Thursday, December 29, 2011

Million Dollar Baby

"I'm worth every penny."

Well, it is no secret that we have spent a lot of money on Riley Greyhound's medical bills this year.  Hock surgery, six times on the table for x-rays, splint changes, and K-laser treatments really start to add up after awhile.  I don't think even Katie's bills for treatment and rehab for paralysis back in 2007 exceeded the bills of our Million Dollar Baby... okay, so I am exaggerating a little... a lot.  But Million Dollar sounds better than the actual figure.
So to add more insult to our injured bank account, the Million Dollar Baby gets a stupid puncture.  I have no idea what caused the wound, but it was very painful and thankfully bled generously (bleeding helps to flush it out).  I do not rush out for antibiotics very often, but thought it would be wise for this one.  Otherwise, I treated the wound myself.  I kept it clean, soaked it in diluted chlorhexiderm, and gave her the prescribed antibiotics.  The bright side is that she punctured her RIGHT hind foot.  With a surgical screw on the left hock, I would have been sick with worry if she was limping on the left. 
Well, it has been 13 days and the stupid hole is still there!  And it is still draining periodically and occasionally she limps.  Most of the time she is sound, but sometimes limps after she jogs a couple of miles, runs agility, or plays fetch... but only sometimes.  So I started to worry that maybe there was something foreign inside the hole.  I took her to the vet and we x-rayed it. Dr. C was concerned that maybe the joint was damaged, but nothing on the x-ray suggested any kind of joint damage or foreign body. 

Riley's bone structure is a little funny looking though, so we compared it to some of her July right hock x-rays (taken to compare to the fractured hock).  The top of her foot just happened to be included in the picture so we were able to compare it to today's x-ray.  All was the same and normal for Riley (thank goodness for that hock fracture, right?). 
Dr. C finished up by culturing the fluid coming from Riley's puncture and started her on a different antibiotic while we await the results. I will continue with the chlorhexiderm soaks.  Luckily, she is sound 95% of the time so he thought it was fine to continue to do what we do.  Thank goodness because Riley's return to agility trials is a week away!  Another couple hundred dollars for our Million Dollar Baby and my fingers are crossed that the new antibiotic will do the trick.  I hope Year 2012 is a cheap year for vet bills, but I love my Million Dollar Baby anyway.

17 comments:

gyeong said...

We have become very proficient at cleaning up nicks, scrapes, and punctures, but still manage to quite a bill at the vet for one reason or another. Instead of a college fund, we have a greyhound vet fund.

Tucker The Crestie said...

Oh, dear ... poor Riley! (And poor you!) I have my own MDB here ... Finn the cat. He'll be two years old here soon and I feel like I've spent more on vet bills for him than all the rest of the crew combined. For awhile there he was at the vet's once a week, if not more. They thought he had a chest mass at one point, which led to a lot of worry and a lot of very expensive consultations with specialists, all for naught. He was just runty and run down from four months on the streets and had a URI that wouldn't quit. Then he had the seizure. And the weird, unexplained eye injury. Fortunately he's been injury and illness free for several months now, knock wood. Hope Riley is better soon!

Mad Red Hare said...

Funny that you call her that. I call my Sadie "million dollar baby" too. She has heart problems, not to mention that she is always doing something to one of her toes. Our group put out a report to the board members showing expenses on foster dogs and when Sadie was a foster, she was the number 3 most expensive dog. Not that it's anything to brag about. Just wanted to let you know you have good company in the "million dollar baby" club!

Claire Krigbaum said...

Ugh, do I know the feeling! Well, I thankfully have not had to spend THAT kind of money on my guys yet but we do seem to be always at the vet for something.
Amber has had a urinary infection of some sort for a few weeks now. I first noticed something was wrong because she peed in my car. We did a urinalysis and put her on antibiotics. After testing her urine again, there is still blood and crystals in it. So now we're doing a culture too, a urine culture. Then hopefully we'll know what kind of antibiotics to put her on to kill it.
How weird that the hole is not healing! Why can't anything just be easy?
Wishing you and the hounds a healthy 2012!

jcp said...

if only their med bills were a tax write off. What a roller coaster.

Hiking Hounds said...

Ouch! We've had some of those wounds that just won't heal too. It's very frustrating and the worrying is the worst. Since Zephyr's immune system has been so suppressed it's even worse. His skin has become very thin and he gets scraped and cut very easily and then some take many weeks to heal. I'm right there with you on the vet bills. I wish there was a "Law of Vet Bills" that said something like the more you spend the less you have to worry. I'd be worry free, but somehow it seems to actually work in the opposite direction. ;-) Tax free vet bills would be awesome. Here's to fast healing for Riley!

angelofthemind said...

Poor Riley! I hope she feels better and that you all go on to have a wonderful, blessedly cheap, 2012!

Granted Wishes Greyhounds said...

Funny, I spent $311 at the vet today for routine stuff... I know the feeling. :) I hope Riley is all better in time for her agility trials! Go girl!

Fun story to share, on-topic:
JoJo stepped on a thorn about the size of your pinkie finger, and punctured her left rear foot. Luckily, it caught her in the webbing between her toes (IDK how we got THAT lucky) and it healed in a week with no complications. The screaming was awful, the look of the thorny branch in my baby's foot was terrifying, and her surrender to me pulling it out of her foot to get her to the vet was, shall we say, quite a bonding experience. She's trusted me more than anyone else ever since.

Trina said...

I know the feeling.. Dante and Henry are jockeying for that spot in my household this year. But the price of a 'senior palace' I suppose. I hope Riley's foot gets better soon.

andrea said...

JUMPING ... .enough million dollar baby enough!! Leave your poor folks bank account alone ... and get sound! I need me more agility fixes!

houndstooth said...

I feel your pain! Last year Blueberry was our million dollar baby. Between the cancer lump and the broken toe, she's lucky I don't make her live in a bubble wrap suit!

Muttsandaklutz said...

Wow, seems like one thing after another and jeez it all adds up rrrrreal fa$t. Here's to a less costly 2012 for you guys.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Sounds like I am not the only one with an expensive pet.... I wishing you all a cheap 2012!

Kini_pella said...

Oh no! Riley!!!

Her face looks so grey in that top photo, btw. Anyway, I hope she heals up fast in time for her agility!

Sue aka Greyhound Lover said...

Hope she heals quickly and makes her agiliy trials! Know how it feels being swamped with huge vet bills, thank goodness for insurance but even the excess we're paying on Lucky right now is enough to scare you to death. Mind you I guess we'll all agree their worth every darn penny xxx

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

Isn't it funny the money we spend on the dogs? I made sure Layla got everything needed (including preventative visits to a physical therapist), but I stopped going to physical therapy because I couldn't afford it. Priorities, you know.

Robbi said...

Just found your blog this morning and am really enjoying it. We have adopted 7 ex- racers since '97 and have 3 with us right now. (9,8 and 4) It's great to know there are other people that love their greys as much as we do.It's such a blessing to have them in our lives. May 2012 be a happy, healthy year for all of us.
Robbi