Help my Pug
September 16, 2006 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Please help my pug!

I have a pug named Pedro. Last night, he found a pencil and chewed it up. He apparently got a sliver in his throat, nose? He keeps sneezing like crazy, and little droplets of blood come out.

I took him to the emergency vet, but they wanted $500 to just examine him. I don't have $500.

It's 12 hours later, and he still having issues. What can I do? Will the sliver work itself out?
posted by patrickje to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It will not work itself out. You have got to take your dog to a vet. Will a normal vet be cheaper?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:08 AM on September 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Please, take your dog to the vet. I don't think it's going to take care of it by itself.

Can you try a different vet place? My emergency vet only charges $90 for an exam.
posted by Pocahontas at 8:13 AM on September 16, 2006

You can always look inside and see. Get a flashlight and look inside his throat and nose. If you see something, try to get it out. You'll need someone to hold him while he's wrapped up in a towel. Most animals are not cool with examinations like this. You'll also need to be very very very careful if you feel like trying to get the sliver out.
The problem here is that if the obstruction lodges itself somewhere, you may have swelling and infection which would impact breathing. This could lead to death. Also if it gets out on its own, it may puncture some other internal organ which could lead to internal bleeding and death. If he's already bleeding, it may be because he has punctured soft tissue in his mouth/nose, so you can assume it is a sharp piece.
If you can't see anything, or you can see it but you can't dislodge it, you will need to see a vet. In my area, vets are open Saturdays from 8 to noon or so and there is no extra "emergency" type fee. Sometimes it's worth calling around... prices vary widely.
I'm not a vet but I have had lots of animals who have gotten into weird stuff like this. Sometimes it's ok to try and fix it at home, other times it's not. At least if you get it out, take him to the vet on Monday for a check-up. I hope it works out for you.
posted by FergieBelle at 8:13 AM on September 16, 2006

He probably does have a sliver in his nose. Keep in mind that the blood is as likely to come from repeated sneezing as it is from the sliver. If you have to wait until monday, you have to wait. Pedro won't die if you wait until Monday. Of course, waiting could end up making the situation worse, but probably not to the tune of 500 dollars. Just as likely the splinter will work itself out.

(there are a whole bunch of worst-case scenarios, and you're about to be offered them in excruciating detail, as though they were likely. Never, never post here looking for veterinary advice. Pet owners here are largely a bunch of alarmist idiots and someone's going to tell you that you have to pawn your possessions, turn tricks, whatever to get 500 dollars or your dog is going to die and she knows this because it totally happened to a friend of her brothers. Don't believe her. Keep an eye on him until monday. It might even dislodge before then.

There were times in my life when 500 dollars was an unthinkable unforseen expense. So I understand how much this sucks and how frustrated and guilty you feel. Don't sweat it-- the dog will be okay. I hope you get to read this before it gets deleted, because you're about to get a lot of advice designed to make you panic.)

[on preview, it's already here.]
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:17 AM on September 16, 2006

Are you sure the wood is stuck in his nose/throat or is it possible that he swallowed a larger piece that might be stuck in his gut? (i.e. are you sure he's sneezing blood and not heaving up small amounts?) Has he pooped in the past 12 hours? How much of the pencil have you recovered?
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:33 AM on September 16, 2006

Your profile says you're in Seattle. There are lots of vets in Seattle. Hit the yellow pages, phone around and see if you can find someone who's within your budget.
posted by essexjan at 8:42 AM on September 16, 2006

Right Mayor Curley - a worst case scenario never happens. *sigh*

Seriously - if you can't afford emergency vet care you can't afford a pet. (patrickje, this isn't meant as a snark against you, it's just a general rule of thumb that more people need to take into account *before* they rush out to adopt/but (shudder) a pet)

patrickje - do call around. I've had two emergency vet situations and I've not paid more than $300 total for treatment, let alone the exam. Please at least attempt to call around this morning and see if you can get him seen. At the very least a vet should be able/willing to set up a payment plan for you.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:56 AM on September 16, 2006

It's daylight now, so any number of (non-emergency) vets should be able to see him in the next few hours for an affordable price. Call your usual vet first, because the place that already knows you is most likely to let you pay over time if necessary.

