Vet Visit From Hell: Nudge’s Acid Reflux

When your dog gets sick, it is stressful enough. What if the veterinarian doesn’t communicate?

Thank you, Kaitlin Falatovich, for sharing Nudge’s story.

Vet Visit From Hell: Nudge's Acid Reflux

Nudge’s story

I’m sure you, too, have days when it seems that the whole world is conspiring against you. Unfortunately, I had one of those days recently.

My pup was suffering from some stomach pain.

Being the overprotective parent I am, I head straight to the vet. I made no hesitation walking right into the clinic and got my spot to see the vet where someone else had canceled.

At the clinic

The waiting room smelled of stale cleaning products and sickness. 

It was the hottest day ever, and the smell loomed in the air. The waiting room was packed. There were sad faces everywhere you looked, both the animals and their worried owners.

Not only were the animals making noises of sickness, but so were the owners. I ended up sitting next to a woman with the world’s worst cold with my luck. She hacked and sniffled and wiped her nose every three seconds. My pup was in pain, I was on edge, and all this wasn’t helping!

My pup was in pain, and I wanted to help him now!

The examination

Finally, after several hours, my pup got our turn. I gripped my little Nudge tight and sprinted into the exam room.

And yet another wait. What a relief when the vet finally entered the room! By now, I was almost in tears, and so was Nudge.

Nudge panted and moaned as the doctor inspected every last inch of him. 

I sat there quietly, waiting for the vet to tell me what was wrong with my little pup.

She examined Nudge and walked out of the room. 

Very few words were exchanged between us. This worried me a great deal. Somebody tell me what’s wrong with my dog! She barely spoke a word for all the symptoms that I had rattled off to her; I was very uneasy.

When the vet returned, she handed me a card for a follow-up endoscopy. Maybe she took a vow of silence?

It was not until after the endoscopy that I got to find out what was wrong with my pup.

The diagnosis

My little Nudge was in so much pain because he suffered from acid reflux.

The upside was that

  1. I finally had a diagnosis.
  2. It is treatable
  3. I could relate to my dog on yet another level because I, too, suffer from acid reflux.

Nudge has gastroesophageal reflux, which means his gastric fluids are backing up into his esophagus.

Prolonged acid reflux without treatment could lead to severe damage to his esophagus.

There can be severe reasons your dog might get acid reflux, including cancer of the esophagus,  so it is essential to get an expert’s opinion. 

(No matter how painful the waiting room is!)

Nudges treatment included a lower-fat diet with several small meals. As a result, we are both on practically the same diet!

I also learned the importance of not judging a book by its cover. 

That initial visit was my first encounter with THAT vet, and, despite her unorthodox way of interaction, she quickly found out what was wrong with Nudge!

Nudge has been her patient ever since!

Related articles:
What Makes a Good Veterinarian: Veterinarians Are People First
Our Own Emergency Vet Horror: Jasmine’s Brush with Death—Veterinary Mistakes, Misdiagnoses, and Miscommunication

Further reading:
Acid Reflux in Dogs
How You Know It’s Time to Find a New Vet

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