It’s common for veterinary hospitals to offer a complimentary wellness exam within a certain number of days after someone adopts a pet. After reading reviews & asking my pet loving friends & family their opinions, we decided on a veterinary clinic. This blog post does mention one bad experience with them but before I go any further, I would like to say that we’ve been to see them many times since then, & all our other experiences have been significantly better than the first!
The majority of the people I spoke with about vet recommendations specifically mentioned “Dr. Mike,” who works at & owns a local clinic with his wife. I also read great reviews about him online so I requested that Emilia see Dr. Mike specifically for her wellness exam but it didnt work out so we ended up seeing someone else (I don’t recall this other vet’s name). The other vet gave Emilia a quick once over but to be honest, I felt like this visit was a waste of my time & I could have provided the level of care she did. However, I’m not a vet & maybe I was just wrong in my assumptions of what a wellness exam entails. Anyway, the vet said Emilia looked good so we went along our way.
Emilia was doing a lot of meowing & itching of the ears! She was still her sweet self but it was accompanied by this constant, bellowing meow. At first, I attributed this to her neediness & the separation anxiety she suffered from in the beginning, & I still think it was partially that, but also ear discomfort. When we picked her up from the humane society, they said she had been treated for ear mites and mentioned the “coffee grounds” in her ears could still be seen but were just residual from the mites and it would cause a little itching, so I wasn’t terribly concerned with the scratching at first. I did mention the situation during that first visit, & said I wanted to make sure the mites were, in fact, dead because she was doing a lot more than “a little” scratching. She took a look in Emilia’s ears but said she couldn’t see clearly & that someone could check again on our next visit to make sure they’re dead. What?? So, if they aren’t dead, Emilia just has to suffer through the discomfort until her next appointment? I wasn’t impressed & Emilia continued to scratch her ears.
I then made another appointment and this time, was very clear about the fact that I wanted to see no other vet besides Dr. Mike, & this time, my request was accomodated.
**Sidenote: Emilia has the most adorable face so whenever we take her in, people always comment on it, & Dr. Mike was no exception, immediately calling her a sweetheart. When I told him Rob had chosen her, Dr. Mike said, “Your husband has good taste in cats.” She has the cutest little meows too, where it’s like purring & a meow all in one. Even the vet tech commented on it! I wish I had it on video! I cannot even handle the cuteness.**
Anyway, Dr. Mike actually took a good look at her ears & came to the conclusion that she was suffering from an ear infection. He prescribed her some ear drops & asked if we would be able to handle giving them to her. I assured him that Emilia is the sweetest thing & that, between Rob & I, we could get the job done.
How wrong I was.
We made one attempt to give her the drops that evening & Emilia put up quite a fight, due to a combination of dislike of the drops & pain from the infection. We did it but she spent the rest of the night across the room from us, looking at us with eyes full of anger. We felt awful! We also decided that we hadn’t had her long enough to put her through that and were concerned it would have a negative impact on our bonding. I called the vet the next morning, and they had us bring her back in that very day so they could flush her ears with medication. They had to put her under for this, which didn’t thrill me. I know animals are usually okay but this was our first experience with allowing them to put her under and I didn’t have much of a choice, as we had to deal with the infection. It stressed me out so much! Signing the waivers had my stomach in knots.
He said the flushing of her right ear went beautifully but the left was so inflamed, that he couldn’t see the ear drum & was concerned about the damage it could have, and her ear started to bleed profusely so they had to switch medications mid-way. The good news was that she seemed to feel significantly better after having her ears flushed, which was a relief to us. I felt bad because I had to leave work to get her to the vet and then had to return to work after dropping her off so she stayed there until Rob was off work and could pick her up several hours later. After Rob got her home, she was sweet and the difference was already obvious.
She had to go back to see Dr. Mike 10 days later & while he was happy with her progress, he decided to flush her ears one more time. Our poor Emilia had to go through this twice!
During yet another follow up appointment, Dr. Mike was very happy with Emilia’s ears, told us to go back to the ear drops, which went smoother this time. She still hated them but at least she was no longer dealing with the pain or tenderness from the infection & she didn’t stay angry nearly as long. It definitely takes the two of us working as a team and wrapping her in a towel to get the job done.
During a phone call with Dr. Mike when he was checking on Emilia, I brought up my concerns about the other vet, because it bothered me that there was a possibility that maybe Emilia’s ear infection could have been caught sooner. Maybe if it had been, it wouldn’t have progressed into what it became. I wasn’t accusatory, because there’s no way to prove that there were any telltale signs of the infection during the intitial wellness exam, & I know I’m not a vet. Dr. Mike basically said it’s possible it could have been caught sooner but its tough to say, not having seen her himself and not knowing how progressed the infection was during that initial appointment. I guess we’ll never know. The good news is, he got her all taken care of!