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Lame pup...WAY lamer veterinarian

(WARNING: SERIOUS RANT AHEAD…)

Yesterday, Ella injured her front left leg while we were out in Central Park. Ella grew tired of the Jack Russell Terrier who couldn’t decide whether he wanted to snap at her or sniff her, so she decided she’d rather say hello to his owner. She jumped up to greet him, he backed up a little, her jump was cut short by a taut leash, and she came down off balance and landed on her side.

The fall wasn’t so different than the other falls she has as a reckless puppy on a daily basis, but this time, she didn’t get up immediately. When she did finally get up, she came up lame, limping on her front left leg. We were very deep into the park at that point and it was a long way back home. I carried her as far as I could, but Ella’s getting big and momma’s got guns but even her arms of steel can only take so much. Anyway, mean momma made Ella hobble the rest of the way, and we eventually made it home.

I was hoping she’d rest it off, and that she was just scared and a little bruised, but today it seems she’s worse than yesterday. I tried to take her for a little walk around the block after work but she looked AWFUL, to the point I thought her leg was dislocated. On the verge of a panic attack, I scooped her up and brought her back inside so I could call her vet.

I called a little after 6pm and the office was already closed – I guess that’s my fault for calling “so late”. The answering service picked up, asked if it was an emergency (and panicked momma naturally said “yes” even though finding someone to calm me down was really probably more of an emergency than attending to Ella’s leg), took my number, and assured me she’d have someone call me right away.

That was 4-and-a-half hours ago. And guess what? STILL NO CALL!!!

I don’t care whether the underlying cause of Ella’s limp is simply a pine needle stuck in her paw pad, the job of a veterinarian…and the point of a messaging service…is to assess the situation and provide appropriate and timely care. I mean, what if her leg were broken? Is that not enough of an emergency to warrant a call back? Now, I don’t think it is broken, but the woman who took my message certainly didn’t ask enough questions to know that. What story should I tell next time I call that would elicit a response from this vet? A needle in the eye? A fish hook in the nose? Swallowed my razor? Ate 5 boxes of those chocolate peanut butter girl scout cookies? Would ANY of those work, do you think?

Well, all I know is I’m not sticking with this ridiculous vet long enough to find out. Truth is, this isn’t the first time I’ve been turned off by his practice…when Ella was 9 weeks old I was concerned she had kennel cough. I had just been in to see him a few days before, and he told me to keep an eye out for certain symptoms and call back if it worsened. The symptoms did worsen and I called back at 9am on a Saturday morning to get her in for further evaluation, only to be told by the receptionist that they were “really slammed” that day but I should call back Monday afternoon to try to make an appointment! Not only would they not make room for me that weekend, but she couldn’t even be bothered to schedule an appointment for me…I had to call again in a few days! Ridiculous.

So, here we go folks. This is one of the perks of having your own blog – you have the forum to tell the truth and the audience to listen! If you ever find yourself in NYC on the UES, avoid this vet (I know I will from here on out…):

Country Vets
Thomas DeVincentis, DVM, PC
430 East 75th Street
New York NY 10021
Ph (212) 535-3250
Fax (212) 744-6983

SHAME ON YOU!! How could you disregard this sweet face???




"My leg hurts momma...why won't the doctor call back?" *sniffle sniffle*



Anyway, first order of business tomorrow morning is to call a decent veterinarian and get Ella checked out. Fingers crossed it really is just a sprain…

Here’s a short clip of Ella’s little limp. I can’t really get any good footage of it while she’s inside. You can really see her favoring it when she's outside and scurrying along like a three-legged gimp...but you can at least see her hobble about with a sad pout...







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