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Should I raise hell over my dog?
Old 09-05-2008, 11:52 AM   #1
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Should I raise hell over my dog?

My wife and I were out of town for a couple days over the long weekend. Like we usually do we took our dog to one of the local doggie daycare / boarding facilities which our dog usually loves. Even though it's more expensive than a normal boarding facility, we feel better because the dogs are out all day and playing instead of being stuck inside a cage.

When I went to pick her up I noticed she had some dried blood on her neck and she smelled pretty bad. At that point I should have done a more thorough exam and gone back inside. Instead I took her home to give her a bath. When I got her in the sink I noticed she wouldn't let me touch her ears. After a more through exam I find that she has a skin infection (hot spots) all over her head and neck. Her ears are bloody and filled with dried blood, scabs, and dirt. We had to cut all the hair off her neck, and give her an antiseptic bath. Now she has a fever and isn't drinking or eating. The wife is taking her to the vet in a few hours.

I know dogs frequently get sick when they're boarded. I'm just pissed that I spend $50 a day for somebody to neglect my dog. It looks like they put her away for the night wet and dirty which with a longer hair dog can start skin sores. I'm also pissed that the wounds were smelly which means she must have been like that for a couple days. I've been trying to get in touch with the owner for a couple days with no luck. I'm pretty pissed. I'm going to demand a refund and some reimbursement for the vet bills.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:59 AM   #2
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Of course you should! It is their responsibility to monitor the dogs while they are loose. They should have known she was injured and taken her to a vet or at least cleaned her up, and reported to you or your emergency contact.

They weren't paying attention. She didn't get blood in her ears all by herself.

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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YES!

Lesson learned. My vote would be to find an ER type who can board in a private home or do 3 visits a day to your place. I know I would do that for another person and their dog.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:21 PM   #4
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I'd second the idea of at home doggie sitting. I used to have a Whippet with no body fat. If he was boarded he wouldn't eat and looked like a Humane Society poster dog when I picked him up. Eventually, I found a vet clinic that did boarding and he did well there, often tagging around the office with the staff. Later I found a stay at home neighbor that did a nice job of caring for the dog - he hardly noticed when we came back from vacation!

Kennels are the worst.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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Sounds like she was attacked during play time. We had this happen once. We took her to the vet who agreed to itemize the injuries and state it was consistent with a dog attack.

The kennel quickly agreed to refund our boarding fee and pay the vet bill. These things happen, and we let it go at that since they had always been responsible before and it was generally a clearn, well-run place.

If they balk or deny any involvement, you can play hard ball if it's worth the time to you.

Take photos now before she heals, maybe with a current newspaper in the photo as a date stamp.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:08 PM   #6
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for future reference, when i used to travel a lot for work i had a house/pet sitter take care of wolfpuppy. i looked into doggie daycare and though it seemed like fun for the dog, but it also seemed a bit unmanageable and a little smelly. these places are a great idea in theory, somewhat in fashion, but in practice, face it, they have few staff and lots of dogs. your pet will not get the one on one care it enjoys at home.

here, wolfpuppy had his own doggy door to access the garden. the sitter came by for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening to feed, walk, wash, brush and keep wolfpuppy company. during walks wolfpuppy could sniff his friends. normally the sitter wouldn't let a stranger's dog mingle with their keep, but i instructed her to ask if the other dog being walked in passing was friendly first and if so it was ok to let them play. the sitter liked wolfpuppy so much that if she didn't have another appointment she'd hang out at my house and watch t.v. with him.

bummer that you had a problem with the boarding facility and i think they should be held accountable. but i also think that we are in part responsible when we make that decision to put our lives and the lives we love into someone else's hands.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:10 PM   #7
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I'd second the idea of at home doggie sitting. I used to have a Whippet with no body fat. If he was boarded he wouldn't eat and looked like a Humane Society poster dog when I picked him up. Eventually, I found a vet clinic that did boarding and he did well there, often tagging around the office with the staff. Later I found a stay at home neighbor that did a nice job of caring for the dog - he hardly noticed when we came back from vacation!

Kennels are the worst.
I'd offer another vote for this idea--small house and one-on-one is best. We had an experience similar/opposite to Travelover. We left our 50 lb pooch with a friend for a week, and she got the feeding instructions wrong. What was supposed to be 1 cup of food three times per day became three cups of food three times per day. When we got back our dog was as happy as a clam and as fat as a Barcalounger. I don't think she cared is we EVER came home.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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I'd offer another vote for this idea--small house and one-on-one is best. We had an experience similar/opposite to Travelover. We left our 50 lb pooch with a friend for a week, and she got the feeding instructions wrong. What was supposed to be 1 cup of food three times per day became three cups of food three times per day. When we got back our dog was as happy as a clam and as fat as a Barcalounger. I don't think she cared is we EVER came home.
Lol, now that sounds like our pug. We noticed the last time we grabbed him from the boarding place he missed us terribly (much different than the first couple of times). We guessed correctly that they had paid much less attention to him so the next time we travelled we left him home and had our friend stayover for the weekend with him and made her thanksgiving dinner as part of her payment.

