Whole Dog Journal's Blog May 3, 2011

Veterinary Visits Pet Peeves

Posted at 09:36AM - Comments: (51)

Recently, I brought Otto to the vet for a routine visit. The postcard I received from the vet’s office suggested that Otto was due for some vaccinations, a heartworm test (so I could refill Otto’s prescription for heartworm preventive medication), and a test for tick-borne diseases. The latter two tests are available in a single in-office blood test.

First peeve: “Routine vaccines.” When I call to make the appointment, I let the receptionist know I won’t be vaccinating my dog unless a distemper/parvo titer test tells me he needs a “booster” shot. First, she claims that they don’t do these tests. Argh! When I tell her to look in Otto’s file, she will see results from LAST year’s test (admittedly, ordered through another vet, one I’ve “fired” already), and can’t they just order the same test from the same lab? She puts me on hold to check with the vet before agreeing that yes, they CAN do a titer test.

Next peeve, at the appointment: The vet assistant reaches for Otto’s leash to lead him to the scales. Why should that bother me? Well, Otto is weird about slippery floors (like the kind they have in vet offices), so I quickly explain that she needs to allow him to take it slow, he might freeze up if she rushes him. I also hasten to slip him some bits of hot dog as we approach the scale, and I tell him “Up!” (It’s only an inch off the floor, but he knows “up!” from agility and other things, and it will help him understand what to do.)

(By the way, as I came out of the exam room with Otto, an older gentleman with a big, strong dog on a Flexi lead came in the front door of the clinic. He allowed the dog to charge right across the lobby and get right in Otto’s face; he made no effort to press the “lock” button on the Flexi at all. I was able to call Otto away from the dog, and an assistant came out to direct the man to bring HIS dog to the scale . . . but I noticed that THAT assistant did not take the leash, nor ask the man to lock the Flexi to a shorter length; the dog sailed across the room several times without a word from anyone! So, apparently, taking the owner’s leash is not a policy at the clinic, even in the few cases when maybe it should be . . .)

Next peeve: Again with Otto’s leash in hand, the assistant heads for a door  --  not to an exam room, but to “take him in the back.” Um, no.  I’ve had too many dogs who had inexplicably bad experiences “in the back,” and given Otto’s fear of floors (and his willingness to walk on them thus far), I’m not going to let him out of my sight, just in case he balks and is pulled or pushed into a bad experience.  “No, no!” I said. “Sorry, but I’d really prefer for you to pull blood in an exam room, with me present. We’ve made a lot of progress on the slippery floor thing, and I don’t want anything to happen to reverse that, if you don’t mind!” I said it smiling and lightly, but it’s a deal breaker for me.

Final peeve of this visit: After the assistant (and another assistant) draw Otto’s blood, I’m told that I can call back for all the results later. No exam? But I’m here to get a prescription for heartworm preventive; we need both a negative heartworm test and, I had thought, at least a brief exam in order to ascertain that my dog was healthy enough to safely be given a prescription for heartworm preventive. Without seeing the dog . . . what about this exchange, aside from the test result, warrants the “prescription”?

And all this is from a clinic that I *like*!

Are my vet visit pet peeves ridiculous? What are your vet visit pet peeves?

Comments (51)

Reading this now, it's late, why do you guys who hate your vets so much even go? Seems you would be happier not going at all...

Posted by: MarieG | April 28, 2016 11:31 AM    Report this comment

Mostly, I am just so comforted to find many other concerned parents. I thought I was the nutcase and, now, I know I am not. Thanks to Nancy Kern for advocating shopping until the right vet is found. That is just what I've done for my two and was real tired of getting fisheyed looks from vets and staff when they see I have been shopping, looks that say "Uh-oh, here's a crazy woman". My newest vet responded to my shopping with, "Well, sometimes it takes a while to find the one". I am staying with him. OH, and his prices are not going to deplete my retirement fund!

Posted by: Zoe Z | December 11, 2012 7:58 AM    Report this comment

For routine annual exams, I love my concierge vet! She spends 45 minutes of quality time with us.

Posted by: Jackie M | December 10, 2012 3:20 PM    Report this comment

I am lucky to have a vet who always listens and never reprimands when it comes to vaccines. It is a male and fenale doc office and they both do all the work needed in the exam room with us present. When we had to make the decision to let out 15 year chocolate lab go she even offered and came to our home so the dog could be more comfortable. We are in a small rural area and that probably makes a difference. On the down side for some severe or perplexing things they both sometimes have to send clients to the state university vet hospital but I guess it doesn't matter as long the animal is getting the best specialty care.

