Friday, March 19, 2010

Tail Update & Weekend Plan

Dear God, please let me keep my dipstick...

On Tuesday of this week, I ended up taking Vegas to the vet regarding her tail. Choosing to take her wasn't the issue as much as who to take her to. Having worked for a vet clinic before has made it quite difficult for me to stick with anyone. Plus, while Vegas isn't high-stress in most situations, those situations whereby she is really stressed are those I am concerned about the most. Being at the vet can be one of those - especially if they have to take her away from me for any treatment or procedures. Interestingly enough, I found a clinic south of me a ways that I got really good vibes about when I was inquiring into Leo's dentistry/tooth extraction/neuter procedures. Their philosophy seemed to be more in line with what I was used to when I worked at Cornelius Veterinary Clinic. I had emailed requesting the quote and got not only an email back, but a phone call from one of the doctors. While the price was definitely the best, that wasn't what sealed the deal for me. It was the fact that they told me about how they feel about a few things such as drop-off the night before and charging by the tooth to extract. I'm digressing a bit into info best divulged on Leo's blog, but the thing that stuck out the most was that they really just care about good customer service, doing what is the best for the pet, and not gouging the client at the same time. Anyway, I called on Tuesday morning and found out they are a drop-in clinic so I planned to leave work at 4 and be there by 5. They're about 30 minutes south of me and I had to stop at home and pick up Vegas and the boys. I took her to Willamette Valley Animal Hospital and they were effective, competent, and reasonable.

Okay, so we went in and got paperwork filled out, weighed her, and were taken to a room. They opted not to take her temperature so they avoided making her tail uncomfortable any more than necessary. Then they left us and a short two minutes later the vet came in. I had put a splint on Vegas' tail the night before. It was super fancy and made out of popcicle sticks taped on with cloth medical tape and then pink vet wrap over the top. Mostly I did it to just keep it straight, give it some support, and protect it a bit. After explaining what happened initially and how things had changed and progressed since, the doctor said she'd like to take Vegas back to their treatment room to unwrap it, clean it, and assess. When she came back, she had a couple of things to say. First, they thought I had done a pretty inventive job wrapping her tail. I kind of thought that was funny. Next, she confirmed I had only wrapped the tail the night previous and I confirmed this. She asked because she said the last few inches of her tail smelled really bad. Based upon the fact that the skin looked good considering the swelling, she wasn't sure why that would be and neither was I. Vegas is really good about keeping her tail up when she goes to the bathroom and things so we are not sure why it smelled. Anyway, she confirmed what I already knew - the issue with a potential broken tail is continued blood flow. So far she said things were looking good and she was quite certain it was broken. She offered an x-ray if I wanted it, but I already had assumed it was broken and just needed her confirmation.

That said, she told me what to watch for with Vegas' skin - blackness or dry and like the skin was dying. That would indicate blood flow was not making it all the way through her tail. She also prescribed Rimadyl for five days to reduce inflammation and an antibiotic in case an infection was starting, Cefpodoxime. The antibiotic she's to take once daily for a week. So far so good. She seems to be moving her tail more normally (swinging it, wagging it). The inflammation has gone down and best as I can tell the skin still looks good. They don't set broken tails or do anything else outside the scope of what we have done so far. The only option is to leave it be and hope the blood flow remains or to amputate if it does not. So, I'm still crossing my fingers in hopes that it will continue to heal.

So that said, Vegas has played at the dog park a couple of times this week and is her usual self mentally. All of this is good because we have an agility trial this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I'm just a wee bit excited - can you tell?) It seems like forever since our last trial and in all reality it's only been since Valentine's Day weekend. But still. When you're addicted to something, you need it all the time. LOL. This trial is hosted by the German Shepherd Dog Club of Oregon and Portland Agility Club and will be held at Clark County Event Center. We are entered in three runs each day, starting with FAST. Vegas needs just one FAST leg to complete all of the novice requirements but we'll be running in Open for Standard and JWW. She has really been doing well lately so I'm looking forward to seeing her in action this week and just spending some quality time with my girl. I'll post updates as they occur and in between the action.

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