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Old 11-20-2012, 10:27 AM
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How do I find the right vet?

I'm looking for a new vet for my new puppy. The new pup is a show prospect and will train for search and rescue. I'd like a top notch vet who knows show dogs and working dogs, and particularly Golden Retrievers, and the particular issues for Goldens with jobs.

How do I go about finding the best Golden Retriever vet in my area? Is there a secret list somewhere?

Oh, I live in Orange County, California, if that matters.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:35 AM
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I'd suggest joining your local GR club and networking with those in your area. See who they use and why.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:41 AM
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Maybe some of the show and/or search and rescue forum members in your area will have recommendations that will help you decide. I'd also check with members of your local Golden Retriever club or anyone you know in show or search and rescue. Once you get a few names, check them out online for license verification and disciplinary records (it varies by state what they put online and what they publicly disclose). If you have the time and money, book an appointment with them in advance and you can get a pretty good idea of their approach, bedside manner/rapport. I also look at the facility for cleanliness and attention to detail. AAHA accreditation (https://www.aahanet.org/Accreditatio...ccredited.aspx is important to me personally as it insures certain standards are met. Ask about clinic hours and if weekend openings are easier with your schedule, go with a vet that offers that. Our vet is open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. It's come in very handy. Also check and see if they are active in the veterinary community and if they offer newer treatment options such as stem cell therapies, acupuncture, etc.

We went through several vets with our first rescue Golden before we knew better. An orthopedic surgeon we consulted for our boy's severe hip dysplasia steered us to our current veterinary clinic and we've been with them almost 20 years now with 3 dogs so far. He was very discreet but told me that if he lived in my area he'd be going to the female he recommended. She was actually building a large facility less than a mile from our house. We switched and never looked back. Over the years our dogs have seen all of the vets practicing there (about 8) and with one exception, a brand new vet during her first week on the job, we've been very happy. They shared our joy with new additions and even shed tears with me as we made the decision to put our Bridge boys down. I cannot say enough good things about them. They are partners in our pets' care and well being.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:44 AM
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For me, proximity is also very important. I want to be able to get there quickly. I would check out vets close to you - and talk to people who live in the area - who you meet at the park - and get their recommendations. When Tesia's wound opened and gushed last week, it was so good to be able to get her to my vet within 10 minutes.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:47 AM
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:30 AM
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Contact your local GRCA and see who the members their use.

When I moved, I was leaving a vet practice that I had been going to since I was 9 years old, they knew my voice when I called. It was hard trying to figure out which vet to use for a new one. My vet told me to talk to many people that had dogs, and sooner or later you will hear the same names. I had it down to about 4, and went and visitted each one in person. Just talking to whoever was at the front desk, you can get somewhat of an idea of what is like.

On the websites now, you can see how up to date their equipment is, do they have ultrasound machines etc. For me, it is also important to have more than one vet at the practice, hours and how close.

Another thing is to ask the vet which emergency clinic they use. I know my new vet specifically told me not to use the one that is closeby but to use one that is a few cities over.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:37 PM
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Ask your club members who they use. Your best bet is to find a breeder vet. One that competes with their dogs, breeds (any breed!), and shows. They'll be much more knowledgeable and conscientious about cosmetic things like blood draws, etc. and won't pressure you to neuter at every visit like other vets will! They are few and far between so you might be looking for a while. If you trust the vet you use with your other pets, consider sticking with them. A show/working dog doesn't really need any specialized, except perhaps for repro and for that there are the obvious choices in the area. Good luck!


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Old 11-20-2012, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaCasey View Post
Ask your club members who they use. Your best bet is to find a breeder vet. One that competes with their dogs, breeds (any breed!), and shows. They'll be much more knowledgeable and conscientious about cosmetic things like blood draws, etc. and won't pressure you to neuter at every visit like other vets will! They are few and far between so you might be looking for a while. If you trust the vet you use with your other pets, consider sticking with them. A show/working dog doesn't really need any specialized, except perhaps for repro and for that there are the obvious choices in the area. Good luck!


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Thanks. Your advice about a breeder/showing vet is perfect. That's exactly what I want, for more reasons than just avoiding the inevitable lectures on the joys of neutering. Maybe this is a stupid thread, but I want a vet who is attuned to my and my pet's needs. It isn't only the neighbors who look at you funny when you say you show your dog or that you're using it in tracking or search and rescue. Vets think you're crazy, too.

I would hope that a breeder vet would be more attuned to things like my neurotic need to maintain a flawless coat, tweaking his diet, exercise issues, etc.

My local club is the Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles, and they are about 80 miles away. I don't want to travel that far for vet visits. I guess I was hoping someone would pipe up and say, "Oh, I'm your next door neighbor, and I've got just the vet, and he's only just down the street!"

Yes, I am crazy.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaRuns View Post
Thanks. Your advice about a breeder/showing vet is perfect. That's exactly what I want, for more reasons than just avoiding the inevitable lectures on the joys of neutering. Maybe this is a stupid thread, but I want a vet who is attuned to my and my pet's needs. It isn't only the neighbors who look at you funny when you say you show your dog or that you're using it in tracking or search and rescue. Vets think you're crazy, too.

I would hope that a breeder vet would be more attuned to things like my neurotic need to maintain a flawless coat, tweaking his diet, exercise issues, etc.

My local club is the Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles, and they are about 80 miles away. I don't want to travel that far for vet visits. I guess I was hoping someone would pipe up and say, "Oh, I'm your next door neighbor, and I've got just the vet, and he's only just down the street!"

Yes, I am crazy.
Just because your club is 80 miles away, doesn't mean its members all are too. There might be some right in your neighborhood.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:42 PM
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There is (or was) a map on the forum somewhere that showed where everyone was from. I just tried to find it but had no luck. Maybe someone else can link it here for you and it will help you search for people located near you to query.

Also, your breeder might know of some good vets in your area that her other puppy purchasers used. If not, maybe some other reputable breeders in your area that show may be a good resource.
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