Horrible Vet Experience -_-

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creiter
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Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby creiter » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:36 pm

Duke has fear aggression problems towards strangers (and the vet). We just had a horrible vet experience and I feel like a pretty large failure of an owner and feel like I'm just stuck where we are on his training and things are not getting any better :(

My vet is a home-visit vet, that is the only manageable way to monitor Duke's behavior during a situation he hates. My vet did horribly. I asked her to take it slow and take baby steps towards where he was separated behind a baby gate using chicken (high value treat) and a clicker (I was standing by him ready to click and treat for a good sit-look while she inched closer as to not break his threshold), but instead he was muzzled immediately and given the shot while still barking. She then thought it would be a good idea to rub him everywhere which resulted in increased agitation at which point I asked her to back up he was obviously over his threshold. So instead of backing up and letting him relax and trying to make it a decent experience before leaving (reinforcing that barking and being aggressive gets the bad thing away), she just left after handing me a card for "Bark Busters" which is a bunch of bull honkey from what I have read and their website gives me a really bad feeling. The only other trainer she suggested was Pawsitive Training which is a pastor who also does home visits for things like "jumping" which is just frankly not going to cut it for the level of Duke's fear aggression.

I was so shocked and shook up at the whole experience, I could not possibly feel crummier. I am glad I stepped in and argued with her methods but it was obviously a step back for Duke when it could have been made a positive thing had she respected his space and my wishes.

Now I need to find a new vet, and I just don't trust anyone to understand or tolerate his behavior, so I'm not even sure where to start there. Everyone I meet does NOT get it. I have worked with four different trainers who teach classes around town - he does great at the classes and loves learning and although he has a few reactive moments when he gets too close to other dogs/owners, he does good. But none of these trainers deal with aggression, and so can't offer me anything more than that. The only other "behaviorists" are the two already mentioned, which both sound completely wrong for my situation (or anyones).

The closest trainer who did seem legitimate is hours away. I don't know what to do. I have been at the end of my rope so many times, and I have reached out to so many people who just blow me away with their lack of understanding or tolerance for my dog's special needs.

I'm to the point where I have accepted I will not ever be able to take my dog into public and we will always need to be wearing a halti on walks and cross the street etc etc, which just breaks my heart because after being introduced properly I could not have a better, smarter, sweeter, more patient and tolerant big hearted pit on the planet. But I am accepting that and love Duke more than words can say. But what do I do when he can't even go to the vet or a trainer without having a reaction, I just don't know what to do next, I am absolutely hopeless and so tired of NO ONE understanding, not even people supposedly trained to work with animals.

I feel like I always come to the forum asking for hugs. XD

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Amie
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby Amie » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:53 pm

Contact one of these people:
http://petprofessionalguild.com/DogTrai ... ers?&tab=1
and also look into www.iaabc.org


My Oscar is TERRIBLE at the vet, and it takes some assertiveness on my part that he not be handled in certain ways, and that I be the one to restrain, etc. The trainers on the above sites will be able to help you with methods, and some may even be able to go to vet appointments with you (I know several trainers near me that would do that.)

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Nickdawg
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby Nickdawg » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:05 pm

I'm so sorry - here's a hug :hug:
hope Amie's links work out, am sure they will...

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GoingPostal
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby GoingPostal » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:40 pm

I don't have any advice on trainers but for vets you may just have to start contacting the offices around you and see how accepting/workable they are with fearful dogs. Nero tends to be a handful at the vet, mostly just over excitement but he will get snappy if a vet tries to mess with his feet. I try not to take him the local vet at all, other than one tech there who is great and just stays real calm and ignores him, everyone else there starts super eye contact, high pitched talking which just revs him up and makes doing anything impossible and then they want to drug and muzzle him because he won't stay still. But my out of town vet lets me bring him in safely (he's DA), they let us skip the putting him on the table thing completely and examine him on the floor. Distracted with treats it was a breeze of a checkup this year and so much less stress all around.

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tiva
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby tiva » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:48 am

My sympathies! I don't have any helpful advice--I just moved from a location with the world's most wonderful visiting vet, to a new town, and I too had a lousy vet visit. So I can imagine how terrible you felt, since I felt the way you describe. Amie's advice seems really useful.

