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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 29, 2016

Kambang's illness

The Way We Live
Casiano Mayor Jr

Kambang, our pet dog, is an eye opener.

Since he got sick for about a week ago, I have come to realize that I am not a good pet owner.

Early Monday morning, my daughter and I took Kambang to the Provincial Veterinary Office on Gatuslao Extension where a veterinarian initially diagnosed him to be suffering from indigestion.

The veterinarian, Dr. Adelardo Mandea, gave Kambang an injection for acidity and prescribed a set of medicines, one of which was SMS 500 that I found to be quite difficult to find as it could be bought only from veterinary clinics and shops.

I easily got the two other medicines – sodium bicarbonate and hydrite – from a drug store but did not find SMS 500 from two animal clinics I had gone to - the Bacolod Animal Hospital on Hilado Street and the Zitro Vet Clinic at the corner of Burgos and Lopez Jaena.

If there is one good basic lesson I learned from Kambang's illness it that we have to identify at least one animal clinic where we can bring our pets when they get sick. It would be very handy if we can find one near the place where we live.

Until Kambang got sick, I had not bothered to take note of any such clinic as it never crossed my mind that a day may come when he, our other pet dog Nala, and four cats would get seriously ill to need a clinical treatment. In my subconscious, I had always assumed that animals do not die of illnesses but of natural death.

So when Kambang showed signs that he was seriously ill last weekend, I did not know where to bring him for treatment. Our neighbors suggested that we took him to the Provincial Veterinary Office which is just about 200 meters away from where we live.

“He could die of dehydration so we have to hydrate him,” Dr. Mandea said after I told him that Kambang had been vomiting and discharging liquid poops on Sunday, and handed me his prescription, which included three tablets of hydrite, each to be mixed in a glassful of water and administered over the next three days.

My failure to take note of any veterinary clinic and shop that I could have passed by whenever I drove to some places in the city sent me in limbo on where to buy SMS 500 on Monday. Our child, Angeline, suggested Animalia at the Shopping Center near the St. Joseph Institute.

But when I went there, it was close. A man, who was sitting in front of it, said it was not a veterinary clinic but a shop for animal grooming, and told me to try the Bacolod Animal Hospital and Veterinary Supply on Hilado Street.

When I got to the place, there were a lot of dogs and cats taken there for treatment. The pets, either hybrid or pure breed in beautiful leashes, were well groomed. As I fell in line to buy SMS 500, I could not help but think that their owners could have loved their pets so much.

When it was my time to transact business at the counter, I was told that their SMS 500 was out of stock and got the suggestion that I may try Zitro Vet Clinic at the corner of Burgos and Lopez Jaena streets. So off I went to Zitro Vet, only to be told that it had also run out of stocks.

I was advised to try another veterinary clinic near Lopue's East but it was past 10 a.m. so I decided to go home to drive our daughter to school at 11 a.m. On my way home, I thought that I could have saved so much time if I had a ready clinic in my mind.

Back home after driving our child to school, I tried to make Kambang take hydrite but couldn't. He would close his mouth tightly and would never budge an inch even if I forced him to open his mouth. Initially, I also failed to make Kambang take sodium bicarbonate until I embedded the tablet into a hotdog which he gladly devoured.

Monday evening, I could not sleep well over my fears that Kambang may not last the night. It was the first time I prayed for divine succor to save a dog's life. It was both out of love and remorse over the thought that we took Kambang for a pet although we could not provide him with ample care.

Kambang, a native dog, appeared to have recovered on Tuesday. He ate well when I gave him hotdog in the morning but spat out the sodium bicarbonate. I thought that, probably, he had tasted the tablet placed in his hotdog the day before and had anticipated that the medicine was buried in it once again.

Kambang was in the mood to play with our other pet dog, Nala, Wednesday evening, although I did not bring him to the clinic for another checkup as I had yet to write this article, while tending our store cum carinderia, to meet my deadline.

Before going to bed after sending this article to the editorial desk on Wednesday night, I would have to pray once again for Kambang's continued recovery. I don't want Kambang to die because I don't want to feel like an irresponsible parent, who did not make plans on how to take care of his children before he had decided to raise a family.

(The author car be reached through his cellphone 09066742685 or his email casianomayor@yahoo.com)*

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