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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Still working on this issue!

He was very good for his vaccinations this year, and we've also started making brief "happy visits" where he walks in, says Hi and eats a treat.
I now no longer give Trazodone before visits, but I think he'll probably always need to wear a muzzle - just in case.
He is now nicely muzzle-trained and I easily slip it on and reward with a few bits of cheese.

What I see at home ...

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What the vet sees (complete with sound effect of low threatening growl)...

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep...
I, the human, used to leave the vet's office sweaty and tense! It would take me a couple hours to be able to get back to work! Now, I can feel more calm / normal...I think both of us do...
it's no longer something that I dread for weeks before going, thankfully :)
 

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I had a similar situation with my Lab. I think the vet must be a strange experience for a dog. We usually take them to the vet very soon after we get them, often before they bond with us or trust us.

The Lab was fine until the vet tried to take his temperature. Things did not go well. Then he had a couple of shots... things went downhill from there.

I spent the next couple of months desensitizing him from the experience with weekly trips to the vet's office. I pushed him to his threshold, but not beyond by:
1. First, we just drove into the parking lot and sat in the car with some treats.
2. We got out and walked around the parking lot and building with treats.
3. Practiced walking through the reception area. Practiced sitting calmly and play quite games in the lobby.
4. Finally, we did a weekly weighing. Every week after our looby game a vet tech would take him back to get weighed.

After a couple of months, he started to like and trust the vet again. His facial expressions were awesome as he stood there stoically getting his annual shots.

(To be honest, I think a fair amount of the desensitization was actually for me. I kind of freaked out when my happy-go-lucky lab freaked out. It is hard for the dog to stay calm once the owner is upset their new dog just tried to take a bite out of a family friend.)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That sounds like a great desensitization routine, I may try to bring Rumo by more frequently! So he'll think: "This is the place with the nice people and the treats".

Unfortunately, all his vet visits so far have involved things like a blood draw and vaccinations and a biopsy...
so we need to try to work on some non-painful experiences!
 
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