The $1000 tummy bug

OK, the heading on this blog post might be a little misleading because … I don’t know whether it’s actually a tummy bug and I have no idea what the final bill will be.

Charlie the Moodle was admitted to animal hospital on Saturday. He hadn’t been eating all week and gruesome things started coming out of his various orifices. He also wouldn’t go for a walk. Charlie loves walks. So I picked him up after he did a few gruesome things on the grass and refused to move and carried him to the vet.

It was the same lovely vet who treated him about 10 days ago. She decided he needed to be admitted, given pain relief, have blood tests and be put on a drip. Estimated cost for the first night: $600. She said for an extra I-hate-to-think-how-much charge she could check on him halfway through the night, but otherwise he would be left on his own to sleep it off. I felt like a heel but I said he could sleep it off.

On Sunday morning, I got a call to say that Charlie was brighter and no longer vomitting, but there were still gruesome things coming out of another orifice so they wanted to keep him for another night. I didn’t ask how much that would be, I was too scared. If the gruesome stuff keeps coming out of the other orifice, he will need an ultrasound. As my friend Emily pointed out, a human ultrasound is about $400.

Going on the fact that if your child gets a tummy bug it costs you zero aside from lots of sheet washing and when your dog gets a tummy bug it costs upwards of $1000, I’m really hoping Charlie doesn’t need that ultrasound today.

I’ve been a bit down about the Charlie situation, not the least because the vet also noted that he really, really needs that knee replacement she flagged about a year ago (in case you missed it, in his four years on this earth it’s been suggested Charlie might need doggie braces on his teeth – fortunately his bite corrected itself – and also requires a knee replacement because all that trendy ‘oodle breeding has played havoc with the doggie joint genes).

A doggie knee replacement costs $1800. Charlie might need both knees replaced, they won’t know until they have him under general. If he needs two done it will be $2500.


I said I was going to wait until he showed signs of pain, but the vet said that’s not the way to handle it because he’ll have arthritis by then and not get the full benefit of the surgery.

I longingly gazed at the Escape liftout in my Sunday paper yesterday (there are some excellent deals to Samoa) and then thought I ain’t goin nowhere – other than Shanghai University for the World Skipping Championships – for a very, very long time.

Just when I was starting to get back on track financially, too.


But mainly I’m worried about Charlie. I hope he’ll be OK. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Song of the day: Madonna “Like a Prayer”

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