Pets and pre-vacation stress

I’m just curious how many of you have pets and if those pets cause you stress before vacation. My wife is leaving for Hawaii tomorrow but she’s not sure she’ll be able to relax and enjoy it.

Yesterday we took our dogs to the vet for checkups because one was eating slower than usual. That’s the stray I mentioned a while back by the way. The vet found what looked like a gall bladder stone in the other dog, a 13 year-old Yorkshire Terrier who seems fine.

So today we cancel plans for lunch with some friends and head to the vet to get this thing thoroughly checked out. We end spending all afternoon out and at 5:00 or so learn that there’s a relatively large stone in Minky’s gall bladder.

My wife starts crying and we decide not to do surgery. The poor little guy has been having surgeries pretty regularly the past few years and we have a bad feeling this time. The risk of not having surgery is that there is a 20% chance the stone dislodges and causes a serious problem like seizures and vomiting. If that were to happen when no one’s home it would most likely be fatal.

So that’s a pretty stressful thing to learn the day before you go on vacation. And 2 years ago, before we went on the Alaskan cruise, the same dog fell on his head (my wife says I dropped him but really he tried to jump into my hands as I was bending down to pick him up – he fell over backwards, never making it into my hands) and started convulsing. He wasn’t breathing.

Our plan had been to get both dogs in the car. Our other dog, the little girl who used to be a stray, was going to the vet and getting some screws in her back legs. She would spend our entire vacation there. After dropping her off we were going straight to the in-laws’ house to drop of our little boy.

We got him to the vet in 2-3 minutes and the vet saved Minky but he was obviously messed up and my wife wanted to cancel the cruise. Instead we left him with the vet as long as possible, drove to the in-laws to drop him off (midnight to 4:00 AM) then flew back to Seoul at 7:00 AM for our flight to America that morning. That flight was especially bad because we were worried about the little guy. Plus we knew the little girl was getting worked on too.

The winter after that we were on vacation in America when Minky got sick at the in-laws’ house. That stressed us out while we were on vacation. Then last summer we got a checkup before going on vacation and he ended up needing surgery on a bladder stone. Both dogs stayed with the vet that entire vacation (they have a kennel too). We actually prefer leaving them with the vet now because if something did go wrong the vet would be right there.

This time, of course, I’ll be home to watch the little guy when I’m not teaching but I know it will affect my wife’s vacation…

Filed Under: Travel with pets

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  1. Kristen says:

    Luckily my dog causes me all the stress (and it’s been ALOT) while I’m home and miraculously is fine everytime I go on vacation! Finding a place for her to go while I’m gone has been a challenge, as she tries to eat her way out of cages (no kennels), she doesn’t get along with other dogs or kids and destroys furniture (no staying over at a friend’s house), hates being alone (no dog sitter coming three times a day for only 15 minutes). Luckily our elderly next-door neighbors love her, and now that their dog has passed away, they are able to watch her, and when they have to leave the house, they just put her back in my house so she’s never alone with their furniture.

  2. tripdiva says:

    I have two elderly cats, one on insulin and the other very arthritic and with kidney disease. I always board them with the vet on vacation so I don’t have to worry about them.

    A few years ago I boarded a 22-year-old cat; I was concerned while I was gone, of course; but I knew that, even if I were home, I couldn’t care for him any better than the vet’s staff. He was in the best place he could be – he survived my trip, and so did I!

    The cost of boarding (at the vet) is well worth the peace of mind.

  3. Sharon says:

    I understand the stress of leaving a pet for any length of time. I was so attached to my shih-tzu Gizmo, who was not a dog in my mind but a person, that I worried about him even when he was with family members. The only time he was in a kennel, he was quite young and had a wonderful time, met a girl friend there, took her toy and brought it home with him! On a long trip to California, we drove and took him and the cockatiel in the car. What a trip that was! He almost had a heat stroke in Palm Springs, the bird chirped loudly the entire 150 miles across the desert, loving every bit of it. So, stress is inevitable, both for the pet and the owners. I do think the vet is preferable, especially since the dogs may need health care. Since Gizmo passed away at 17 years, I now have one bird, who is easy to care for. But, I still worry about him, which is silly I suppose.

  4. M.J. says:

    We tried leaving our best friend with a neighbor who has several dogs and he wouldn’t eat. So now we have been taking him with us when we go on vacation. He travels well but finding a hotel that will accept him is difficult. Many say “Pet friendly” but they mean anything under 25 lbs. At 70 lbs. he doesn’t qualify! Also we can’t leave him in the room if we want to go out to eat. Very difficult! Don’t know what we are going to do when we want to travel overseas.

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