Alarming trend in veterinary medicine

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.
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PitFriend
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Postby PitFriend » Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:27 am

I think the main thing with this sort of issue, and Misskiwi touched on it already, is having excellent communication with your veterinarian. If you are unhappy with your dog being taken to the back, or are unsure why it's necessary, you HAVE to be open about your concerns. Vets and techs are so focused on getting the job done, especially in the larger and busier clinics, that many times they aren't going to think to ask "Is this ok with you?" or to stop and say "Just to let you know, this is why we do X in Y fashion." They usually do things in ways that are most efficient and effective for THEM, and they understand why they do it that way, but they don't always clearly communicate those reasons to the clients.

So the responsibility sometimes falls to the client to say "Wait, stop, why are you doing it this way and are you open to something different?" Which, I don't think is an unusual or bad thing. It's the same with human doctors... my own physicians half the time would have me in and out of the exam room in 30 seconds if I didn't say "WAIT! I want to talk about this more." That's just the nature of medical care these days. So speak up! If you have questions or are worried about something, talk about it. Once an issue is brought up, most good vets will take the time to make sure that you're happy with the care your animal is receiving.

If you wonder what's going on in the back, ask to take a tour. At the clinic where I worked most of the time we didn't openly invite clients into the back because we were always so busy (and certain times just aren't appropriate for tours - for example most clients probably wouldn't want to walk into a treatment area and be unexpectedly faced with a doctor performing a necropsy), but if someone asked specifically to see the back area we would certainly find a time to show them around. Good clinics and good doctors should have nothing to hide, but they do sometimes need prompting! And there's nothing wrong with that... communication is a two-way street. If, after a client has asked all the questions and voiced all the concerns, he/she is still not getting complete or satisfying information, then maybe a new vet is in order.

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rednoseErnie
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Postby rednoseErnie » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:01 pm

Hmmm. I've moved around a few times, and Ernie has gone to I think 6 different vets, in 6 years. He has also had a lot of medical procedures done, including X-rays, surgeries, and asperations.

He has been taken in the back many times for these, and almost every time, when he gets back, the vet or tech tells me what a sweet boy he was, and that he was kissing the techs in the back. One time, he was getting X-rays, and 5 people had to hold him down, because he was wagging his tail too hard. And this is when he was hours from death with a twisted spleen. lol

I guess my point is, I've never been paranoid about what goes on "back there", because it never seemed to traumatize my dog, and if I get a good vibe from the vet and techs, I tend to trust them. Even on my first visit.

Maybe if Ernie was prone to getting nervous, I would be concerned about how it affected him. Or, if the vet or tech rubbed me the wrong way.
:dunno:

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Postby RodentRanger » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:27 pm

I think it has a lot to do with your vet and your trust in them. My dogs' last vet was great with my hound, but afraid of Kailie. They would bring me a muzzle and have me put it on her so they could take her in the back and have God knows how many people restrain her to do *anything* to her. I could hear her screaming every time. She started shaking as soon as she realized where we were.

My current vet is wonderful. Yes, he still takes the dogs in the back for stuff, but Kailie has never been muzzled and she always comes back happy and wagging. My dogs are strong and I find it difficult to restrain them well enough to be of much help during a procedure and honestly prefer the "pros" do it. And besides that, if by some chance, my dog gets loose, there's at least two doors between them and the reception area and a third between there and the street.

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Postby Odnarb » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:50 pm

Ursa Arctos wrote:I feel a little mixed on this. When I was taking Oliver in for his shots, the first time I was in the room, holding him. He cried SO badly! And while I knew he wasn't really hurt, that he was just a big puppy wuss, it still made me upset.

I wonder how many vets have done scrapings/shots, etc in front of an owner, and the dog yelps, and the owner accusses the vet of being cruel, insensitive, or rough?



It happens multiple times a week.


By removing the owner (who may be a little more irrational than normal if they fear that their baby is in pain) they get to skip all of that. So, I think in most cases I understand.



This is exactly it!


