Archive for the ‘dogs’ Category

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01 Jun 16

Did you register that Microchip? ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

The month of June is National Microchipping Month and a common misconception among pet owners is that having your pet is microchipped, that once the dog or cat is chipped, then your pet is protected.  If your pet ever gets lost, the microchip will help bring your beloved pet back to you.

Yes, the microchip has brought countless pets back to their owners – we have all read the amazing stories of pets being reunited after long journeys all because of the microchip.   Did you know how many pets are microchipped – but their pet parents fail to register them?

I know you might be sitting there reading this, saying, “What? I thought the rescue I adopted Buddy from registered him?”  Or, “I thought when I got him from the animal shelter they registered him with my info before I left with him.”

Yes the shelter or rescue group may have registered your dog, but it’s under their name.  Or they may have microchipped your pet but did not register it, it is up to you to register the microchip with your information in case your pet ever gets lost.

When I adopted Cody, he was microchipped, but I had to then change the microchip information to my name, number and address.  And you have to pay a fee yearly to keep him registered.

Many pets go missing especially during the in the summer as gates are left open by landscapers, pool cleaners, etc., loud fireworks can scare your pet away and newly adopted pets are not used to your home yet.

While the pet may be microchipped, more often than not, if they are found by a good samaritan and brought to an animal shelter or veterinarian office to be scanned for a microchip – and the chip is not registered.  So the shelter then has no idea who the pet belongs to and most shelters after a 7-day hold on the pet, the pet is then put up for adoption.

You are usually given paper work from a rescue group, animal shelter or pet store with what company the pet’s microchip is registered with, new pet owners need to call that company and have the microchip put under their name.  Many shelters chip pets and put the information in the adoption packet and on the number of the chip on the medical records to so that when the pet owner brings their newly adopted pet to the vet, the vet also has the microchip info.

So what to do?  You need to register your pet with a microchip company.  Putting in your information, means putting in your most up to date info.  Most people keep the same cell phone number, so having that in there would be my first choice.  And also your home number and alternate number just in case they can reach you at the first number.

Shelters often get pets in as strays that have a microchip, that are not registered.  Defeats the point of even having your pet chipped.

Here are some companies you can look into on microchipping your pet. – microchipping company – 24PetWatch’s Lost Pet Recovery is there to not only identify your pet, but to reunite you as soon as they’re found. Thanks to 24PetWatch’s microchip, you can be reunited safely and quickly.

Cats too should be microchipped and registered, even if your cat is an indoor cat, accidents happen and indoor cats do get outside.

If your pet is not microchipped, most animal shelters can microchip your pet, as well as rescue groups and even your vet’s office may provide the service.  A lot of private rescue groups also offer low cost microchipping on a regular basis.

If you’re pet is lost, and he does not have a collar with ID tags or a microchip, the first thing you should do is contact your local town municipal shelter and let them know, and if you can bring them a picture with all your appropriate contact info.  I would also contact the privately owned animal shelters too – to let them know your pet is missing, send them a picture, age if the pet is on meds, etc.

Social media has exploded over recent years with ‘Lost and Found pages on Facebook’.  Look in your local area, town, city, state to see if there is one set up for you.  Post the picture of your pet, where and when he was lost, if the pet is in need of meds, friendly, nervous around strangers, etc.  This will be very helpful in finding your pet.

On Long Island –

In Queens –

In Staten Island

Missing Pets USA

Another website that is very helpful is Pet Amber Alert, they offer many services to help you recover your pet if gone missing, even putting out a phone call to thousands in your surrounding neighborhood letting your community know a pet is missing.

You can also easily search Facebook for pages near where you live for similar pages. Craigslist is another popular site to post your missing pet in the pet’s section where you live. And the good old fashioned way of posting fliers around your neighborhood with photo, and contact number for someone to call you if they have your pet.

Bottom line? If your pet is microchipped, stop what you are doing and make sure your pet is registered with your info!

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20 May 16

Is your dog a Good Dog? ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

You’re a good dog, we often say that to our dogs.  But is your dog a Good Dog?  This past Tuesday, I headed to New York City for The Good Dog Foundation Gala event held at Guastavino’s.  It was a lovely event, extremely well coordinated, and what most non-profit organizations should strive for when hosting a gala.  Many dogs were in attendance trotting around among Broadway stars, pet professionals, pet media like Pet Age Magazine, volunteers and just many amazing supportors of this wonderful organization.

