My traumatic visit to the vet


Jill and Scruncher on the beach Any day in the Franks family is normal crazy but there are always a few laughs. Today was no different, or so I thought. How wrong was I?! Our lovely postman, Lee, knocked on the door with yet another parcel. Yes, I had been shopping on QVC for presents.

Scruncher decided to walk out of the door like a bull in a China shop, walking straight into the postman. 'How rude' I thought, as they say never sleep or dine with a bulldog or expect any manners. Still, it was unlike my boy because, as you can imagine, in my eyes he is an angel.

The next thing he walks into the garden gate and I start thinking that something's a little strange here. He came back inside and then nearly walked into the wall. I sat him down and my heart almost missed a beat. His eyes were completely closed. He had been perfectly fine the night before.

My immediate thought was, 'Quick! Get him to the vet!' as, being his first crisis (and mine) I didn't have a clue what to do. Our vet is amazing and got him an appointment straight away.

I suddenly realised that I couldn't lift him into the car. Being a bulldog, he is all muscle and I didn't want to put him under any more stress with me trying to get him into the car.

I start thinking 'Dog Taxi' who can I call to help and for a split-second I was thinking I could do with a platform with a foot pedal so I could put Scruncher on it and level it to the car seat with a foot pump and job done. Maybe a new product idea for us dog lovers who just can't get dogs in the car? I even tried the dog ramp. It was a disaster with his coordination and they are so heavy too. Been there done that one, trust me.

So, the dog taxi is looking good but I'm thinking that I will never live this one down. So I called on our dear friend Adam who is Scruncher's second dad. He could tell by my voice that I was a little stressed. He was with me in 10 minutes.

Larry and Scruncher on the beach If you're wondering why Larry (left with Scruncher) couldn't help, he was in London and I couldn't get hold of him as he was in a meeting. Adam, (our Dog Buster friend) and I got our boy in the van. We did laugh as he wasn't in the dog cage in the back, but on the throw in the back with me.

Scruncher was adorable and just wanted cuddles all the way. The vets adore him and got him on the bench. They put this green and orange liquid in his eyes and he went from an angel boy to looking like a little devil. He was nice and laid-back, as bulldogs are, and he let Pete take a good look.

He discovered very quickly that Scruncher had an ulcer in his right eye that was very large, practically covering the entire eye. We'd got him there just in time. We were recommended to a top eye specialist. So off we went and I felt immediately calm when he saw Scruncher as he was so calm.

I could see the £-signs adding up but, thanks to our insurance, we're all covered. I couldn't help but notice all the famous people's dogs that he looks after. The framed pictures on his walls were fascinating and a real testament to his work. It broke my heart to see him struggling to get Scruncher to take the medication but he did it and then saw my face when I realised that I would have to do it myself at home.

He wrote everything down for me as the dosage had to be very specific. As you can imagine I was asking what the medication would do to his major organs as well as his eye but we were okay. Scruncher was more comfortable, but we had to try and stop him from scratching his eye until it began to heal.

He is on his way to a full recovery now. We had a few sleepless nights as he would use anything he could find to scratch his eye on. So we took turns. I did the late shift and Larry the early. We went back to the the specialist and it has almost gone so we are hoping in a few weeks he will be fine as sometimes they have to be operated on but we were very quick at spotting he was in pain right from the beginning.
Scruncher He is his happy, adorable, cheeky, stubborn self again, so we took him to Bournemouth for a day out (left) as he had had a stressful few weeks. He loves the beach (well, he is a Franks after all).

Have you had any visits to the hospital, vet's or doc's that have made your heart miss a beat? Also, any original ideas on how to get Scruncher into the car? No dog ramp suggestions please!


  1. Nicola Rippon November 16, 2009 at 11:15 am -  Reply

    I hope Scruncher is now well on the mend! One panicky vet story I can tell you is from when my cats were just five weeks old. We brought the tiny kittens home on a Tuesday and booked an appointment at our vet’s for their first checkup for the following day. While I was waiting for my lift, one of our kittens, Erin, decided to investigate the fireplace – no fire was switched on and we only had a decorative electric one there so saw no need to stop her. Suddenly, as if by magic she disappeared through a hole probably no more than a couple of inches deep. She had fallen into the back of the disused chimney! You can imagine the horror! Of course she had dropped down a bit and the hole was too small for a human hand so there was no way to grab her back. We could hear her crying and we were, quite honestly, panicking – envisioning having to have the fire brigade in or a builder to dismantle the chimney and realising it could be a race against time. After frantically trying to find a way to get to Erin we discovered the bricks below the fire were a bit wobbly and we were able to remove a couple of them allowing her to drop down to where we could reach her. We got her out, a bit startled and very, very grubby just as our lift pulled up! We dusted her off as fast as we could – hardly daring to let the vet know what had happened! And believe me that was not the last time either of the kittens got into trouble!

