Dogs are very special creatures. They give unconditional love and don’t ask for much in return. Since Nicky has come along the dogs have stepped down in priority, but are still part of our lives. Coffee still sleeps on the master bed and receives a lot of attention since she is more of a social “in your face” kind of dog. Milo tends to keep to himself and will often hide under the desk during the day, more to stay out of Nicky’s way. We tend to forget that these two really were, in effect, as important as children before we had our long awaited boy.
In any case, one day we noticed that Milo’s one ear was down, while the other remained pointy. It turned out that there was a lump in his ear.
We have been using the Fontainebleau vet down the road purely for convenience reasons as he is literally two blocks down in Republic Road and this works really well if you want to walk your dogs down there, as I have done in the past.
On this particular day, being a Friday shopping day, I drove him there, since we had rather a lot to do. The vet told me that basically it was blood that had collected in the lump and he would need an operation to drain it. It was caused by Milo shaking his head from side to side. Furthermore I would have to leave Milo there overnight, so that he could conduct the procedure early in the morning.
Nicky had come with me and we said good bye to Milo. I felt bad to leave him all alone there, but trusted that it was the right thing to do.
Early the next morning at about 6am I got a call to fetch him and Milo returned home. He had some stitches in his ear and pills for five days. I was told that he could get his stitches out the following Monday. We left Milo and went off to the Mama Magic show to meet Barney.
Later that day when we returned we noticed that Milo’s ear was swollen again. I tried to phone the vet without success both on that day and on Sunday. On Monday I got hold of him and he told me that the swelling was part of the healing process of the operation and not to worry. My gut was telling me that this was not so and that it was just the same problem reoccurring. But it also made sense to me to leave things for a bit since he had just had an operation and to launch into another one was probably a bad idea. Let the poor dog have some rest.
So “I let sleeping dogs lie”, as it were, and decided not to do anything until the following Monday, when he was due to have his stitches removed.
So began my fruitless quest to get hold of the vet.
I phoned him on his landline. No answer. The cellphone had a message. I actually drove there with Nicky and Milo (after dropping the shepherd’s costume off) and pounded on the door. There was also another cellphone number there which didn’t work either. There was a note on the door about being out on a home visit. But this same note remained there all day. Another lady drove up and spoke on her cellphone in the car but didn’t say anything to me. What else was I to do but return home?
The same problem on Tuesday. More phone calls and no answer. I left text and Whatsapp messages too.
By Wednesday I phoned him (fruitlessly) one more time and decided to officially give up. Maybe the guy decided to go on an early vacation. But he could at least answer his phone? I was angry because it wasn’t about me; it was about a dog in need, and ignoring my calls was hurting the dog more than anything. On the proceeding weekend his wound had opened up and it looked in bad shape.
So off I went to the vet on Malibongwe drive. This vet told me that Milo should not have had so few stitches and would would need another operation to resolve the issue. Sigh. After forking out a few grand to the previous guy, we were not happy to do so again. But what choice did we have?
This time at least Milo could come home and spend the night with us (his last meal was 10pm) before his operation the next morning.
At least I felt like Milo was in more competent hands. The vet wanted to see him four days later and keep his stitches in for a longer period (like three weeks). He would also check him first before hand. This vet also provided a plastic collar to prevent Milo scratching on his wounds, a major difference compared to the last guy who did not bother with this.
Milo’s ear was now also totally shaved and full of stitches, which made sure that if he shook his head again the problem would be stopped. There was also apparently a big infection inside the ear which was dealt with. This time we had two kinds of pills and ear ointment.
All in all we were happy that Milo was taken care of. Three days later and the ear is healing, while with the first operation there were complications on the first day.
We were just upset that we had to do the whole thing twice. And pay twice too.
Well, at least we live and learn.
It just reminds me of my infertility story and going to all the wrong doctors before hitting on the right one. At least we found the right one for Milo within a week instead of the years it took me.