Today I am off work, and got a good look at Poppy in the sunlight, and saw that her fur on her back was starting to look thin in a couple of spots and she's developed dandruff. She was also lumpy with a rash, and as I mentioned yesterday we had started to worry that she might need a vet. I posted on the facespace about it, and a friend of mine who's a vet commented that it sounded like Poppy was potentially developing a skin infection on top of whatever was making her itchy in the first place. So I took a hard look at the finances and my work-schedule in the remaining days before Hotter's next dental procedure, and then decided that I couldn't in good conscience take the chance of whatever ailed the poor dog getting worse to the point that she developed a fever or got otherwise direly ill, particularly if it happened while I was at work, so I called our neighborhood veterinary clinic and made an appointment.
As we all got into the MFA Minivan, Hotter remarked that Poppy was NOT riding in his goddamned lap. Here you can both see how that all ended up working out AND admire my bitchin' MS Paint artistry:
Figure One: Note the shit-eating grin on the dog, and Hotter's pissy look, which I think I transferred to paint-cartoonery pretty well :)
Once we got to the vet and Poppy realized what was up, she promptly started showing symptoms of both epilepsy and also four broken legs. Everyone we saw in the waiting room was like "OMG THE POOR BABY WHAT HAPPENED?" as she army-crawled along, trembling violently. "Nothing, she's just a sissy," I told one and all, and got some truly horrified looks for my lack of sympathy toward an obviously dying dog:
I am SO PLEASANTLY SURPRISED by how the vet treated Poppy and us. She was chatty and informative, and took a detailed history from us while she sat on the floor coaxing a terrified Poppy out from under the bench in the exam room with treats; it was probably a good twenty minutes before she even attempted to examine the dog, and when she saw how scared Poppy was she brought an assistant in and did the exam right there rather than taking her "in the back." The official diagnosis is "really bad seasonal allergies" exacerbated by the recent warm weather, and the start of a skin infection from scratching. In the end, the vet prescribed antihistamines for Poppy to stay on long-term, a course of antibiotics for the skin infection, a medicated antimicrobial shampoo to be used once a week, and the flea-control pill (since she said most dogs with seasonal allergies are also susceptible to flea allergies, and it was better to take no chances on flea exposure), which currently if you bought two you got a mail-in rebate for $50 so we opted to buy two doses (they last twelve weeks). She also noted that Poppy was due for a rabies shot and so we took care of that today, and it all came out to LESS THAN $300. Holy shit! I don't think we could have gotten as far as a diagnosis at Banfield for so little money, never mind acquired the meds to treat anything! If I'd known it would be so reasonable to take the poor dog to the vet I would have done it sooner, and we definitely won't be as hesitant to take our pets in for future concerns. Yay!
Mind you, this is still more money than I really wanted to spend right now, but I'm just so relieved that we were able to address Poppy's problems without it utterly wrecking us financially that I can't get upset about it. Three cheers for helping our dumb cowardly lion feel better, while I'm still all happy and before I've strained my back scrubbing her down with the medicated shampoo!