Doctor’s Orders

On Saturday, Helaine and I took a trip in to the vet for her 11-12 week set of booster shots.  Let me just say, that she had a marvelous first visit with her vet.  I was impressed with her confidence to not only keep pace across the entire parking lot, but to walk up the stairs and straight into the clinic without even missing a step.  She matched me step for step the entire way, and marched straight to the reception area.  She had a happy prance in her step that day, while I was a bit melancholy.  This was the first time I had come into the vet since we let Jasper go in January, and it was much harder than what I had prepared myself for.

After filling out all her new paperwork, the receptionist informed me that it was Puppy day, which meant Helaine got a bandana and a picture.  She was more interested in the attention she was getting from the ladies with the treats than getting her picture taken.  I’m not sure any of them turned out.  One of them will be used for her “client picture” in the database.  I’m sure we’ll try for a better one when we go back in four weeks for her final set of boosters.

It was a very short wait between check-in and being called back to the exam room.  Once we got settled, Helaine was weighed.  She has gained almost five whole pounds in the two and a half weeks I’ve had her.  That in itself was shocking, because I’ve been concerned that her stomach issues may have kept her from gaining much so I was delighted that she is almost five pounds heavier than when she arrived.  I had expressed my concerns about her tummy troubles, and it was decided that they should do a fecal exam to rule out any major issues.  When the results came back, they found that she doesn’t have enough good bacteria in her digestive tract.  She has been prescribed a pro-biotic supplement for the next few days to see if that will get her back on the right track.  Rowland had this issue when he was little too, but he also had a lot of food allergies and he never grew out of any of his problems.  I hope Helaine can get through this soon and get back to normal!

I was also concerned about her ear.  She hadn’t shown signs of discomfort, but it just kept getting dirty.  I wash her ears once every couple of days, so there is no way her ear should get as dirty as it was getting.  Now, as a certified dog groomer, I have seen my fair share of ear infections in varying degrees of severity.  They are usually characterized by a perpetually dirty ear an a foul odor.  Well, Helaine had the dirty ear, but it wasn’t particularly smelly.  So I brought it up anyway just to make sure.  The cytology report showed that she had a high number of yeast which is a tale-tale sign of an ear infection.  It’s not a big one, it’s actually quite minor.  But she is on medication for the next seven days to help rid her of the issue.  Hopefully now that the problems are found and a solution is in action, we are on the right track to a healthier, happier puppy!

Overall, we had a great first experience with our vet.  I have been taking all of my dogs here since we moved to the Skagit Valley in 2001 and I have never had a worry or concern with them.  They are, in my opinion, the best vet in Washington State.  They have excellent bed-side manner, and a genuine love for our pets.  Helaine’s vet even sat on the floor with her through the entire office visit and just played with her, handled her and gave her some extra love while we chatted about everything puppy.  They are really top-notch, and I’m so thrilled that they are on Team Helaine.

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