Saturday, November 19, 2011

Good News and Dismay

The good news first: there is absolutely nothing wrong with Lanie's heart. She is, in fact, absurdly healthy.

The dismay: I'm looking for a new vet, after seven years. I'm uncomfortable with change and averse to trying new things, but I can't overlook how unhappy I am about a few things. My plan is to get Lanie's dental taken care of soon, but to start looking around for a greyhound-savvy vet. It'll be a little complicated, since we're in a semi-rural area and vets are exactly thick on the ground in the first place, but I don't mind driving a bit if I have to. There is an emergency hospital nearby for the unthinkables that might take place at odd hours.

When my Drive had his dental last spring (April or May, I can't remember), the same thing happened to him that happened with Lanie. They called in the morning to say that his EKG was a little "off" and they wanted to take an x-ray of his heart. We had just lost our Bullie, not two or three days before, so I was already a mess, and they scared me. The x-rays came back "inconclusive." The vet painted terrible, dire pictures for me and, terrified, I told them to go ahead and do the ultrasound. Of course his heart was perfect.

To recap, I brought Lanie in for her dental last week, got the "questionable" EKG results, had the "inconclusive" x-rays done... And refused to okay the ultrasound. I am not made of money, people. I may have mentioned that. If I'd thought for a moment that Lanie had any problem whatsoever, it wouldn't have been about money, but all I could think was, "Didn't I just do this?"

You know why the x-rays show a heart that is borderline enlarged? Because greyhounds have large hearts. I learned, after repeated phone calls and persistence, that the EKG results were "off" because no one told the EKG analysts they were dealing with a greyhound.

Once that fact was made clear they said, "Oh, well, that's all perfectly normal for a greyhound."

I am not a happy customer. In the end, what made the decision for me was an extra $19 on my bill. "What is this?" I asked, as I was already forking over $200 for the stupid x-rays that weren't even necessary. "I'm being charged $19 under boarding?"

"That's our policy. It's for cage use and technician time."

"She was here for four hours! Getting stupid x-rays!"

"It's just policy." (I will spare you the rant on how much I loathe it when people hide behind policies.)

"I've been coming here for seven years and I have never, ever been charged a boarding fee." (I even checked, because I keep all the vet information filed.)

"That was an oversight, I guess. It's policy."

So! If you happen to live near me and know a great greyhound-savvy vet, let me know.

Thank you so, so much for the support and thoughts and advice I asked for last week. I meant to reply much sooner but I was flattened by some weird viral thing and spent a few days in bed feeling sorry for myself. :)


  1. I understand your frustration. I am so glad to hear that Lanie is super healthy! That's got to be a relief for you. I would definitely get the dental done and then look for a new vet. You might also mention this to the vet when you see him/her. Sometimes they are not totallly aware of what the office staff does! So glad for your good news though. So glad.

  2. I'm glad that Lanie is okay. I would also be looking for a new vet. I would be aggravated with the additional charge, plus not understanding greyhounds is a big problem. Joey has been going to a vet hospital that treats a lot of greyhounds, so I feel good about that. He's very pricey though, but I'm lucky and our group has paid for everything. I really like our regular vet and he seems to understand greys, but I haven't had the need for him to do a dental or surgery yet. I'm nervous with any treatment that puts them under. I hope all goes well with Lanie and that you find a new vet that you like.

  3. I'm so glad Lanie is healthy and I so relate to the vet issue.

    I don't know how much of a hall it is for you, it was too much for us, but we did have Goffstown Animal Hospital recommended to us for our hounds. If I remember right, it was Dr. Baldwin who was recommended. I thought I'd pass it along just in case. Good luck!

  4. I'd be livid, too! I think you're right to start shopping for a new vet at this time, as well. At least Lanie is okay!

    If it makes you feel better, the same thing happened to me years ago with our first Greyhound. I'd taken Treat in for her annual physical and shots, and being at the vet's office stressed her. The very green new vet there put me through the same wringer with a possible heart issue. I sobbed all the way home, only to find out a few days later that she was actually perfectly healthy. I asked not to see that vet for a long time afterwards.

  5. So thankful to hear Lanie is healthy. Definitely sounds like you need a new vet tho. What a terrible policy & I think its just another excuse to add another charge. Good luck finding one that knows more about greyhounds and has reasonable policies. :o)

  6. So glad Lanie is OK and somebody figure out they were dealing with a greyhound heart. Since it has already happened once before with Drive, I would say it sounds like more than an oversight. I agree with first comment, I would mention to vet about charge and policy and why now.

    Finding another vet is difficult, we've done it before, but it was more than worth it for us. We have even made special appointments with this vet to make our dogs only see her, as she has a college. I hope you and Lanie are able to find the one you need.

  7. I'm surprised that when reading an EKG, they wouldn't be told what breed of dog it was from. I would think that would be an important part of the information. We are quite lucky here that almost all of the greyhounds in the area go to the same vet clinic and they have really studied up on the differences in the greyhound blood panels, hearts and thyroids etc. I hope you have good luck finding a new vet who is familiar with greyhounds or willing to study up on them. It's important to feel you can trust them.

  8. I'm so glad Lanie is okay. I'd be frustrated too. I'm surprised they didn't tell them that the she was a greyhound. I don't understand how vets are still so unaware of differences that greyhounds have. Greyhounds, unfortunately, have been used in a lot of studies for research you'd think most vets would know more about these things. It's just not good to have to go through needless stress. Glad she is just fine though. :-)