She won from the vet techs: need ideas - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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She won from the vet techs: need ideas

Ever since Deja injured her foot (pierced by a piece of wood) a few years ago, she is impossible to be handled by vet or the techs (shots are OK). No matter what we have tried; treats, stern commands et,c she won't budge and struggles. She is not aggressive and has never bitten but she is now muzzle trained. She doesn't seem to be afraid; just won't cooperate. It is an excellent vet and they will only do things gently with a lot of cooing and treats. I have told them that baby talk and cooing just riles her up and to "just do it". But they are too hesitant. I had my breeder put in a chip because they couldn't on a pup in the past. The breeder is no-nonsense and just does it, telling the pup, "Sorry, it's a big one" and it's done and life goes on.
So at the vet yesterday I had hoped to get a blood sample for titering. It didn't work and I went home. I didn't want to ruin my reputation as trainer or else I had just been firm with her. They suggested "to come in on a regular bases so they could just love her and teach her that the vets/techs are ok and gradually get her used to being held." But that may work for some dogs but Deja is too smart to fall for that when treatment is needed. I know they mean well and this may work for Pugs and Retrievers but not for her. I wish there was a chute, like they have for cattle () for this.
Any ideas?
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 03:20 PM
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Could you hold her? I work in a vets and the restraint for blood collection isn't very hard and I'm sure you could do it. where i work we always start of being very supportive the cooing etc.. , but when a dog isn't cooperating we get as stern as we need and have the "just do it fast and get it over with" type mentality. we will hold the weight of the dog up if we need to if they just shut down and lay there. Some techs aren't as strong or comfortable to really tell a large GSD off like she probably needs.

Only other option i would think, if they really can't get the blood, or won't let you hold her in the position would be sedation :/ which I'm sure you dont want and would be a last resort option.

If people come in that are clearly good trainers and owners, with a large dog like a GSD,rottie etc.. we sometimes let the owner come to the back (or just do it in the room) (especially if it is a super dog or human aggressive dog) because they know how to keep them under control more than the techs and if they are clearly not going to have a problem thinking we are abusing the dog if they yelp of shut down, (we get some of those "furmommys" that think we are killing the dog if it squrms or yelps, ugh)
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Suzy, I could have held her but they were not very comfortable when I offered that. I agree with you though. Next time I'l be more insistent.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 03:36 PM
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I hold Newlie's head when necessary which is mostly with other medical visits not at his vet's office. That way, they won't say "He has to have a muzzle." This is not because he is doing anything to scare them, he is just big and a German Shepherd, that is enough for a lot of people.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 03:58 PM
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My boy is awesome with people--even with Halloween costumes, etc. He is muzzled every visit at the vet, though.

He does not like being touched/handled for examination. When he was at the vet 8:00 to 5:00 for a whole week when he chunked down a lamb shank and they were keeping an eye on him, the vet assistants would take him out of his cage and play with him, no problem. We walk into the vet office, no problem. He's happy to see the vet--no problem.

When he was a puppy, I would touch his privates, gently pull his tail, touch his ears, etc., which I have done with all my dogs. But, Simon has boundaries about examination. I don't want any trouble and I don't want anyone scared by him--or worse.

He is muzzle trained and it's routine. It's my muzzle and I put it on after the vet comes in and says hi to Simon before we start any procedure. I remove it right afterwards. Simon knows he's not in trouble and he is expecting it. So safety and calmness all around. I had read that some GSD don't like being handled--personal space and all.

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 05:02 PM
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If you really just want to get the job done, use a slip lead on the dog, run the lead through the door crack, or attach to something solid (not a person). Cover the dog's eyes, and push him against the wall with your body. A vet tech pushes the middle of the dog's body against the wall, but the owner is by the head. Ideally, his head should be in a corner of the room, as well. The head should not be moving much because of the secured lead. Dog should be muzzled. Get the blood from the back leg if needed. Done and out.

If your vet OKs it, and you can do it, the owner can do things like blood draws or injections of sedation under vet supervision. Some vets will not OK this. Depends on the vet.