The Good Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nationally recognized leader in animal-assisted therapy whose mission it is to ease human suffering and promote healing among those experiencing trauma from disease, disability, disaster, aging and other stressful conditions. Good Dog trains and certifies hundreds of volunteer teams (dog and handler) annually. The organization works in collaboration with esteemed institutions such as Yale University and Mount Sinai Beth Israel to further scientific research on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy.

Unleashed by Petco was the signature gala host at the event that honored Planet Dog for its charitable giving of more than $1 million to nonprofits – including Good Dog – that foster human-canine wellbeing and healing.  They provided this adorable Dog Bar with lots of dog cookies to choose from, to bring a doggy bag home with you.

Rachel McPherson, founder, Good Dog Foundation with Colleen McCracken, CEO/Partner, Planet Dog and Alex Fisher, Founder/Chief Creative Officer, Planet Dog.

Of course we jumped in the fun photo booth to have our pictures taken before dinner.

(l to r) Nancy Hassel of American Pet Professionals, Stacy McCosky and her dog Sadie and Caroline Loevner

Award-winning actor Robert Sella, most recently a star in the Broadway comedy, SYLVIA, about a dog that helps heal the lives of its human companions, served as the evening’s emcee. The event drew dozens of canine guests along with nearly 300 humans.

If you are interested in learning more how your dog can become a Good Dog with The Good Dog Foundation, please visit their website

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20 Nov 15

The Forgotten Dogs ...

by Nancy E. Hassel, – Cover Photo by Melissa Marie Photography

The forgotten dogs…

While I am grateful these dogs are alive and well cared for in our municipal shelters across Long Island, (many, many shelter dogs do not have this chance), I am still heartbroken over the fact that these dogs have been in our shelters for years.  YEARS, shall I say it again, Y E A R S! We all know dogs everywhere need to be saved, and I completely understand and am for that of course, however we collectively have over 1,000 dogs in our local Animal Shelters across Long Island, looking for homes. Over 1,000 dogs locally looking for homes.  My own dog Cody was in the Islip Animal shelter for 6-months before I brought him home, maybe if I didn’t adopt him, he would still be there almost a year now.  I get sad when I think of him there for that 6 months, I can’t even imagine the dogs for years.

Cody has brought so much joy and happiness into my life and now is even a little celebrity with his own facebook page.  This holiday season, I hope you take a few minutes to read about each and everyone of the dogs in this article and mabye this will help open your eyes – and maybe, just maybe open your heart and home to one of the dogs in this list.  And please, please, please share this to everyone you know, as a shelter is no place for a dog to live, the constant noise, the meet-and-greets that never come of anything, the concrete floors, stress levels, shall I go on?  The best part, many dogs fall right into a routine and after a few weeks are like they were never even in the shelter, because dogs are resilent by nature, but rescued dogs they just know when they are safe and home – ask anyone who has adopted a dog and they will tell you the same thing.  There many dogs featured below, please take your time reading about each one and sharing. Thank you.

Forgotten Dogs at Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter
300 Horseblock Road
Brookhaven, NY 11719
(631) 451-6950

Mama is about as sweet as they come! She will melt your heart the minute you meet her. She was originally brought into the shelter very pregnant and ready to pop. She gave birth to 10 beautiful pups who have all been adopted. Sadly, no one ever adopted Mama and she sat watching her puppies leave one by one. She has the most amazing disposition and will be your best friend until the end of time. She loves everyone she meets of all ages and is housebroken and knows commands. Mama would like to be your one and only pet.


