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?