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    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd, 2014 7:02pm (Apr 2nd 2014) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    So within the next few months it will be a year since Kasper or Zoey were seen by a vet.

    Do I take them in for a check up or not?

    I'm not talking about vaccinations (we don't believe in getting them done yearly and have done much research into this) but for a general health check up...how important is it?

    The reason I'm asking is mainly for Kasper's sake. I don't need to tell you what a sensitive, fearful boy he is, you already know that. Well, at the vets his fear gets worse, and he becomes a wreck. Even if we stay away from the male vets (which we always do!) he is still clearly terrified and it does push him back with his socialisation and feelings towards strangers.

    This is my BIG concern. I really don't want to needlessly put him through that.

    Then there's the fact that we've never been to the surgery in this area. Our last vet was amazing with Kasper, and really helped put him at ease...what if these vets are utter rubbish?! We've spoken with them on the phone, and tried to stress how important calm handling and sensitivity are, but you can never be sure...one vet in Bingley we phoned up minutes before entering and asked them to ignore Kasper as we were trying to show him the surgery was a fun place; we went in and they swooned all over him and terrified him!!! So yeah, I don't trust vets / receptionists!

    Then there's getting to the vets. It's a long walk, which is fine, but along busy roads with narrow paths, and through the town centre. Hmmm.

    I have no idea how Zoey would react at the vets. I'm assuming she would be giddy all over the place and try chew on the vets' arm, but you never know! :tooth:

    Then there's the fact both dogs appear healthy. No unusual lumps or bumps, no changes in behaviour or appetite, nothing untoward.

    So yeah...any ideas? Thoughts?
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2014 12:07am (Apr 3rd 2014)
     
    I think it is very important to find a vet you trust before you need them - this was especially true when I had the rats as they are very specific and some vets find them repulsive, don't understand them etc. However, I don't believe in annual checks because I think it causes unnecessary stress, expense, and they always seem to find an excuse to do something that'll bump the price up. So no, I don't think they are necessary (unless you have some worries which you don't) but maybe it would be worth investigating to find one that will handle your dogs the way you want them to be, not the way they think they should be (which can be 2 very different things!) If you need one urgently then maybe that's the way to find out how good they are - vets are usually competent with treatment and all you'll need to work out is their handling.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2014 5:13pm (Apr 3rd 2014) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks Kate that was very useful :)

    What questions would you ask to try and determine how the vet behaved with a sensitive / fearful dog? I'm thinking we might make an appt and go in without the dogs (I have some questions about lungworm prevention I want to ask too) but I'm struggling to think of any useful questions to ask...any ideas would be great :smile:

    Aaagh Zoey is destroying the new bed....
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2014 8:29pm (Apr 3rd 2014)
     
    I only go to vets with Tuppence if I know something is wrong. They try to guilt trip you into innoculations, but my friend had her cats innoculated faithfully and they both still died of FIV. You know Kasp & Zoe so well that you would pick up on an illness long before it would be discernable even to a vet so you would act well in time to head off any nasties, surely?
    It's a very important question but one that only you can answer...for every person who thinks like me there's ten who think we're irresponsible!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2014 11:51pm (Apr 3rd 2014)
     
    Likewise with my cats. I use the vet closest to home because the cats get very distressed in the carrier and car, and the female vet at the local practice is lovely - not that you get choice of who to see. (I'm sure I could ask, but I never have). I need to have a conversation with them about why they want to do blood tests on Emmett - at 19, and on constant painkillers,chances are they might pick something up. What would they want me to do then? Put her to sleep? Take her off the meds that treat her arthritis? Put her on more medication? I wouldn't agree to any of it so why do bloods - ignorance is bliss in this case.

    You need to ask questions that you already know the answer to and see if they give the right response! For example, tell them your dog is fearful of men so what would they suggest to help him. You know exactly what to do, but you need a similar response from them, or something you consider acceptable as that will be how they will treat him if you take him in. Or ask whether they think clicker training is a useful tool or is disciplining better? Have a look on the internet for how other people have chosen a vet - the rat sites I used to use had lists of good questions (e.g. how do you euthenise? how do you treat lung infections? post op advice?) so maybe a dog site would have something similar?

    Bear in mind that if you do need to go in an emergency then your dog will probably be more concerned about their injury/illness and not their usual self anyway, so you/the dogs will cope.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2014 6:10pm (Apr 4th 2014) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Posted By: chief chickenI only go to vets with Tuppence if I know something is wrong.


    Thanks for letting me know CC, I think that is what we are leaning towards.

