Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
This will be a shift from my usual social media post, but because I was caught unprepared (thankfully it all turned out well) I felt the need to share this. I've been in Arizona with Henrietta for quite a while now but kept putting off finding a veterinarian for her because, well, frankly she hadn't needed one and all of her shots were current.
Last week as I was in the midst of packing (literally) to come back to NY she started acting unlike herself. I babied her for the night, did some internet searching and found a few vets that I was going to call and visit "just in case" she got sick while I was gone. She stays with friends so I know she is watched like a hawk. Unfortunately, she started feeling and acting sicker as the night wore on and by 5 am she was in full, "I'm in pain mode" I panicked and paced until one of the vets that was on my list opened at 7:30 am. I called and they were able to take her almost immediately. Ended up she had an ear infection and an intestinal infection… Henrietta never seems to get something tiny or never has any kind of build up to illness. It always goes from "I'm fine" to "Bam, I am full blown ill."
We left the vet's with a handfull of medications and also a bottle of glucosomine (turns out she has bad knees… that's a story for another post). Thankfully, the vet that I chose kind of at random turned out to be incredible. Spotless office, over the top friendly vet assistants and thoroughly knowledgeable vet. the vet also sensed my worry at hearing Hen shriek if she's getting examined so she offered to take her from the room for part of the exam — I appreciated that she understood I was just as nervous as Hen was and Henrietta was more comfortable there than I'd ever seen her.
So, the takeaways:
- Don't wait until your pet is ill to find a vet. If you relocate, make finding healthcare for your vet as high a priorty as finding healthcare for your family.
- Do your research. I turned to Facebook friends, searched the internet for local vets and then read the write ups and reviews other patients had given them.
- Trust your gut. If I hadn't been comfortable walking in with Hen I would have turned around and walked out.
- Once you've found a vet, pay a vist to their office with your pet. Just as you'd never walk into the office for an emergency with a strange doctor for yourself or your two-legged family, neither should you for your four-legged family member.
- Always have your pet's prior medical records with you. I have three sets of Henrietta's records. I keep one in my car, one at my house and leave one with friends.
I was guilty as heck leaving her knowing the friends would be charged with administering medication for the entire length of my visit, but after two days on the medicine she is back to her wild, yippy, happy self.