Posted by: Debra N | December 10, 2012 2:15 PM    Report this comment

I'd like to add some happy notes: The big wet kisses my vet gives my dog and cats; the gentle way he handles all three, taking into account their different personalities (blind cat, young kitten, Doxie with a tender back); how the vet techs greet my dog with big smiles and claps, calling, "Wolfgang!" with such joy that my little man practically wiggles himself in two; the chorus of "good boy!" or "good girl!" when someone gets on the scale; how all the techs/front end staff ask after my other animals when I've brought in only one; how my vet patiently and calmly explains his diagnoses (esp those that have been hard to hear); how my vet cried with me when my first dog died of heart failure. There's always stuff to complain about, but in general, knowing that my three are cared for by people who love animals as much as I do, is a blessing.

Posted by: Tags | December 10, 2012 2:06 PM    Report this comment

I think you hit the majority of my complaints:
1) Ignoring that I am a partner or part of the team in determining my dog or cats help
2) Dogs on flexis -- and more important the vet staff not managing the situation.
3) Taking my dog out of sight for routine items such as blood draws, etc.

I have found a vet that understands I am an involved pet owner:
> I have researched vaccines and understand yearly vaccines are not necessary. My dog has been titered - and his parvo is "below" the norm. We have vaccinated and re-tested. The titer values did NOT change.
> With the exception of surgery and x-rays, all work will be performed in my presence. I am not hysterical and will not faint.
> I KNOW my pet. I know his quirks and when something is abnormal for him.

Recently, I did encounter a HUGE pet peeve though.
1) I was in for chest x-rays at the rquest of my holistic vet. Only wanted/needed chest x-rays - but ended up with a full exam, etc. Not necessary - and I wasn't completely happy.
2) I had to wait more than 30 minutes to be taken back to a room - when other dogs that came in later were taken to a room "because they were hot". First, acknowledge my presence; periodically provide me with a status. Second, I have a double-coated breed - he was warm too! Third, if someone allows his dog to lunge into my dog's space - I WILL say something. Pleasantly, but they WILL Understand I consider it unacceptable.
3) THIS IS THE KICKER. WHen they finally saw us, it was an hour after we arrived. Before taking the dog for an x-ray (and I couldn't attend) I suggested to the vet tech he might have to defecate and to please take him out. After 20-30 minutes the vet returned, there was a shadow - the were thinking of taking a 3rd x-ray. He was very complimentary of my dog's behavior and patience. (I credit the handling we learned in his puppy classes! Second time in weeks a vet team complimented him for being so patient.) A while later, another vet tech stopped by the exam room and said how good and beautiful he was. Good news - the dog is healthy. As I check out - the vet tech (warned to potty him) said he was fidgety and not easy to work with - WHAT? After checking out, we were in the grass and he defecated in seconds. ARGH!

He also slips on tile floors -- we are having success with toe grips!

Posted by: McGuires_Mom | December 10, 2012 2:05 PM    Report this comment

I must be one lucky pet owner because my vet discusses things with me and we look at options together and she LISTENS! Vacs, when needed, are performed right in front of me and I'm permitted to hold my dogs. I'm ok with "in the back" for blood draws. I'm squeamish but also trust my vet and her techs. There's only one tech I'm not 100% comfortable with because I don't feel she listens to me or is 100% on the limited vacs and holistic treatment wagon. I'm a lucky gal. :)

Posted by: NANCY M | December 10, 2012 1:55 PM    Report this comment

My latest pet peeve is a vet clinic that used choke chains on every dog. If they put dogs on leash at all they use a choke chain. If your dog had to stay there and they had to take it out to the bathroom etc. they would put it on a choke chain. That totally infuriates me as I spend a lot to time training my dog and would never use this type of training tool. To me this just indicates a "lack of actual dog knowledge", they should know better.

Another pet peeve are the vet techs (and sometimes vets) that think they know what is best for your dog and just assume you should go along with what they say because you have no clue and they know best. As someone else mentioned . . .

Posted by: Cindy B | December 10, 2012 1:36 PM    Report this comment

Pet peeves, oh my!
1) Taking my animal to the back is by far my biggest one. I understand there are liability issues, and I don't have an issue with your vet techs holding my pets IN MY PRESENCE, but I want to be present for everything. In fact, I'd watch any surgeries/procedures if you'd let me!
2) Giving my pets injections without first asking (esp. antibiotics & anti-inflammatories) "because they know best what your pet needs". I want to know about the problem and what the options are before you treat. Esp. true when my cats are involved, as vets often use off-label drugs on cats, which often have problems. (And don't get me started on their favorite injectible antibiotic, Convenia)
3) Being unwilling to consider other medications than "the one" he likes to use. He is my 3rd vet, so my pets have established medications I know work well for them. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! But he'd wants to switch to "his" drugs (often newer, with uncertain side-effects).
4) Being unwilling to give me a written presription so I can buy my pets' regular prescriptions on-line for FAR less money. He is willing to MEET the on-line prices, but I have to provide tell him the specific website so he can research the price etc. Just give me the written prescription so I can be on my way, and thereby avoid his county's significantly higher-than-mine 10% sales tax.
5) Skeptical, "uh-huh" attitude when I talk about feeding my animals grain-free, and the benefits I've noted since doing so.

