October 20, 2008

Poor Max

Posted in Journal, Max's World tagged , , at 11:36 pm by Jenn

Today was our first experience with a vet here in Azerbaijan, and before I continue with this post I just want to say to all you expat Moms out there who take your children to foreign doctors, I think today I felt just a little of what you must feel…terror, panic and heartache. 

Max is Spaniel Mix and a long with the Spaniel breed comes long floppy ears, just the perfect environment for ear infections.  He had a few when we were in the States when he went swimming in the ocean and we didn’t get his ears dry enough.  He had one just before we went to Germany last month, probably from the heat and dust/dirt here and he’s been shaking his head and scratching his ears for the past few days.

Scott is really good about getting in there with Q-Tips and cleaning his ears out.  Well yesterday when the Q-Tip was bloody I decided that’s when it was time to pay a visit to the vet.  It’s time for his booster shots and annual visit anyway.  So today when I get up I call the number for the clinic and I’m told to call back at 10am.  When I called back (10:12 – not to seem anxious) I asked “Do you have any available appointments today?”  I was told, “No.”  Ok…so then I asked, “When is your next available appointment?” The response, “Who is this”…so I say may name and that I have a dog named Max who has an ear infection and needs his vaccinations updated and the reply, “When can you come?”…my response…”Today”…her reply, What time?”  Hmmm, funny just a minute ago there were no appointments.

So I get the street and am told to call when I get to the gas station and she will tell me how to get there.  Max and I head out with the driver who is familiar with the area, we call, we turn down a little dirt road past the gas station and pull up in front of a house.  There is a paper sign on the door with dogs and cats so I assume that this is the place…A girl meets us out front and tells us to follow her.

I have Max walking on his leash and as soon as we walk through the gate a BIG dog starts barking and heading straight for us.  I reach down and snatch Max up, the girl starts yelling at the dog, he stops in the yard and just starts circling around us.  We continue walking, Max in my arms. 

We go in to the basement of this house and this is the “western clinic”.  There is a plastic table you know the kind that goes with the white plastic chairs…. you know, this kind

Yeah those.  It was a tall, long table, kind of like a picnic table but not.  There was newspaper on it and one plastic chair behind it.  NICE! 

Now a man enters the room speaking in Russian and the girl translates, “What’s your problem?”  Yeah, this is going to go well.  I should have walked out right then, but instead I tell her that the dog has an ear infection and needs his vaccinations updated.  The girl tells me to put Max on the table.  At this point I’m wondering if it will hold him.  The vet comes around with his flashlight, sticks the flashlight in Max’s right ear, makes a “Hrumph” sound and then disappears.  The girl says, “He will clean them”.  So we wait. 

The guy comes back out, goes over to a desk and starts writing.  He says something in Russian to the girl.  She asks me, “Can you give an injection?”  I say, “Yes.”  Then she comes over to me with the paper the Vet has written and says pointing at the paper, “These are drops, give 1-2, 2 times a day.  This is injection give one time a day for 6 days.”  I say, “What’s the medicine called, “She says, the pharmacy will know.”  I say, “I would like to know the name.”  I had never heard of the drops but the injection was Claforan which is an antibiotic so I say, “The infection is that bad?”  She says yes.  Then I ask when I am supposed to give the shot…the girl tells me that the doctor will show me.  About that time a lady dressed in scrubs walks over and places an empty litterbox on the floor near Max.  I’m not sure why, but I assume it has something to do with the ear cleaning procedure.  Then the Vet comes over with a syringe and I assume that he is going to administer the first dose of the antibiotic and show me where/how to give it.  WRONG!  He gives Max the shot and then walks away.  The girl then tells me, in a few minutes your dog will throw up.  I ask why and her reply is “From the Narcotic”.  “WHY DID YOU GIVE MY DOG A NARCOTIC?”  I scream.  She looks at me like I’m crazy and says, “Well the Dr. needs to clean his ears”.  About that time Max begins to heave and I catch it in the litter box…now I understand what it was for.  He then slumps to the floor and is 1/2 way in and out of consciousness.  He tries to get up but just falls over.  I feel so bad for the guy.  The lady in scrubs then comes and tries to pick my 37 pound dog up by his front legs.  I tell her “NO”, and I scoop him up and carry him to the “operating room”…you have got to be kidding me!  This at least is a metal table…with newspaper on it and one of those pink spittle trays that they put by your bedside in the hospital.  After I lay him down, the vet comes in and she asks me to leave…WHY DID I LEAVE?  At least the Vet had a white coat on at this point. 

