Our poor Kirby, whose life is already so difficult (to hear him tell it) hasn't been feeling well the last week or so. His symptoms have come and gone, so we kept figuring it was all due to the heat and stress, especially because the A/C went out in the room where he normally hangs out when we are out of the house, and there is no other good room to leave him in, so when we've had to be out he's had the run of the house but no A/C. Yes, the tile floors are pretty darned cool but only so helpful when you have a fur coat.
Anyhoo, Thursday night he almost completely refused to eat. We finally coaxed him into having his dinner, but he didn't finish it. This is practically death's-door behavior for our hound dog, so we planned to call the vet first thing this morning. Our 2-doors-down neighbor had recommended a vet we hadn't yet had reason to call. On the neighbor's note giving us the vet's name and phone number, he mentioned that the vet will come to the house. Go Malta!
The downside to the Maltese vet is that he would come "in the afternoon". Could I get a more precise timeframe there? Nope, of course not. So I hung around the room that has our only telephone because I have been very bad about hearing the phone if I am too far away, and I can't reach the phone in time if I'm upstairs anyway. Our house is too big. The vet came around 3:30pm and checked Kirby out. Turns out he has hip pain, which was either caused during one of his play dates with our friend's dog Kodiak, or is just a sign of his advancing age (he'll be 9 years old in January). The vet gave me an anti-inflammatory and said if Kirby is still in pain after the pills run out, then it is likely arthritis and he'll do further testing, but if he is good as new then there was probably just some accident when the dogs were playing. What a relief! I was fearing everything from sandflies to cancer.
The kicker - for the house call, checkup and prescription, the guy charged 10 Maltese Liri. That's it! I can't even get a regular checkup at the vet back home where we have to bring him in for that little! For all the extra expense of this country, sometimes we find we can get a break.