Gosh, after reading through this list, I think maybe I need a new vet!

Posted by: CHRISTINA W | December 10, 2012 12:45 PM    Report this comment

I personally do not like the idea of taking animals in the back. I am a vet tech and over the years, I have seen some horrible things.The vet hospital is a scary place for most animals, and I know that with my pets, they want to be close to me for security.
My parents had a very bad experience at their vet office. Their black lab was taking into the "BACK" for routine stuff and came back into the room limping. They asked why she was limping and the vet techs said that she tried jumping off the table! Ok...TRIED? seems she DID? After getting her home, she was favoring her back leg and they took her back the next day to be told she needed to have her cruciate ligament repaired! At first, the vet tried to act like it was not an injury that happened there, but after a bit of a fight, they offered to do the surgery free of charge. Just sad that it could have been avoided by doing the stuff in the exam room from the start.

Posted by: Stacey P | December 10, 2012 12:16 PM    Report this comment

I agree with some of the issues brought up in the post (most dogs don't like getting up onto the scale in the vet's office for some reason). However, as a veterinary student, I do like the idea of bringing the dog or cat "in back." At our vet school, we handle the animals in ways that minimize stress as much as possible. However, most dogs and cats actually tend to behave better when mom or dad isn't in the room. Also, if the animal is really fractious (which some are) it's difficult to draw blood and what the veterinarian or tech is doing to restrain the animal does sometimes look worse than it actually is in the owner's eyes. And most of our "difficult" patients come from households were you can tell the owners let the animal do only what feels comfortable for them. Unfortunately, getting vaccines and having a blood draw is not comfortable...even for most humans. Veterinarians and vet techs really try to make it as pleasant and peaceful as possible, since if the animal is happy and calm, we're less likely to get hurt as well and the next vet visit won't be something horrible to dread...it's a win-win situation for all involved. Certainly, exceptions are made if an animal is better with mom or dad present, but most of the time, this is simply not the case.

Having the owner restrain is often a legal liability now for us veterinarians too...technically when the dog enters the clinic, the veterinarian becomes the "owner" in a legal sense. Dog owners have successfully sued vets when their own dog bit them while they restrained. Sorry if my profession is a little wary of allowing too much owner presence or involvement while performing procedures.

Posted by: vetgirl12 | September 2, 2011 2:11 PM    Report this comment

I love my vet because he meets with me and my pets. Unlike the big "chain" vet that has "the nurse" meet with the client and pet in order to then take the dog into the back and translate to the vet. The nurse returns with a menu of expensive items needed to be done. Then you get a 5 minute consult with the vet. Not for me or my animals.

Posted by: PAM S | July 26, 2011 5:08 PM    Report this comment

I'm new to dog ownership (a little over a year) and I feel lucky of the 3 vets that I've been to -- NONE have taken my dog out w/out me, none have forced him on a scale or even made a move to restrain him..
Working in the health care field myself I have seen that PEOPLE really need an advocate when they go to a physician about a health issue...And with a dog, there is such an imbalance of power that I think you owe it to your dog to go back and be in his/her corner

Posted by: MuttLover | May 22, 2011 9:51 PM    Report this comment

I have used the same Vet for 15years or so and can honestly say that I find the service and treatment offered to be excellent. The staff are friendly, courteous and supportive of both animals and their human guardians alike. I don't know if things are done differently here but I always accompany my pets into the exam room and remain with them for examinations and vaccinations and minor laboratory procedures and hold them for the Vet. The Vet attends to the animal, not a 'tech', with nurses on hand if need be. The exam is usually a relaxed affair and everything is fully explained before any course of treatment is agreed upon.Animals are weighed by their owners in the waiting area and animals must be restrained whilst in the waiting area. To promote a positive experience at the Vet, staff encourage social visits inbetween checkups and vaccinations. Overall I'm very happy, plus they offer Puppy School which was the very best start for our dog Dexter as well as compassionate services such as cremation and storage urns and recepticles. Janine W. ROSEBUD VIC/AUST

Posted by: luvsahound | May 6, 2011 6:58 AM    Report this comment

As a mixed practice veterinarian for 33 years and a strictly holistic practitioner for the past 13 years, I sympathize with some of the complaints mentioned here. When I had a full service clinic, I did most procedures in the exam room with the owner present. However, there are some dogs (and cats) who do better without the owner present and there is always the liability issue when an owner holds their own animal. Having said that, these are the exceptions, not the rule, though my worst bites were with owners holding their dog. Keep up the good work in holding your doctors accountable and questioning the status quo, especially regarding diets and vaccines. This is the only way the "good ol' boy" network will start to embrace more natural options. The key is, as has been mentioned here, being polite and not coming across as knowing more than the doctor does. Starting off on the wrong foot and demanding options with which the doctor isn't familiar or comfortable is not the way to get the care you want. Also, training your animal to be a good patient will go a long way toward helping your veterinarian give the compassionate care your animal deserves. Take some responsibility for being a good animal "parent" and then hold your doctor to the same standard, but NOT if you aren't willing to meet them halfway.