    Posted By: chief chickenI only go to vets with Tuppence if I know something is wrong. They try to guilt trip you into innoculations, but my friend had her cats innoculated faithfully and they both still died of FIV.


    Ugh I never know what to say when they ask about vaccinations...I've done so much research into it and have read so many horror stories that I personally don't wish to vaccinate them. But try saying that to a vet!!

    Posted By: KatebYou need to ask questions that you already know the answer to and see if they give the right response!


    That is a great idea! ;)

    Funnily enough I posted on a dog forum and didn't get too many responses (although there were some great ideas such as ask if one vet is more experienced with fearful dogs, ask if they use low stress handling, watch how the staff interact with other people's dogs)...

    We're phoning the vets tomorrow to register first and maybe ask the receptionist a few questions, and will try book an appt with the vet next week.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2014 8:17pm (Apr 4th 2014)
     
    I remember a receptionist telling me the vet was very experienced at dealing with rats, but when I saw her she had no idea how to medicate my rat (wanted me to put the antibiotics in the water) and was useless at handling too. Google the name of your local vet and see if there are any internet posts - good or bad - about them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2014 8:30pm (Apr 4th 2014)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh wow, that must have been infuriating!!

    Another great idea, thanks :smile:

    I already tried finding reviews of the surgery but there are none...maybe I'll be the first to leave one ;)
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2014 8:26am (Apr 5th 2014)
     
    After spending pots of cash at the vets over the years on preventive treatments, we tried not having any vaccinations.
    Problem we are faced with now, is that we want to go on holiday and our usual cat sitter is not available.
    Kennels insist on all the vacc's first!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 6th, 2014 6:39pm (Apr 6th 2014) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    That is annoying, Ollie...I know dog kennels are the same, and some training classes require all dogs to be vaccinated too...

    Here are the questions I have to ask the vet this week:

    Do you use low-stress handling techniques?
    Do you treat any breeds differently? (just wondering if Staffies will get a mention...)
    If I phone ahead and ask the staff to ignore my dog (if we just pop in to get Kasper used to the place) will they do that?
    What does a growl mean to you, what is your reaction to a growl? (any mention of punishment, and we are gone!)
    Is it okay to treat one of our dogs on the floor rather than the table? (Kasper is terrified of being on the tableā€¦)

    I'm also going to ask how much time she spends getting used to the dog and helping the dog feel comfortable. Maybe I'll mention some calming signals too. Our last vet was great at letting Kasper get used to her presence, and rewarded everything he did with treats. That was very helpful and really boosted his confidence.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 6th, 2014 9:02pm (Apr 6th 2014)
     
    Excellent questions! I hope the vet can reassure you.

    I can sort of understand the Cattery insisting on vaccinations, but I know people who have done all the jabs religiously and still lost their cat to FIP or FIV, can't remember which. As long as the cattery have good infection prevention practices it shouldn't be a problem, but most of them don't. Easier not to bother. I've heard of some terrible catteries recently, and some awful rehoming centres. The people that come to us are always very complimentary when they've seen other places.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJun 29th, 2014 9:56pm (Jun 29th 2014) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    If the vet asks if our dogs are up to date with vaccinations, what could I say? Do I lie and say they are, or do I say they're not and have to listen to a whole lecture about why vaccinations are so important, blah blah blah?

    I'm buying some books from amazon about vaccinations to educate myself further, but I really don't think I like the idea of vaccinations. I also don't want to get into an argument the first time we meet our new vet...

    What do you say if they try to guilt-trip you into giving your pets shots at the vets? (that's if you don't vaccinate your fur-kids :smile: )

    Any ideas would be appreciated...I'm pretty useless at confrontations :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 30th, 2014 9:10pm (Jun 30th 2014)
     
    Um, well I say 'No I haven't', and then in my head I'm standing there with my fingers in my ears going 'LAHLAHLAH' whilst externally smiling and nodding. Just say 'If I innoculate my dog/cat/rabbit/chicken/crocodile against flabby ear'ole disease, can you guarantee they won't contract it?' Then look at them innocently and watch 'em squirm.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2014 6:13am (Jul 1st 2014) edited
     
    There are some vaccinations that are required here..rabies is one..if your dog nips someone and you don't have shot records..they can take your dog and put it to sleep. I'd check your laws first to see what they say, before you say no to the vaccinations.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2014 1:55pm (Jul 1st 2014)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Haha flabby ear'ole disease I like it! :rolling: I just finished reading the book 'Say No To Shots' and found it pretty informative, it wasn't loaded with technical jargon (which for me is a good thing!) and it also wasn't anti-vaccinations, despite the title, so it gave a pretty balanced view :smile:

