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What do you like/dislike about your Vet? Standards, etc?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 1, '11 10:50pm PST 
So I'm looking to apply to Vet school next year. I'll be studying Nutrition on the side, as well, as most of us know that vets are NOT properly trained in terms of nutrition, aside from dog food companies coming in.

That said... I've also noticed there are certain vets I refuse to go to, simply because I have a list of standards and I know really amazing vets who have a set of standards that they will not lower themselves beneath, too. So I'm kind of researching and figuring out what people like or dislike, what they want in a vet, different types of vets, etc. I've strongly considered holistic practice too, but I'm iffy about it as it's more rare and I wouldn't know how to go about getting into it.

My current vet refuses to charge more than absolutely necessary to run his practice and pay his own bills, which to me, is amazing in comparison to another practice here that has KNOWINGLY scammed people out of thousands of dollars in tests that didn't even NEED to be performed, so it comes down to things like that.

His FIRST and foremost concern is the animal, then the owner, then the money after. And I only know one other vet practice here like that.

So what do you like or dislike about vets you've been to? What a list of standards you would LIKE to see in a vet?

I've never understood cosmetic surgeries in dogs that aren't actually for something to do with their health, so much as appearance. Why? I've never understood overcharging or charging for things that aren't needed. I've never understood why so many vets claim to KNOW ALL when it comes to nutrition, but haven't actually studied nutrition. I dunno, is it just me, or does it seem like there are FAR MORE vets in it just for the money than there are that are in it for the animals themselves?

I understand that running a business costs money, but when you're going above and beyond needlessly in prices...
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Foxxy

Pocket Wolf
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 1:03pm PST 
I don't like the high volume nature of the vet I go to, but the vets are always very good and reasonable. The prices are good too, but I have to totally look past the fact that they are tightly hooked up with Hill's, Iams and Purina Vet Diets.

I like the fact that they itemize everything so I can refuse certain things, like when they need their annual shots I can get those and get out for $35 and then get their annuals at another time and split the cost across a couple of months. What I don't like is that they don't have an ATM very close.

They didn't shrug off my worry when Foxxy got a lump after her first rabies shot, and checked up on me every other day to make sure it was going away. They were very prompt and gentle when Foxxy had a reaction to Heartgard. I don't know if they believed me at first, but since she's had no reaction since switching to interceptor, we've since got it on record.

They also have training classes in their own training room and boarding that I actually trust, they have a nutritionist, a behaviorist and an eye doctor on staff, and they actually work with you approvingly if you go for Raw or homecooked diets rather than glare disapprovingly, but I really hate their front staff. They are cold, and have very poor customer service on their better days. I suppose it's because they can see about fifty animals a day, but it would be nice if they would improve the customer service.
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Milton

Im just a little- guy
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 1:21pm PST 
My vet is now in a different state. There was many aspects of this practice I liked.

I took Milton to a clinic style vet who specialized in low cost spay and neuters. This veterinarian would ask you what you are feeding. They recommended top quality pet foods and pushed home prepared diets. While they are a traditional practice they took some holistic approaches to health. No science diet in this clinic.

This clinic was also helpful to rescue organizations. They helped individuals with low cost spay and neuters. Awesome!

Milton has had impacted anal glands twice. This vet was much better than the new clinic I brought milton too the second time. First of all they gave me the correct doses, the right size e collar, and gave a fact sheet on my dog's health problem. The fact sheet had lots of useful information about diet changes and ways to prevent the problem.

The new vet told me diet played no part in the problem. No helpful fact sheet. Suggested I have the glands removed which in it's self causes problems and should only be done in extreme cases. Did a shoddy job too. Also attempted to convince me to sedate Milton just so they could look at his butt. Not going there again!

My old vet was not full service and did not operate an E clinic. That was one dislike.
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Milton

Im just a little- guy
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 1:24pm PST 
Oh and my old vet did not chop parts off of animals for cosmetic value or declaw cats.
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Otto

King Snuggler!
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 1:25pm PST 
I like that our vet is no-nonsense and only charges for what is necessary. I've even asked if our dogs would need this and that (me being paranoid) and he'll usually say "No that's not needed". They don't try to shove unnecessary meds at us or sell us food. When we found 2 kittens he stayed late to give them an exam, flea meds, and fecal test, but only charged us like $30 total. The one thing that kinda bothers me is that he's just not really talkative or outgoing. He really doesn't say anything unless we ask a question. I guess this is just his personality though. I will continue to go to him though because I think he is trustworthy, knowledgeable and I know he's not going to try to make extra money off of me. Our previous vet we left because, while he was alright, he upped his fees to almost double. If he was fantastic, we would have stayed, but alas we decided to move on. Good luck in your studies!!!!
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Otto

King Snuggler!
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 1:57pm PST 
I also wanted to add that it is great that you are going into nutrition. The vet that we left always tried to push Science Diet on to us as it is "The Cadillac of foods". I don't think so!!! With a background in nutrition I think it would be great for you to be able to encourage pet owners to choose a higher quality brand/method of feeding.
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Samson

Work? What's- that?
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 5:41pm PST 
Mine only ever asked once if I wanted to get Samson neutered and after trying to feed me a bunch of BS left it at that.

