Vet handling - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Vet handling

Hi guys. Judgement call, I am curious what people's thoughts are. My boy is a nervous wreck at the vet's. I have had a hard time correcting it with training, he is fine when we go in, fine to visit with the receptionist, but once we are in the room and it is time to actually do stuff to him he is pretty unhappy. He isnt so into food that I can create a positive association that way.

I took him in for a limp and he tensed up so much that the vet could not manipulate his joints, as an example. He just clenched every muscle in his body.

He is going in soon for OFA x rays. They are going to knock him out for it, and they said I could drop him off in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon. He has never been boarded and never been left anywhere away from me. I have no idea what he would think or how he might act if some strangers came to get him out of a kennel and stick a needle in his arm.

This vet is super nice and he says he doesn't care if I stay the whole day with him. So I could stay with him till he gets the drugs.

I somewhat wonder if he would do better without me? My female behaved better for an ultrasound when I was not in the room. She is nervous about procedures but very trusting and friendly with people. He is not nearly so trusting and friendly with strangers as her.

Part of me thinks just leave him there with his muzzle and he will learn to cope. Part of me thinks he will be horrified and hate it even worse if I leave him there with strangers.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:59 PM
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With one I had the vet asked me to leave him there in the morning because he felt the dogs did better with out the owners there, but that they would call me to come in if they found he was getting stressed. He hated going to the vets. He did fine. But every dog is different. With one cat I had, I had to put her in the back and go get her myself when she was boarded as no one was willing to try and handle her. If I was holding her they could do anything they wanted and she let them with no problem.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 05:35 PM
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My younger dog developed a vet phobia as a puppy when my old vet grabbed him and tore him away to another room to barf after he ate something bad. I found a better vet, then started taking him in for visits, treats, weighed him and left. I did that once a week for months. I also had a trainer go in and show me some better ways to deal. I was able to take him in last week, hold him for an exam and get him treated without any problems. He needs to learn that the vet isn't dangerous and he will be safe. My vet schedules visits at times when the office is empty, so there is nothing else to upset him. I try to make sure there are no sick or injured dogs to scare him.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 06:07 PM
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Go with your gut. A lot of times the dog is having trouble because we are concerned and they sense that. I could take my parents' dog to the vet no problem, but when my dad took him he huckered down with his tail between his leg. He LIVED with my mom and dad. He trusted them fully. But my dad was raised Christian Science and was raised to be terrified of the medical profession. My dad had six kids and he took them to hospitals and doctors as much as my mom, hiding his feelings about it, so we wouldn't be stressed. But you can't lie to the dog. The dog reads body language and any associated smell that happens with fear or other strong emotions -- not silly, obedience competitors will pop a mint so as not to throw their dogs off by their fear, through their breath.

So, maybe, maybe not. My dogs will allow people to take them out of kennels. I do not muzzle them unless I know there is something very painful/scary to be done to them, and then I remove the muzzle immediately, but, my dogs are very unlikely to bite in any circumstance. So far I've done both, I have stayed throughout, and I have left dogs at the vet to be anesthetized, etc. Dogs and humans were fine. Again, you have to go with your gut because you know your dog. And maybe, you need to trust your vet. Chances are pretty good that they have managed dogs that are more scared, more aggressive than yours without a problem.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 06:26 PM
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[QUOTE=LuvShepherds;8285122]My younger dog developed a vet phobia as a puppy when my old vet grabbed him and tore him away to another room to barf after he ate something bad. I found a better vet, then started taking him in for visits, treats, weighed him and left. I did that once a week for months. I also had a trainer go in and show me some better ways to deal. I was able to take him in last week, hold him for an exam and get him treated without any problems. He needs to learn that the vet isn't dangerous and he will be safe. My vet schedules visits at times when the office is empty, so there is nothing else to upset him. I try to make sure there are no sick or injured dogs to scare him.[/QUOTE]