However, on the other hand, I think that if my dog was ever truly frightened, and that my presence would comfort him, I would definitley insist to the vet that I be present, and I think my current vet would comply.



IF you are being rational. If you are freaked out that "your baby" is scared or being hurt, they freak out, too. Then it just makes it all get worse and worse.

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Red
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Postby Red » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:55 pm

I think Odnarb is correct about the majority of folks not knowing how to handle their animals.It isn't done purposely but emotions are in the way, understandably.Nobody likes to see their dogs scared, hiding or crying.
I see it every time I am in the waiting room.Nervous dogs with agitated owners.Frantic hand patting, sometime yelling because the dog tries to go out the door, unsure and worried tone of voice and so on.I feel uncomfortable myself when I see it, I can imagine what the dog might get out of it.
Then again there are owners who are very capable of handling and I feel they should be given the opportunity to be with their dogs.I don't have problems with vet techs taking my own dogs in the back.One reason is that I know they won't be hurt (otherwise I should change vet) and the other is that my dogs can take minor procedures without a peep.They go in wagging their tails and come out just the same.
I have been using the same vet, among others, for 5 years now.They like my dogs and are happy to see them.Jack got a few discounts for the way he let people handling him prior and after surgery.

But I have started to go to a different clinic.One hour and a half away and they have staff who know dog behaviors, unlike the other staff.One of the vet is studying for a degree in behaviors and that is the one I chose.
The major reason is the fearful male I am housing.My regular vet and his staff are clueless about how to handle him.Other dogs as well, they often get bitten due to mistakes reading dogs.They double book appointments and are always in a hurry, which does not help this dog.The have a new huge guy who is scary looking (no offense to him but really...jesus!) and won't listen to a thing.If I ask someone to look elsewhere instead of staring down at a particular dog there is a reason for it.I mean for him to do it.If not we are going to have a problem and I will take my business somewhere else.
Plus there is no way I am letting anyone to take this dog in the back, which is the policy for some procedures.I handle him, period.My other vet, two hours away, is in LA and will allow me to go in the back for everything.Tux was opened up due to neuter complication while I was holding him down on the table.Same for the neuter, I was in the back the whole time.The dog went asleep seeing me and woke up the same way.I am grateful they do and that is why I go to them if he has problems.This is a case of safety and if things go wrong I'd rather be the one who deals with him.It is best for everyone.

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Postby Jazzy » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:34 pm

This is my experience, which prompted me to initiate the thread:

Years ago when my puppy mill bassett was starting out her career as a professional patient; my mom heard about this very prestigious, well known vet in our area (she listened to his radio show) and convinced me to give him a try in the hopes of a miracle cure for the ailment du jour. He whisked Fran in back for blood work. She came out looking a little shaken but none the worse for wear; but I was left standing there thinking "what the heck was that, where is my dog? Why did I just agree to this, I just met this man...". In asking around I heard horror stories from other pet owners (only allegations mind you) but my neighbor said her dog went "in back" and was so frightened by something he expressed his anal glands and was returned to her with a wet butt and stinking to high heaven. I also heard allegations about overly rough handling and allowing interns to "practice on dogs". (Yes I know everyone has to learn somewhere but I beleive an owners consent needs to be given; and I am sorry...for the money I am dishing out...I do not want anyone "learning" on my dog.) Well, in addition to all of this...I found the vet to be a pompous donkey AND he gave me the wrong medical advice (at least it contradicted what the specialist at Angell Memorial told me...guess who's word I'm taking?) - so that was that...no need to talk to him...back to my regular vet with tail tucked between my legs :oops: .

Then more recently, I had to use the e-vet for Fran right before she passed. At the time it wasn't really a real emergecy...my vet was away, Fran was "fading" and I guess I was looking for a miracle cure again. All they did was do a skin scraping and send me home to get benadryl...and that was appropriate; but again "we have to take her in back". Now I didn't bother to make a fuss because I realize...this is an e-vet; I understand they have alot more going on than our piddly skin scraping. But still I remember thinking "Why do you have to take her in back? It will take 2 seconds...you're standing right here!"

