Monday, October 5, 2015

A PSA: If you're going to put your dog in the local hunde pension...

Please be very sure you let them know if your dog has any medical problems or allergies.  It could mean the difference between life and death.

My husband and I have used the same dog hotel in Germany during both of our tours here.  Our dogs have always gotten good care there.  In fact, last time we were living here, our dog Flea had prostate cancer.  Our German dog sitters at the hunde hotel took great care of him, allowing us to take one last trip to Budapest before moving to Atlanta.  We lost Flea in November 2009, a couple of months after relocating to the States.

Since moving back to Germany, the hunde pension we use has had a change in managers.  The newer manager is very kind and our dogs love her.  When we go to the hotel, they greet her enthusiastically and they always say goodbye when it's time to go.  She's not quite as "on the ball" as the previous manager was, but we've been satisfied with the way she takes care of our boys.  We have recommended the hotel to others who have needed dog sitting services.

Unfortunately, even the best dog sitters/pet boarding facilities can have mishaps.  Today's post is to serve as a reminder of how very important it is to let caregivers know about anything unusual in your pet's medical history and what should be done if your pet gets sick while being boarded.

One of Bill's friends left his dog at the hunde hotel for a lengthy stay.  During her stay, the dog somehow developed a skin infection on her back.  The people at the hunde hotel took the dog to a vet for treatment.  The vet gave her an injection of antibiotics.  Unfortunately, the dog had a bad reaction to the antibiotics, went into shock, and died.  It turns out the dog had had reactions to injections before, but the staff at the hunde hotel did not know about that.  They also did not ask.  And they took the dog to the vet for treatment without talking to her owners first.

It may seem like the caregivers were at fault for not talking to the dog's owners.  Not having seen the severity of the skin infection, I can't say for sure.  For one thing, the dog's owners were several time zones away, which can make communication difficult.  For another, skin infections can be dangerous because they can spread rapidly.  I know this firsthand, having had cellulitis three times.  Prompt treatment is usually necessary because infections can get bad fast.

Bill and I have a lot of empathy for his friend because when we went to Scotland in 2012, our dog MacGregor got sick.  He did not die while we were gone, but we were told he should be euthanized (it turned out he had a malignant neural sheath tumor-- found when we got home and had an MRI done).  Since the dog was in North Carolina and we were in Scotland, it was pretty difficult to coordinate his care.  I understand firsthand how nerve-wracking it can be when a pet becomes ill while you travel.

If you use a pet boarding facility, please make sure you let the staff know about any allergies or reactions to medications your pet may have.  Chances are good that the issue will never come up, but it's better to be safe than sorry.


Zane and Arran approve of this message...


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