Keep up the faith: you know that your dog is wonderful, and even if sometimes other people think he's out of control, tough. You know him, and you know his core awesomeness.

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MarMar
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby MarMar » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:30 pm

That sucks! Sorry about your lousy vet experience. Can you remind us where you live again? Another thing you might want to consider is working with a trainer online, with video, Skype, etc. If you have the ability to take videos this can be helpful!

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Mooresmajestic
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby Mooresmajestic » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:29 pm

As a member of the Veterinary community, I am so sorry that happened. I am also peeved off at that vet for making the job of the next vet/tech harder by affirming your dog's fear.

I am fortunate enough to work at a clinic that has a staff of pet "savy" techs, assistants, and vets. We make a point to spend some extra time working with a fearful animal. Our goal is for that pet to leave our clinic less scared (even minutely) than when it came in, not the other way around. It's not only in the best interest of the pet, but ours too. The more a patient trusts us, the easier it is for us to do our jobs.

My suggestion is to contact a reputable trainer or behaviorist in your general area and ask them whatvet they recommend for a dog with fear issues. Then stop in and check them out without your dog. Tell them about the issues and ask if they are willing to block off extra time for your appointment. Tell them you want to work with them to help your dog overcome his fear of the vet. Most techs (and vets) are more than happy to bend over backward to help an owner that actually cares enough to want to make their pet comfortable at the vet (see the "making our jobs easier" statement above). Keep in mind not all Vets and Techs are created equal in their ability to handle fearful animals. Some are better than others, and some shouldn't be around them at all. The key to your success in reducing your dog's fear will be to find someone willing to take your direction in the training exercises (but it sounds like you already know that).

If you are anywhere near Detroit, we would be more than happy to work with you two. One of our techs also happens to be a behaviorist that is phenominal with fearful dogs.

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:57 pm

I am so sorry. I too work at a vet clinic and I am horrified at the lack of behavior knowledge some vets and practices have.

You're a FANTASTIC owner for being so knowledgable and for seeking help for your boy. You're like my dream client. Hugs!

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Amie
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby Amie » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:39 pm

The book is probably more involved (and expensive) than you want, but if you can find a DVD version of Sophia Yin's Low-Stress Handling seminar (I don't know why she doesn't have it listed here... maybe EBay?) you may be able to use some techniques to start training his tolerance and teach yourself how to handle...
http://drsophiayin.com/products

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:36 pm

Amie wrote:The book is probably more involved (and expensive) than you want, but if you can find a DVD version of Sophia Yin's Low-Stress Handling seminar (I don't know why she doesn't have it listed here... maybe EBay?) you may be able to use some techniques to start training his tolerance and teach yourself how to handle...
http://drsophiayin.com/products" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Maybe suggest the vet gets a copy too.

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Brianna&Bubba.
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Re: Horrible Vet Experience -_-

Postby Brianna&Bubba. » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:54 pm

Im so late on this post, but if you ever do read this I have a bit of advice from my own experience. Probably not as awesome as above.

I had problems with a vet I use to see with Bella, he didn't go over board on attention, he just didn't do any kind of interaction or introduction before working on her. He just walked in and honestly seemed more scared of Bella than she did of him.. So as shes hiding behind me and lets out a growl, I'm told to muzzle her.. I felt crummy too. But I was settling for less with my vet!

I moved, and had to move vets and went to a highly recommended office and doctor. I told them of Bellas anxiety and her fear with men and requested no male techs or doctors work on her. I went there and all was cool, she was a little tense because of the new place and all. Im nervous because of the past, but the tech comes in and sit on the floor while Bellas hiding behind me. Immediately she starts baby talking to Bella, but Bella doesnt want to budge from under me. This tech begins with the treats so Bella gets a little interested, and then she makes this weird puppy whine and then Bella immediately went to her and got treats and started kissing her all over her face. I was so freakin happy. The vet came in a did the same without the funny puppy whine. It went so well! Bella has got so comfortable at that vet that a male tech even came in one time and she was perfectly fine. The guy started petting her and she was enjoying the love. I have never seen her warm up to a man thats a stranger that fast!

So my advice is that awesome vets that care to your dogs emotional needs are out there.
It takes some time finding them but they are definitely there.


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