German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This might be long but my wife and I recently had an issue with our vet. I'm wondering if it truly the dog or if we have a racist vet on our hands.

So our GSD had some gunk coming out of his eye. It wasn't clear but a darker color. My wife was worrying and since we were going to go on vacation soon, wanted to make sure that everything was okay before we took them to the kennel that would be keeping our dogs while we were away.

At the vet, the vet techs (not the vet) were trying to cut his nails and he expressed his anal glands. Now my wife is the one that took him so I didn't see it, but from what I understand they were trying to restrain him and clip his nails. We've only had him ~2months at this point and hadn't yet trimmed his nails ourselves, but we have been able to play with his feet, play with his nails and get him semi-desensitized to people touching his feet. We even went through basic obedience classes with him and our other dog. Neither dog had any issues with the trainer playing with their feet either.

Well after the anal gland incident the vet comes in and proceeds to berate my wife on how much more training the dog needs and that he's just unstable. On top of the basic obedience classes that we went to (which most of which he already knew) we'd done a considerable amount of training with him to begin with. Or I guess considerable for us. He's so fun to train because it doesn't take him long to learn anything new. But according the vet it's not enough. Well my wife gets a little upset (to say the least) and asks the vet what she recommends since we have such a terrible dog on our hands. :rollseyes: Vet goes on to say that they normally do GSD (only breed she mentioned) vet visits outside because they don't like confined places. The same woman goes on to tell me that she can't trim the nails of her 12 year old rotteweiler (sp?) without putting a muzzle on him.

Now I'm a personal trainer and I do my best to lead through example. Can I take a vet seriously that's telling us our dog needs more training when she has an older dog that she has to muzzle?

Our GSD was walked for 1hour to 1.5hour prior to going to the vet. He's a little excited but after that much activity a little less rambunctious.


I guess this turned into a rant but my real question is the vet's concerns real or something that she might have had issues with previously?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,280 Posts
I think the vet is an @ss!!
find a new one. If my vet ever said that to me I'd tell him where to go, Thats just my opinion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,244 Posts
I would also look for a new vet. OUTSIDE exam?? What if the temps are high, or the dog gets loose? That is absurd..does she have an outdoor exam room?
A muzzle is ok for instances like these. It doesn't hurt to get your dog use to wearing one, now and then, so the association is positive while wearing one. I have to muzzle my dog when we go to the vet, as she is fear aggressive. Sounds like your vet needs a vacation, she should have been much more sensitive to the fact that you have only had this dog for 2 months!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,348 Posts
A quick peek at the VERY BUSY Aggression section of this forum will explain why the muzzle may be considered for GSDs at vets, groomers, etc.

My personal viewpoint: Never let a vet's office clip nails. NEVER. Because it almost always becaomes a 2 - 3 person rodeo with the dog in the middle of the whirlwind. Those young techs have a waitingroom full of other animals to see, so they do not take the time to approach nailclipping gently, fairly, kindly, slowly. It's a "Hurry up an' get 'er done!" attitude where they view the poor dog as a naughty, non-compliant combatant the instant he doesn't turn to mush when this wild 2-person rodeo starts.

Not morphing into a belly-up Cockapoo does not mean your GSD needs more training. However, if the staff *did* see something truly worrysome-- this is a great opportunity to learn what that is and deal with it.