Forgotten Dogs at Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter:

3320 Beltagh Ave
Wantagh, New York 11793
(516) 785-5220

Mason’s (#2318) been with us more than 2years. He is only about 3yrs old, sadly growning up here. Brought in stray when a Good Samaritan saw him digging through garbage. First, Mason was a nervous wreck & had to be carried into his kennel. He has settled in but is still anxious. Mason recently went to training to learn many things; the trainers were impressed. Mason NEEDS a home! He loves to run & play and loves water. An active home is best for him. At this time, Mason would do best in a home where he’s the only pet


Dean #3525, a mastiff mix, has been with us almost half of his 4 1/2yrs of life. He’s a big boy who is really a bit shy and a mush. Staff & volunteers love him; he’s been to training and enjoys walks, playtime, cuddles and being close. He knows “sit” and is happy learning new things like “down.” He’s fine walking past other dogs on leash but would prefer to be the only dog in the home. Dean does have a silly and playful side and since he is a strong boy he would do best in an experienced home.

Mason (he's smirking!!)

Polar’s (#3987) one of our deafies. About 6yrs old, she’s been in the shelter 1/3 of her life.
A staff favorite, this beautiful girl was surrendered when her owner lost her home. Polar was really scared but has blossomed into a loving, sweet, submissive girl. She seems to understand hand signals… ‘thumbs up’ is her fav! She needs an experienced home, either as a single dog or one in which the family is familiar with deaf dog introduction. Since Polar can’t hear, she is mostly found in the back of her kennel sleeping, making it harder to find her home!


Forgotten Dogs at Town of Huntington Animal Shelter:
106 Deposit road
East Northport, NY 11731
(631) 754-8722

Sally is a 3 year-old pit mix who appears to have had little or no real human companionship. She has benefitted from her time at the shelter, learning basic obedience and working on her leash-walking. Sally needs to be the only pet in the home and would do best with older, teenage, children. Sally is sweet, but needs a firm and consistent handler. An experienced dog owner is preferred. Sally has been at the shelter for 2 years.


Jack is a happy boy who loves being around people. He is training on leash-walking but responds well to correction if needed. He plays well with other dogs and older children. He gets excited but never aggressive with human contact. Jack is neutered, negative for heart worm and up to date on his vaccinations. All dogs leave the shelter with HomeAgain microchip which is registered for life – Jack has been at the shelter for 1 year.


Cecil is a 3 yr old Pit bull turned in by his owner because they were movng. He is endless energy and needs lots of exercise and training. He is not for a first time dog owner. He needs a owner that is familiar how to train a dog and be consistant.  Cecil has been at the shelter for 3 yeas! 3 years. :(


Buddy is a 2 and a half year-old male Lurcher mix. ( Buddy was surrendered by his owner due to a housing complication. Buddy is a smart dog who has had a tough time adjusting to life in a shelter. His kennel behavior is poor and fear-based, but outside of his kennel Buddy is affectionate and playful – he has been in he shelter for 1 year.


Susie is a 6 yr old simply delightful girl who lost her home due to eviction. She is extremely sweet and affectionate despite her size! She loves when people play with her and is looking for the right family to love her! Do not let her size fool you: her heart is as big as her entire body! She has been in the shelter for 3 years – THREE years! :(


Stewy is a handsome boy around two years of age. He came in as a stray and so we have had to spend time getting to know him. What we have learned is that Stewy’s heart is a reflection of his stature, that is to say large. Stewy is working hard learning his basic commands and leash training. Due to his size, around 70 lbs, and tall, he would do best in a home with older teenage children. Potential adopters should be experienced as Stewy is sweet but needs consistent training right now. Stewy has been in the animal shelter for 1 year.


Forgotten Dogs at Town of Islip Animal Shelter:
210 South Denver Ave
Bay Shore, NY 11706
(631) 224-5660  or (631) 742-4491
Islip Animals

Hazel is a petite American Staffordshire Terrier mix who is roughly 3 years old. She came to the shelter on June 14, 2013. She has been in training for close to two years. She knows her basic commands, walks well on a leash and is housebroken. She needs to be the only animal in the home and would do best with older children. She loves playtime and belly rubs. Hazel’s adoption is paid for by Live.Love.Bark and she goes home with a collar, martingale, leash, a bed, bag of food, toys and treats and Free training for her is provided as well.


Sandy is a sweet female yellow Lab/ Pit mix, who is about 3 years old. She’s been at the shelter since November 11, 2013. She enjoys playtime, especially with squeaky toys and tennis balls. She would do great in an active home. She is currently in training and knows all of her basic commands, she walks nicely on a leash, and is house-trained. Sandy needs to be the only pet in the home, but gets along great with children. Sandy’s adoption is paid for by Live.Love.Bark and goes home with a collar, leash, bed, food, toys, and free training.