Then just a few weeks ago I was setting up a dermatologist appointment for Veronica for allergy testing. I believe I mentioned the sedation for blood work or skin scraping. I did ask; and was told emphatically no, I could not be with her. I could wait "in the building"...but I could not be there while they do the procedure. So I decided against it. Not that money is the issue but; they were going to charge me $125 for the consultation; then $300 for the bloodwork (that I can't watch) and another $300 for the skin scraping. I'm sorry; for $700 I should not only be allowed to be there, I should be able to videotape the entire procedure for posterity! I settled on just the blood work and having my regular vet do it. She drew blood in under a minute while my husband held Veronica and the vet made small talk with us.

A somewhat funny tidbit I have to add:
I feel a little mixed on this. When I was taking Oliver in for his shots, the first time I was in the room, holding him. He cried SO badly! And while I knew he wasn't really hurt, that he was just a big puppy wuss, it still made me upset.


I personally prefer to be there (yes, that's a surprise I know).

Frannie hated to have her nails clipped. She screamed (and I mean SCREAMED) like she was having her toes amputated. I always had my vet do her nails because I trust her and know she wan't hurting her (anymore than necessary :oops: ). But this is one time I wished she had an "in back" for the other dogs and pet owners. Fran made such a stink, my husband would hold her; but I always ended up going out to the waiting room to reassure the other patrons "Not to worry, she's just a drama queen, just a little harmless nail clipping" because the others waiting would be trying to inch their way towards the door!

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Postby ZiggysMom » Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:24 pm

I think most of what I would say has already been said, but I would like to add one thing:

Remember that when you switch vets and are getting to know someone new that you are building trust with, it goes both ways. Your vet is getting to know a new client that they have no prior experience with. When I see clients I know well that I know are able to handle their dogs, I'm much more likely to let them help restrain. When I see a dog I know well, I know whether they are a dog who is better with or without the owner. But on that first visit, without the knowledge that comes with having met someone before, you just have to do the best you can to figure out what way will work best to do things, and you often have to take the better-safe-than-sorry approach even when it may offend someone.

In a perfect world, I'd schedule all new clients with an extra-long new pet checkup visit where we can sit and talk about these things and I can get a chance to do a check-up while the pet is feeling good and get all these things ironed out before they get sick. Unfortunately, this is not often how it works. If you really want to get to know a new vet and get on good terms, I'd suggest making your first visit a healthy pet check-up so you can get to know the vet before you're stuck with a crisis. And bring up anything you're particularly concerned about, whether it be taking pets to the back or that stinky groom-aid spray they use after expressing anal glands or whatever your personal preferences may be.

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Postby Sarah » Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:31 pm

BabyReba wrote:she was having problems doing the physical restraint thing because he kept licking her face, so i suggested she let me hold his head while the other tech got blood.


When I was working for a vet, we didn't see many pit bulls. One time, though, we had clients bring in 2 APBT bitches, who belonged to different branches of the same family, and had gotten into a scrap. There were no serious injuries, but a lot of little bite wounds over both dogs.

So we had them in back to treat them, clipping and cleaning the wounds. The older bitch was well trained, and sat very nicely while we treated her.

Then we brought in the young bitch, aptly named "Chaos". lol It took 2 people to hold her down, and then I put my foot on her tail to pin it in place, because she was whipping people with it and it hurt! She was happy as could be, not at all distressed about the treatment, or the restraint; she just had so much love to give, and not enough time to give it all.

When Tully was young (maybe still a pup?), Odnarb took her back for some procedure or another. I could hear Tully scrabbling on the floor all the way back there, and soon I could hear her returning. Odnarb was laughing at the fact that Tully had been so excited to see everything on the way back. They didn't have any trouble with her (my dogs are always good for treatment, just sometimes a bit wiggly), but her constant enthusiasm to go-go-go! amused everyone.

