Sick Doggie’s Dutch Vet and $$$ (Part 3)

08 Mar

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 10.01.05 PMArgos is doing a little better today–walked a couple short distances, seemed more alert. I’m praying this is due the medications treating what ails him and not just because he got fluids at the vet yesterday afternoon. He’s not drinking or eating as much as he needs which is worrisome. Our oldest son slept on a pallet in our bedroom floor last night to be close to his dog. Tomorrow is a return trip to the vet for follow-up care and blood work.

Speaking of blood work, the vet had such a hard time getting into Argos’ dehydrated vein for blood that they injected his first fluids under the skin rather than poke around any more. My husband was describing for me how they pulled up the extra skin between our dog’s shoulder blades and literally injected IV fluid under there and waited for his system to absorb it.

Once Argos was with the vet, they were all diligent, working with Argos (in and out) for four hours before sending him home with meds. Some 15 tests were run, and he received IV fluids and a blood sugar balancer. The Dutch are big on economy and being careful with money, so the vet laid out the costs for each item to make sure that was okay with us as an expense. The most pricey blood work was the thyroid test which came to about 70 euro ($95), but then we were so glad it was done as the thyroid results indicate malfunction. If the thyroid is messed up that could explain both the kidneys and pancreas results–and we should see improvement with the meds. All together (pharmacy items included) the emergency care was around 500 euro.

The office itself was fairly minimal, one vet and assistant doing everything. The assistant was lab tech, receptionist, cashier and vendor for pharmacy as well as dog food and sundries.

At one point the assistant was busy and the vet asked my husband, “Does blood bother you?”

“No,” he answered and was thus drafted into helping handle Argos and apply needed pressure for a blood draw.

This lines up with my experience at our smaller, local vet office. However, this city-vet had a bit nicer facilities for customers such as those I’ve described in previous blog posts at the emergency room, opthamologist’s and other Dutch places where customers will probably have waiting times. In this case there was a machine distributing free hot coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate–but this one had something we’ve not seen before in our 6 months in the Netherlands–a hot soup option.

Comfort in cup. A common courtesy in Holland.


Kristin King is an American Expat living in The Netherlands and working on her third novel while raising four sons, volunteering at their school, planning travels, reading voraciously, etc. She is grateful to God for every day and for those she gets to do life with.


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