Scrabble is a handsome male Pit mix who is about two and a half years old. He’s been at the shelter since January 17, 2014. He is an active dog who loves to run and play. He knows all of his basic commands, walks well on a leash, and does wonderfully in public settings. Scrabble gets along with all dogs and cats. He would do best with older children due to his energy level. His adoption is paid for by Live.Love.Bark and he goes home with a collar, leash, bed, food, toys, and free training.


Momma is a petite Pit mix who came to the shelter pregnant and gave birth to her last litter of pups. She came in on May 6, 2014. She’s about 6 years old and loves to be outside, able to run around or go in the pool. Momma knows most of her basic commands and is house broken. Momma needs to be the only animal in the home and would do best with children five and up. Her adoption is paid for by Live.Love.Bark and she goes home with a collar, leash, bed, food, and more.


Desi is a female Pit who is about two years old. She has been at the shelter since June 14, 2014. She grew up in a cage. She is a good girl who is in training and getting proper socialization. Desi is an active girl who would do great with some room to run around. Desi needs a home without little children due to her energy and strength. She tested well with cats. Desi’s adoption is paid for by Live.Love.Bark and she goes home with a collar, leash, bed, toys, food, and more.


Cinnabon is an adorable female Pit mix who is about three years old. She just celebrated her one year anniversary at the shelter (11/6/14). This playful girl is very athletic and would make an incredible agility dog. She is a good listener and is learning her commands. She knows sit, down and come so far. She needs a home without other animals and would do best with children five and up due to her energy level. Cinnabon’s adoption is paid for by Live.Love.Bark and she goes home with a collar, leash, food, bed, toys and treats.


Emma was with us for nearly a year until we thought she was finally safe and in a forever home. She was adopted almost two years ago, and recently was returned because of the owner’s medical issues. Emma is a sweet Pit mix who is about 5 years old now. She knows her sit and come command and walks decently on a leash. She gets along great with children but needs a home without other animals. Emma’s adoption is paid for by Live.Love.Bark and she goes home with a collar, leash, bed, food, toys, and more.


Forgotten Dogs at North Fork Animal Welfare League – Towns of Riverhead & Southold Animal Shelter:
165 Peconic lane
Peconic, NY 11958
(631) 765-1811

Sasha is 4 years old love all people!! is great in the car!! Good with kids . She was found running loose two years ago during a blizzard.


Cinnie: I came to the shelter is 2011 I got lost from my family and could not find my way home. I ended up at the shelter and my family has never come looking. I have been here 4 years and want nothing more then a family. I love long walks, car rides, I know many commands and am told I am very smart and trainable. I would like to be the only pet in the home although I might be willing to share my family with a special dog.


: I am 4 years old and I love every human I meet! I was living in a car with my owner and another dog when a good Samaritan who was trying to make my life better took me. I know it was a really nice thought but I ended up in a tiny pen with many very loud dogs around me. I was so scared! A volunteer noticed how scared I was and asked the shelter to take me in. Thank goodness they did! Now I am waiting for my forever home! I have some special health needs. Spudster has been in the shelter for 1.5 years.


Titan is a sweet guy he loves to play and snuggle ! he is a volunteer favorite. No cats! 3 years old . He came in as a stray he was emaciated and had a terrible skin infection. He is now healthy and ready for his family! He has been at the shelter for about 2 years.


Gracie is 9 years old she was used as a backyard breeder for years. She lived outside in a pen all year long. She finally go away and ended up at the shelter . She is very sweet but must me the only animal!  Gracie has been at the shelter for 1.5 years.


Lefty is a sweet girl a little shy at first meeting but once she knows you she is a love. high energy girl who loves long walks and to play! Lefty has been at the shelter for over a year. She is good with some other dogs. (I personally met her last year, what a sweetie).


Coco was left behind when her owner moved. She loves people! Is ok with some other dogs. She loves to play! Coco has been in the shelter for over 1.5 years.