Posted by: sharon Reamer | May 5, 2011 2:02 PM    Report this comment

Well In the last ten years of wising up I have fired 4 vets. They either play right or I never come back. I also demand to stay with the patient. I have worked in clinics and some staff is outright BRUTAL.. no wonder dogs hate going!
I fully understand counterconditing from one lousy experience, so the investment is not in 'offending the status quo" but in protecting our pets.
Dont be a doormat , dont be a pushover, the "experts' are often wrong.
I know for a fact that I know more about nutrition than the last 4 vets did.... they all tried to sell us science fiction food or something like it.It took me raising 3 boys and 5 dogs to learn that WE are responsible for our welfare and health.
Once the vet and their staff grasp that they are NOT dealing with an ignoramus , they tend to do much better.

Posted by: BIRGIT M | May 4, 2011 4:03 PM    Report this comment

This isn't so much a pet peeve I have personally with -my- vet as this would NEVER happen on my watch.

However, I am a professional dog trainer and I cannot tell you how many clients I have that report that their vets and/or staff forcibly trim their dog's nails. One client stated that it "took 3 people to hold [her] dog down". WHAT? If the dog resists, don't do it. Send the dog home with instructions to see a trainer or at least watch some videos by Dr. Sophia Yin and begin desensitizing the dog.

Out side of an emergency situation, forcibly restraining a dog is crazy and damaging and there is just no reason for it.

I have two vets. One for bread and butter stuff, another for more complicated things. One, the former, allows me to stay and watch routine surgeries like tooth extraction on my old girl and my boy's neuter. The other, though it is their policy to do blood draws "in back" has acquiesced to this self proclaimed Mama Bear. I go where my dog goes, period. They let me know that they are going out of their way by bending the rules and I am always respectful and courteous. I am careful to develop a good relationship with the staff and always volunteer to (gently) restrain my own dogs. I likewise make sure that my dogs ARE comfortable with restraint. Training your dog helps make your vet love you back.

Posted by: CanisBasenjius | May 4, 2011 1:51 PM    Report this comment

I think possibly Otto has so many anxieties because he has a total helicopter parent. I mean, seriously, every little thing bothers you and your expectations of how others should act are unrealistic. I, too, have a dog with many anxieties and it seems like the more anxious you are, the more anxious your dog gets. Relax.


Posted by: Vicki S | May 4, 2011 1:38 PM    Report this comment

After "firing" 3 vets in 1 year, I finally found the perfect place for my two dogs. We have been with this clinic for 7 years and counting! One of my dogs is very skiddish so doc Jennifer patiently examines him on the floor, through my legs as he hides, speaking softly to him and bribing with treats. All bloodwork, shots, exams, etc are done in the exam room, by the vet, with me present. My results are given to me while I am there. I have even been able to accompany my dogs to the back room, and stay with them, for stitches and other minor procedures. The vet staff are patient, kind, and compassionate. Doc Jennifer even seems to be quite receptive when I am constantly quoting "The Whole Dog Journal" on everything from vaccines, food/diet, allergy issues, etc. She is not the least bit defensive at suggestions for my dogs health and well being. It took a little while to find this clinic, but it was well worth the effort! My only pet peeve.....long hold times on the phone when I call to make an appointment and of course, expensive vet bills!

Posted by: KELLI B | May 4, 2011 11:33 AM    Report this comment

By far I have the best vet. She is holistic and certified in acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathic medicine. And the best part is she can communicate with the pets!! No extra charge for knowing how your pet is really feeling and or how she hurt a body part. I've used an animal communicator for years, Patty Summers, and never dreamed I would find a vet that also used it. At first the vet doesn't open up about this gift with animals, but I knew after 2 visits what the vet was able to do. The vet's office is huge with water flowing, soft music and the pets are allowed off leash to feel free to sniff anything and relax! It's like a spa environment for animals. My dog was not given a rabies and DHPP until a couple of weeks ago and she's almost 2 years of age at the recommendation of this vet. My dog's first DHPP given by the breeder affected her thyroid and some organs. I've used titers for the last year and finally was confident enough to have an update of vaccines given. By law, the vet can sign a form that states the animal is not healthy enough for vaccines at this time, which I carried with me everywhere just in case officials wanted a rabies certificate.

