Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why I Like My Vet

After Friday’s appointment with the new vet, I emailed our old vet with my concerns and a copy of Duncan’s spine x-ray. We talked back and forth for a couple of days and decided it would be more productive if the vet could actually see Duncan and do a physical exam. This morning, we trotted off to Durham.

The vet found the offending vertebra with no trouble and noticed that Duncan didn’t seem too concerned about being poked and prodded. He also checked Duncan’s hips, knees and ankles. Duncan has good extension and flexion and solid muscle. Unfortunately, he also has a stiff right ankle and a popping right knee. The vet said it feels and sounds like a meniscus click (which is bad), but Duncan doesn’t seem bothered by that, either (which is good). We took Duncan outside for a road test, and the vet commented that Duncan is consistently dropping his right hip and his general swishiness seems worse than before. The vet thinks its possible that Duncan’s protruding vertebra is a result of Duncan shifting his weight forward to compensate for a problem with his leg. The current plan is for me to take some video of Duncan walking and trotting and send that to the vet. He’s going to then send it to a couple of ortho/rehab vets to get their take on Duncan’s gait. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a huge issue, but its definitely better to find this early rather than late. This gives us more time to fix it before it does become a major problem. Until this is resolved, Duncan isn’t allowed to do any carting, but he is still allowed to herd sheep.

See, this is why I really like my old vet. He doesn’t just look at the current concern – he actually looks for the underlying cause. And with our 6 years of history, I trust him if he says there’s a problem (or a potential problem). I also trust him to tell me if I’m just being an over-protective worry-wart (he’s done that before). He never pushes for a test or procedure that he doesn’t truly think is necessary, and he’s willing to look at multiple solutions. Despite the drive, I’m going to transfer the dogs records to his new facility and stick with him rather than try to find a new vet. We’ve also worked out how to handle Reyna’s monthly meds, so that’s no longer a problem.

Now I just have to find someone to work the video camera....


Anonymous said...

At least your old vet has given you something to work with....don't blame you at all for going back with him. It's good that you have a vet you can trust even if you have to drive farther. Stick with the one you know!!!! :)Love, Mom

John Van said...

I thought you liked that vet cause he gives free lollipops.

Anonymous said...

Good move taking Duncan to Dr. Lapham. I'm hoping for a speedy recovery. Bruno started walking funny Tuesday night...dragging the tops of his back feet. I'm hoping it's just a strain from jumping off the bed and corrects itself quickly. He is no longer allowed up on the bed :-( It's tough for those 110 lb. boys. Mary B.