The saga of the Italian Vet continues. What I thought would be wrapped up with the fifth vet visit (see details here), was not to be for us or poor Millie. More trips to the Ambulatorio Veterinario (vet clinic) for our clan.
The Fifth Visit
On this visit, the vet said that she had consulted with the other vet in the practice and thought Millie needed more medication. She wanted her to be on this medication for a week before giving her the annual vaccines that we were seeking five visits ago. Now, this is where I get a little frustrated. I don’t have the language skills to ask all the questions I have – such as, is all this medication necessary? How long will she have to be on it? How will we know if it’s working?
We get the instructions and I look it all up online. We decide to give it a try and see how she responds. Millie is 12 years old and while she’s always up for a walk, she spends most of her days sleeping. I’ve had dogs my whole life and this is normal behavior in my experience. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to see a difference in her or if all this is working some magic on her heart that we can’t see and won’t notice. For now, she gets two doses a day of this medication. Fortunately, they’re flavored and she gobbles them down like candy.
The Sixth Visit
A week later, we go in for the sixth visit. At this point, we’re not sure what to expect. The vet listened to Millie’s heart and said the murmur was no better. Were we expecting that it would be? I’m no expert, but I thought a heart murmur was incurable and all we could do was try and improve the heart’s ability to pump blood. Again, language skills prevent me from having this conversation.
We did finally get the shots we’ve been waiting on for weeks. They wanted to wait and see how she responded to all this medication before they gave her the shots. So for now, we are done with the vet. We have to bring her back in six months for another echocardiogram to check her progress.
Impressions of the Italian Vet
I’ve had dogs with heart murmurs before. I’ve had dogs that have been on medication for said heart murmurs. But I’ve never had a vet take as much care and interest as this one. Usually it’s one office visit where they hear the murmur and give medication. I’ve never had an x-ray or an echocardiogram. I’m not sure whether this is stellar service or overkill. I do know that they seem to genuinely care about Millie and her health. And they seem committed to doing everything they can to make her comfortable.
We went to a fairly large vet practice in Atlanta. When we started going there over 25 years ago there was one vet. Now there are eight. I never felt like we got bad service, but once they started expanding I did feel that the “ole doc Adams” atmosphere was gone. There seem to be two vets in this practice – we’re not sure because they don’t have a website and nothing is posted. And there is definitely an “ole doc Adams” feel, except here it’s “ole doc Rossi”. We feel like Millie is in good hands and we now know them and trust them and feel secure in the fact that they’re just around the corner from us. And even though we can’t communicate with them as we’d like (yet), we somehow manage to understand each other. They certainly understand Millie, and that’s the best we could ask for.