Posted by: Colleen W | May 4, 2011 10:41 AM    Report this comment

I have experienced the same as everyone until moving to a very small town and finding a vet who works out of her home! I call and I talk to her, I go into her little office of her home and I hold my critters for all blood work etc. She is an angel! I am so thankful to have finally found someone like this, I thank God! Going to the vet used to be more stressful for me because they treat you like you are an overprotective momma and cannot know a thing about vet medicine and get so mad when you question anything! This vet has even been going to holistic and homeopathic vet seminars and is incorporating it into her practice. She advocates a raw food diet as well. She is wonderful! Small town in Indiana near Wabash.

Posted by: BETH K | May 4, 2011 6:42 AM    Report this comment

I've tried every vet in town and haven't been totally satisfied with any of them. All but one whisks the dog into the back room without so much as a word, and one vet tech pulled my Lab onto the scale so forcibly when he was a puppy, he won't get near a scale, even with pieces of cheese or hot dogs as rewards! And forget finding anyone who will do titers; even our "holistic" vet doesn't think they have merit. One of my biggest complaints is the inflexibility of vets in this area. They will not take payments of any kind from anyone. Unless it's a credit card, a check, or cash, your dog is tough out of luck if you can't come up with the money one the spot, whether the bill is $100 or $1,000. If you don't have the money, they won't work on your dog, even if you offer to pay half at the end of the visit and the rest in two or three weeks. It's not fair to the owner or to the dog,

Posted by: LucyB | May 4, 2011 3:13 AM    Report this comment

The truth of the matter is this... I am so very grateful to have petcare for my dog Libby. Granted, my vet doesn't have the best personality and there are a bunch of other little things that I might not be crazy about,but I have to whole heartedly say, I am so very happy that my dog and I live in a country where we can receive care for our pets at all. Any time Libby is sick .... we get good care. Not perfect but then could I do it alone, no I could not. Why don't we all just appreciate what our Vets DO give us and stop complaining about all the things we don't like. If you don't like the way your vet does things... Get another one. If you have done that a few times, maybe the problem is not all with your Vet.

We are all perfectly imperfect and the more we learn to be appreciate all the abundance we have in our lives maybe we wouldn't be seeing the cup half empty and become negative and bitter.

I think this gripe column should end and start something more useful and inspiring. Bottom line, if you don't like the care your receiving..... do it yourself. The problem is most of us can't do it ourselves. Only uniquely trained, passionate people take the time to learn Veterinary medicine. If you don't like what they do, go to school and learn it yourself. So sorry people, a little reality check. I'm just sayin' Lets spread the love around and if you don't like something, fix it, find a solution. Get rid of Pet Peeves, they'll only make you sick. really. Love to All. I really mean it....

Posted by: DianaLovesHerPooch | May 4, 2011 2:27 AM    Report this comment

amounts of deodorant spray on top of my poor dog who shortly afterwards died because his lungs were totally filed with fluid. He was only 7 and went from healthy to gone in a matter of hours which was bad enough and then top that off with knowing the type of hands he was in and not being there to be the advocate he deserved is still after 2 years hard to deal with. So yes I am determined to be a better advocate for my 2 present companions. Sorry for rambling... Recently I had a vet tech get upset with me for asking her to draw the blood sample in the exam room. Because if she did, , she would have to get another hand to help.

Posted by: Marsha L | May 3, 2011 7:41 PM    Report this comment

I am glad to see that others also feel that it is in their pet's best intetest to be present during procedures. I've always felt that way but gave into pressure. After a very BAD experience I've vowed NEVER to bend again. When our previous dog became sick while we were traveling and far from home we were forced to take him to an "emergency" vet. To make a very long and very horrible story short...we allowed our precious dog to go in the back without us because we had no recourse and had to put our trust in the vets to take care of him. He was in the back for hours while we waited on needles and pins all the while being assured he was resting comfortably. When I finally was able to go back to him he was almost totally unresponsive and when he had a bowel movement a vet who was charting on the computer near him came over and sprayed copious amounts of

Posted by: Marsha L | May 3, 2011 7:22 PM    Report this comment

I recently took my border collie to a new vet. He was so loud mouthed & when I told him that I brushed her teeth, he said, "you people really are something! You tell me you brush her teeth & another one comes in & her dog's teeth are so bad, they are falling out of her mouth & when I tell her that her dog has a tooth problem, she says, "really?" You people are something else. Instead of brushing her teeth, why don't you go home & teach her some tricks?" And I never want to go back there again. I went there because of it being closer to my house. Next time, I'll go clear up to Va. Beach, where I used to take my collie. We pay these people a lot of money to have them degrade us & tell us off. Do they EVER read these columns? Do they even care? NO!
My dog was rescued & been through a lot of bad stuff & I want to keep her teeth. When we got her, the teeth were all brown & now I have a lot of that
tartar off of there with enzymes & brushing. Is there anyone out there who really cares? God bless the vets who have love for our pets.

