My family had numerous pets while I was growing up:
- Several dogs.
- Quite a few cats
- Baby chicks (Yes, baby chicks. You read that right - we brought them home after they were incubated in the classroom, but gave them away when they became chickens!)
- A frog
- 3 (maybe more?) turtles
- 4 rabbits
- A horse
My children have had a few pets, but not nearly as many as my sisters and I did:
- 3 fish
- 1 turtle
- 1 cat
- 1 dog
I have no memory of where or who the vet my parents used might have been. The only times that I know of when they took our pets to the vet were the following:
- My grandmother's cat (transported, hissing in a fabric laundry bag) when he was severely injured in a fight.
- Our sheepdog, after he pounced on and bit a porcupine. He had so many quills in his paws and throat, anesthesia had to be given before they could be removed.
- My Irish Setter, a tumor (found to be benign) was removed from her shoulder.
I'm sure that perhaps our pets received immunizations and some check-ups, of which my memory is just hazy. I do know, however, that my parents never visited a veterinarian with anywhere close to the same sort of frequency that I have.
I drew the line at fish. They never saw a vet! But, when our goldfish became ill, I did scour the Internet for a cure, and treated them with a variety of medications. One fish survived (for a few more years) and the other did not. The Beta fish‚ lived only a short life with us, and was greatly mourned.
The turtle was a summer pet, released back into the wild by my small children in time to hibernate, probably better nourished and healthier than when he wandered into our lives!
Our cat and dog? Let's just say I could probably set my car on auto-pilot and it would find its way to the vet! You won't believe what their medical history entails:
- Annual checkups and vaccinations.
- A series of steroid injections for the cat, due to a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome.
- A barium swallow, X-rays and special dog food when the dog was a puppy.
- Several rounds of eye drops; and I've become skilled at obtaining urine samples from the dog!
- A horrible bout of kennel cough (dog) and a wet sneezy cold (cat).
- Surgeries (4 for the cat and 2 for the dog.) Even as I write this, I can hardly believe that myself!
I'm not sure. But, I do know that every pet I have every owned has been extremely well-loved!
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How well do you know your vet?