Not be terrified of the vet.
Bear had an appointment for vaccines and a check up. We have used the same practice from the start. He always went right in, was easily led to a room, OK with handling, etc .
6 -8 weeks ago, he had a vaccine for kennel cough, and a nail trim. I did not go back with him. I did not hear whining or crying. He happily went with staff. He came out, tail wagging, seemed like nothing happened.
Last week, we headed back for remaining vaccines and a check up. He shook and screeched. Was hysterical like he was going to the death chamber. There was no consoling him. Staff saw he was escalating. Took him to the car. Made a new appt, this time trazodone was added.
He had the meds 1.5 hours before the new appointment as instructed. No affect. No calming or sign of sedation. He ran up to and through the door, realized where we were, and that was it. Attempts to muzzle made him more frantic, he would not take a treat. Just generally hysterical again. Back to the car for him.
I talked to the vet for a bit.
First, although we were told he was fine for the nail trim, turns out his chart says he was muzzled. So, this new behavior is not totally out of nowhere. It makes more sense now, but how do I get him past it at this point?
We cannot go vaccine free. He is 15 mo, due for rabies and distemper, and neuter is coming up as well. Vet believes this will help. My emotions are mixed. Seems behavior after can go either way. Vasectomy is not done here (was an option I was considering. Never knew neuter was so controversial,).
But I cannot even imagine getting him in for that or the behavior we could see after.
I do agree with the vet that an anti-anxiety med may be needed (he was not ready to do that yet), but how do I sort out what's fear snowballing from a bad experience and what's a biochemical imbalance that requires treatment?
I feel I need to try a new vet. I like this one but don't like that I was mislead. I have no issues with a vet using a muzzle when they feel there is a potential threat. They cannot anticipate how every dog might react. But why lie?
Is a new place a reasonable step? Home visit not office? Could that help? Or is there a stronger med, to knock him out 100% to get these critical items taken care of in the short termhere so we can try to resolve the rest? I even offered to do the injections myself but it was a no-go.
Sadly, I just started 1 on 1 work with a trainer. (Group classes only got us so far) But until he is current, that's on hold.
Any ideas, help, similar experiences that owners got turned around and how they did it..needed badly.