A couple of weeks ago, Ramona the Love Terrier broke her dewclaw digging in the sand. While it didn’t look too bad, we were worried enough to call our vet. The bad news: We could either take her to the emergency room, with a projected 90-minute wait, or schedule an appointment for the following week.
This photo tells you how Ramona feels about visiting the vet:
We wished we’d known about BarkCare. For $99, the service sends a vet to make a house call. Previously, it’s been limited to New York City, but it’s now expanding to San Francisco, the city Ramona and Dogster call home.
We ended up taking Ramona in to check out the dewclaw and update her shots. Even though the vets at our usual pet hospital are caring and kind, she shook the whole time.
BarkCare was a different story. The other day, Dr. Rob Proietto showed up at Dogster HQ to give Ramona a checkup. The dewclaw got a thumbs-up. It had broken above the vulnerable quick.
Ramona, a notorious flirt, charmed Dr. Rob thoroughly. He even noticed a bump on her shoulder — inflammation from the shots she’d just received. (Had she not just gotten those shots, a BarkCare vet could have administered them.)
Dr. Rob recommended we start brushing her teeth with low-sodium chicken broth, a cheaper alternative to the enzymatic cleaner we picked up at the clinic. Otherwise, she got a clean bill of health.
Ramona was totally comfortable with Dr. Rob, ending up on her back for a professional belly scritch. By seeing dogs at home, veterinarians can actually get a better sense of their health, Proietto told us. The panic some dogs experience at the vet can mask heart conditions, for example. “The panting can cover up a low murmur,” he said. “Their heart rate is much lower at home.”
One other bonus: BarkCare offers a free checkup for newly adopted rescue pups, which would have been nice when we first welcomed Ramona to our home.
Here’s what a BarkCare visit looks like:
BarkCare doctors are specially trained in ear scritches.
Ramona gets the shakes in a regular veterinary clinic, but a noselick was her only sign of nervousness with Dr. Rob.
The Love Terrier has a big heart, as medically determined.
Dr. Rob prescribed a course of belly rubs.
One last thing to check: Ramona’s gleaming-white teeth.
By the end, Ramona had claimed Dr. Rob as her human.
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