As for the vet's fears, look at it this way: 1. The crowded aggression section of this forum again will tell you why she may feel that way.
2. You need and deserve a vet who can relax around your dog and not make sweeping generalizations. Yes, she may have experience with many, MANY GSDs with instability issues-- but you need a vet to view your dog as a dog first, evaluate him based on who he is, before viewing him within the confines of his breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,389 Posts
My Ciana expresses her anal glands, pees and poops on the vet when they try to trim her nails, take x-rays, or do anything in the back room without me. She's a bit on the sensitive side, though. I don't have the vet trim her nails anymore and we get the job done at home with just a little bit of fuss and a lot of cookies. I think your vet was out of line to blame the dog. He was just scared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Personally, I would start looking for a new vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
478 Posts
my storm is very fearful when it comes to stuff like that. the dog's natural instinct to being scared is to express the glands, pee, poo and sometimes bite or act aggressive. i took my storm for his weigh in and he expressed the glands. he also growled when the vet tech approached him and i. i however, WILL NOT bring him anywhere like this without his muzzle. i have a beautiful basket muzzle which is a complete godsend. he can pant, breath, drink water and i hear can even be fed small treat through it (although i would be afraid of choking, so i've never tried that one out). when i first brought my storm to the vet at 4 months old, he growed when the vet tried to touch his rear. the vet was very sympathic to me and had asked me was storm showing any aggression at all to the kids or anyone in the household. when i told him that storm was a scaredy cat and very sensitive, he recommended obedience training which we did. it did help to socialize him, but to this day (storm is now a year old) he is VERY overprotective of me and does not like strangers just coming up quickly while he is on lead with me. just something i have to deal with and constantly take him for refresher courses with my trainer. (thank god i can do this free of charge). but nevertheless, my vet asked me was i comfortable owning and dealing with a dog like this? he knew i've never owned a gsd and have always owned labs and goldies, pugs, etc. he was very nice and more or less wanted to make sure that storm was in the right hands so it would not end up into a nightmare with the wrong owner handling him wrong. i assured him of my game plan and i'm sure when it comes to storm's annual visit he will see a big difference, but your vet i think is gsd prejudiced. maybe he/she had a bad experience with one in her lifetime. maybe just lack of experience. my neighbor had gotten bit by one and is terrified of my storm. she will not come over my house anymore. oh well......i can't do anything about her fears. he is a sweetie once he has your friendship, but just doesn't appreciate strangers quickly coming towards him in an unpredictable manner. i'd def look for another vet. you should like your vet and feel comfortable with he/she. this is very important in the future of your dogs and yours as well. alot of grooming shops will do nails and are alot better and more patient with the dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,034 Posts
Since you've only had the dog a few days (months?) - I'd bet this is his first vet visit with you, right?

So, take a dog that is with new people in a new home and go to a new vet where they don't seem to want to let him acclimate before jumping right in to cut the nails and I'd say his reaction was 100% normal! Especially if all he did was struggle and express his glands.

I would find a new vet since they have already judged the dog and found him 'guilty'.

And then once you get a new vet I would start by taking him there, letting everyone in the office give him treats and then LEAVE. No exams, no clipping nails, no nothing. You need to get him to think of the vets office as a FUN place - not a place that EVERY time he goes he gets poked, prodded or grabbed.

And while you are doing this you can continue to work on desensitizing his feet at home. Long walks on concrete will help keep hims nails short naturally - until you are able to do it.

And I'd look into using a dremel tool instead of the clippers.

Bad vet, normal dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
I would definitely find a new vet. No matter if some of her concerns were justified. The way she spoke to your wife, dismissed the dog's reaction as a behavior problem, etc. I would have flipped out! Your wife must have it together way more than I do. I am sorry this happened to her and your new dog!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,829 Posts
Originally Posted By: littledmcI think the vet is an @ss!!
find a new one.
yeah, what she said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the quick replies. We're definitely looking for a new vet.

I guess I wasn't thinking aggression since he showed no other signs of aggression (no growling, no snapping, no raised hackles, etc.), but I'll definitely go take a look in that forum. This is my first GSD, 2nd dog, and they're totally different so I'm trying to be as open minded as possible.

We don't mind doing more training (and currently are regardless) but having somebody else tell that to my wife and me is tough. Especially tough coming from somebody that admittedly can't even do it themselves.
Originally Posted By: BrightelfMy personal viewpoint: Never let a vet's office clip nails. NEVER. Because it almost always becaomes a 2 - 3 person rodeo with the dog in the middle of the whirlwind. Those young techs have a waitingroom full of other animals to see, so they do not take the time to approach nailclipping gently, fairly, kindly, slowly. It's a "Hurry up an' get 'er done!" attitude where they view the poor dog as a naughty, non-compliant combatant the instant he doesn't turn to mush when this wild 2-person rodeo starts.
That's pretty much what happened and 2 nervous techs handling/restraining a GSD sounds like a bad recipe.

Quote:Not morphing into a belly-up Cockapoo does not mean your GSD needs more training. However, if the staff *did* see something truly worrysome-- this is a great opportunity to learn what that is and deal with it.
That was part of the problem, though, was that they couldn't pinpoint a specific for us to even work on. The vet was just, "more training," and when my wife went on a tirade of all the things we had been doing and the things he can do, the vet's only response was, "well it sounds like you're on the right track." What the **** is that supposed to mean?! I wanted specifics but they didn't seem to be able to do that.

Quote:As for the vet's fears, look at it this way: 1. The crowded aggression section of this forum again will tell you why she may feel that way.
2. You need and deserve a vet who can relax around your dog and not make sweeping generalizations. Yes, she may have experience with many, MANY GSDs with instability issues-- but you need a vet to view your dog as a dog first, evaluate him based on who he is, before viewing him within the confines of his breed.
We'd been skirting the issue because he hasn't needed to go back the vet yet but that time is coming up so I guess where going to really start looking around. Our current dog trainer has 2 or 3 GSD's so, we'll start there.

