One expensive nail trim

My Jack Russell terrier Dottie has one abnormally growing toenail. I think this nail was injured many years ago, but I don’t remember how or even if this nail was the one that was injured. Anyway, the nail grows very long and crooked. I have tried to cut it back but I am afraid to cut it too close because I don’t want to cut any bleeding.

Last week I decided it was time to cut this nail, which had grown to probably one-half to three-quarters of an inch long. Dottie always gives me a hard time when I clip her nails, but this time was especially bad. She screamed bloody murder, squirmed out of my grip and generally would not let me clip this long nail. I decided to let it be for awhile and try again later.

In the meantime, I started noticing Dottie licking this nail practically non-stop. It began to look red and inflamed. I decided I’d better not cut it but rather have it looked at by my vet. This morning I called my vet but the doctor was in surgery all morning and out in the afternoon. I didn’t want to go another day with Dottie being bothered by her foot so I called another place I had gone to on occasion with the dogs — Nebraska Animal Medical Center. I was able to get an appointment this morning.

When I took Dottie there the vet tech told me they would give Dottie a physical examination. I didn’t think that was necessary but said, well OK. The vet tech weighed Dottie at about 18 pounds. The vet came in and looked at Dottie’s nail. She discovered the nail had been fractured at the base and was just kind of hanging there. She thought it best to cut it off there and bandage her foot for 24 hours. She gave her some anti-inflamatory medication. Then the vet left and told the tech to work up the bill. I thought to myself, “I guess they aren’t going to do the physical exam.”

The bill came to $78, which I thought seemed high. When I got to the car I looked at the bill. I was charged $20 for the medication, $11.65 for the bandage and $45 for a “complete physical exam.” I thought, Dottie didn’t have a “complete physical exam.” The vet looked at her foot and didn’t touch her anywhere else.

I went back into the vet’s office and asked the receptionist what a complete physical exam consists of. She listed off a couple things that are checked and I said that didn’t happen. She told me to wait and she went back and talked to someone. I probably waited about 10 minutes before someone came out and asked me to go into a little room to talk. I explained that the only thing that was done was the vet looked at Dottie’s foot and shot a quick glance at Dottie’s teeth through her muzzle since I had mentioned she had a couple broken teeth. I said there was no checking of her ears, no listening to her heart, nothing of what my own vet does during a physical exam. This woman said she had spoken with the vet and insisted that a complete physical exam had taken place. She would not listen to any of my arguments. I walked out, saying that I disagreed and would never go back there.

I wouldn’t have been as unhappy with this situation had they told me that the $45 charge was what it cost to look at her foot and clip her nail. Yes, that would be one expensive nail trim, but this was a slightly more serious situation. But when they claimed that she had a complete physical exam when she clearly did not and charged me $45 for something that didn’t happen, I thought that was very bad business practices.

Even this 24-hour bandage was not worth $11. It came off after an hour after normal walking.

The good news is that Dottie seems to no longer be in pain, but even so, I would not recommend Nebraska Animal Medical Clinic.

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Having dogs is great, but it’s difficult when they get older. We are hoping it isn’t so, but we are at the point where we may have to decide to let one of our dogs go.

About a year and a half ago Daisy our Dalmation was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Our vet said this was incurable and dogs do not recover from it. Daisy, however, showed no negative signs from this and continued living her happy and charmed life.

Last night while walking our dogs, Daisy slowed down. I was up ahead with our other two dogs, Dottie and Russell, and did not see what was going on with Dasiy. Tony said, though, that Daisy barely made it home.

A little while later I hard this loud noise coming from Daisy and noticed she had vomited a thick substance. She seemed to be getting sicker as the evening progressed. Tony sat with Daisy over the evening and became very worried. She not only was vomiting but had diarrhea and was very lethargic. She laid there and didn’t want to move. We had difficult getting in her bed. She got us up a couple times during the night with her diarrhea.

This morning she had another bad case of diarrhea and laid in the basement bedroom not wanting to move. I took her to the vet, who did some bloodwork. The bloodwork showed her liver enzymes had spiked alarmingly high. We are waiting for further results from the bloodwork to show how well Daisy’s liver is working. The vet’s prognosis was not good.

We picked her up from the vet late this afternoon, not knowing what to expect. Luckily, Daisy was showing signs of being her normal self. She ate tonight and is showing no signs of being sick. I know dogs have a lot of resilence. I am hoping and praying that Daisy will make it through this and give us some more time with her.

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Homes needed for cats

This was not written by me, but by a woman who works with No More Chains. I am reposting it here to spread the word.


Hello all,
You all know me as a “dog lover” and I definitely am that, but I also love all critters.  But while going door to door in Fairbury handing out straw to chained and penned dogs, we came across a hoarder situation with over 30 cats living in a house in horrible condition in south east Nebraska. The owners are very loving, and go without eating for days at a time, in order to feed the animals that they love. The husband is pretty slow and the woman is obviously retarded. While we were all enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, they didn’t eat for two whole days, until someone brought them some frozen pizzas.

Work with this couple will be on going, as I’m trying to find out if they have a social worker?? Family??? Any other help. They are just the nicest, sweet people, but we need to get some of those cats out of there asap!  Some are really young kitties, maybe 5 weeks old (but weaned), and all colors, sizes, sex, temperaments, etc. etc.  Most of the cats are not the best socialized with people, but some are very friendly–others need some work.

