When you adopt a dog, one of the questions on the application is about how much you expect you’ll have to pay annually for the dog’s health and vet expenses. The question is designed to ensure you’ve factored in the costs for vaccinations, heartworm and flea prevention and general wellness visits. To this day, I have no idea how much a healthy dog’s annual vet bills are. Most dogs go to the vet 1-2 a year (although the owner might go more often to pick up various supplies). Melvin goes to the vet at the very least monthly and takes upwards of 5 prescriptions on a daily basis. I cannot stress enough how important finding the right vet can be.
I got Melvin on a Saturday and took him to my vet’s practice on Monday. This appointment was to drop Melvin’s historical vet records off and to have my vet look him over for a general wellness visit. We would also discuss the results of the allergy testing that LRR had done. The first thing I suggested when the vet was looking him over was that he desperately needed a bath, he was a yellow lab but was more mud colored at the time. The vet chuckled. Melvin wasn’t dirty, he had yeast infections on his skin. The vet confirmed this with a skin scrapping and prescribed medication for him.
Over the next two weeks, his yeast infection cleared up but as he became more comfortable in his new home, his allergies took on a life of their own. He was itching to the point of blood. I had to put baby socks on him to try to prevent some of the damage he was willing to do to himself. Then his hair started falling out. I had no idea why. Although his tail would wag his body with the joy of his new life, he was at the same time physically miserable. I tried to figure out what in the house could be causing a spike in his itching. Maybe he was allergic to me!
Through his entire health ordeal, Melvin would stand as a symbol for never being the victim. He chose happiness over suffering every time. Our vet took on Melvin’s issue with a vengeance that I am forever grateful for. The year that followed is something I liken to conquering Everest. It seems insurmountable but you refuse to give up.