Elvis - why won't you let Daddy sleep and other crazy Vet emergencies we've lived through?!?
Introduction: Hey there Happy Tailz Pack! You know that we love to collaborate with people and businesses that share our pet loving lifestyle, and today’s sponsor of our Happy Tailz Pets Podcast is Pet Assure. They are America’s veterinary discount plan, and if you are in need for pet insurance for your wet nosed, wagging tail, family members, they’re a one stop perfect shop for you. You can find the link below the podcast. And now let’s get started.
Brian: Hello again Happy Tailz pack. It’s Brian.
Beth: And Beth.
Brian: Thank you for joining us on this, our second episode of our Happy Tailz podcast. Happy Tailz’s mission is to extend the longevity of the pets we love. Our community is based around animal lovers and the pets they call family.
Beth: We call our barkies family. You may hear them for some reason this morning, they’re really excited. We don’t know because there’s nothing really exciting happening outside, but they’re barking so, if you hear them in the background, that’s either Darby, Elvis, Jake, Haddie or Karrae.
Beth: Today, we thought we’d talk about something that’s near and dear to our heart, and that’s the health of our pets. You know, the mission of Happy Tailz Pets is to enhance the happiness and extend the longevity of our furry and feathered family members. And we, as a family, have been through a lot, as it pertains to the health care and the well-being of our pets. Brian, do you remember when Elvis got the bloat?
Brian: Yes, I do, it was very scary. Thankfully we received fantastic care from our vet, he recovered, thanks to having his stomach stapled, he has not experienced any bloat since.
Beth: Not exactly stapled, it’s tacked.
Brian: Or tacked.
Beth: You make it sound like he had bariatric surgery. No, but for those of you that have barrel chested dogs and you know who you are, Great Danes, St. Bernard’s, Weimaraner’s, Setters, Bassets, Labs, Goldens, and a few more that are slipping– slipping away from me at this moment, those dogs are super susceptible to bloat. And bloat has a very high mortality rate, for a number of reasons. One of which is, ventricular tachycardia and other cardiac arrhythmias, post-op if they make it that far. The problem with bloat is that they don’t typically make it out of surgery or even to the vet before they pass away, it’s an extremely urgent canine emergency and can be deadly right on the spot. I know whenever Elvis had bloat, it was in the middle of the night, the onset was in the middle of the night, and he would never come upstairs to the bedroom, you remember that Brian?
Brian: Right. And why don’t you take a minute and share with us exactly what bloat is.
Beth: Bloat is a twisting of the intestines and when they do that, it basically stops all intestinal activity. You get gas build up and ultimately rupture, at some point in the intestines. And once your intestines rupture, it spills everything from your intestines into the perineum of the animal and essentially releases all kinds of crazy toxins into the system. And this is what kills them instantly and also puts them at high risk for cardiac arrhythmia and sepsis down the road even if it is treated. So, with Elvis, he’s such a good boy, he really is a good boy and he– that’s not him barking, that’s Darby barking, she’s like, “Darby’s a good girl too Mommy”, but anyway– Elvis is a really good boy and he never came upstairs, he never tried to get into the bed, he was always really good about laying downstairs on his bed on the first floor of the house, and this one night, he just wouldn’t stay downstairs. And he’s really bonded to Brian, and he kept going to Brian’s side of the bed and putting his nose up and he’d kind of cry, he’d make this little cry sound, and nothing ever bothers Elvis. I mean, Elvis is like the chilliest of all chill dogs. Nothing ever bothers him, except for thunderstorms, thunderstorms bother him.
Brian: He’s a bit of a wimp.
