For almost a year Roxie has had this weird thing going on. Every once in awhile she stops and wheezes. It sounds like an asthma attack. I took her to no less than 6 vets to try and figure out what it was. I know they all thought I was crazy or neurotic or both.
They would check her heart and lungs and tell me that she was healthy. Smile patiently, take my money, and send me on my way. I love my dog. But I am not crazy. I knew something was not right with her. The last vet I consulted in the barrio insisted she had allergies. She refused to think otherwise. She had an x-ray taken to prove to me everything was fine.
I know Juan her dogwalker was begining to think I was neurotic. I am sure he was thinking older female living alone with nothing else to do. Believe me if I am going to make anyone crazy around here it would be men, they are so much more fun that my dog's vets.
Finally I could not take it anymore. I was going to take her to the Hospital Escuela. This is the vet hospital for the University of Buenos Aires. I asked my friend Jose the remis driver if he could take me there. The public hospital for dogs is the same as for people. Take a number and wait...wait..wait.
He asked me what was wrong. I explained my frustrations with Roxie. He told me he had a vet that was excellent. He teaches at the vet school and has a clinic in his house. At midnight on our way to Niño Bien he calls Paulo. You gotta love this country. Where else could you call a vet at his house at midnight on a Thursday? The appointment is set for Sunday.
On Sunday Jose comes to get Roxie and I. Roxie is thrilled to go in the car. She jumps in the backseat. Jose is constantly amazed at how well behaved she is. His pitbull puppy is still in the search and destroy stage. "Che" he says to me. "Cuanto meses mas este cachoro?" He is always asking me how long it took Roxie to grow out of this stage.
Paulo and his wife Alicia are wonderful. They greet us at the door of their apartment building in Parque Patricios. Roxie seems to know this is a good place. She immediately abandons me for them. Always looking for "mimos" that dog. (affection) We are ushered into their kitchen to wait our turn. Roxie is trying to play with a cat that wants nothing to do with her.
When we go to see Paulo, Roxie is thrilled. He is like a kid's pediatrician. He examines her and listens closely while I explain everything that has happened. He looks at the xray I brought with me. He tells me the xray is very poor quality. He wants her to take another. He asks if anyone has taken her blood, given her an EKG. I tell him no. More frowns. I tell him how I begged these vets to take her blood, urine, whatever. I would pay for it. But they thought I was crazy.
He tells me her lungs are clear and her heart sounds good. He writes me a prescription for a drug for her cataracts. Then an order for the xray. He gives me orders and numbers for her to have her blood taken and an EKG. They will come to the apartment for that. Jeesh! For a dog!
The day after her EKG and blood test, Paulo calls to tell me everything is normal. She is a very healthy dog. I am to come with the Xray and Roxie to his apartment on Sunday. He says not to worry. Her drippy noise is allergies, but the wheezing is not. The Xray should tell us.
Once again we pile into Jose's car. On the way there, his car breaks down. At the corner of San Juan and Urquiza we catch a taxi. Roxie is in doggie heaven. A new person to adore her. I still cannot believe I can hail a taxi on a busy street corner with a dog.
We come in to see Paulo. Alicia greets us as well. Paulo reads the xray. He is frowning. I do not like that frown. He explains to me that she is suffering from paralysis of her diaphragm. If the problem is neurological it can be controlled with drugs. If it is physical there is nothing that can be done. He says she needs to have a fluoroscope. The best doggie fluoroscopist is on vacation. He will call me when he has the rest of the results of her tests.
I cannot think about anything being wrong with Roxie. She is my best friend. This dog is very special. I know she is my dog. All you have to do is to ask anyone who has met her. I can only wait for Paulo to call me.