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Postby Odnarb » Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:34 pm

Sarah wrote:When Tully was young (maybe still a pup?), Odnarb took her back for some procedure or another. I could hear Tully scrabbling on the floor all the way back there, and soon I could hear her returning. Odnarb was laughing at the fact that Tully had been so excited to see everything on the way back. They didn't have any trouble with her (my dogs are always good for treatment, just sometimes a bit wiggly), but her constant enthusiasm to go-go-go! amused everyone.



Your dogs were always great to work on! I still think my favorite moment was Elmo pulling stockings off the wall, though. lol

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Postby Murfins » Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:24 pm

ZiggysMom wrote:I think most of what I would say has already been said, but I would like to add one thing:

Remember that when you switch vets and are getting to know someone new that you are building trust with, it goes both ways. Your vet is getting to know a new client that they have no prior experience with. When I see clients I know well that I know are able to handle their dogs, I'm much more likely to let them help restrain. When I see a dog I know well, I know whether they are a dog who is better with or without the owner. But on that first visit, without the knowledge that comes with having met someone before, you just have to do the best you can to figure out what way will work best to do things, and you often have to take the better-safe-than-sorry approach even when it may offend someone.

In a perfect world, I'd schedule all new clients with an extra-long new pet checkup visit where we can sit and talk about these things and I can get a chance to do a check-up while the pet is feeling good and get all these things ironed out before they get sick. Unfortunately, this is not often how it works. If you really want to get to know a new vet and get on good terms, I'd suggest making your first visit a healthy pet check-up so you can get to know the vet before you're stuck with a crisis. And bring up anything you're particularly concerned about, whether it be taking pets to the back or that stinky groom-aid spray they use after expressing anal glands or whatever your personal preferences may be.


:goodpost:

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Postby Beowulf » Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:09 pm

I have never been asked by my vet to leave the room or let them take them in back without me. I have always been present for all procedures. I was even allowed to watch both of Pandora's knee surgeries through the window.

One very stupid question though - what in the hell in an e-vet? :oops:

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Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:03 pm

Beowulf wrote:I have never been asked by my vet to leave the room or let them take them in back without me. I have always been present for all procedures. I was even allowed to watch both of Pandora's knee surgeries through the window.


My vet used to let people be in the room and watch procedures... until someone forgot where she was, got curious about some anatomy, and touched the dogs internal organs with her UNSTERILE hands!!! Nobody is allowed to watch surgeries anymore...

There are just too many risks involved with trusting untrained personnel to do technical work...

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Postby Taffys_Angel » Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:30 pm

Sarah wrote:I've worked for vets, and that is most typically done because it's easier to grab someone away for a quick hand with a blood draw (or whatever) by taking the dog to them, rather than asking them to drop what they are doing and come into an exam room. Also, because most people can't handle their own dogs very well, and get the dogs more worked up than they need to be. By removing the dog from the owner, it's often easier to settle the dog, and get the procedure dealt with quickly.



Exactly.

Most owners aren't versed in proper animal restraint techniques! I can't see some novice trying to hold off their dog's vein or restraining for something important. You need to be trained to do that kind of job, so things go fast and are the least stressful for everyone involved.


And if their dog is protective/defensive/aggressive when the owner is around, that's a whole other kettle of fish. Some dogs just can't be worked on if the owner is around. Hell, I had to deal with dogs like that at the Grooming Salon too. Some dogs you couldn't touch if the owners were in the room, they'd go for you in a heartbeat.

Sometimes it's best (and safer!) for the dog and everyone else involved if the dog is taken "back" to have certian procedures done.

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Postby mommy2kane » Sat Oct 20, 2007 8:05 pm

Beowulf wrote:One very stupid question though - what in the hell in an e-vet? :oops:


Emergency vet

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Postby bamawrly » Sat Oct 20, 2007 8:09 pm

We at work (human dentist) will not allow parents during procedures to be in with there children, even the minor little procedures. They cause more harm than good and the kids act much better when they're not there.


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