I've found I'm never judged by the vet as long as I am super upfront and honest about the dog. All but one of my dogs are easy to handle. The one that isn't- I am completely honest about it and take steps to keep the staff safe. It is what it is... there are ways to deal with it. This dog is 90 lbs and we've used the technique above and it worked. Done and out...


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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Muskeg View Post
If you really just want to get the job done, use a slip lead on the dog, run the lead through the door crack, or attach to something solid (not a person). Cover the dog's eyes, and push him against the wall with your body. A vet tech pushes the middle of the dog's body against the wall, but the owner is by the head. Ideally, his head should be in a corner of the room, as well. The head should not be moving much because of the secured lead. Dog should be muzzled. Get the blood from the back leg if needed. Done and out.

If your vet OKs it, and you can do it, the owner can do things like blood draws or injections of sedation under vet supervision. Some vets will not OK this. Depends on the vet.

I've found I'm never judged by the vet as long as I am super upfront and honest about the dog. All but one of my dogs are easy to handle. The one that isn't- I am completely honest about it and take steps to keep the staff safe. It is what it is... there are ways to deal with it. This dog is 90 lbs and we've used the technique above and it worked. Done and out...
I am going to use this idea. Deja is muzzle trained. I just have to convince the staff that 'gentle and careful' won't work for her in this setting. Thanks a bunch!
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 06:18 PM
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I've never had a problem with my vets letting me restrain my dogs when they're being examined. They will even let me position them, for example, when one of them had a cut foot, and they needed her to lie on her side to examine it. The attitude seems to be, 'better the owner gets bit than us, if the dog's going to get nasty!'

And if I think a muzzle is needed, I'll let them know. My male GSD hated having his nails done, and he wasn't great about the kennel cough vaccine that they used to squirt into the nose, either!

He was really good with everything else. He got bitten by another dog, and the vet was flushing the wound out, with him just needing minimal restraint from the vet tech.

This was one time I was a little too shook up myself to assist. Nothing gets the adrenaline going like a dog fight...
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
I am going to use this idea. Deja is muzzle trained. I just have to convince the staff that 'gentle and careful' won't work for her in this setting. Thanks a bunch!
We start as low stress as possible at my clinic - there are some dogs that can stand still with the owner petting its head and I can get blood from a rear leg, but if you restrain the dog at all it completely loses it. As long as the dog does not try to sit, this is fine. This is an exception, though. Most dogs (98%) need some form of restraint in order to accomplish anything treatment-wise. 5-10 seconds feels like forever to hold still if a needle is in!

We love owners who are realistic and use a basket muzzle as needed. We don't hold grudges, and always use whatever method is least traumatic to our patient...but no one likes getting bit.

Your dog honestly is one that, if healthy otherwise, we would just sedate. Come in, hang onto your dogs head, we pop an injection in and wait. Once puppy is asleep, we do a full exam, draw blood, x-rays, whatever. Give dog a reversal drug = everyone happy and everything done no hassle.

You could even just pop a pill into a treat before you go to the office. Trazadone is one we rec to owners of dogs who just don't like their procedures. Talk to your vet about just sedating when you go in. Research the drugs - acepromazine is an effective sedative, but there is some evidence that it does not do much for the dog mentally, and can make the aggression worse.

Best of luck!
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 07:29 PM
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My late girl was seriously ill when she was two. After that, she wouldn't fall for the treats, soft praise etc because she knew it would be followed by some form of treatment.. She was muzzle trained although I think with the younger techs they just saw a GSD in a muzzle and were instantly more nervous because of it.
I always held her and put her in the position the Vet wanted. She was definitely better with those that were matter of fact and just got on with it instead of trying to be her best friend first. I also had a halti under her basket muzzle so it was easier to restrain her head, probably the same effect as a slip collar.
Regards your reputation as a trainer, she was the only girl I have owned that has hated the vets. All of them were bought up the same way, ironically one of them was a lot more sickly and was fine at the vets.
As for coming into the vets on a regular basis, my late girl would have been 'how stupid do you think I am ".
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