Forgotten dogs at Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter
75 Marino Avenue
Port Washington, New York 11050
(516) 767-4615
The Shelter Connection

Zeus: In Greek mythology he was the highest of the gods and we all think the highest of our Zeus too! At the shelter for over three years now, Zeus knows all of his basic commands and beyond, and would be grateful to share a home with a human companion as goofy and fun-loving as himself. Could you be that person?
Zeus has been at the shelter since December 2011. :(


Forgotten dogs at Smithtown Animal Shelter Foundation:

410 E Main St
Smithtown, NY 11787
(631) 360-7575

Dinah is a 4yr old spayed female Bull Terrier Mix. She came into the shelter as a stray on 2/10/14.  She gets along with most dogs, but does great with male dogs. She would be best in a home with no kids or cats. She is very intelligent, easy to train and has a lot of energy.


is a 4yr old female spayed pit bull. She was found as a stray and came into the shelter on 11/5/2012! She goes to the Dog Park and does great! But living in a home she becomes very dominant, and will do best as the only pet. No Cats! No small children, as Kiko is very strong and doesn’t know her own strength. She is 75 pounds of love!


is an 8yr old Pit Bull, and was surrendered by her owner to the shelter in 2013. Her owner had to move and could not take her. Stella gets along with some dogs, but she would do best in an only pet home, as she can be territorial. She does not like when people stick there hands in the kennel, because she is protecting her home. A calm household is what Stella is looking for with No cats. She is 56 pounds.


Forgotten dogs at Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation:
102 Old Riverhead Road West
Hampton Bays, NY 11946
(631) 728-7387

Cowboy has not had much in his lifetime & has spent most of his 7 years in a kennel. Cowboy is looking for a home where he can finally live his authentic self. Cowboy is smart, athletic, & loves physical & mental activities like fetch & tug. Cowboy is one smart dog & loves to please the people he loves. Cowboy has lots of training. No dog should sit in a shelter for a majority of their life but Cowboys has as he patiently waits for his forever home. Cowboy will snuggle, loves physical play time he’s your guy.


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28 Oct 15

Keep your Pets Safe on Halloween! ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

Keep your Pets Safe this Halloween!

I personally love Halloween – always have and now that our pets are more and more involved in the HOWL-o-ween celebrations with pet parades, costume contests, apple and pumpkin picking with our dogs – just love it!

But our pets can be really spooked by the creepy sites and sounds of trick-or-treaters, decorations, (and seriously – some of the decorations are gruesome and lifelike these days – and that can easily freak your pets out!), unfamiliar noises, the doorbell constantly ringing, etc.

Here are some simple tips to keep your pet safe at home on this haunted Halloween, and please share this to help others learn how to keep their pets safe while you’re having a bone chilling good time! ;)

Having a Halloween Party?

  • Provide a safe and secure place away from guests in costumes for your pet to be.  This can be a room away from the action and noise and if your dog is crate trained – have them inside their crate for added protection of them freaking out over Casper and reacting or trying to get out of the house!
  • Or if you need to Board your dog – if your worried about the comings and goings of people, trick or treaters, etc.
  • Remember kids and adults in costumes can be really scary for any pets – and the may react to those costumes in a way you were not expecting.
  • Even the most chill dog can be spooked or react – don’t set them up for failure – provide them that safe place.

Trick or Treaters:

  • Candy is super tempting to pets – be sure to keep that candy bowl for the trick or treaters out of reach from your pets. You don’t want to have to be at the ER with your pet because he or she ingested candy!
  • Don’t have your dog or cat at the door to greet trick or treaters.  You may think your pet is perfect and would never react or get scared and bolt out the door.  It just takes one time.

Walking your pet while trick or treating with your kids?

  • This is a know your dog situation!  NO DENIAL about your dog’s behavior here.  I have personally taken both of my dogs in the past with my niece trick or treating – because they were well socialized and not freaked out by decorations, costumes, etc.  If I had a super nervous dog or dog that would react to such things – I would not have brought them along.
  • Always have proper up-to-date ID on your dog.  Just in case you drop the leash, or he gets loose while out trick or treating. Dog forbid!
  • If you are unsure of how your do might react – leave him home!

Dressing Fido up in a costume?