or, for him to scare.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:10 PM
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When I brought Max to get neuter I was really worried . Even though Max was always a good patient at the vet and did not ever need a muzzle - I knew he was suscpcious of certain people I also know he would be extremely nervous and wasn't sure how he would react with strangers getting him out of the crate while waiting his turn. I was also a nervous wreck and know how easily he picks up my vibes. I did tell them when I dropped Max off for surgery off of my concerns. . I had a muzzle but they did not take it. I trusted Max in their care., I do trust the vet. The vet called me before and after surgery as he knew I was worried about the procedure itself. I did make sure I brought him home that night I did not want to leave him overnight. I was very happy he was such a good boy. The vet deals with a lot of German shepherds and I really like the way they handles Max.

This morning I went to the vet to being Luna for her last set of shots the vet was saying how good my dogs were. I started to worry will Max still be good when I take him in next time since I know it was stressful for him with the neuter- I'm not helping him any by do this. We are in good hands they know what they are doing.

When Max was a pup we took him to a vet which I was very unhappy how they handled him-a 8 week old pup- I ran and never looked back so glad I found a good vet.

Last edited by Jenny720; 01-10-2017 at 08:19 PM.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:39 PM
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Hmm a rare for me question, ... how is the dog with "people" in general???
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:47 PM
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I have never had a dog that was unhappy at the vet until Apollo. He was fine on all his puppy visits and a couple later, then something changed when he had to stay over night for observation. After that time he gives them heck. It's not all of them either. He is fine with the girls up front but not with thd girls in the back. He is in between with the actual vet. I am pretty sure something happened during that stay. I don't think they were mean to him, but something they did triggered something.

I dread having to take him in for anything. He really hasn't been back there since he was neutered and they did mention he was somewhat of a handful. I do believe that he is worse when I'm present. On future visits I will muzzle him and I'm pretty sure they will do whatever they need to do in the room versus taking him in the back. That is a decision I'll make when the time comes. If you are able to stay and make him comfortable then that is what I would do. There is no sense in stressing the dog or yourself out if you don't have too.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input guys. I do trust the vet. He is a very nice guy, very mellow, the right person for us. I have never seen the tech handle dogs because he doesn't use her when I am there, I just hold my own dog.

My husband says drop him off, he will be fine.

The deal with the muzzle is: he has growled at me from time to time, only about stuff that causes him pain or he thinks will cause him pain, and only if I forced him about it. We had a very growly stretch a couple months ago when I had a boarder dog in my house who is kennel aggressive and even though my dogs had no contact with him I swear just having him in the house changes the energy. Also it was stressing me out and making me short on time, recipe for disaster with my pup.

I turned over a new leaf with my dog and have worked very hard with him about the handling stuff and he has done a total 180. This has popped up a few times in his life, basically I get rushed and maybe stressed about other life stuff and I handle him without enough finesse and he feels like he has to grumble at me. When I slow way down and ask him for his cooperation and let him know I am taking his comfort into account he will let me do whatever. I actually feel like he and I have a lot more trust since working through this

But I still started training him to wear a muzzle thinking the day could come where I can't get his cooperation because of something outside my control, like the vet for instance, or a bad injury. He has not growled at a vet, but I would a million times rather they muzzle him than risk him biting someone because they have to hold him down and get a vein to knock him out. If I say muzzle he puts his nose right in and does not mind wearing it, so seems like a no brainer precaution to me. I doubt he would put his own muzzle on if a stranger told him to but at least it shouldn't bother him too much for them to do it since we have practiced.

It would be an interesting experiment to have my husband bring him in for something routine and see if he acts different...but no time for that now.

I suppose I could always sit in the parking lot and let them call me if they have any trouble with him, I don't know,
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post

or, for him to scare.
How? Part of learning to be handled is learning to be quiet. They had me bring him in when there were no other dogs at the end of the day. They blocked off a chunk of time to deal with him.
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