Visiting the Animal Hospital
If you read my last post, you know the story behind Bacio’s current condition. I took my little labrynees to the Fox Lake Animal Hospital today to see what could be done for his hips. It is a walk-in clinic, with no appointments and usually a very long wait from what I read on the internet. The sites I had seen said it opened at 9:00 am, but to get there early or expect a 3-4 hour wait. I stayed at my dad’s house, which was only 30 min away, and set my alarm for 8 am with the intention to get there right at 9.
Of course, I woke up late. I was up at 8:30, out the door by 8:45…but realized after about 5 min into the drive that my ID, debit card, and cash were all in my other jacket that I was intending on wearing to Mexico this week. Arrrggghhh. Turned around. Collected necessary goods. Back at on the road, current time: 9:00 am.
The whole drive I was assuring myself that no way at 9:30 was it going to be a full house. I find the hospital, pull in the parking lot, and holy frijoles Batman, it is packed. I managed to find a spot at the far end of the lot, and I think it may have been the last spot there.
The Waiting Room
Once Bacio mustered up the courage to actually get in the door, it didn’t seem as hectic inside as expected. The people in the waiting room had nothing but praise for the doctors there even if they did have to endure long waits. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes. And oh yeah, they also said they get there 8:00 to get in line.
About 45 minutes into my wait, a man called Bacio’s name. To my surprise, he even pronounced it correctly. Most people don’t know his name is Italian. They will say “Baseeo” or “Bakeeo”, instead of “Bah-cho”. Still, even with correct pronunciation, my baby boy was terrified and made a scene getting to the scale. Once he settled down, the vet tech asked why I was there, and as I was explaining, he started speaking in Italian to Bacio to calm him down. Most of my interaction with the vet tech from there on out happened in Italian, which made this stressful visit a bit more fun.
X-Rays and Options
Bacio was given a tranquilizer to prep him for x-rays. Ten minutes went by before I brought him to the x-ray room. This is when my trip reached its high point and started barreling downhill. We had to get Bacio on his back, something I’ve never seen him do. Not only that, but they needed to pull his legs straight for the x-ray. My dog was already terrified enough as it is, just getting him onto the x-ray table was a feat. It took me and 2 other vet techs to get Bacio on his back. He was so scared he peed all over himself.
I was asked to stand outside of the door, and all I could hear was him screaming in pain as they manipulated his legs.
It. Was. Awful.
He was yelping and howling and breathing so loud. I felt terrible for him. As if Round One wasn’t bad enough, the x-ray didn’t come out clear enough because he moved, so they had to do it again.
Ok, so that may sound like the worst of it… At least for Bacio for the time being. Now came the worst part for me. The doctor came in, looked at the x-ray… turned to me, and starts telling me about the scale for hip dysplasia, from healthy to severe. He showed me an example of healthy hips and an example of severe hips… Then he tells me Bacio’s hips are far worse than the severe hip example, and maybe the worst he’s ever seen. He continues to tell me that he’s probably been walking around in pain his whole life. I instantly feel like the scum of the earth, because if you read earlier posts, you know that I took the advice of the second option to wait a bit before jumping into surgery. The first vet two years ago told me that he was probably in pain, but Bacio never really showed signs of pain, so I didn’t believe him.
The doctor laid out my options. I 100% wanted to have surgery done to relieve my baby boy of pain. The last time I was quoted for surgery it was $4400/hip. I know the Femoral Head Ostectomy that this doctor, Dr. R, was talking about was a bit different and about half the price of Total Hip Replacement. Basically, instead of giving Bacio an artificial hip, they are cutting off the femoral head, including all the nerve endings, and allowing the body to create a faux joint with muscle, tendons, and scar tissue. It isn’t recommended as often for dogs over 50 lbs, but that’s not to say it is never done. Dr. R told me to take a day or two to think it over, and call when I make my decision.
My decision is pretty much made. He’s getting the surgery. He will eventually get the surgery on both hips. I feel so bad that I’ve made him suffer this long.