  • Makesure the costume is fitted properly – that your pet can see, hear, walk normally and does not have dangling pieces of the costume that could get caught on something or they may eat.
  • Only dress your pet up if they don’t mind.  My last dog Max – no way he was wearing a costume – he hated any kind of clothing!
  • Dress your pet up a few times to get them used to the costume in 5 minute increaments (with rewards!) and they might get used to it and not mind.  But don’t force it if your pet is unhappy.

Happy HOWL-o-ween!

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21 Oct 15

How I saved my dog from Surgery ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Why is that pet emergencies always seem to happen on the weekend and at night?  Right?  You always hear about some awful story or you have gone through it yourself when you pet is presenting with an emergency and it’s never on a Tuesday at 10am.  A couple weeks ago, my dog Cody was not himself – lethargic and then started throwing up in the late afternoon (5:30pm on a Saturday) and continued to do so for another hour.  I am not one to rush to an emergency ER vet hospital over a dog throwing up.  But Cody was throwing up a lot and seemed to be in some pain – if you touched his abdomen, which was normal in size, he would tense up and started shaking.  He was not Bloating – just to be clear. (If you don’t know the symptoms of bloat you should – it could save your dog’s life!)

His gums were pink – and he was slightly dehydrated from what I could tell.  But it was the pain that was worrying me.  So at 6:45pm on that Saturday night – we were off to the ER Veterinary Hospital.  Of course when we got there he was wagging his tail very excited to see people – but even through that I could tell he was not feeling well.

In the exam room the vet tech asked me a ton of questions about his symptoms – and I explained that a few days earlier he had grabbed a mouthful of oak tree acorns, (the oblong shaped ones), but that he had passed most of them.  She took all the info and while waiting to get the doctor – Cody threw up again – so much, I didn’t know where all that fluid was coming from. Already worried, this was not helping my worrysome state.

The doctor came in and asked me pretty much the same questions the vet tech did and she suggested x-rays to make sure there was not a blockage.  Which is the reason I was there with him.  I have only had Cody for 5 months at this time and never had a dog that ate acorns – so I wanted them to do an x-ray.  A little while later – they took him to do x-rays and blood work.

After another 1/2 hour or so – the doctor came back with his x-rays:

The doctor said, “this is not good.” I said, “what is that?” I felt my face get hot – this did not look good!  She explained that his intestines were expanded 2 or 3 times their normal size.  I said, “oh that is all gas in there – that is would explain he was farting so much today.”  She nodded.  She explained that the next step would be to have a radiologist look at them to see if he could see any obvious blockage but that they highly suggested surgery in a case like this.  Now of course I want the best for my dog – but I didn’t want him go through surgery.  As she kept explaining it to me and telling me the cost could be anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000 grand for the surgery (remember we were at an Emergency ER).  My head was starting to swirl.   Then as she was talking I literally said out loud “WAIT – Wait wait wait.”  I am going to call my regular vet, I have his cell phone and text him the X-rays – do you mind.  The vet said, not at all – please do send it to him.

So panicked I called my vet, at 9:30pm on his cell phone, – rambling to him the situation and he said, ok text me the X-rays.  I did.  He called me back 2 minutes later and said, “do NOT do surgery.”  I said, “I knew you were going to say that!”  He then gave the vet there his suggestion of what to do, keep him overnight, IV, meds, etc.  Which they did.  He said, have them do the x-rays again in the morning and if they do not change then have them do surgery.   In the meantime the radiologist had said they we should do surgery – but the ER vet also sent the x-rays to their surgeon who said she couldn’t see anything specific and she was comfortable with my vets suggestions.

Now mind you this would have been exploratory surgery.  They could not see for sure if any acorns were logged in his intestional track.  Which, I was told exploratory surgery  is common.  Advocating for my dog so he wouldn’t have to go through a possible unnecessary surgery.  You have to be informed and adovcate for your pet – knowing full well I am not a veterinarian – which is why I called my vet for him to look at the x-rays.

So when I left Cody there – the vet said, we will moniter him and if anything changes throughout the night we will call you – I said absolutely.  And they would do a new set of x-rays in the morning.  I left, went home and tried to get some sleep.  My phone did NOT ring.  When I woke up I knew in my gut, not Cody’s gassy one, that he would be ok.

