Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vaccine Nightmare

You may recall that I was laid off two weeks ago from the veterinary clinic where I worked for three and a half years. One of the most difficult parts of this laying off (aside from my boss not saying good-bye or giving me a heads up) is that now I have to pay full price for everything for my animals. Add to that some horrendously unlucky timing since I was laid off right when I was planning on bringing in all the animals for their vaccines and heartworm/lyme disease tests . . . and I was looking at a few hundred dollars instead of less than fifty. 

Since I'm a cheapskate, I decided to take them to the County's Spay and Neuter where it costs less, yay! Also, I'm not ready to see my old boss yet. I don't know if he didn't say bye because he would miss me and get sad--I'm wanting to think that but don't think it's very probable. 

We left the house at eleven. I hauled the two cats in their two carriers into the tiny crowded office and waited twenty minutes to get checked in. The tech said it would be fifteen minutes so I took the cats outside and got the dogs from the hot car (it's in the nineties today) and we waited on a bench in the shade. For at least thirty minutes. Finally it was our turn! Everything went spiffingly. We waited again for our test results and then paid $148 (zomg) and left in my car that needed gas to go fill it up and drive to the foster kittens veterinary clinic so I could drop off a fecal test for Nellie, our black foster baby girl. But by now we'd been out for over two hours and I had two hot dogs and two upset cats, so I decided to postpone those other errands. 

Two minutes later I look over and see Oz panting. Like a dog. Mouth open, tongue out, quick breaths. I grab the form the clinic gave me about vaccine reactions and difficulty breathing is one of the emergency ones. I hang a U-y and call the clinic to tell them and they say come back right away. We park, I grab Oz, leave the dogs and Io in the hot car with the windows down, and high-tail it back into the clinic where a tech takes him and whisks him into the back room for a doctor to examine him. I sit down, practically wringing my hands and trying not to be too upset because I'm feeling like I might cry, worried that my baby boy is gasping for air and not liking being on the client side of a veterinary clinic at all. I'm also worried that my animals in the car are too hot so I tell a lady I'll be outside when they need me. I turn on the car but don't have enough gas to be comfortable doing that for however long they will have Oz, so I take the carrier and the two dogs back up the stairs to the waiting area while the lady pops back in and out and asks me how long Oz has been in the carrier, how long in the car, etc. Finally she comes back out with him in his carrier and tells me that he's okay, probably just in shock and that they gave him some benadryl at no charge, and to watch him carefully all day. 

I can't get outta there fast enough. I reload the animals and take off watching Oz, who is calmer but still occasionally panting and then licking his paws. I'm still upset and not sure that Oz is okay and trying to convince myself that he's okay and then belatedly remembering to check on Io, who is stuffed in a tiny carrier and has been for nearly three hours now. I had this terrible urge to get home--I think a teeny anxiety attack as well--because I was trembly and trying not to cry and just knew that if I got home it would all be okay, which is totally irrationally. But it was true. As soon as I got back home and let the cats out I saw Oz acting normally and could pick him up and smoosh him and kiss him, I was better. And he was better. 

All in all, much more of a hair-raising vaccine experience than I'm used to. All of us were exhausted and went upstairs and collapsed on my parents bed and the cats snuggled close. All better. 


The Fredy Family said...

My cats pant like that every time I take them in the car. It's no big deal. Sorry you had a scare!

Katie said...

Thanks :) I was so freaked out--I have NEVER seen a cat do that before and all I could think was VACCINE REACTION and OH SHIT WHAT DO I DO, and I kept wishing I could call you guys and talk to DR! :(

Gary Symington said...

Thank you to the nth power.