Medication Mystery

2014 has definitely been a year of transitions for me and my family. Aside from some wonderful job promotions, the biggest change has come in the form of a dog. My Grandmother has been battling Mantel Cell Lymphoma for three years now. She is doing a fantastic job and looks as gorgeous as ever.

What we were not expecting was for her to take a tumble at home. This fall landed her in the hospital for two weeks during the month of July. At 91 years old, the difficult decision was made to place my Grandmother in a nursing home. She needs to be in a place where she will have care 24/7.

That is when an even bigger issue arose. What will happen to Tiggy, her long-haired Chihuahua? Tiggy is an absolute sweetheart. I should know. My husband and I fostered Tiggy before introducing her to Grandma (who had begun to feel lonely after the passing of her beloved Benji).

Tiggy doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She gets along well with our pack, including our cat. And you barely even know that she is in the room. Still, taking on another dog was not in our master plan.

My Grandma was broken-hearted when she found out she could not take Tiggy with her to the nursing home. She was so worried that Tiggy would be given away to strangers. That is when she offered to pay for all of Tiggy’s care as long as we would let her live with us.

Tiggy has absolutely blossomed being around our dogs again. I think she is more of a dog person than a people person. I have managed to teach her to shake hands, though. She is slowly coming out of her shell and it is a very beautiful thing to watch.

Since we have such a large pack, purchasing flea/tick and heart worm medication is quite costly. I discovered a wonderful website: http://www.petmartpharmacy.com. All I had to do was create and account and provide my veterinarian information. Then, I simply select the desired medication, Petmart Pharmacy faxes the request to my vet and the vet sends them the “Okay.” Within five days, the medication is at my door (with a bone treat inside).

This website is much more cost effective than purchasing the same products at my vet’s office. And they have been so great to deal with. Most recently, I received a phone call from the pharmacy stating that the vet wanted to up Tiggy’s Advantage Multi dose from the 3-9 lbs. to the 9-20 lbs. This was going to be an additional $1 charge and they were checking to see if this was acceptable.

I was very puzzled. Theo, our long-haired Chihuahua, weighs 7 pounds, and he is much larger than Tiggy. I decided to go to my vet to see what had changed. Upon my arrival, I explained the situation to one of the front staff. The woman had a very snooty look on her face as if it pained her to speak with me.

She reluctantly pulled out the binder that the office keeps containing all faxed medication requests. Flipping quickly through the pages, she slammed her hand down and pointed to a number.

“Yes, I wrote 9.13. That is how much Tiggy weighs,” she sniffed.

“When was she weighed last?” I asked.

“Let’s see…December 2013.”

Really? She expected me to remember Tiggy’s weight from December 2013? I nodded and stated that I had just been confused because I thought she weighed the same as Theo and was concerned about overdosing.

“It’s better to overdoes than under dose. If you under dose, you might as well not give them (the dogs) anything at all,” she huffed.

What appalls me the most is the woman’s attitude. We have several friends that work in the office who treat us like rock stars. Even the vets smile when we walk in. Everyone loves us, so what is the deal with this lady?

And why would she ever even hint at me not properly taking care of an animal? That is the greatest insult anyone could ever give to me. Anyone who knows me knows that our animals live the most spoiled lives that they could ever live.

If I didn’t care about Tiggy, I wouldn’t have come in with questions. I would have simply said, “Sure,” to the Petmart Pharmacy people and possibly given her an overdose that could have had deadly consequences. Instead, I was searching for answers like a responsible pet parent.

My advice to other pet parents is do not be afraid to ask questions regarding your pet’s medication. If something has changed, you certainly have the right to know why. And do not be intimidated by any staff members. Remember, your money is allowing them to receive a paycheck.

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