A 14 lbs dog should not gain 4 lbs in 4 days. To this day, when she eats at our house, he is right at her side with puppy dog eyes. Meanwhile, she is looking sheepish as the 2 owners give her dirty looks for teaching him to beg.
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:40 PM   #9
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Yeah I would raise hell. At $50 per night, your dog should have been treated like a queen. My vet has a boarding service so I use that. Plus your pet gets a bath out the deal on the day you pick him/her up. Usually, my mom will take care of my dog though.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:03 PM   #10
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It sounds like most people here are pretty lucky. Nobody else in my family is a dog owner so I don't have any takers. I would love to find a person who has other larger dogs that she could run around with. So far my only other option is to drive her 200 miles (each way) to the breeder to let her stay with her mom and dad.

First offer from the boarder was one week of free boarding.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:08 PM   #11
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next time you can bring your puppy to my brother's ranch. he'll have another dog, a bunch of horses, a linx and even a kangaroo to play with. by then there might even be a zorse, of course.
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:51 PM   #12
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What a crappy offer--a week free at the place that treated her so poorly? I don't think so! I'd tell the owner of the place that you plan to send a letter along with pictures of your dog's injuries to all the vets in the area and see what they offer then. If the vets get a whiff of trouble like that, they darn sure won't send folks to that kennel.
I've boarded one of my BCs in recent years, only because she was frail and I didn't want to leave her with the other dogs being cared for at the house. They were great with her, thankfully. My vets recommended them and use them when they leave town.

Talk to your vet about possibly lining up a vet tech looking for extra cash to come take care of your dog at your house (or at theirs if you are okay with that). Often vet techs are the best choices, since they aren't paid much and love animals.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:56 PM   #13
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Talk to your vet about possibly lining up a vet tech looking for extra cash to come take care of your dog at your house (or at theirs if you are okay with that). Often vet techs are the best choices, since they aren't paid much and love animals.
Sarah,

That is an interesting idea. A person who knows how to care for your dog, loves dogs (presumably), and is undoubtedly looking for some extra cash for a job that's not hard, and may even be a pleasure.

I'll have to keep that in mind.

Thanks
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:40 AM   #14
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I found a wonderful petsitting service for the last time we went out of town. We have cats, but she also does dogs. With cats it's a once a day visit, for dogs it's 2 or 3 times a day and includes walks. She will also bring in the mail, open and close drapes and water plants. She'll even take your trash to the curb on your trash night. She charges $15 a visit.

One of our cats was thoroughly traumatized by being shuttled off to my sister's house for a previous trip so I felt much better having our cats stay home and having someone come to the house. She played with them and left us daily notes.

I gave her a nice tip because I really felt she was well worth the expense to keep us from worrying about our cats left at home.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:12 AM   #15
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My three dogs have been having a busy week - a number of their friends have been over. A lab and border collie have been here over a week now, a shih tzu spent the day here Friday, and a three-legged standard poodle arrived here yesterday for 5 days. They always seem reluctant to go home, especially those who are solo dogs. Having these extra dogs is really no extra work - the whole house is dog-proofed and is open to the yard from about 5am to 3am (I am a morning person, my housemate is a night owl). It is just a matter of putting down extra bowls at feeding time.

Unfortunately my friends cannot keep my dogs. Only one is retired, and while adding a 12 lb dog to a 125 lb / 77 lb / 43 lb pack is trivial, the reverse is not true. While my housemate and I schedule our vacations so that 1 of us is always home, sometime we might need a kennel. We sent the dogs for a test run at a higher end one that had webcams. Everything seemed to work out OK (my three are the group lower center - this was taken before the border collie passed on).
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:42 AM   #16
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I always questioned the kennels that have large numbers of dogs running free. Status is important to dogs and the risk of fights has to be relatively high. Though on the upside, the kennel is none of the dogs' territory.

We have had a variety of people watch our place and pets over the years. One stole from us.

No perfect answers. Now that our last remaining dog Judy is old, we take her where we go, or if one of us goes, the other stays with her.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:45 AM   #17
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I always questioned the kennels that have large numbers of dogs running free. Status is important to dogs and the risk of fights has to be relatively high.
I think you're describing the Soapbox...
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:45 AM   #18
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I'll pitch here again, for longer trips, the web based matching service we used called housecarers. This won't work for your long weekend sort of trip, but if you plan to be gone more than 2 weeks, there are a lot of great folks looking for housesitting assignments.

On our shorter trips, we have my cousin come over for $25 a day to feed everybody and play with them for about a half hour. With (currently) 6 dogs and 5 cats, plus the sheep, it is not a job for the faint-hearted.
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:25 AM   #19
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We have luckily found a wonderful kennel here on the Eastern Shore of MD (in case anyone wants a reference). We had always had reservations about leaving the dogs, but they love the lady that runs this place. Even our Chihuahua (a one woman dog if I ever saw one) runs up to her and jumps into her arms and licks her.

We are planning a 1 month trip to Australia next year, so we will have some friends house-sit/pet-sit for us for that long a time. But for a week or less we're very satisfied with our kennel situation.
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