A few weeks ago, Scott and I brought Ferris to the vet clinic to have his custom fiberglass splint reapplied, as scheduled. It took the two of us, plus two veterinary technicians, to hold Ferris down while one of the vets struggled with the splint, fresh gauze and tape. One week later the whole mess fell off. Scott did his best with vet wrap and medical tape to stick the splint back in place temporarily. Since we were running late for our own appointments, we had to drop Ferris off at my parents' place and trouble them to bring him to the clinic. The story they later told was familiar: it took the two of them, plus two vet techs, to restrain Ferris while his splint was reapplied. They reported that the woman who put on the splint admitted that it wasn't her "best work." I'll say.
Scott and I brought Ferris back to the clinic for a scheduled appointment two days ago. I remarked that I was concerned that Ferris had not been putting any weight on his leg since the last splint reapplication. That being the case, the vet decided to take an X-ray. Scott and I waited in the exam room, listening to Ferris whining, staff conferring, and an electric shaver whirring (?!). Finally the vet returned, without Ferris, and told us that she had "crappy news." The custom-made splint had been forcing one of Ferris' claws into his flesh, causing a painful and bloody skin infection. On top of that, Ferris had a yeast infection between his toes. The latter problem is understandable and not entirely unexpected. The former, however, should never have happened. Once again Scott and I helped to keep Ferris still, this time while his infections were cleaned and treated and his paw blow-dried. The vet supplied me with a Tupperware container full of dried liver treats to distract Ferris. When the container was almost empty I very nearly commented that I supposed I owed the clinic a bag of liver treats, but then I remembered the $1000-plus we had already spent on this one broken toe.
The vet feared that the tight custom splint would aggravate the skin infection further, so she opted for an off-the-shelf option. She told us that it might very well break, and that we would have to rush to an emergency clinic if that happened outside of our normal clinic's hours. Then she prescribed some antibiotics, we paid the $178 bill, and left. The new splint held together all day on Sunday, hooray hooray...
...only to break and fall off this evening, half an hour after our clinic closed. Grrr. Out came the tape, the gauze, the vet wrap. I left an impressively restrained voice mail at the clinic, where I'm sure Scott, Ferris and I will be yet again tomorrow evening. I have to think of a more diplomatic way to ask, "Could we please see someone competent this time?"