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We went to the vet today for Bowdu’s followup thyroid test, as instructed by both the previous vet and HemoPet. Standard Operating Procedure calls for hypothyroid dogs to get a repeat blood draw within 4 to 8 weeks of being diagnosed and starting supplements to make sure the dosage is correct. It has been six weeks since we started dosing Bowdu.

Here’s our bill from today’s appointment:

  • Office call / examination fee — $53.00
  • T4 and Free T4 bloodwork — $140.00
  • Domitor / Antisedative reversal — $116.00
  • Leptospirosis vaccine (annual) — $24.50
  • Canine Rabies 3 year vaccine — $21.75
  • Bordatella vaccine — $21.75
  • Antibiotic Injection — Convenia (1.4 mL) — $78.60 $0.00
  • Ketoconazole (Quantity: 20) — $24.80

Total before discount: $480.40
Minus student discount and free antibiotic: -$116.29
TOTAL: $364.11

I really appreciate the student discount and the free injection, though I’m not sure why they felt we deserved it given Bowdu’s total non-compliance, which is why they had to bust out the sedative, as expected. Even with four drops of Rescue Remedy on a marshmallow before we brought him in, he was fighting both the scale and the stethoscope — not exactly invasive procedures.

He was due for his rabies in November, so the vet recommended just getting it out of the way. When I asked about the necessity of Lepto and Bordatella, I was told that the clinic had already treated two Lepto cases this year from dogs who hadn’t left our city, and Bordatella is standard for any dog that comes in contact with other dogs. I haven’t done enough research on individual vaccines to know what to refuse, so we just got what they suggested.

We had to leave him at the vet in the “sedative queue” for a couple hours before we could come back and pick him up. The Doggy Daddy gets very anxious whenever he has to leave Bowdu in the hands of strangers, which has happened maybe a total of four times ever. So do I, but I try to mask my anxiety by telling myself it’s often part of the routine… They’re professionals… They handle screaming, squirmy, uncooperative pets every day. Still, when they called to notify us that we could retrieve him, I had this paranoid vision that they were going to tell us Sorry, but your dog broke out of his restraints and mauled one of our vet techs before charging through a window and into the street, where he was immediately hit by a passing SUV. [Yes, this is why I’m a crazy dog lady sometimes.] Instead, the report was that he was very good when he was not being prodded with needles, and they decided they liked him because “he has kind eyes.”

Photo taken 22 February 2008

They gave us a round of Ketoconazole after determining that the fermented tofu smell coming from his ears and feet (which I hadn’t detected from the latter, though I’d noticed the scaling for sure!) was a yeast infection. This isn’t a drug he’s tried before, so hopefully it’ll be effective in keeping Bowdu’s paws under control. Meanwhile, we’ve been advised to bathe him more frequently with a good antibacterial/antifungal shampoo, and switch to an oral flea medication like Comfortis to help enable this process.

So we’ve gotten a lot of “new” professional recommendations today, though they’re still considering his case from the angle of allergies, not so much physical conditions that hypothyroidism might predispose him to. It’s comforting just to try something different at all, and I feel like this vet actually listened to me when I said I didn’t want to use Temaril-P. She drew up a cost estimate for Atopica, which we have considered and may still consider in the future.

Meanwhile, we’ll await Bowdu’s thyroid test results and I’ll continue to process the events of the day.