Laika Emergency: Veterinary Trips
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
What do we do when there are medical complications?
To illustrate how we handle medical situations we thought we'd share some of the cases we've dealt with. We've kept the stories as generic as possible to maintain client privacy. Out of countless cases we've selected a few.
When animal life is at risk.
Location: Somerset West
An very large elderly dog with previously existing conditions including joint and eye problems, was neutered due to medical issues in the mentioned area. He was released and at-home care. Due to the last minute booking, we were scheduled to sit overnight on the evening of the surgery day. This was also an overnight-only booking, but the domestic was present in the day.
Due to the surgery, we flagged this client and booking for medical priority to ensure a community manager would be in the area to assist if needed.
Late in the evening we started to find tiny droplets of blood on the floor and the sitter immediately notified us, and we notified the client. Not knowing the source of the droplets (other animals around), we monitored to see the source, however, we suspected the elderly dog had issues. The next morning there were more droplets on the floor that the sitter communicated to us and we confirmed it was from the elderly dog's special area, and we communicated this with the client, and the community manager.
Thus, we let the community manager know to check on the dog and the situation regardless as soon as possible. Before the sitter left just after 08:30, we asked the domestic to keep us updated until the community manager arrived for any improvements, but as we feared more blood was found and the backside was leaking more by the minute. It went from spots to light trickles throughout the morning.
We pre-scheduled an appointment with the preferred vet, communicated this with the client, and when the community manager arrived at 08:40, we raced the dog to the vet. At 08:45 we arrived at the vet. We were told that if we brought him in any later ex. 20 mins there could have been severe issues. 1 doggie saved. Job well done.
He went into surgery again and they fixed the problem not correctly addressed the first time. He is now a healthy, and happy old big dog.
How about some distance?
At 21:00 on Sunday we received a call from a client that there was something wrong with their dog but the person present didn't have the transportation to take the dog to the vet. No issue, we checked the client file, check the preferred vet, all other medical details, and en route, called the vet on duty and made an appointment.
We picked up the dog, took the dog to the vet, and transported the client back home, as the doggie had to stay overnight. He has fully recovered and is a happy fit dog.
How about some socialization?
Location: Somerset West
We received a call from one of our suppliers at a visit that the dogs attacked one another and they needed help as it was 3 dogs and 1 person. We arrived in less than 5 mins to find the supplier has already handled the situation. We notified the client but from the files, we knew they tended to fight in general, and the client confirmed that all is in order and that this does occur.
So, we calmed the dogs down, attended to the one dog that had a minor cut injury on his ear. The supplier sat with the doggie so she was relaxed and the community manager cleaned the wound, administered the disinfectant, and applied medicinal cream. A few treats and love later, everyone was happy and the injured doggie was her normal self. This was also on the last visit for the booking, our luck.
Did we charge the client more for the callout? No.
Just some help needed?
Location: Somerset West
We received a phone call from a client at 18:45 one evening in distress as her dog did not want to eat, and look lethargic. Not knowing if she needed to take the dog to the vet, we offered to come over for a quick visit. This dog LOVED food, and will eat ANYTHING, and he had other serious pre-existing medical issues. Thus, we knew after diagnosis that he is to be taken to the hospital immediately that evening.
He was taken that eve and was operated on the following morning to remove an item that was stuck in his digestive system. He is now healthy, happy and eating anything again.
Sneeze, no sneeze, for the allergies.
Location: Constantia A sitter was present for a 24-hour sitting and we noticed the one dog had a very red underbelly (normally white). We notified the client, and took the dog to the vet, who prescribed medicine. Not knowing the source of the allergies, we later found out the dog was allergic to the grass and periodically got these outbreaks of red. We updated our records, and for future sits to wipe the belly and areas after the dog played in the garden with a wet cloth.
No electric fence, please.
Location: Cape Town, Central
We performed a 24-hour sit with an ex. 2-3 hour leave time. The one morning, after the sitter awoke, he reported that the cat had not been there for breakfast and did not jump through the window. As he opened the front door to go investigate, the cat was waiting and limped inside. Based on communication with the supplier and convening with the client, we decided to take the cat to the vet immediately. The cat was operated on and had a severe hip injury, and fully recovered. For the rest of the sit, after the cat was discharged, we even created a 'cat room' so the cat couldn't jump as per the vet's orders.
Our, and the client suspicion is that the cat was climbing on top of the roof of an estate building (4 stories high), and must have slipped in the heavy rain, fell, and hit the electric fence on the way down which would have disorientated the cat to 'misstep' on the landing. The cat is now healthy, active and back to her normal self.
Why these cases?
To show that whenever a medical issue arises we quickly address it and solve the issue. As we have detailed medical data of your animals from the registration and meet and greet, we're equipped to handle medical emergencies on your behalf in the best interest of your animals. We calmly asses the situation, notify you immediately, liaise with you, book any vet appointments and take action. We flag any bookings we know could possibly need extra, medical or any other type of attention (ex. dogs jumping fences). We'd even liaise any medical expenditures with your insurer on your behalf if you are not reachable.
Our supplier training focuses on prevention of any issues, and as a team, we've got decades worth of experience in handling common pet issues.
What would we not do for your children? Occasionally a client will ask us "Will my dog be here when I return", "what happens if he is not?". Our answer is always the same, "If your dog is not here, we are not either, we'd be with your dog".