinary resources available to us that gives us choices. In that regard, I've become quite spoiled!

Natalie
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  #396  
Old 03-15-2011, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Choices are definitely good....but it's still the dreaded process of finding a good match. Hoping for the right one!
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  #397  
Old 03-15-2011, 10:19 PM
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It is really difficult to know... one nice thing is having Dr. Kay to talk to about the neurologists in her hospital.

For now, we are only talking about an MRI so a bit less critical than if we were picking a surgeon. Of course, our choice may affect the choice of a surgeon. But given that I don't have trust in the other situation, I could never let someone I don't have trust in operate on our boy.

I've pretty much decided that we need the MRI done in-house where we can transport Jack ourselves rather than having him whisked away in a strange vehicle for a 30-minute car ride. Given this is a dog who freaks out over the type of door he has to go through to get in his own car, I just think he'd do better if he didn't have to travel with strangers. I know I'd do better if he didn't!!

I remember years and years ago when we had Chris' PDA surgery done. We opted for the GP vet over the teaching hospital because I trusted the GP vet and felt he would do a good job. And he was great about communicating his concern to us. He even dashed out to the parking lot as I was getting in the car to give me a handout that explained the surgery that would be done.

We were very scared - this was life or death surgery where dogs either recover completely or die on the table. And die without the surgery. And Chris was so weak. One night a few days before the surgery, we thought he had died. He was so still and his breathing was so shallow...

So we didn't have a choice about the surgery like we do with Jack. But having trust in the doctor made it bearable.

A few years later, that vet's practice was overwhelmed and he couldn't give us and our pets the attention that we needed. And I would not have been comfortable having him do the surgery under those circumstances.

I don't have the trust in this neuro vet at this moment that I had in the vet who did Chris' PDA surgery. The situation seems to be one of stress and overwork and very poor communication. Complicated by Jack's anxiety issues, which I think need some special consideration that we are not getting, and by the fact that he doesn't have to have this procedure at all. So something going wrong would be devastating because it is ultimately optional...

Bleah...

Natalie
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  #398  
Old 03-16-2011, 05:51 AM
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I totally agree about an in house MRI. I don't like the idea of my dog being whisked away either. I don't even let them take her back for blood draws anymore. I actually heard her whine quite loudly once when they did a blood draw at one vet. And this is a very stoic dog when it comes to being stuck with a needle. They really have to earn my trust these days. Guess it comes from having to move so often and find a new vet constantly.

I think the MRI is a good tool for feeling out a new neurologist. I wouldn't want to have it done with someone you don't trust to operate either.

Wishing you an easy journey in finding one!
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  #399  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:35 AM
pgcor pgcor is offline
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Default Re: Jack the project!

I know you're stressed Natalie, but I have to ask, what is an in-house MRI as opposed to being taken to one? California seems to be on the cutting edge of canine medicine, so I'm wondering if it's something new? I have no choice but to bring my dogs in for any procedures.

Patty, also this last emergency Vet visit when Pip was bitten - the Vet would not let us go back and I heard Pip crying really loud as they were cleaning his wound. I felt awful, but they DO NOT allow people in the emergency treatment areas. Do you have a choice in Colorado?

Natalie, my hopes and prayers are with you, Gus and Jack. You must be completely overwhelmed right now.
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  #400  
Old 03-16-2011, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

The neurologist we have been working with doesn't have his own MRI equipment and instead he does them at a facility for people after hours in the late afternoon. He would want Jack at his office by 2pm, would do the MRI around 4:30 or 5:00pm, and would be back at his office around 6:30pm to talk about the results. It's about a 30 minute drive from his office to the MRI facility. Jack wouldn't be anesthetized until he arrived at the MRI location and they would do recovery there as well. So he would be conscious during transport.

His argument in favor of this is that he gets to use state-of-the-art MRI equipment.

The other neurologists we are considering have their own MRI equipment so we could bring Jack to the hospital, do the MRI while there, and bring him home afterward. No transportation for him and I anticipate that we could be with him right up to the time they put him under anesthesia.

Our being able to be with him up to the point of actually doing the MRI will be a requirement for me. I suspect that Dr. Kay's hospital will be the most amenable to this given her advocating for being allowed in treatment areas.

It is a real challenge to get into the back area at an emergency hospital visit.

We took Chris in once because his heart rate was so high and they were very resistant to my going back with him. They had gone straight to the standard line that we had to wait up front. But my husband pretty much threw a fit and told him that either I went back with him or we were leaving! And then I just asked them to ask the doctor if it was okay - why they couldn't just do that to begin with.... The vet on duty was fine with us coming back. It would have been more of a problem if they had a huge emergency in the back but they didn't. So I went into the treatment area and just stayed with Chris until they could hook up an ECG. His being blind gave me a pretty a good argument and I knew from experience that he did better if I stayed with him.

I'd seen vets draw blood from him and do a urine draw with a needle so I knew I could handle it. But it's hard for the emergency doc to know that you can actually handle witnessing minor procedures like that. And I was in the way a bit so I can understand that there are times when it won't be possible.

Natalie
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