Claire and I had to take a
Tonight's little adventure started with the weigh-in. Sweet little Mary, one of the vet techs, tried to lure Claire over to the scale with a treat, but Claire stubbornly sat down six feet away and ignored her. After a solid five minutes of cooing and cajoling, Mary decided that it would be much more time-efficient to pick her up and put her on the scale, blocking her from the exit so that we could get an accurate weight. Next, our friend Josie came in with the stethoscope to check Claire's heart rate and her lungs. Not only did Claire tuck her tail, but she cowered. It was heart-wrenching to watch! I was petting her and praising her the whole time, but it was sad to see how terrified she was through the exam. They had to get a tape impression of the raw spot on her paw and also take some samples of the fur around it to make sure it wasn't ringworm or some other kind of fungal infection. Claire doesn't mind people touching her paws (or at least she didn't before this!) so she sat there leaning against me and let them do what they needed to do in order to get their skin/fur samples. But when they came back in later on to give us the diagnosis and put on some topical medication, she jumped up on the bench that I was sitting on, wedged herself behind me, and pressed her forehead into my back. She was done. She'd had it. She was ready to go home. And I got the message quite clearly!
After all of that emotional trauma for Claire Baby, it turns out that the spot on her paw was a bee sting that she had an allergic reaction to, which caused the swelling. She kept licking the place where she was stung, which caused the fur to fall out in that area. The vet gave me a week's worth of topical cream to put on Claire's paw to keep the swelling down and the infections away, so she will be feeling better soon. After two hours at the vet's office, Claire has been extra snuggly and has been staying very close to me. We came home and she put herself right to bed; she's so tired from all of the stress of seeing the vet. Come to think of it, I'm tired from all of the stress of seeing the vet!
Claire's vet and all the vet techs are so wonderful and patient, and they genuinely love the animals that they take care of - and you can tell! It's tough to be a "parent" and watch your dog/cat/bird/hamster have such a hard time at an appointment. But having a good relationship with the people on staff really makes such a big difference - they definitely helped me to help Claire through everything from the weigh-in to the actual testing.
However... I still hope (for Claire's sake!) that she doesn't have to go back again anytime soon!