My DH was up during the night to Pete, my beautiful Golden Retriever as he heard him panting and thought he was unwell, we have had him to the vet recently as my lovely older brother the Dr, came and looked at him and said that he either had Diabetes or Renal failure, the vet didn’t agree 4 weeks ago.But during this time I have watched him get lethargic, hungrier, put on weight and become a little bit despondent. DH told me this morning he was up to the dog, so I rang the vet and made an appointment.

She looked at him and agreed, he looks unwell though for a 16-year-old dog with a thyroid condition he is doing really well. She asked me to hold him whilst she shaved his neck as they need to get 40 mils of blood to test it. I couldn’t work out why she asked, as soon as he heard the clippers, he sat ready in the shearing position and let her do this without a fuss. DH shears him annually and Pete loves it, he likes the feel of being fur free and was quiet and happy once it was done. Apparently to get the amount they needed the blood had to be drawn from his neck, so he lay down, she couldn’t get it despite putting the needle in twice, she then shaved a section of his arm and tried and then went to the other side of his neck with success. All the while Pete just sat there head in my hands still letting this go on around him. he has always trusted me and today was no different. As I explained as long as he could see me or feel my touch he remains calm and in no danger of biting or getting distressed.

He is also suffering from arthritis and this cold weather is making it painful to watch him sit down so I needed medication for him. We were going to get his annual vaccination but decided against it until we can get a diagnosis on his condition, nor did she want to inject him with arthritis medication, so we sat on the floor with Pete and I laughed at them when they kept talking to him, He had his eyes closed, head in my hands while they drew the blood, he has significant hearing loss so I doubt that the words of calm they were saying was even being taken in.

Now here is where daylight robbery started, I have no problems paying my private medical insurance and all other insurances and expenses, people should pay for their health care if they can afford it. But Vets, I was once asked by a budding neurosurgeon what career should he encourage his son to take up, I instantly said Vet as they don’t hand anything over till you pay the bill. It is taken for granted you go to the vet and you pay the bill before you leave, not even Doctors get this courtesy with all clients.

The medication for his arthritis was $120 for 10 pills or $260 for 50 so (gulp)I took the 50 swallow hard. Then there was the cost of the blood tests $180 and then the consultation $87.00. I also was given a urine stick to get a sample of his urine to test to see if he has glucose in his wee. I shall attempt this later in the day. Once the tests are in the decision will need to be made. Renal Failure – nothing much but ensuring he is going to be pain-free and comfortable for as long as he lives, Diabetes depending upon the type as to whether or not it’s insulin dependent or diet and pills. Big decisions will need to be made regardless of the results (due in monday). I told my mother and she said “is he worth it?” well yes, he is not suffering and he is no trouble. It is lucky as humans we have that options with sick animals, not with sick humans we are allowed to watch them suffer and die slowly.

I love Pete, I will make the best decision for him when I need to and will let you all know once we have the blood results back.

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