As kind of a bonus for rescuing Sammie, she came with a free vet visit within two weeks of her adoption. Since she has had problems with her ears that haven’t seemed to get better, and she’s been so itchy, we thought we would take her and have her looked over. So I got her an appointment at the animal hospital where I’ve been taking my cats (one of them has had problems with her bladder, so she’s been rushed there before), and we took her in yesterday after work. 

The facility is really clean, the staff is super friendly, and the vets know their stuff. But MAN do they nickel and dime you… I happily presented the free vet visit voucher to them when I first got there, knowing that it wouldn’t cover any labs that would be taken of Sammie’s ears, but knowing that we wouldn’t have to pay for the office visit.

We went into the back where Sammie was weighed, and the animal shelter was WAAYYYY off on it. They told us she weighed 72 pounds, but she actually only weighs 54. That’s MUCH closer to the weight limit at our apartment, thank goodness. They motioned us into a room, took swabs of Sammie’s ears, and looked at them under a microscope. She still had a lot of bacteria in them, so they did a flush and cleaned them out. They then looked at her eyes and her teeth, felt her abdomen and butt, and gave her a clean bill of health! We have to go back next week, though, to make sure the new meds are working on her ears.

The scratching (and gnawing of her paws) in combination with ear problems tells them that Sammie has some kind of allergy, probably food allergy. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the grains that dogs are typically allergic to, it’s the meat. They recommended we put her on a high quality food diet (lamb and rice or venison flavored, since those are not meats she has had before, or a prescription food for allergies) for two, preferably three months. In that time, she is not to have any kind of bones or treats, unless they’re hypoallergenic treats. She can’t even have cheese or peanut butter! It’s the only way for us to know whether the new food is working. Once we’ve established that, we can introduce treats to her again, always on the lookout for any flare-ups. When her allergy is under control, she shouldn’t have any more problems with her ears.

We talked about flea and tick prevention methods and also about heart worm medications. Apparently, while you can buy Frontline at stores, it’s only supposed to be sold in vet clinics. As such, if a problem were to occur (for example, it didn’t work and she got lime disease as a result), they would be more likely to stand by their guarantee if we bought it from the clinic; they wouldn’t at all if we bought it at a store. There were so many things to consider, and since we’re going back next week, we decided to postpone buying any of it now. So we get her new meds and checked out, and they tell us the price of the visit is $116!! I asked about what that covered, since I had the free vet visit, and she told us that the free vet visit was only for their wellness check (isn’t that what was done when they looked her over?), so they couldn’t honor it this time but would try to next time. We were pretty livid, but I wasn’t about to make a scene. We’ll just see what happens next time…

Since Sammie did so well at the vet’s office, we took her again to the dog park. This time, there were seven pups there! Some would come and some would leave, so that was the average number while we were there. Sammie wanted to play, but I think she was still tired from the previous visit, so she wasn’t giving it her all like she did before. I was surprised to hear that almost all the dogs out there had been adopted. That warmed my heart but also showed me how lucky we got. Some of the dogs did not get along well with others, and some just liked to cause trouble. When that happened, our girl just stayed on the outside of the group, still curious but keeping her distance.

Since there were so many dogs there getting into trouble, and Sammie didn’t seem to have too much excess energy to expend, we left more quickly than we usually do. We came home and all hung out in our living room, Sammie laying by her daddy.

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Yep, we definitely lucked out on this one!


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