Even if it can work out on its own, you don't want your pet to be in pain.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:56 AM on September 16, 2006

Call around to different hospitals. $500 seems excessive. I brought my kitty in a couple of weeks ago (Boston area) and they charged $130.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:14 AM on September 16, 2006

Also, my vet has Saturday hours. There's gotta be someone open today near you.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:15 AM on September 16, 2006

if you can't afford emergency vet care you can't afford a pet. (patrickje, this isn't meant as a snark against you, it's just a general rule of thumb that more people need to take into account *before* they rush out to adopt/but (shudder) a pet)

Sure. So only people with lots of disposable income available at a moment's notice should have pets. You poor people: perhaps you have a responsible rich friend who has a pet that they will let you play with.

I know the point you are making, and it has a certain logic, but it's stupid to think that a person of very limited means and an animal shouldn't have a crack at a beautiful, enduring friendship.

The poster didn't specify whether he had tons of money when he first adopted his pet, but fell on hard times. He didn't say whether he was perhaps just between paychecks. And really it's none of your business. You should be glad that he is trying to do the right thing and ask for help, instead of just shrugging and waiting for nature to take its course.

My advice to the poster is to try and find a different vet that's open on Saturday, even if you have to drive far out of your way. But if you can't do it, you can't do it, and he will be fine (if miserable) until Monday morning. We've all spent a weekend sick and miserable, and just because a pug is cute and defenseless doesn't mean it's not going to experience periods of pain and discomfort. It's not like the thing was attacked or has a broken bone. He'll be fine.
posted by hermitosis at 9:42 AM on September 16, 2006

Do you have a pet hermitosis? More importantly, do you have a pug?

Pugs are a particularly troublesome breed for anything to do with breathing and that is why this is so much a concern.

No where did I say that someone who was poor should not have a pet. But, much like children, when you take on the responsibility for another life - you take it all on. Even when I was a student making very little money, I was prepared to deal with the emergency care of the lives in my world. Pets are no less disposable than people and I live in a state that treats it's dogs like tissue. It sickens me.

patrickje is doing the right thing and asking for help and people are offering it. Waiting until Monday when an animal is sneezing/coughing up blood is not the responsible thing to do in this instance if there are other options.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:50 AM on September 16, 2006

If you're in Seattle, these emergency clinics are open 24/7:

Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services, Lake City. I've taken one of our cats here. It was about $250ish for the exam, treatment (dog bite), and medication. The receptionists can be unfeeling bitches, but the vets themselves are quite nice.

Aerowood Animal Hosptial, Bellevue

Up north there's Diamond Vetrinary Associates (Everett) and the Vetrinary Specialty Center (Lynnwood).

Call them first and ask about costs. Then ask if they have a payment plan.
posted by hercatalyst at 10:04 AM on September 16, 2006

Mod note: removed a few comments, please take meta-animal comments to metatalk
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2006

Many vets in my area take CareCredit -- basically a credit account that lets you pay for veterinary (and other medical) expenses over time.

If you have bad credit, this isn't going to help, but if it is just a cashflow issue, it is a decent option for not-so-well-off pet owners.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:01 PM on September 16, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice. We took him to his normal vet Saturday morning, and she knocked him out and tried to find what was bothering him, to no avail though. The vet did prescribe anti-biotics though.

I understand what FlamingBore is saying, but we've replaced two car engines, and had three children's birthdays within a two-week time span, so money is just incredibly tight until our savings builds up again. And I wanted something in the short term to help alleviate what my pug was going through.

I just wonder why the emergency vet wanted $500? Our normal vet was $100 with the medicine.
posted by patrickje at 11:00 AM on September 17, 2006

Glad everything worked our patrickje. Hope Pedro is feeling better already and that your money situation improves soon.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:18 PM on September 17, 2006

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