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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-23-2014 10:06 PM
Galathiel If it were my vet, I would be concerned at that level of unease. Unlike a lot of you, my vet does everything except weigh the animal, and some days he even does that! There are only vets and assistants there, no techs. If the vet can't see the animals as individuals instead of a collective, then I would probably go somewhere else. I don't want them to base their views of my dog on a bad experience they had with a totally different animal. Their being uncomfortable/uneasy would make me anxious myself.
01-23-2014 08:44 PM
selzer My vets examine my dogs. They do not draw the blood. They do administer shots, they will train me to wrap a wound or broken bone. Though techs may do that as well. Techs will shave the area and clean a wound. But the vets are the ones that look in the eyes and at the teeth and grope the abdomen and check the testicles and listen for the heart beat.

And as much as the physical signs are important, the behavior of the dog, lethargy, anxiety, panting, drooling, limping, cocking the head -- neurological signs, these are also important. I wouldn't want a vet that has a fear of the dog itself trying to determine whether the dog is showing ordinary anxiety for being at the vet's office, muzzled, or if the dog is showing a symptom of a greater problem.

I have learned somethings over the years:

If a trainer is afraid of my puppy, I need a new trainer.
If a groomer is in a bad mood, don't hand the dog over to them.
If a vet is biased toward a breed of dog, uncomfortable with the type of dog I have, time to find a new vet.
01-23-2014 08:31 PM
Freestep
Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Vets and groomers are going to get bit. They are not the dogs' owners, and no one is perfect 100% of the time in how they read and manage a situation. It is something that is probably going to happen at some point, and something that vets do need to be able to shake off.
I agree. I spend about .0001% of my time worrying about being bitten, and I haven't been bitten for a long time [knock wood]. However, I get to pick and choose the pets I work with, and veterinarians don't have that luxury.

For example, I don't touch Chows. I've had enough bad experiences to know that it's in everyone's best interest for a Chow to go to a groomer who likes Chows (and yes, they are out there). But if I didn't have that luxury, I sure as heck would take every precaution with Chows including muzzling.

I can't fault a veterinarian for being afraid of GSDs--as I said, there are exponentially more poorly-bred, untrained, unsocialized GSDs out there than there are good ones, and it's wise to use caution. I don't think that it follows, however, that the dog will be treated poorly or unfairly just because the vet is afraid of it. Most of the treatments are done by the techs anyway, so in the case of surgery, the vet doesn't necessarily have to be involved until after the dog is sedated and/or anesthetized.

I do think the fear is something that pet professionals need to overcome if they are going to be working with the breed they are fearful of. Easier said than done, but it makes everything go much more smoothly if everyone is comfortable.
01-23-2014 08:03 PM
selzer I feel pretty fortunate with my vets. They are not afraid of my dogs.

I think that a vet who is afraid of the dog in front of them, might miss something, sorry to the vet techs on here. But it is true that if the dog reads the person exuding fear, the dog might become more anxious. If the vet is busy worried about what the dog might do, the vet might not be as thorough as they ought to be.

I applaud the OP for trying to help the vet. It is sad that so many GSDs have given themselves a bad name with vets. There is nothing wrong with the occasional use of a muzzle to protect staff when something is scary or painful, but I wouldn't want to muzzle a dog for no reason at the vet, as it might increase the anxiety in the dog, and it can also give the vet and the techs, and other clients the wrong impression about your dog -- not that that matters, but it can matter.

Vets and groomers are going to get bit. They are not the dogs' owners, and no one is perfect 100% of the time in how they read and manage a situation. It is something that is probably going to happen at some point, and something that vets do need to be able to shake off.

If my vet acted fearful of my dog because of its size or breed, I think I probably would have to look elsewhere. People with smaller dogs and cats, will take their dogs there, and the vet will be more comfortable. But my dogs are my responsibility.
01-23-2014 06:44 PM
onyx'girl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudes mom View Post
Me and the vet had a conversation this afternoon. I scheduled a time for this and paid the visit . I told her about my concerns about how she reacted when we were there last weekend, that I felt like she might be afraid of Ivan.

And yes, she had a bad experience with a large dog before and has had a hard time getting passed it. And though she ooohed and aaahhhed at Ivan's and Dude's puppy breath last year, now they make her uncomfortable.

So this is what we are going to do. She's a really sweet person, and she is new to the area. I suggested that I bring Ivan or Dude in once a week (we are always out anyway) to visit for a minute or 2 so she can give treats and handle them to see if she can work passed her fear. There is another vet in another town about 20 more miles away (rural area here already driving 15 miles to see this vet) who I can use if there happens to be an emergency come up. Some of my coworkers use this vet and I have talked to him.

I'm sure the outcome will be positive which ever way it goes. Either being around my boys more often will help her be more comfortable, or we will use the vet further out. Thanks again for everyones perspective.
I'm glad that you are trying to set her fears at ease, BUT you should not be paying for that consult. A vet that is intimidated by certain breeds should be working on it with clients, but not charge anything for a consult as you had. Dogs sure do feel and scent that fear and some will take advantage. If she is that intimidated, she should hire a tech to do most all procedures and hold the dogs for her while she administers the rabies vaccines. That is really the only thing the vet needs to do legally.
As far as surgery goes, the vet is safe when the dog is under anesthesia.
01-23-2014 06:39 PM
Longfisher
Follow up.