I like that they left me alone after my decision was made clear, not so much that they tried feeding me BS but it is what it is. They are very much old school in that the owner is the client and the CLIENT makes the ultimate decisions with guidance from the vet if asked for. They don't try and bully you or argue with you or tell you that you are stupid or incapable of making simple observations about your dog.

They have late evening hours which was nice for when I worked days (doesn't matter now so much that I work nights).

Wrapped up very tight with Hills/IAMS but they have never tried to push that stuff on me (and I haven't really made my nutritional beliefs known to them at all).

I don't like that they are a little bit aloof concerning how well they know me and my dog but they DO remember me and my dog every time I come in and they remember the previous times I've come in. I guess that is a bit hard to explain. Aloof is probably not the right word at all but it is all I can think of at the moment.

The vet has TONS of experience. He used to treat lions and racing greyhounds so he knows a lot about HIGHLY specific needs and is pretty understanding if your dog needs something like that. Our old veterinary practice that my family used to go to I did not go to because they had a very strict protocols.

You are not treating robots you are treating individuals and your philosophy should reflect that.

They also are not afraid to help you and give you advice over the phone for simple things but they know when to tell you to get the dog into their office when that is necessary. Both times Samson had a UTI I described the symptoms and they had my prescription around and ready before I even got to the office to pick it up.
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Mikey

You know you- want to pet me
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 6:38pm PST 
My vet office is located in a cute neighborhood in a large city and deals with a lot of clients. Not overwhelming all the time, but they are busy. Even so, I've always been able to get same day appointments or been able to get Mikey in at specific times.
They all know Mikey too and remember things about him that I'm surprised they remembered.
The techs are great with him when he gets his nails clipped. I don't know what they do, but he always comes out with nice short nails and the techs are cooing over him. And it only cost $20.
I'm not pushed about vaccinations either.

They were awesome when I had to bring my cat in to be euthanized. They squeezed us in, in between other appointments and never rushed me when I was left alone with my baby.

They don't seem to be inundated with S.D. or any other brand of food. Actually his diet is never discussed, so I've yet to have anything pushed on me.
The owner of the clinic has opened up a second holistic clinic.
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Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 6:57pm PST 
I dunno Otto, there are a lot better cars out there then Caddy's, they tend to need a lot of expensive repairs. Maybe SD is like a Cadillac! laugh out loud

I prefer no nonsense vets who aren't going to feed me a load of BS or seem irked by me questioning them. A vet I can really trust, who knows what they're doing is my biggest requirement. I can work around prices and schedules if I get that.
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Chance

How You Doin'?
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 9:23pm PST 
THE NEW CLINIC: We just switched vets in February.

LIKES:
The owner is very experienced - has been a vet since 1978, has performed a lot of different surgeries, did a great job with Chance's broken tooth extraction and light dental cleaning. We liked him and Chance did too.

The vet clinic is a family practice. The owner bought it from his father. The owner's daughter is a vet there as well.

The owner didn't push a urinary diet on us when he did the 2nd opinion on Chance's inverted vulva, UTIs, bladder scoping, etc. In fact, he said he wouldn't think of prescribing a prescription diet for her.

Chance has seen 2 of the 5 vets and liked both of them.

I've been in on vet visits with 4 of the 5 vets and liked them all.

The owner's daughter and 1 other vet are both open to holistic or alternative therapies/remedies.

DISLIKES:
Other than the practice being large and busy, none.

------------------------------------------

OLD VET CLINIC

LIKES:
The part-time vet was fantastic. She was always doing extra research and working up alternate treatment plans in case the 1st, 2nd or 3rd treatment plans didn't work.
She liked to go the holistic route when the condition allowed it.
She would always explain the possible side effects of any medication she was going to prescribe before prescribing it.
Even if she hadn't seen Chance for 6 or 8 months, she could tell if she'd gained or lost even 2 oz!
Chance LOVED her.
She had a great "bedside" manner.
Would allow us to be there for any surgical procedure that didn't require a sterile operating room.

The vet tech that had been there the longest.
She was very much like the part-time vet.
Chance loved her and she loved Chance.

The receptionist was very friendly.
Chance loved her and she was always happy to see Chance.

All 3 of the above employees made the vet office feel warm and inviting and calm. They always encouraged clients to bring pets in for a treat and some attention so the vet office wouldn't be such a scary place.

The location couldn't be beat. A 1/4 mile walk/drive from our house.

DISLIKES
The owner. She was the full-time vet.
You never knew what kind of mood she would be in. Rarely she was friendly, personable and nice to be around. Usually she was distant and cold and may even look or walk right past us and not even acknowledge we were there if we stopped in to pick something up.
The atmosphere of the vet clinic would change when she was there and it was not a comfortable place to be.

She had no "bedside" manner at all. She had me sobbing when Chance was diagnosed with bilateral HD and mild DJD in 1 hip just before her 1st birthday.
She pushed a prescription diet even though Chance has a corn intolerance.
She said we had to start Chance on the maximum dose of Deramaxx immediately and do that every day because Chance had to be in great pain.
She told us we had to be prepared to either put Chance down or have both her hips replaced by the time she was 3.

Chance has never had to take a single dose of anti-inflammatory meds for her hips, no one who sees her move can believe she has bilateral HD and she turns 4 in a couple of days.
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