I go back out to the “clinic” and as I’m walking I see the board….on this board is chart drawn out with the days of the week and on today at our appointment time it said “dog”, there were no other markings anywhere on the board, no cat, sheep, goat or chicken….NOTHING!.

I sit.  I wait.  There’s nothing to read.  I am getting really nervous and about this time the lady comes walking out carrying Max under his front legs…I jump up and grab him from her, the poor guy is limp as can be.  He’s out of it.  He’s got medicine gauze stuck in his ears and they tell me to come back in one week, and to leave the gauze in til tomorrow and off we go after paying our 60 manat.

The girl helps me with my purse and opens the door for me.  I put Max in the backseat, his tail is wagging, but the rest of him is still, my driver is looking at me like “What the hell?”

I go around and sit in the backseat with Max, I give the paper to the driver and tell him we need to go to a pharmacy….we head off.  We are turning from the dirt road to the main road and I look at Max, his tongue is hanging out the side of his mouth, his eyes are rolled back in his head and I can’t see him breathing.  I FREAK OUT!  I start panicking….”go back, go back” “I think he’s dead”….the driver in typical Azeri fashion, puts the car in reverse in the middle of the highway, backs up to the dirt road and goes back to the Vet.  When he gets out of the car the sound of the door closing snaps Max back to reality and he sits up to look out the window to see what he’s missing….about this time the vet and the lady come out, the driver has told them I think the dog is dead and they are looking at me like I’m CRAZY!  LOL.  He really wasn’t breathing 2 minutes ago!  Really, he wasn’t.  The driver gets back in the car and we leave.  When he drops me off at home he asks if Max can walk and we put him on the sidewalk, he takes a few steps and then just stands there.  I tell the driver we’ll be ok and he leaves.  It took about 20 minutes to get to the elevator, but we made it.

Monica – I did take my camera, but I didn’t get any pictures.  This setting was eerily similar to the one where your son got stitches.

Anyway, after about 2 hours the narcotic wore off and Max was up walking and begging for food/treats, whatever and he and Scott are now in the bedroom watching Harry Potter.

I am drinking my 3rd glass of wine.   Baku sucks.



  1. Christina said,

    OMG! Lots of love and prayers for all of you

  2. Jen D said,

    I am glad Max is alright! Ok, we need to check out 1-800-PetMeds immediately and get you stocked up w/meds for the little guy.

  3. wineymomma said,

    how just absolutely awful!!!

    Enjoy the wine and know that you did what you could with what was available!

  4. Heather said,

    OMG!!!!!!!!! <<>> <<>> You poor things! I’m so sorry!!! How freakin’ scary!


  5. poor max and poor you!! luckily we didn’t have the language issue with the “doctor” at the klinik. and 9 yr olds think scars are cool!

    i’m glad max is up and around and i hope his infection clears up quickly! oh and that a new english speaking vet comes to town!

  6. Mom said,

    Poor Max!!!! Molly has hair that grows in her ears and has to be plucked regularly-she hates it but what can I do. I have some powder that I am to put in her ears when she has a bath-maybe i should send some your way.

  7. Ruth said,

    OMG, JENN! This story is terrifying! I’m sooo sorry you and Max had to go through that!!
    I’m selfishly grateful that I got to read your follow up post with the AMAZINGLY CUTE photo of MAX before reading this….. this one was scary!

    Hugs to you. (Now I need a glass of wine!)

  8. Seneca said,

    Aww! thats crazy! wish you the best 🙂

  9. notgoth said,

    wow that was a gripping and terrifying story! I am really glad max is ok.

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