Posted by: Carolgarr77 | May 3, 2011 6:47 PM    Report this comment

I'm lucky: my vet is a personal friend. But there is still a waiting room and the tech to deal with beforehand.
Tactics, when possible: Bring someone else with you to check you in and have their cell phone ready. They can call you when it's your turn. You'll almost avoid the waiting room this way. Carry small dogs through to the exam room.
Weigh the dog with a digital scale at home and clip nails. When the tech wants to take my dog anywhere, she finds a death grip on the leash while I explain I'll take the dog wherever she wants.

Once confronted with a hyper vet and my very injured dog, I physically blocked him from touching the animal until he took deep breaths and counted to ten. Believe it or not, he thanked me!

Posted by: Joan S | May 3, 2011 5:25 PM    Report this comment

I'm posting a second comment because the last one was getting long. When I first moved to Ga I had a wonderful vet. He was not holistic but there weren't many at the time and I didn't know better anyway. This particular vet had set his clinic up with a picture window on the surgery so if you wanted to or if you were concerned you could actually watch the procedures. Clients were welcome and even encouraged to watch. No one ever even attempted to separate me from my dogs except in the case of X-rays. They never allowed you in the room with x-rays although I always stood just outside the door where I could see. I really loved that clinic, but sadly he began to expand and grow. Sigh! When the staff in the front office no longer recognized me and my babies on sight I changed vets.I swear I had been there enough paid enough to set up college funds for the vet's children and grandchildren. In fact, he referred to his new wing as the "Toppie Wing" (My killer thriller dog)I really felt that by then the staff should know me and make me feel a little welcome.

Posted by: JULIE R | May 3, 2011 4:20 PM    Report this comment

I've also been through a number of vets in the last few years. I happen to really like my current clinic but not all of the vets there. However, I'm very picky about which vet I see. It is not the vets who concern me but the staff.Up to recently I have always stayed with my dogs when they go back. However last visit I took one of my guys in and the tech just automatically took him back for nail trim,ear cleaning and weight. I'm not sure why I didn't protest but I didn't. However, when we go to our appointment this Friday I intend to go back. But I do have an advantage over most people in that I am friends with the office manager who also happens to be a part owner. So on the rare occasions that they don't want me in back, I make darn sure that my friend is working that day.

Posted by: JULIE R | May 3, 2011 4:10 PM    Report this comment

Agree totally!! Our holistic vet is wonderful, doesn't drag them anywhere to treat, and if she does need to take them she asks if I want to come along. The earlier post is right - we are our pets' advocates and should speak up - if they need to take my pet from me they need to have a VERY good reason why I can't come along, which I may or may not agree with.

But many of our vets clients are horrible about keeping their dogs under control! Years ago our senior BC, unstable on her feet, had just entered the clinic door when a large Terv lunged at her and knocked her down. The clueless owner had her on a slack leash while she was dealing with the receptionist, and this dog was known to be aggressive!! The clinic is too small to have an aggressive dog standing 3 feet from the door. Why wouldn't she just have popped the dog in the car, then come back to pay. This incident was 3 years ago yet still upsets me that I wasn't able to look out for my senior gal. (Had subsequent similar incidents with our other dogs and several yappy drop-kick dogs on flexi leads that were so long they got tangled around MY legs). I've expressed my displeasure with the clinic staff and vet, next time I'll use the "my dog is highly contagious" suggestion with the clueless owners - great idea!!

Posted by: BARBARA F | May 3, 2011 3:33 PM    Report this comment

Popular subject! My vet respects me and is kind to my dogs. I've told him what vaccines I want and he doesn't try to change my mind or even disagree. The scale is in the lobby and owners weigh their own dogs and report the reading. I'm allowed in the back and have even assisted (by holding the dog) with removal of surface lumps and xrays. My vet will also tell me, if I ask, what he would do if it were his dog, so that I can make a rational choice about when it is time to say goodbye.

Posted by: Unknown | May 3, 2011 3:24 PM    Report this comment

I agree....not ridiculous at all! It is so refereshing to hear that there are so many other people out there who think like this!!! My dogs are "other dog challenged" and I simply won't bring them into the Vet office until they are ready to take us directly into an exam room after having several bad experiences. What is it with pet owners who think a vet waiting room is time for socialization? I just say, my dog will wait in the car until you are ready for us. They now respect that and clear the waiting room for us:)

But last year, I brought my dog in for a vaccination - Leptospirosis - I wasn't happy about it but a few people who I trust recommended it for my area. I told the Vet Tech that we were just in for a vaccination and that my dog had just had a complete work up at an emergency facility within the last month so she didn't need a full exam. The Vet Tech told me "the Vet will not give a vaccination without an exam". When I finally got a chance to speak to my Vet, she agreed with me and said we didn't need the exam and she administered the vaccination. But I was then shocked to find out if was a dual vaccination of Lepto AND Distemper which I DID NOT want!!! They didn't even ask me!!! So I wasn't too happy about that. I will be much clearer in my communciation going forward.