So—Homeless No More Rescue in Fairbury has been working with Nebraskans For Companion Animals, and together we have been providing vet care, food and litter until we can find foster homes. The cats eat popcorn when they run out of food. Yes, popcorn. And I’m sure the two people do too.  Would you consider taking just one?  If you can’t, and I know we all have our reasons, maybe you know of someone in the area who might. Could you repost this email to your friends, and/or facebook page. Donations would be so welcome!! The cats are just beautiful!! We hope to have photo’s in the near future.

Marta from Homeless No More Rescue can be reached directly    402-806-7339
Marta has had a cat rescue in her home for many many years, but she is not a 501c3 yet–but we are going to work on that for her, so donations are not deductible at this time. If you would like to donate to her veterinary’s office directly, we can get that info to you too. Marta is financing all the cats she takes in herself, and as you can imagine, this is a tremendous task. Please help Marta help these people. I will also be taking a food basket as a Christmas gift to them too as they have nothing, especially at the end of the month. Nothing!! The woman especially is very thin.

Donations can also be sent to Nebraskans for Companion Animals, 1607 North 14 Str., Beatrice, NE 68310 We are not a 501c3 at this time, but are incorporated and are in the process of applying for non-profit status. But I can assure you that every dime will go to help Marta for these cats and the many other cats she is trying to help.

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What makes dogs act the way they do?

Today I read an article in the Whole Dog Journal that made me wonder what has caused my dog Dottie to have the personality that she does.

Dottie is an 18-pound Jack Russell terrier, cute as can be. But I can’t let people pet her because she cannot be trusted. I am about the only person who can touch Dottie without having to worry that she is going to show aggression and snap.

Dottie is not the type of dog to run up to people and bite them. But if they reach out their hand to her it is very likely that she will give them an aggressive warning to leave her alone.

Some may wonder why I even have kept Dottie for the last 11 plus years. That is a long story that I won’t go into here. I know, though, that Dottie is lucky to have me because I love her and have put up with her temperamental behavior.

Dottie was not like this as a puppy and a young dog. I can’t really pinpoint when she became this way. I’ve always assumed it was something in her breeding — maybe some faulty gene she acquired from one of her parents.

The article I read today got me thinking otherwise. It quoted a veterinarian who said that confrontational training techniques increase the likelihood of aggression in dogs. On the other hand, few dogs respond aggressively for reward-based training.

This made me think back to the days when Dottie was a puppy and I took her to a dog trainer near my home in Wisconsin. I always had trouble getting Dottie to lay down when told to do so. The trainer had me put a metal pinch collar on her and jerk her down when she would not do it on her own. I did this, thinking that the trainer knew more than I did.

There were a couple of instances however that as I think back make me wonder about this trainer. When Dottie’s neck was turning red and raw from the irritation of this pinch collar I showed the trainer. He told me that I wasn’t jerking her down hard enough. Apparently he thought she wasn’t learning good enough so I had to jerk her even harder.

The worst incident was when he had me hang her from the leash in the air with the pinch collar on. The collar was on her like a hangman’s noose and I was holding the leash in the air so she was like a person who was being hung. I shudder to think now that I actually did this and believed this man was a good trainer.

Could this method of training have contributed to Dottie’s current personality? I don’t know for sure. But maybe it did. It never occurred to me till now.

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Lincoln’s dog park

The dog park across the street from Holmes Lake can be a fun place to take your dogs to give them some off-leash exercise. I have been here hundreds of times. Thursday was not a pleasant visit, however.

While there, someone bashed in my car window and stole my purse, which contained $100 and numerous credit and debit cards that the thieves used to buy $2,500 worth of stuff. The police say the dog park has been a prime target for such crimes lately.

Never would I have thought that on a busy street like 70th Street something like this would happen. I want to urge all those who go to the dog park to be careful about what they leave in their car. I wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to you.

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Daisy’s trip to K-State

A couple weeks ago we took our Dalmation Daisy to the vet clinic at Kansas State University. We did this because Daisy had been vomiting frequently. Every day and sometimes more than once a day.

Daisy was diagnosed last year with a liver disease and we figured that’s what was causing the vomiting. We took her to our vet, where she had a blood test. Liver enzymes were higher. The vet suggested caging her at the vet’s office for 48 hours with no food or taking her to K-State. The first option was meant to clean out her system to try to get her enzymes lowered.

We chose the second option. We didn’t like the thought of keeping Daisy in a small cage for two days with no food.

We spent the day at K-State while Daisy underwent some tests. The result was that the specialist in internal medicine there did not think her vomiting was caused by her liver disease. He wasn’t even sure her liver disease was that bad. He suspected a gastrointestinal problem. He gave her some medication and Daisy hasn’t vomited since.

Now we don’t know exactly what the problem with Daisy is, but we’re happy that she appears to be doing well and she’s not vomiting.

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Not a good time for dogs

It is late Sunday night, past my bedtime, and I can’t sleep. My Jack Russell terrier Russell sits beside me panting and trembling. He can’t understand why it is so noisy outside, and frankly, neither can I.

I enjoy seeing colorful fireworks light up the sky, but I don’t like the loud booming noises some of these fireworks make. Mild popping noises are one thing, but when fireworks are so loud it sounds like a bomb has exploded it’s getting pretty ridiculous.

I don’t understand the fascination some people have with fireworks. Why some people spend their hard-earned money on something that goes up in smoke. But if people want to spend their money that way, hey it’s a free country. I do though think something should be done about fireworks that are so loud they shake houses.

There is nothing I can do to ease the fears of my poor dog. I know dogs across the country feel as Russell does. I know the people who set off these loud boomers don’t care a bit about Russell or other dogs quaking in fear. I just wish though they cared a little more about their neighbors who are trying to get some sleep.

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