Beth: Yeah, that’s another story. But for the most part, Elvis is really, really chill and he wouldn’t leave Brian alone. And he was waking me up too in the process. And so, finally– even though he wasn’t coming to my side of the bed, and so finally, I got up and I looked at him and he was breathing, you know, I mean, dogs pant, but Elvis was really in respiratory distress. He was breathing so fast and so shallow, and I put my hand down on him to pet him to kind of relax him a little bit, and I noticed that his sides were just puffed out and incredibly tense. And, you know, I had never had in 20+ years of having dogs, I’ve never had a dog with bloat, but I knew what bloat was, I just had never had a dog with it before. And he presented in a very dramatic way, now fortunately, he had the wherewithal to come and try to wake Brian up. But Brian didn’t know what bloat was, he had never seen bloat and didn’t know anything about bloat. So, it was kind of like a combination of “he wouldn’t leave Brian alone” and then me seeing what I thought was bloat. So, we called our vet and our vet’s like– he’s the OG, I mean, he is a day one, bae one for us when he retires, I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’re going to be so sad, we’re going to bring him cupcakes, I don’t even know, maybe at some point we’ll have him on our podcast because he is just such an amazing guy.
Brian: He’d be a tremendous resource.
Beth: Yes, absolutely a great resource for Happy Tailz Pets, and we’re hoping to bring him on board here in the near future. But anyway, so we called our vet and he’s like, “You come now”. And so of course, we– it’s about 5:30, 6 in the morning, something like that. So, we scoop him up, and we get him to our vet’s office. And he’s like, “Oh, yeah, that’s bloat”. But see, our vet is really awesome in the way that if I can explain it to him, he can basically diagnose it over the phone. So, we kind of knew we were in trouble before we even left the house. And then we got there, and you know, right to surgery, and he said, “You know, it’s tough. This is a tough situation.” And Elvis wasn’t very old at that time, how old do you think he was? Maybe 5, 6, something like that. Yeah, he wasn’t very old. He goes into surgery. And you know, we’re terribly upset, we’re sitting there in the office, all by ourselves because they’re not even open yet. And it’s probably, I don’t know, an hour and a half or something and there’s nobody there to give us any update and we’re just sitting there. You know, I’m upset, Brian’s upset. And then, our vet comes out and he said, “Well, he survived the surgery. You are very lucky.” He didn’t say it like that, he was like, “Well, he survived the surgery. Y’all were very lucky”, because that’s the way Doctor George talks. And he said, “But you’re not out of the woods. You’re not out of the woods by any means. And right now, he’s got crazy toxins circulating through his system, and it’s just going to take a little while and see if he pulls through.” So, of course, he was in the ICU, and, you know, this lasted for a couple of days. He also tacked his stomach while we were in there, so this would never happen again. Thank God. Well, you know, long story short, Elvis made a beautiful recovery. Thanks 100% to our vet, and the intensive care that he received post-op. But bloat is scary, and not only is it scary, it’s very expensive. And for any of you that have ever experienced that, you know exactly what I’m talking about, you know, multiples of thousands to save a dog that has bloat. You know, we would spend every penny again but at that point, we didn’t have any pet insurance. I mean, that’s been a number of years ago. Elvis is 11 now. So, you know, that was a full out of pocket expense for us, you know, one that we weren’t anticipating but one that we gladly paid because we had Elvis back. But those kinds of situations, that’s not the only situation we’ve had like that. Brian was outside taking the dogs out one time and he had an issue with Darby, who’s our senior. Go ahead and tell them about that.
Brian: Yes, any of us that have Golden Retrievers, or dogs such as Retrievers, that love to play fetch know of the potential to have the dog injured while they play, especially if there’s a number of dogs that are playing fetch at the same time. In this particular instance, both Darby and a couple of the other dogs were going for the same ball. Darby was going full speed for the ball.
Beth: She’s fast. So fast.
Brian: She’s our fastest dog. She was cut off at the pass by one of our other dogs, which forced her to stop and cut quickly that injured her ACL.
Beth: Yeah, and she was like what? 9 at the time. I mean, she was not a puppy.
Brian: So again, we were put in a position to make a decision on the health of one of our dogs.
Beth: And again, ACL repair, you know, there’s a number of different ways you can do it, anything from just basically a tie loop, to stabilize, to a full titanium implant. And they vary considerably in cost, but you’re not getting out of there under a grand, there’s no way. I mean, no matter what you do, it’s– ACL repairs are expensive. And, you know, so do you choose between– especially when you have an older dog, so do you choose between letting a 9-year-old Golden limp around for her remaining years and that was kind of like not our thing. So–
Beth: So we did a repair ACL. And, you know, the other thing is Golden Retrievers, they’re so mouthy, they chew everything. We’ve had obstructions from chewing the fur out of their squeaky toy. We’ve had acute splenic ruptures. I mean, we’ve had–
Brian: Haddie had chewed up a moving blanket, caused a blockage.