I also do not like it when they "take my dog in the back" but reluctantly, I have let them do that in the past. I am pleased to hear that many of you just say no and the Vet's listen! Next time, I am just saying no!

Posted by: DANA S | May 3, 2011 3:16 PM    Report this comment

I met many of the vets in my area while doing foster work for rescue groups. I have gotten so tired of receiving post cards for vaccinations that I would never give without reason (they love to offer bordetella every 6 months, no matter) for dogs I no longer foster. I got tired of techs taking blood before the vet even looks at the dog. Vets recommending prescription diets and telling me home cooked or raw is not good. Needless to say I found a great vet that knows my concerns and preferences and is willing to recommend ways for me to enhance my pets lives.

Posted by: Suzanne G | May 3, 2011 3:13 PM    Report this comment

I see absolutely nothing wrong with your "pet peeves". I've unfortunately gone through a few vets over the last several years due to circumstances in their lives. After I lost one to motherhood, I started going in for an initial interview with my dog to see if we both liked the new vet and he/she would meet my minimal requirements (not pester me about vaccines, do titers, allow me to stay with him during all exams, etc.). If they are uncomfortable with any of that then they are not the vet for us! Luckily, one of the vets that I liked and had moved out of town is now back in town and doing house calls, so she will be coming this June to do the semi-annual exams and we'll send the blood work off to Dr. Dodds. The best part? It's actually going to be cheaper than going to the clinics I've been going to! I've always wondered at the vets that won't allow you to stay with your pet. If I was in the hospital with my child, they wouldn't expect me to allow them to be taken off short of surgery without me by their side - why not my dog?

Posted by: Wendy L | May 3, 2011 3:05 PM    Report this comment

I guess my Shelties and I are blessed. Our Vet Clinic is staffed with wonderful, caring people who just ooze kindness, gentleness and amazing compassion for all their clients. I wish I could find a human doctor who'd treat me as well as my vets treat my dogs. The four vets on staff are all female (maybe that helps?) and they're all very open to working with me, listening to my concerns, and coming up with solutions that work best for my canine family. I do allow the vet techs to take my dogs "in the back" for bloodwork when we're only there for that purpose, but since they're long-time staffers who know me and know my dogs, I feel certain that the treatment they receive "in the back" is the same as the treatment they receive in the exam room. Yes, this clinic really is that good.

Posted by: Nancy P | May 3, 2011 3:04 PM    Report this comment

This sounds like me talking ! My peeves got so bad that I changed vets multi times and now have a traditional for serious emergencies, a homeopathic who is awesome and a naturopathic vet. I never ever ever let my dogs 'in back' without me (traditional vets). A little friendly growl and the techs seem to get the hint.

Posted by: KLee | May 3, 2011 2:58 PM    Report this comment

My vet is also a friend. We do everything together. I have let a tech take my girls back to be weighed but there was no pushing/pulling - they went willingly and I trusted them. We discuss any treatment the dogs might need and he lets me make the decision without pressuring me, keeping me well informed of all options. He knows the love I have for my animals and respects that. Besides, he's as bad as I am about loving my pets!

Posted by: Diana A | May 3, 2011 2:56 PM    Report this comment

The rampant abuse of power vets use on their customers - especially older customers - to put dogs on "prescription" diets for every little problem, whether needed or not. That extra revenue stream and the added scare tactics that can be added when people have to come pick it up every month is just the business generator that vets love. Its unhealthy food, ridiculously expensive and a ridiculous concept.

Posted by: LAURA W | May 3, 2011 2:54 PM    Report this comment

In Jan/11, I knew it was time for my old girl(13)to leave. My regular vet is about an hour's drive so I phoned a couple of other vets I have used in the past as it was still winter and a nasty drive. They both wanted to do an exam to determine if she was sick enough to be euthanized. NOT - I did end up doing the drive to my regular vet who was very respectful towards her. Australian Shepherds can be very stoic and she didn't look ill but when I looked in her eyes I knew it was time. I just was not willing to put her through anything stressful. When it was all done, I was told I made the right decision.

Posted by: mimsy | May 3, 2011 2:53 PM    Report this comment

We love our vet, I have been present for all procedures except for spay surgery. I've held paws while teeth were extracted, lumps removed, etc. We do have differences in opinion on things like raw food and titers, but she voices her opinion then supports me with my decision 100%. She is a true gem!

As for the out of control dog at the vet's office, I've learned to sadly shake my head and say "My dog is highly contagious, I hope treating your dog doesn't cost you nearly as much as treating my dog has cost me!" Funny how fast dogs are under control after that comment.

My biggest vet peeve are the people who come shove themselves at my dog, who is very anxious around new people. When I ask them politely to back off because my dog isn't comfortable around strangers, they say inane stuff like "I'm not a stranger, I'm a dog person!" OK, fine, but my dog doesn't know you and if you are not able to understand that she needs space, you are NOT a dog person!

