With my daughters leaving the parental “nest,” my love for dogs and pets in general, reached a new high.
Please don’t take it wrong, I stay within the limits of not going bankrupt because I have to pay vet bills, but still, must confess most of the “big item” purchases are somewhat connected to care for my furry companions.
In this spirit, I take Sophie to be groomed at Petsmart, 2-3 times a year. Primarily, to be shaved before the summer comes and her claws to be trimmed.
She hates it. I don’t blame her, but at times we don’t know what’s good for us, and Mother knows best!
At the very end of April, I took Sophie to be groomed for the summer. Everything went as expected. The groomer at the Petsmart in Harrisburg was soft spoken and loving and I felt I left my Princess in good hands, and so it seemed.
The summer was uneventful, Sophie, the senior of the pack of three, still rules. She is completely deaf, but that doesn’t bother her at all. As a matter of fact, she uses it to her advantage! Her “voice,” definitely makes undeniable statements and to pharaphrase, the saying: “The louder bark gets the… favorite food, the ice-cubed water, being carried up the steps…
Deafness works for Sophie! Another example of how adversity could be used in one’s favor!
This story would be utterly boring if I continued to praise Sophie for another 500 words. I’s be like one of those new mothers who talks about her baby’s poop consistency when she meets with her not yet married girlfriends, and at the end is surprised no one touched their lunch! No… I wouldn’t do this to you, my friends and readers.
So… here is the POINT in the story where the plot changes. Drama happens! Please stay with Sophie!
About a month ago, I noticed Sophie was chewing at her left front paw and on a closer look, I noticed the paw was infeced and bloody, as Sophie was trying to heal a CLAW which curled into the FLESH of her front paw! I checked the right paw as well, to only discover BOTH these claws, called DEW claws have been MISSED when she was groomed, and were NOT trimmed! Missed several times, as the grows does not happen overtime! A litte lesson in the anatomy of the dog paws: The FRONT paws ONLY have FIVE claws. The claws called dew, are on the side, similar to our thumbs. The back paws only have four claws. So, if the trainer (I assume there is a trainer at Petsmart) doesn’t TELL the aspiring groomers the well kept secret of the dew claws, it is easy to miss, since one doesn’t know it’s there!
I called Petsmart and the “Salon” Manager, a cute young woman, after consulting with one of the senior groomers, had to agree with me: The Petsmart groomer MISSED Sophie’s drew claws and now she needed to be seen by a vet!
Call me old fashioned, but I was expecting the Salon Manager, if for no other purpose, but to keep her job or get a Christmas bonus, to call Corporate,” to call a vet, as it had been determined the situation was serious and Patsmart was at fault and a Petsmart groomer was NOT qualified to care for the dew claw.
Yeah… I was expecting some sort of a fake display of empathy!
None of this happened. The young woman handed me a card with the name of the General Manager of Petsmart on it and a phone number from the Corporate. I explained to her, Sophie’s Vet died and we were in the process of switching vets, could Petsmart help me make an appointment, since she had an infection thanks to the lack of knowledge of their groomer? She gave me the phone number of a Veterinary Hospital up the street from them. Sophie and I were on OUR OWN!!!
Sophie in my arms, I drove over the suggested veterinarian hospital, to only find out, their FIRST available for NEW patients was in three weeks! The man at the reception desk suggested I take her elsewhere, since she was infected.
I figured if they were busy and also were sending me elsewhere, that was actually a good sign. It showed me they were honest and not greedy for more business in the detriment of a poor job, and also they must have been good since their first appointment was in three weeks. Call it twisted Romanian thinking, but I stuck with it! In other words, I decided to wait the three weeks so, my Princess could see the vet who I thought was a good, responsible professional.
The ONLY problem was, how to keep Sophie comfortable for a few weeks? Was I endangering her life? She had an infection, pain and the dew claw kept growing and curling into the flesh of her paw!
Here’s what I did. I am NOT suggesting anyone follows this unorthodox protocol, but it doesn’t hurt to share and it worked.
The major problem when our companion animals have a wound, is their desire to chew or leak it, thus making the problem more complicated.
Here’s what to do to avoid this major problem:
I disinfected the entire paw with hydrogen peroxide. It is not as painful on contact as alcohol. If the open wound is infected, you will notice the wound becomes whitish and it bubbles. I continued to drop (NOT rub) the hydrogen peroxide on the infected area until it stopped changing the color and was no longer whitish.
The next step was “putting” a cotton sock on the ENTIRE front leg. The highest the sock, the more difficult to take off.
To secure it better, I used a twisty (one of those from the supermarket) and made sure I didn’t tie too tight to prevent the flow of blood, I secured the sock stayed on.
When Sophie had to go out, I removed the sock and when she came back I repeated the entire process.
You could also use Triple Antibiotic Ointment instead of hydrogen peroxide, but somehow, I liked the hydrogen peroxide better. I guess, that “bubbling assured me something WAS happening!)
Last Friday, the much anticipated day arrived at last and Sophie saw her new vet.
There was a lot of blood, a lot of pain, but also I lot of obvious empathy and love for her suffering!
In conclusion, this is how because of a bad experience at Petsmart Grooming, we found a new good veterinary Hospital: Harrisburg Area Animal Hospital. Thank you for your professionalism and empathy.
After all, there IS a silver lining in everything. It’s worth our time to search for it. No matter how small… it’s there. Keep on looking and you shall find it.