Quick! I need to figure out fast how to put Henry on my health insurance plan. Apparently, in my ongoing effort to maintain the standard of living in which this Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has become accustomed, he’s costing me a fortune. So I’m wondering, can I claim him as my spouse or partner? After all, he does tend to nag me a lot.
Yes, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is high maintenance and très demanding when it comes to matters of health. The way I see it, if I can’t figure out how to add him to my plan, then I may need to take out a second mortgage on my home.
One recent Saturday morning, while Henry and I were on our usual morning constitutional, I saw red. And by that I mean, I saw blood in his stool. Naturally, I panicked, pretty sure it was a sign of impending doom. Driving like a mad woman to the veterinarian’s office, I was sure the end was near. Luckily, the receptionist knows just how important this little fellow is to me, so despite being completely booked, she squeezed Henry in right away. Which means, about two hours later, it was Henry’s turn to see the doctor. After all, time was of the essence.
Poor Henry took it on the chin. And on the rear, too, as he was made to endure an intense examination as well as a series of blood tests, feces sample, and X-rays. Not to mention the questions that I had to undergo. They sat me in a corner, in a dimly lit, windowless, exam room, with one lamp dangling over my head, and asked:
“When did you first notice the problem?”
“How long has he been acting lethargic?”
“Is he getting enough sleep? Enough water?”
“What have you been feeding him?”
“How did he seem to you last night? Last week? Last month?”
“Where were you on the night of the 28th?”
“When exactly did you realize you had failed Henry?”
The vet, leaving no stone unturned in his attempt to discover what was wrong with Henry, determined that my dog was 10% dehydrated. Ten percent. How could I have let it get this far? Not sure, but I figured that the lack of water must have gone straight to his tail, because it was slumped down like a wet pig down his backside, curled underneath him with no plans to wag anytime soon. Not wanting to take any risks, for the next hour, Henry was put on IV, with a special supply of liquids that resembled Gatorade.
I was sent home with a case of veterinary approved dog food, to keep him “regular,” and three different medicines—including antibiotics—to be taken for the next two weeks. The cost for all this? A mere $469.
And when the results came back what did he have? Not much, but a momentary lapse in good health. Turns out, my Henry is a survivor!
Fast forward three weeks and it’s time for Henry’s annual physical and shots—Distemper/Hepatitiis/Parvo, Bortadella and Rabies. Overall, Henry gets a clean bill of health, although the doctor does see telltale signs of gingivitis, tartar and, perish the thought, periodontal disease. Which is why, the doctor says I must bring him back early next year for an all out cleaning, which involves having to put him under. Projected costs for a teeth cleaning? About $300.
Cost for the physical? $160. It would have cost an additional $80 if I’d said yes to doing a blood panel, but I figure we’ve seen enough blood for one month.
I know some people have two or more pets, and frankly, I don’t know how they do it. It’s all I can do to stay afloat with just Henry.
Which is why I’m in a medical pickle. Next time open enrollment comes along at work–and I think it’s coming up soon–I’m going to sign him up. Maybe, I’ll list him as my dependent, which technically is true, for I’ve yet to see the boy nail a job. Yep, that’s what I’ll do. He’s my son. Yeah, that’s the ticket.