We've agreed with the senior technician to give my dog an anti-=anxiety pill about an hour before he comes in next time for his physical.

If that's not enough they're going to keep him overnight and sedate him to give him what he needs. They say it's one of those sedatives that they can easily reverse with another injection (think Wild Kingdom).

I guess I'm OK with that as long as we don't have to do this too much. Once a year is probably all I can afford.

LF
01-23-2014 06:34 PM
Longfisher
Terrible Situation

I've posted her before about my Zeus' problems with a new vet. But basically, we went to a vet we didn't know for ear infection because our existing vet didn't have a slot on her schedule.

The vet tech, an older rather broken down lady (sorry, but that's the best way to describe her) was clearly afraid of Zeus. He sensed it right away as she led us into a room and was edgy. Then she jabbed a thermometer into his anus without so much as a fair-the-well. Zeus, at 105 lbs, wasn't having any of that.

I asked her to back off and she went to get the vet.

I had just gotten Zeus calmed a bit when the vet came in. He was a small man with a distinct limp and he was clearly afraid of the dog. He no more than just touched Zeus than it was game on. We're lucky we had a muzzle on him but that didn't last.

Ever try to control a 105 pounder on a pedistal table when all he wants is a piece of the vet? Muzzle wasn't enough.

The dog was turned into a skyrocket the moment he saw the technician afraid and then into an intergalactic shooting star when he saw the hobbled and fearful vet.

We're walking Zeus every day the weather permits 1.5 miles to the old vet's office just to get him calmed down in time for his one year physical and shots. It's been weeks and he still froths at the mouth and drool he's so nervous.

Finally, this week we got him to take a treat in the Vet's office. Of course, dogs who are afraid don't eat you know. So, we're making progress. I just wish I'd never been so impatient to have his ears medicated. That vet has ruined my dog for the time being.

GO TO ANOTHER VET!
01-23-2014 04:47 PM
Dudes mom Me and the vet had a conversation this afternoon. I scheduled a time for this and paid the visit . I told her about my concerns about how she reacted when we were there last weekend, that I felt like she might be afraid of Ivan.

And yes, she had a bad experience with a large dog before and has had a hard time getting passed it. And though she ooohed and aaahhhed at Ivan's and Dude's puppy breath last year, now they make her uncomfortable.

So this is what we are going to do. She's a really sweet person, and she is new to the area. I suggested that I bring Ivan or Dude in once a week (we are always out anyway) to visit for a minute or 2 so she can give treats and handle them to see if she can work passed her fear. There is another vet in another town about 20 more miles away (rural area here already driving 15 miles to see this vet) who I can use if there happens to be an emergency come up. Some of my coworkers use this vet and I have talked to him.

I'm sure the outcome will be positive which ever way it goes. Either being around my boys more often will help her be more comfortable, or we will use the vet further out. Thanks again for everyones perspective.
01-20-2014 04:58 PM
Dudes mom I don't know how new of a vet she is. She is new to this practice and new to this area. I can make an assumption most people would make and say she is not new to the profession, she's my age or older, late 40's early 50's. The old vet retired and sold the practice. The reason I know she is new to the area is that the staff told me so.

I really didn't intend to offend anyone with my concerns or my assumptions. Though it needs to be said, nowhere in my original post did I say my pup was out of my control or lunging or being boisterous. Those were assumptions that were made. I was meaning to describe my happy go lucky, confident, loves everybody puppy who doesn't do loose leash as well as he should. I must not have done a good job at that.

I do intend to discuss my concerns with my vet in a non accusatory tone to ensure a good relationship for all concerned. her, me and my dogs. If she is more comfortable with small animals, that's fine. I do not have a problem with that, but I will find a vet who is comfortable with my large dogs.

And I did come here to the forum, to get other opinions. Thank you for yours.
01-20-2014 04:32 PM
onyx'girl I muzzle my dogs, and handle them for procedures, it is no big deal to me and the techs and vet are more comfortable performing the tasks we are there for.
I did leave a clinic when Onyx was about a yr old. One of the vets there was afraid of her, and wouldn't even come back into the exam room when Onyx went off on her for an ear swab. This was the first of Onyx showing reactivity(she wasn't muzzled and I didn't have one) The next couple visits, we saw the other vet as I requested, but then she went off on ME for feeding a raw diet. That was enough to send me packing. There were other things....like one of the vets misdiagnosing Onyx with HD but those two episodes were the icing on the cake.

IF this is a new vet, I'd try to work with her so she can get over her intimidation of certain breeds. Many vets see the GSD as a fearbag because they see so many that are not of strong temperament. They are already predisposed to the fact that they might get bitten. I don't have a problem with muzzling for procedures, it makes it easier for all, IMO.
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