Thanks again, everybody!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
crazyboutgsd's : What kind of muzzle was it, again? Any links to where I can purchase one? Sounds like a good idea.

Laura: Very good ideas! I do walk him (and our other dog) religiously every morning (and most afternoons) for an hour through our neighborhood, so that's the main reason we haven't had to trim his nails yet. I've heard about using a dremmel. That would definitely take some getting used to.

ShepsRgr8 : My wife is a saint. Of course she was fuming inside but was thinking clearly enough to ask for examples of training we could do, or specifics in to the problem that we could fix but we never got a response.


Another vet it is, along with some friendly visits prior to going for anything specific. I'll also look into the muzzles. I guess I'm not crazy about the idea but then again, I wasn't crazy about crates until actually getting one and using it. Open mind, open mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,313 Posts
I have to agree. Maybe the vet should go back to school for more training.

Originally Posted By: littledmcI think the vet is an @ss!!
find a new one. If my vet ever said that to me I'd tell him where to go, Thats just my opinion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,250 Posts
Originally Posted By: littledmcI think the vet is an @ss!!
find a new one. If my vet ever said that to me I'd tell him where to go, Thats just my opinion
Ditto!
I'm glad you're going to look for a new one. This woman sounds like a real winner.
Outdoor exam? That's a new one. I can honestly say that I've never heard that one before! It sounds like she's just not capable of handling any dog (her own or otherwise) that presents a little bit of a challenge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
Originally Posted By: HomeYieldcrazyboutgsd's : What kind of muzzle was it, again? Any links to where I can purchase one? Sounds like a good idea.
All the vets I have gone to, they usually have their own muzzles. They typically use the soft sided ones. Once you check in and you feel he may need to muzzled you can let the tech know prior to the doc performing the exam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,782 Posts
Originally Posted By: littledmcI think the vet is an @ss!!
find a new one. If my vet ever said that to me I'd tell him where to go, Thats just my opinion


As far as the "crowded aggression section" mentioned, that is NO excuse for a supposed "professional" to lump all dogs of a certain breed together in the "bad dog" group. And any professional that does, isn't worth the powder it would take to blow them to h3ll!

I used to be a dog groomer, and there WERE certain breds that were on top of the "most likely to try to bite you" list. BUT anytime a new dog of one of those breeds came it, it was NOT "guilty until proven innocent". It was ONLY treated like a biter IF it proved that it WAS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
The vet and staff are idiots. Expression of anal glands is due to stress, and if the dog did not bite the dog is showing he's not aggressive, just a bit fearful and uncomfortable. In my opinion it is the vet and staff's responsibility to understand animal behavior enough to make him feel comfortable, or at the very least not threatened. In the case of a nervebag that comes in hackling and growling there is nothing that can be done, but this??? Move on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,442 Posts
I can only echo what everyone else has already said - please find a new vet. One who is comfortable with handling and treating large dogs in their practice.

Ask the clinic if you can bring your dog "in" without having any procedures done - just walk in, say hi, and reward your dog for being a good dog. You want the dog to associate the vet with something positive, not with always getting manhandled, clipped, wrestled about, and having thermometers stuck up his bum. Most clinics will let you come in and just walk in and reward your dog. Maybe say hi to the receptionist. Or maybe even spend some time in the waiting room to get your dog used to and calm in that situation. (Bring treats and your clicker, if you clicker train.) Ideally, do this during days and times where the clinic isn't overly busy.

The other thing that I would recommend is asking whether you can be the one to hold and handle the dog at the clinic, rather than handing the leash over to a vet tech to "take the dog in the back" for clipping nails, weighing, drawing blood, etc.

I have yet to go to a vet's office that told me "no" when I asked, "Do you mind if I take her back? She's more comfortable if I'm there." My current vet loves it when we come in for shots and check ups because he doesn't have to have a vet tech come in to help - I plop her up on the table and hold her during exams, shots, drawing blood, etc. You can have the vet or a vet tech show you how to hold the dog correctly if you aren't sure what the best way is for an exam.

Personally, I would not take a dog to the vet for nail trims - or even to a grooming place like the ones in Petsmart or PetCo. I've seen some awful "nail trims" being performed at the latter two, with groomers yanking the poor dog's legs out and cutting not one but a number of quicks. Yikes. I can do much better than that at home and it'll be much less stressful for my dog. Lauri's idea of the Dremel is definitely one I second. You can get the nails much shorter without having to worry about the quick (you can see it coming!), and it's not painful for the dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
are you sure you weren't at ark animal hospital in surfside beach? that's where we used to take thor. what an experience with gsd hate/fear. please find another vet. talk to police officers, or search and rescue volunteers to find out where they take their dogs.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top