Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
I have 2 Shepherds (m/f) and my friend has one (f).
We brought them to this AMAZING vet clinic in Alaska, because we did not want to sedate them unnecessarily. I know my dogs will hold any position I place them into, so I didn't want to sedate them at all.
We did hip prelims on all three dogs no sedation (all came back "Good") and then a year later (same clinic) we did the girls final OFA's again no sedation (Never had to take more than one shot of anything). My female had Hips, Elbows, Heart and Thyroid done and my friends female had Hips and Elbows done. My female came back hips "Good", Elbows "Normal", Heart "Normal", Thyroid "Normal". And my friends female came back Hips "Good" and Elbows "ED1"... When my males prelims were shot (1 shot), the vet gave a little laugh. I totally thought something was wrong! Nope, he said it was the best positioning he had gotten out of any dog awake or asleep!
So I really think it is not necessary to sedate if YOU know your dog will be accepting. I also place my dogs front end, then switch with the tech and leave the room. Then I watch from the window as the vet pulls the legs out straight and takes the shot. Same with elbows, I place the dog where they need it, trade with the tech, then leave the room until the shot is done.
For the heart, I just layed my dog on her side and told her to wait. And for her Thyroid, that was just a blood draw from the jugular vein, so I layed her on the edge of a table, lifted her nose up and told her to wait. Then I just held her while they took blood.
If it were me, I would go with the vet that will at least try with no sedation. Prep your dog by conditioning your dog to be PUT (not go on his own, you flip him like a little cow, GENTLY) on his side, then holding his biceps on the front, gently roll him to his back. This is a very vulnerable position for a dog, so it may take time for your pup to realize that nothing bad will happen in this position. Make sure you are patient and take your time. Once your dog is good on the floor, find a steady table and do it all over again.
If you don't have time before the appointment to get this conditioning done, I would give it ONE try, don't stress your dog out. Go with the light sedation, whatever the vet is comfortable with, and allows the vet to get the best shot.