Saturday, October 2, 2010

Charlie's visit to Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital

So today me and Charlie went to Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital - we went there after having had a horrible experience at our longtime vet Carnegy Hospital - and being turned down trying to get metacam - a drug that Charlie's been taken on and off his whole life whenever he's been in pain because he's had problems with arthritis and his front shoulder and knees for years. I'm in an interesting position because I've got this blog that I've been publicly documenting the daily lives of my dogs for the past 7 years - so I can go back and check how often Charlie has been to the vet and all the times he's had major life occurrences - it's all documented here.

Yesterday when I was at the vet the receptionist said that I hadn't had Charlie there in 2 years - their paperwork is as bad as their friendliness is - Charlie was at Carnegy's this past December because he had a case of old man knees that I was worried about, so even though I only take my dogs to the vet when they're sick - ie I don't believe in vaccinations and giving my vets free money - they still go to the vet regularly and whenever there's even minor problems.
So today we went to Westwood Hills and had an entirely different experience and got some good results.

Charlie has osteo-arthritis and some dysplasia in his front elbows - but his liver and kidney readings both came out good and his heart was strong - so his health overall is good - he just has a body that is typical of a dog that has had both of his back ACL's blown earlier in his life (which Charlie's have done) - and it's now just spreading through his body.

He's not really a candidate for any kind of surgery - so it's a matter of just managing his pain and making him comfortable - so giving him metacam is the thing to do - so what I was trying to give him yesterday is actually correct.

Glucosamine won't really help a dog at his age because it's more of a preventive, and he's at a stage where he's on the downside, so I shouldn't worry too much about finding a glucosamine that works for him.

He has gained about 20 pounds since he had his anal tumour 2 years ago, which to me is good news - it tells me that he probably doesn't have any cancer in him - because if he did, he wouldn't have gained weight. - He used to weigh 90 pounds - and when he had his tumour - he went down to 77 pounds - and since then he has gone back up to 95 pounds - which he was today - which really surprised me. So he could stand to lose a couple pounds - but I am a little bit happy to have my big dog back.

All of this has given me the idea to start a new page on my Charlie loves Halifax page though - I'm going to have a page for veterinarians in the HRM - it's going to list out the veterinarians locally - and if people want to send in recommendations about their own vets - I'll put it there.

I won't have anything negative - only positive things - so that if people are looking for a new vet - it will give them a place to go and have a look around and choose a vet based on what people are saying.

It will however perhaps NOT list certain vets. There will be glaring omissions. Which is the discretion of the website owner.

I have to say that I've gotten close to 30 emails in the last 24 hours about Carnegy's Animal Hospital, which says something about that clinic.

They don't need regular dog owners money I guess - gathering sperm and artificially inseminating breeder bitches must be lucrative enough.


  1. Hey Joan,

    I'd recommend my vet, Acres Animal Hospital - very friend vets with social events and family atmosphere - I'm able to get same day appointments no problem.

  2. Super! Thanks Tristan!

  3. I read about your sad experience at Carnegy hospital. Glad to see you find respite from all those agonizing moments, being a pet parent, finally.

  4. Funny. You're not going to have anything negative, but the glaring omissions will be your way of avoiding yet more legal action. You're huge!

  5. That is pawsome, Joan! So glad Charlie & you had a much more positive experience. To have him suffer pain un-necessarily - is unacceptable!

    If you want to list a couple of vet clinics here in PEI, I can send them to you. My own vet is awesome & we use another clinic that gives us exceptional care & prices for dogs in our foster homes.

    I know readers from outside NS read your blog too, so a few vet listings from around the Maritmes might be a good idea.

    (((Hugs)) your friends
    Oskar, Schatzi & Xena

  6. I have always firstly judged a clinic on their front line staff - if they're rude or make me feel like I'm some kind of interloper, I'm outta there. Harbour Cities is by far the best vet I've ever used. They're always there for us, *always* kind, and I love the vets just as much as the girls out front. Niblet recently got mauled by a dog and was with them from Thursday to Monday with xrays, hospitalization, steroids and pain killers - I expected a bill of $1,000 or so and I was thorougly amazed (and very impressed) when I got my bill. I'm sure they charged me less than half of what they could have, and one of the technicians even went in on Sunday to look after her when she didn't have to. Dr. M spends as much time kissing and snuggling my cats as she does treating them and Dr. V is just an all-around caring person. I love them all there and will never switch clinics.
    I've had bad experiences at Carnegy's clinic when I went there with the SPCA fosters - I always felt like I was going into the place where all the 'cool kids' hung out and wasn't welcome, and Dr. C seems too busy or absent-minded to give a shit...

  7. we only go to westwood now, they are professional, friendly, and answer the phone on the first ring. far more than i can say for other vets in the area.