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should i take him to vet ER tonight

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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 4 1/2 year old Chihuahua who has had no prior health problems. The only surgery he has had was a neutered about 2 years ago. In the past few months his abdomen has become swollen and hard, but he was otherwise healthy and active. In the past 2 days (starting 2/11-2/12) he has been yelping whenever his belly is touched and can't go up or down stairs at all. He is not throwing up and did go outside to use the bathroom but I didn't look to see what it looked like. Now He just wants to curl up and lay still. I am sleeping with him tonight and have the emergency clinic on speed dial and have already given them a heads up. But I'm hoping to make it to his normal vet, which is more affordable since I'm on disability. I have also left her a message in the hopes she'll return my call as soon as she opens. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas for pain management until morning?
 

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If it were my dog he would be at the ER now.
 

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Trust me, he's right beside me under a microscope,as he will all night, he just passed a tremendous amount of gas and seems to be moving better, but still won't go upstairs. I would love to take him to the ER but with a child that has to be up at 6am for school and a very limited amount of money I unfortunately don't have the opportunity, since they charge ALOT for their services. But thank you so much for taking the time to read this and giving my advice. Please take comfort in knowing if ANYTHING changes I WILL take him to the ER IMMEDIATELY!
 

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I hope he will be ok. I too was wondering what the ER may have told you ..... I had to take a pup to the ER last spring and was not even my pup ... but he had a 3 pronged fish hook lodged in his gums .... very expensive .... I understand that point for sure! :) Good luck. Please keep us posted as to what the regular vet says if you are able to wait until morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Abbylynn;113732: "I hope he will be ok. I too was wondering what the ER may have told you ..... I had to take a pup to the ER last spring and was not even my pup ... but he had a 3 pronged fish hook lodged in his gums .... very expensive .... I understand that point for sure! :) Good luck. Please keep us posted as to what the regular vet says if you are able to wait until morning."



The advice the ER vet office had was NONE, it was like I was calling a Wal-Mart store asking what time they closed. The lady on the phone told me their prices just to walk in the door; being a 24 hour emergency clinic. They never once had urgency in their voice nor did they say he should come in. And for the record I have rubbed his tummy, watched him walk on a flat carpeted surface and done my own "exam" and he isn't whimpering, breathing hard, nor shaking. He even did a full body shake like they do when they get out of the bath. But the hard abdomen and inability to go up or downstairs isn't characteristic of him. As long as all goes smooth tonight I'll definitely give an update tomorrow as soon as we get back from the vet. This dog was my Chemo dog, I bought him when I was 20 and always in the hospital or stuck in bed at home with no visitors (due to no human germs). We also used to sneak him up to my hospital room/floor and visit the other kids since he was just the right size that didn't intimidate or hurt the other sick kids. He's a special dog!
 

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The advice the ER vet office had was NONE, it was like I was calling a Wal-Mart store asking what time they closed. The lady on the phone told me their prices just to walk in the door; being a 24 hour emergency clinic. They never once had urgency in their voice nor did they say he should come in. And for the record I have rubbed his tummy, watched him walk on a flat carpeted surface and done my own "exam" and he isn't whimpering, breathing hard, nor shaking. He even did a full body shake like they do when they get out of the bath. But the hard abdomen and inability to go up or downstairs isn't characteristic of him. As long as all goes smooth tonight I'll definitely give an update tomorrow as soon as we get back from the vet. This dog was my Chemo dog, I bought him when I was 20 and always in the hospital or stuck in bed at home with no visitors (due to no human germs). We also used to sneak him up to my hospital room/floor and visit the other kids since he was just the right size that didn't intimidate or hurt the other sick kids. He's a special dog!
You know why that is? Because they get dozens of phone calls all day long from people who should probably be there and not ask diagnostic questions over the phone- because they can't diagnose your dog over the phone. The receptionist is not there to give medical advice.
 