    Lynn we don't have any laws requiring vaccinations here. A lot of vets are very keen to pressure you into getting the dogs jabbed once a year or more though, and are really rude when you try to explain why you personally don't want to vaccinate them...
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2014 4:27pm (Jul 1st 2014)
     
    So what have you decided, Red?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd, 2014 2:54pm (Jul 2nd 2014)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I've settled on the decision not to go with vaccinations. And if I were to give any vaccinations, only do one at a time with at least 2 weeks between shots, to avoid stress as much as is possible with a vet visit, feed certain foods and vitamins in the weeks before and after injections are given.

    Oh and that you shouldn't expose a dog that has received a "live" virus injection to other dogs for 10-21 days...apparently the live vaccines 'shed' through the skin / poo and could be dangerous to other dogs. Or something like that.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd, 2014 12:26am (Jul 3rd 2014)
     
    If they don't require shots, don't do it then, Red..I only do it so they can't take them away from me if they nip someone. I think it's as dangerous to get the shots as it is to have them..except for rabies, that one is needed since we have a problem with that here.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd, 2014 9:13pm (Jul 3rd 2014) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Yes, I agree Lynn. I've read some horrible stuff, including studies, about health issues resulting from shots...but bring it up with a vet and they'll refuse to acknowledge it! Makes it hard to trust them, they're so blinded by the need for profit... :face-plain:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 5th, 2014 9:49pm (Jul 5th 2014)
     
    My cats don't have shots - I'd give them to a kitten initially but then wouldn't bother after that. My friend's cat never missed a vaccination but died of something she should've been protected from, and several cats (and dogs I believe) have reactions at the site of the injection. The vet does try to guilt trip me, but I always do the old "OK I'll have a think about that". They did persuade me when we first got Meow Meow, but he was so distressed at going to the vet I didn't take him for the second shot (which has to be within a certain timescale of the first). The always wees and poos in the carrier!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 6th, 2014 4:00pm (Jul 6th 2014)
     
    Oo yes, the ultimate mark of disapproval - Trouble cat used to be adept at that one. Fortunately our vets used to hand the carrier to an unlucky nurse to clean out...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 6th, 2014 7:35pm (Jul 6th 2014)
     
    He tends to do it on the way home so it's my job instead. :crying: (and I meant He not The of course - can't type very well on the ipad!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 6th, 2014 9:28pm (Jul 6th 2014)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Similar story (kind of), but the first time Millybobs met Lyle, she smeared the entire leg of his jeans with runny poo...I still laugh just thinking about that, my little star girl :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2014 3:56pm (Jul 7th 2014)
     
    Perhaps it was a mark (:rolling: )of affection...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2014 4:45pm (Jul 7th 2014)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    She was a funny one that chicken...there was also a time when I had a uni friend staying at the house, and we were eating breakfast outside with Milly pootling about. Milly saw an easy target in my friend and launched herself onto her knees, knocking the bowl of cereal from her hands...Milly was well chuffed gulping it down out of the bowl :tooth:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2014 5:35pm (Jul 8th 2014)
     
    Mugged by a chicken! :rolling:
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeAug 25th, 2014 1:17am (Aug 25th 2014) edited
     
    I only ever vaccinate our cats when they are little and then maybe again when they are old. I always thought annual vaccinations were over-kill and then I met a vet who agreed with me! I have had a 5 month old kitten die of feline enteritis and it is horrible for the kitten and horrible to have to see. This was back when husband #1 thought his car was more important than getting our kitty's vaccinated!
    Have never had a problem with any of our cats, other than one who got cat AIDs because he was a fighter, but we got him when he was older and unless you can be sure they have never been exposed it is no good vaccinating against cat AIDs(at least that was the story back then).
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 25th, 2014 4:26pm (Aug 25th 2014)
     
    My friends cats were vaccinated every year against FIV and both died of it anyway.

    Posted By: chooksnpinkroses husband #1 thought his car was more important than getting our kitty's vaccinated!

    Which is why he's husband no. 1, rather than the current Mr Chooks presumably?:face-devil-grin:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 25th, 2014 10:13pm (Aug 25th 2014)
     
    I've probably already said somewhere that I don't get mine 'done'. I know I probably should but with 6 cats (through no fault of my own, honest!) it's an expense too far for something that isn't that effective anyway.