  2. Hebe Jones November 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm -  Reply

    Poor Scruncher, it shows how important it is to see the vet the minute you recognise something is wrong.
    Unfortunately we were not insured (we are now!) when our 10 month old Jack Russell woke me up whimpering at 4am on Monday morning 3 weeks ago. I tried to keep her comfortable but she wasn’t happy. She was straight to the vets when they opened and was operated on that afternoon after being on a drip to rehydrate her. She had swallowed a stone which had become caught in her intestine! We also have a 16 year old Jack Russell who has never been a problem in her life, but obviously Maggie is a ‘real’ JRT and is intent on being as strong-willed as possible! She is back to full fitness and keeping my husband and I on our toes – never again will I do without insurance, I still wince when I think about the bill, but she was worth every £.

  3. dorothy November 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm -  Reply

    hi jill
    pleased scruncher is on the mend you feel so sorry for them, my friends son has a pug and he has scratched his eye he is soo funny when you say have you a bad eye he puts head to one side and shuts his eye, everytime we looked at we burst out laughing he is soooooo gorgeous.
    just let you know new balance trainers came they are light as a feather they are best i have had, will not be buying any others wish i had orderd two pair.
    take care.
    love dorothy xx

  4. jayne bowen November 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm -  Reply

    hi jill & scruncher glad your now better i was just like you didnt know what to do when my three year old westie got stung by a bumble bee in late summer thankfully after getting her to the vet via a good neighbour as my husband had the car at work she gave pebbles an injection and some medication she was fine but what a worry but wouldnt be without her love to scruncher luv jayne x

  5. LyndaR. November 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill, my heart was in my mouth reading about your adorable Scruncher.At least he got the right treatment at the right time, and now you can look back and notch it up as another experience to owning a doggie!o my goodness they can bring so much joy and heartache,but i tend to try and remember the good times, as being a doggie girl for many years, i could write a book!!my little westie boy is now a few months the wrong side of 13, and at the moment he has conjunctivitis of both eyes, but i’m glad to say he’s on his way to recovery.So a big pat for Scuncher and may he continue to be the prince of the Franks household!:)xx

  6. Lesley December 2, 2009 at 10:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill,
    We have a 7 yr old Bullmastiff – who this last year has had quite a few probs from emergency surgery for pyometra, to 2 strokes and cancerous growths removed … which had grown to the size of oranges over night .. so yes I know what you mean about the heart stopping stress, worry … and cost..!!!
    Lucky (very lucky) for us we have always had her insured, so although each claim has caused the excesses to mount up, the actual cost of her care this past year has been over £2,500…… so I would always recommend to anyone to have pet ins as you just never know .. and the option of not being able to afford the reqd treatment doesn’t bear thinking about … !!!
    Abby .. our beautiful Bullmastiff is 10 stone .. so I know what you mean when you are trying to get a poorly doggie who weighs a ton into the car … especially when you’re on your own …!!
    A tip I was given, and seen in practice at my Vets, is if you lay a doubled/strong blanket on the floor and get your doggie positioned/laid down in the middle, then you and a willing helper take either end of the blanket and lift up together, with your doggie suspended in the middle, sort of like a stretcher really … this helps to spread the weight especially for a large animal, or simply just move them if they are completely incapaciated, is less traumatic to the animal and much easier for you to manage them into the back of the car or the boot area, with less stress to the animal and you …. !!!
    Hope this tip helps (but that you never need it !) …. with speedy recovery to Scruncher ….
    Lesley x

  7. julie December 8, 2009 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Oh Jill, its the worst when something is wrong with your dog and so scary.
    I am so glad Scruncher is on the mend.
    i have a golden retriever who is almost 4 and is my baby.
    Love Jules

  8. Lucy January 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill Glad Scruncher on the mend it is so scary when our pets are ill as they can’t tell us whats wrong.Thank goodness you acted quickly.
    last year our cat Jemmima started shaking her head and falling over, we took her to the vets and it turned out she had had a stroke, bless her, she is much better now. However the Vet said she may have another one so I do watch her closely. Take care Hugs Lucy

  9. Carolyne Ellis February 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill
    So glad Scruncher is on the mend. It is so awful when your pet is ill or in pain. I have two Papillons One is 14 and the other 9. The 14 year old is Virtually Blind now and is deaf but that goes with age other than that he is in good health. As for my 9 year old though, she broke her leg about 5 years ago now and she looked so sad but luckily our vet set it and she had to keep the cast on for 5 months having is changed 3 times,but she was really good with it we knitted her little socks to wear over it and when she went out she had to have a hand made waterproof cover over the top so it didn`t get damaged but if she wanted anything she would let you know by hitting you with it lucky she is only small. But good care and attention got her better and apart from when it is raining you wouldn`t know she had broken it. She has to hold it up then hoping for sympathy so I will pick her up. I don`t know where we would be without our loyal companions. Take Care Carolyne

  10. susan howard April 14, 2010 at 10:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi,jill l have looked at you bulldog,bless him .so glad you sorted his eye problem,yes some bulldogs do have eye bulldog is a girl called winnie 5years and the same colour ,l adore bulldogs ,their beautiful and strong,if you know what your looking for in the bulldog,l leant my self the care of bulldogs.l get mad when people just get one to show off and know nothing. l bet you cant wait for your new baby boy, good luck to you and all the best susan.

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