The ER hospital called me around 7:45am to tell me Cody did well during the night and that they did a 2nd set of x-rays and they only looked slightly better.  My panic started to set back in.  I said please email the X-rays so I can look and send them to my vet.  About 1/2 hour later I got the email, expecting the worst:

I literally said, ‘Wow’ outloud when I opened them, only slight better.  Looks a lot better to me and I am not a vet.  So I texted the photo’s to my vet asked him what he thought – and in the meantime, was waiting to hear back from the ER vet again – on what the radiologist and their surgeon said.  They also now quoted me $6,000 to $8,000 grand for the exploratory surgery – I said, “how does that go up $2,000 overnight?”  That was just and estimate.  Then I said, “well if he does need surgery I will not have it done there.” $8,000 for surgery they are not sure if anything is even there – seemed, well crazy to me.  The vet was very nice and said, she completely understood if I wanted to bring him elsewhere – but would I be able to find a vet to do it.  Yes, I am fortunate I am in the pet industry and know a lot of veterinarians.   So with my wheels spinning I started to make a few phone calls and found a vet who was willing to come in and do the surgery at their hospital AND my own vet got back to me and said he would come in (on his day off) if he needed surgery and do it.  How amazing is that?

The hospital was still saying he could need surgery.  I said, “what about the ultrasound that I was told the next step would be (if his xrays were still inconclusive).”  ”We don’t want you to incur the cost of an ultrasound if he needs surgery.”  What?  So I said, “I would rather pay for an ultrasound then Cody have to go through massive invasive surgery if they are still not sure about any blockage.”

Then the radiologist got back and said, he would not suggest surgery.  ”But our surgeon said he would do surgery if it was his dog” – I said, “Well it’s not his dog, so please get the specialist in to do the ultrasound.”  The vet agreed and I went up to the hospital to sign for the ultrasound and waited THREE hours for the specialist to come in (which is not any fault of the ER vet – this guy was on call), but I was pretty pissed off.  I said, last night you guys were pushing for surgery and this guy is taking his sweet time to get here.   (Also saying to the front office staff – I completely understand it’s not their fault – but still why isn’t anyone on staff that can do an ultrasound?)

Finally the ultrasound was done – they called me into the exam room – and guess what it was deteremined that NO surgery was needed there was NO blockage. WOHOOO!!!

Cody had to stay one more night on the IV and meds and I picked him up the next day.   He was diagnosed with: Gastroenteritis which eating those acorns can cause.

It took him about a week and a half to be fully back to normal (digestion wise) but he was basically 90% better the next day.

A few things, one I think the ER vet took very good care of Cody.  I understand the crazy high costs (they have a big overhead to cover) and their suggestions were based on Cody’s xrays and their experience-AND they were willing to work with me on everything I asked them to do, and were fine with me talking to my vet and others. They were also all very polite, nice while dealing with me and loved Cody.  So with that said, I am grateful that we are forunate to have many ER vets on Long Island to take our pets to – on a Saturday night.  If they were not open or nearby – I am not sure what I would have done – Cody would for sure have been sicker and in a lot of pain waiting through the night to go to his own vet on a Sunday.

  • But what I will say – whether your a new pet owner or seasoned pet owner, in the pet industry or not – is ASK a lot of questions, Get 2nd or 3rd opinions if you can.
  • Are there other options available for your pet?
  • Have your own vet’s cell phone # handy (develop a good relationship with your vet so you can call him/her in the case of an emergency)
  • Be your pets advocate. Always.
  • Even though our emotions can take over in these cases – stop yourself from being completely overwhelmed and THINK!  (If I let my emotions handle the situation…it probably would have not turned out this way)
  • Become more informed about your pets health, take a pet 1st aid and CPR class – you never know how that knowledge will help you.

And of course every situation is different – and I knew Cody was not bloating – in that kind of emergency – life saving surgery is an absolute – there is no other option if your dog is bloating.

Oh yea, and don’t let your dog eat acorns and other odd stuff.  I am hoping Cody’s acron (doggie crack) obession is just puppyhood problems.  We’ll see – he has learned leave and DROP it much better now – but he is not giving any opportunity to eat any acorns. Sheesh, silly adorable boy!