I took little Miss Caysun to the vet today to get her up-to-date on some vaccines. It was going to be a quick in-and-out visit — shots and then we'd hit the door. As usual, things don't go as planned. The shots went ok, don't get me wrong. But I mentioned, in passing, "she's got a little bit of mange on her nose," the veterinarian took a look and immediately said "that's not mange."
What? Of course it's mange. Mange is easy. Mange is common. Mange requires little treatment. It's got to be mange.
Nope, he said, mange isn't raised like that.
Crud. Which is funny because that's both what I thought and what her nose looks like.
Because I have the best veterinarians in the world, they made a little time for me in the schedule (I didn't need an appointment to get the vaccinations, since we'd just been in the week before for a wellness check and forgot to get the updated vaccinations…). And they had to do a little needle aspirate in her nose to see what's doin'.
I say that as if it was no big deal: just a little needle aspirate. That's because it wasn't being done to me. What that means is that the vet has to stick a needle into the rough, cruddy part of her nose and draw out some cells to look at them under a microscope. Yes, needle into nose.
It looked as painful as I'm sure it felt. I had to turn my head, I'll be honest. Little Miss wasn't a happy camper. After a couple of pokes, she decided she was done with all that nonsense. Thankfully they got enough goop off of and from inside the crud that they didn't have to fool with her too much more.
The veterinarian and vet technician were terrific. They had some squeeze cheese spread all over a tongue depressor stick to keep Caysun's mind off of the needle in her nose. They went slow and easy, they let me feed her while it was going on.
But there was a needle going into her nose! She wasn't happy. The moral of this story is: because she wasn't happy with what went on, I need to do some remedial veterinary work with her. I will be taking her back to the veterinary hospital when there isn't anything scheduled for her. I want her to have at least 5 visits that are exceptionally good. Visits where stuff like this happens (and only this):
- the veterinarian and the techs come out and play with her in the lobby
- the veterinarian and the vet techs come out and feed her sirloin (that I bring, of course) in the lobby
- she gets to practice already known (and favorite) behaviors in the exam room and earn delicious salmon, sirloin, etc.
Why spend time going back to the animal hospital and working on these things? Isn't that a waste of time?
Because Caysun's just 6 months old. She'll be seeing a veterinarian for another 14 years I hope. I want all of those vet visits to be easy and fun for both the dog and the vet. And if the dog's not happy, ain't nobody happy, especially the vet because it's hard (and dangerous) to examine a dog who doesn't want to be examined!
So it's well worth those 5 or so "un-vet" visits to help dissolve this one unpleasant one. 15 minutes here and there are invaluable for when she's got an emergency and she needs to be calm while the veterinarians and vet techs make her better.
My vets and techs are great. They're willing to spend the few minutes playing with and feeding Caysun when I drop by. They know it's a good investment of their time, too.