July 3, 2014

Toby’s Annual Checkup

Posted in: Dog

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^ Toby waiting for the vet to call him into his room.

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^ Inside the vet’s room, the vet eplaining what he is going to do to Toby.

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^ All done for another year with a clean bill of health.

Today Toby had his annual checkup at our local vet. Toby really enjoys going to the vet even though each time he goes, he is either there because of an injury, getting a needle stuck in him or a thermometer up the bottom. I think the smell of all the dogs and the constant treats makes up for the slight discomfort of it all. For Toby, an annual checkup includes his teeth, coat and skin checked, his heartbeat listened to, a thermometer up the bottom and a booster vaccination to maintain immunity. Toby was given a clean bill of health and I was reminded that I should keep Toby’s oral hygiene up by brushing his teeth. Even though his teeth are in excellent condition due to a good diet of high quality kibble, the vet reminded me that brushing his teeth would prevent expensive trips to the vet later on in life, if his teeth build up decay. You want to avoid your dog getting bad dental decay because the only way to fix it is by going to the vet. To clean a dog’s teeth at the vet costs around $600, which is not only crazy expensive but they also have to give them local anesthetic, as your pooch has to be asleep to allow the vet to give their teeth a very thorough clean, and giving them a local anesthetic is something you want to avoid.

I’m going to try again to get Toby to allow me to brush his teeth. We have tried in the past but it is such an ordeal. Today the vet told me that I need to let Toby lick the doggy toothpaste, which is flavoured, off my finger each day for about 4 to 6 weeks. He needs to learn to associate the toothpaste with a positive experience. After 4 to 6 weeks I should start putting my finger in his mouth and try to get some of the toothpaste on his teeth for a few weeks before moving on to the toothbrush. We will see how we go. I would love to know if anyone has ever successfully brushed their pooch’s teeth. Toby is such a chiller in all other areas of life, I really thought we could nail this whole tooth brushing thing, but it is just one thing that Toby won’t let us do.

The 15 minute visit to the vet cost me $110 but because I have pet insurance it only ended up costing $20. Growing up, I remember my parents always umming and ahing whether to take our dogs to the vet. It was always an expensive visit and due to the costs, my parents only ever took them to the vet if there was something seriously wrong. Andrew and I have eliminated the worry of how much a trip to the vet costs by getting pet insurance. We are with Medicare Private Pet Insurance and pay $30 a month. That may seem like a lot but we have already got our money’s worth, saving about 80% on each vet’s bill and it allows us to never hesitate when we need to take Toby to the vet.

So, another clean bill of health for the Wigglebottom. It is always nice to hear the vet say he is in perfect condition. It makes you feel that you are doing the right thing for your pooch and providing them with the best quality life possible.

What about you? Do you have pet insurance? Do you avoid the vet due to the expense of a visit?