Beth: Yeah, that was not good. You know, we’re actually really good dog parents, this sounds pretty bad. But I mean, when you– it’s kind of like–
Brian: Over the course of time, things happen.
Beth: Yeah, and when you have a lot of kids you know, someone’s always sick. Well, that’s the way it is with having a lot of dogs too. You know, taking care and preserving the health of our animals is so important to us. And I know– we know it’s important to you too, because you’re here listening, you’re a member of the Happy Tailz Pack. And with those concerns of giving our pets the best care we can, we also have to understand that it’s expensive. It’s really expensive to take care of our pets, and it’s a commitment that we make, and we personally take it very seriously and we’re sure that you all do too. So, we just wanted to touch today on what it’s like to have to deal with veterinary emergencies and we’ve described a few of them to you. Recently, we published an article on our website, https://happytailzpets.com. And it’s called, “Ways to help with the cost of your pet’s vet care.” If you want to stop by the website, you can take a read, it’s pretty insightful, if I don’t say so myself. I didn’t write it though, one of our writers did. It’s a pretty insightful look at what it’s like to deal with pet healthcare issues.
Brian: As we’re discussing, the costs for pet care seem to continue to rise, which has created an industry of pet insurance. And there are a number of providers out there that provide pet insurance similar to insurance for humans. One of our new partners, Pet Assure, offers protection in a different way other than your standard insurance. They offer a discount plan, which has a ton of benefits. They accept all types of pets, number one, with absolutely no exclusions.
Beth: That’s huge. That’s like not having a pre-existing clause in your personal health insurance.
Brian: Right. So, every medical procedure is covered with no age limitations. No medical condition or service is excluded. As Beth said, all pre-existing conditions are accepted, no claims ever denied, there’s no forms to fill out, zero deductibles. So, rather than paying premiums toward a more standard pet insurance program–
Beth: –Kind of what our health insurance looks like.
Brian: This discount program acts more like a loyalty program where you get your deduction at the time of service. And it can be used an unlimited amount of times, no waiting period. You get to use it immediately. So, we felt it was really a unique service that would be worthwhile for our pack to check out.
Beth: And just for the full disclosure, if you do end up going with them, Happy Tailz Pets makes a little bit of money, but that’s okay because we also give money to pet organizations for everything that is purchased through Pet Assure. So, we hope that when you think about bringing new pets into your home, and when you have to make hard decisions about your pet’s health care, that you will think kindly and gently about what’s best for your pet, we know you will, and maybe do yourself a favor and take a look at some form of financial assistance for your pet’s health care and health insurance. It’s something that we don’t tend to think about until we really need it. You never want to be in a position where you have to decide between the life of your pet and your ability to pay for medical treatment, and that’s what pet insurance does. It gives you that peace of mind. So, while the goal of the podcast today wasn’t necessarily to pump up pet insurance, it really is something that bears taking a look at for yourself, as well as for your pets.
Brian: Yes, as I said, more and more, as new developments come out in drug treatments and procedures for pets, those advancements are obviously wonderful, and they’re helping to extend the lives of the pets that we love, while at the same time adding a good bit of cost for the pet owner. As we mentioned in the article, the Associated Press found that 41% of pet owners were actively worried about affording vet bills. They are faced, as Beth pointed out, with possibly going into debt in order to do what’s best for their pet. Hopefully, some of these ideas will make sense to you guys once you look into them, you’ll find that they’ll be a benefit to you and the care that you offer for your pets.
Beth: And let’s hope none of you ever face bloat, splenic rupture, a crazy dog that eats a piece of a moving blanket and gets an obstruction, or any of those nutty things that we’ve been through.
Brian: A torn ACL.
Beth: A torn ACL. So–
Brian: Among many other boo-boos.
Beth: Right. So, I hope that you found value in today’s episode as it relates to the health care of your pets. And until we speak again, we wish you wet noses and wagging tails. See you.
Brian: Take care.