Posted by: elainegsd | May 3, 2011 2:51 PM    Report this comment

After reading all the other comments I feel like I must be blessed. My vet is over 40 minutes away but he is worth every minute I spend to get there. He listens and all my dogs have loved him. He is the only one that has ever drawn blood from my dogs and only uses assistants to help when they are a little skittish. He talks with them just like he talks to me. He has been there to help me with saying good bye to 4 of my dogs - without him I never would have made it through. He has told me when to "stay in the fight" and when to "enjoy the time left." He has birds and dogs himself so maybe that makes the difference. If you are not comfortable with your vet, seek out another - your pet is part of your family. Would you take your wife, husband, son or daughter to a Doctor that didn't respect them or you?

Posted by: keller1312 | May 3, 2011 2:50 PM    Report this comment

I'm fortunate in that I like my vet, and she in turn respects me, listens to my opinions. Too often I've met vets and people doctors alike, who try to bully. The best defense is to be well informed and stand by your convictions. If you are not willing to do something to my pet in front of me, you are not doing it. Period. We are our pets guardians, champions and defenders.

Posted by: Amy M | May 3, 2011 11:49 AM    Report this comment

my dogs and cats go no where w/o me in a vets office. if a surgical procedure is going to be done, i personally put them in the cage and say i'll be back later. at my vet's, the exam table is also a scale. the dog table/scale is raised for wee ones that can be carried and placed on, like my girls.
i went to another vet's office for acupuncture but they wanted to draw blood first. when they started to pick up my kittie and leaving the exam room saying they will be right back, i said i'm going to. they said, oh ok, some parents don't like to watch. this one does. :)

btw, those flexi leads should be outlawed. a dog's neck is not meant to pull anything. and once extended, there is no getting it back safely (to the dog) and quickly.

Posted by: Lynn S | May 3, 2011 11:20 AM    Report this comment

I don't like it when they take his leash and take him back without me, either. I don't care if it's just for his Bordatella and it will only take five minutes. He just sits still and looks at me with his ears back and won't move, so they end up dragging him by his leash while he stares at me with pathetic puppy dog eyes.

Posted by: Vincen71 | May 3, 2011 10:59 AM    Report this comment

I must add - i do with there were veterinarian pharmacist. i know with our human children we get very helpful information from a pharmacist, that we do not get from Dr.s and prescribers.

Posted by: littlejoe | May 3, 2011 10:59 AM    Report this comment

The reason we go to the vet we do, is 95% of all treatments blood draws etc are done in our presence! i really appreciate that, being the not so trusting person I can be. We have had debate about vaccinations and tighters, and do wish there was an openness to more holistic type medicine, but overall think they are very good.

Posted by: littlejoe | May 3, 2011 10:57 AM    Report this comment

The reason we go to the vet we do, is 95% of all treatments blood draws etc are done in our presence! i really appreciate that, being the not so trusting person I can be. We have had debate about vaccinations and tighters, and do wish there was an openness to more holistic type medicine, but overall think they are very good.

Posted by: littlejoe | May 3, 2011 10:57 AM    Report this comment

Sorry that your experience was not the best. I live in a small town in Wisconsin ( not sure if I can post my vet's name on here) and love my vet and clinic. They do titers, allow me to take the dog to the scales, throw treats on the scale so she will jump on it, will discuss holistic methods of treatment along with traditional treatments, etc. My vet will even play with her when she gets the light out to check her eyes. ( I have a Jack and she is obsessed with lasers & flashlights.) After we have a non-routine visit, my vet always follows up in a day or two to see how she is doing. We love out local clinic!

Posted by: Sonia K | May 3, 2011 10:57 AM    Report this comment

Veterinary offices covered in pharmaceutical posters and placards, especially the fear-mongering ones, like the scary heartworm pictures. Tells me they're in the pocket of big pharma.

Posted by: MARLA W | May 3, 2011 10:54 AM    Report this comment

Oh, and to add a pet peeve to the list... recommending Science Diet and not supporting (or even understanding) organic and/or raw feeding.

Posted by: jenna | May 3, 2011 10:48 AM    Report this comment

NOT RIDICULOUS. I recently moved away from the Best Vet Ever to a small town down south. The vet I'm using now comes highly recommended by multiple people but (1) knew nothing about titers until I explained them to him and (2) had to also be convinced that blood draws really CAN be done in the exam room with me present. I don't mind if a vet tech wants to hold my dog for the vet IN MY PRESENCE but no one takes my dogs "in the back" unless they're there for a major procedure.

We are our pets' advocates and should always speak up for what we need to be comfortable with the treatment our pets receive.

Posted by: jenna | May 3, 2011 10:44 AM    Report this comment

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