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With those symptoms I'd be trying my best to get to any vet I could find. With my limited knowledge I'd be fearing either bloat or an obstruction from eating something inedible. I know this isn't what you want to hear but both of those problems NEED to be caught and treated as quickly as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
You know why that is? Because they get dozens of phone calls all day long from people who should probably be there and not ask diagnostic questions over the phone- because they can't diagnose your dog over the phone. The receptionist is not there to give medical advice.

I agree, I was a receptionist in the ICU/ER for two years. I got many of those phone calls myself. But I never once gave medical advice or ignored what could possible be an emergency. The job of a receptionist is to answer the phone and direct it accordingly. I may be wrong but I would assume there are other medical professionals around to ask, on her end, or a vet she could have asked a 30 sec question without the vet having to stop what they're doing to diagnose over the phone. It's a yes or no question they need to be able to make on a dime. That's why Vets go through such extensive schooling, training, and interning, not the receptionist. The receptionists job is to get the phone call transferred or taken care of in a safe manner, not a "when do I get to clock out" attitude.
 

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I agree, I was a receptionist in the ICU/ER for two years. I got many of those phone calls myself. But I never once gave medical advice or ignored what could possible be an emergency. The job of a receptionist is to answer the phone and direct it accordingly. I may be wrong but I would assume there are other medical professionals around to ask, on her end, or a vet she could have asked a 30 sec question without the vet having to stop what they're doing to diagnose over the phone. It's a yes or no question they need to be able to make on a dime. That's why Vets go through such extensive schooling, training, and interning, not the receptionist. The receptionists job is to get the phone call transferred or taken care of in a safe manner, not a "when do I get to clock out" attitude.
But in the same regard there is no way they can diagnose anything over the phone. They don't know you, your dogs history and since your dog can't say it hurts here, etc there is no way to do more than guess. There are some owners that are very over dramatic and some that are over lax about their dogs condition/care and describing symptoms. Certain symptoms can often be associated with several different ailments and some dogs are much more stoic than others. I have one that you look at wrong and he will yelp/whine and another than ripped a toenail out of the nailbed that never took a wrong step and I didn't even know about until I went to do his nails. Why would they guess and open themselves up to any potential liability/problems. If they guess wrong and your dog should have come in and it dies you know there are people that would try to slap them with a lawsuit. If they said bring it in and it turns out to be something extremely minor and you end up with a huge unnecessary (except for peace of mind) bill they get complained at and about, in person and online. I could see if it's a regular vet who knows your dog they might hazard a guess but I would never expect an ER vet to do that.

You are the owner. You know your circumstances, your dog and it's history. It's your decision and no one elses. It doesn't matter what someone on the phone says and it doesn't matter what people you don't know on a message board 'vote' for. JMO of course.
 

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So, what happened? Did you make it to the vet?
 

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I agree, I was a receptionist in the ICU/ER for two years. I got many of those phone calls myself. But I never once gave medical advice or ignored what could possible be an emergency. The job of a receptionist is to answer the phone and direct it accordingly. I may be wrong but I would assume there are other medical professionals around to ask, on her end, or a vet she could have asked a 30 sec question without the vet having to stop what they're doing to diagnose over the phone. It's a yes or no question they need to be able to make on a dime. That's why Vets go through such extensive schooling, training, and interning, not the receptionist. The receptionists job is to get the phone call transferred or taken care of in a safe manner, not a "when do I get to clock out" attitude.
Well, you gotta think from their perspective. A lot of times it doesn't sound like an emergency when it very well could be. It's also their bums on the line if someone calls, describes something and they say "Oh, it sounds like this, they'll be fine." and it is NOT that and something bad happens to the dog. Same goes whether it is a vet or a receptionist. I am admittedly short with people at work who approach me and say "This dog has this, what do you think it is?" because I am not a veterinarian or even in the vet feel. Asking doesn't hurt, but if I were answering the phones I would direct every one to come in. They don't want any thing to happen to your dog any more than you do.
 
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