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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Vet Drama

The vet we were originally taking Foster to was HORRIBLE!! Last night he had his first visit with our new vet, and it went great! I am feeling so relieved. It feels great to know that if something happened, he would be receiving better care from people who know what they are doing. Has anyone else had trouble finding a good vet? Is it normal to have to "shop around"?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 08:56 AM
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Sorry to hear this happened.

I think it depends a lot on the area where you live. If you live in a large populated area you have more options or clinics to choose from. Vets just like Medical Doctors vary greatly. I think you have to rely on your instincts and go with the one you feel comfortable and confident with to provide care of your dog just like you do when you choose a Medical Doctor.

I live in a small tourist area, have very few options when it comes to Vets unless I want to make a 50 mile round trip. I had been going to a clinic within five minutes of my house for over 20 years. There are 4 Vets in this clinic, the last several years I always made an appt. for my guys with one of the Vets only because I preferred her.

She recently went out on her own, is a Mobile Vet now and makes house calls. She's really wonderful. My Bridge girl had cancer, this Vet was treating her. When it was time to set her free, she came to my house to do it.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 11:25 AM
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Vets like Dr's are a personal choice and yes it's normal to shop around. I live in a small town and went through 2 before driving 2 hrs. to find one I trusted and liked... both staff and vet. But I needed someone closer for emergencies so broke down and went to the 3rd vet (only 3 to pick from in town) and while I don't like his office personnel as much as the preferred clinic I do like the vet and his medical staff. He just did my girls spay and he did a great job, price was under $200. and entire process went smoothly.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 02:04 PM
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I have different vets for different "jobs"- a repro vet for that stuff, a pet vet for health certs and vaccines,
an ophthalmologist, cardiologist, ortho for clearances... find someone you feel safe entrusting your pets to and be glad you have that person! Much as vets catch a lot of criticism for charges, I find them all to be very reasonable with my money- and if I ask to be worked in or something, I take bagels and coffee or some other nicety- if I have an emergency and the repro has to use her and the staff's lunch time for a c-section, I order them all lunch in. If we didn't have health insurance for our own care and had to approve and pay for everything we do for our own bodies, we would find vet care very inexpensive in comparison.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Prism Goldens View Post
I have different vets for different "jobs"- a repro vet for that stuff, a pet vet for health certs and vaccines,
an ophthalmologist, cardiologist, ortho for clearances... find someone you feel safe entrusting your pets to and be glad you have that person! Much as vets catch a lot of criticism for charges, I find them all to be very reasonable with my money- and if I ask to be worked in or something, I take bagels and coffee or some other nicety- if I have an emergency and the repro has to use her and the staff's lunch time for a c-section, I order them all lunch in. If we didn't have health insurance for our own care and had to approve and pay for everything we do for our own bodies, we would find vet care very inexpensive in comparison.
I'm extremely fortunate to have a multi vet practice that I love only a mile from home. I do miss my old vet from years ago because he operated like an old time country doctor, but times were different then.

Medical care and Veterinary care costs rising are partly because we have access to much more services and technology than in bygone days.

FWIW, many insurance companies are assisting customers in "price shopping" for things like CT scans and MRI services, something that is more difficult to do on your own.

If only I could get social security numbers for the dogs and cats.....
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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We started out taking him to the vet my parents had used when I was growing up. Before we brought him home, we purchased a "puppy package" through them (mistake #1). For around $450 we were supposed to get the first shots and neuter done.

The first red flag was when we walked in the door with him and the receptionists didn't even look up from their desks to greet us. Never said hello to him. He was a 15 pound ball of fluff just wanting some attention...who doesn't love a golden puppy?! This continued every visit.

Next issue..they made us wait between 25 and 30 minutes in the little exam room for the vet to come. Then she would come in and complain that he was too hyper and she needed a vet tech to hold him down. Ummm maybe don't make him wait for half an hour and get excited smelling everything. She never said anything nice, only that he was "weird" and clingy. She never leaned down to pet him.

THEN we read all this research about waiting to neuter when he is close to 2 years old. I print out the information and bring it in for the vet to see. She tells me she usually neuters at THREE MONTHS (What?!) but the oldest she would do is 8 months. AND we needed to pay an extra $150 because in the tiny print at the bottom of the puppy package contract it said "must be neutered by 6 months."

The final straw was when I asked her for a list of good dog foods and she said "Oh I don't know, I guess Purina has some good ones"

For months after that we searched for a better place and finally found one. The place we went last night was a total 180. Thank God!
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 03:23 PM
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We've been going to the same vet for 25 years. We love him! I wouldn't make the drive if we didn't love him. I'm glad you found one that you trust.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 04:58 PM
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When we adopted my jack russell 8 years ago, we picked a vet practice that had been in our town for over 20 years. They have a clinic within a 5 minute drive from our home & a 15 minute drive to their hospital. They have a staff of several vets & our jrt saw them all. Now that we our golden girl, Luna, we have narrowed it down to seeing one of the co-owners. He is great, takes his time and I was able to negotiate some prices with him. He is actually very popular with many patients so I book early.

In recent years, due to new residences, etc. I've noticed 3 other vet clinics that have opened up but none have a hospital as well so we chose to stay.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Foster's Mom View Post
We started out taking him to the vet my parents had used when I was growing up. Before we brought him home, we purchased a "puppy package" through them (mistake #1). For around $450 we were supposed to get the first shots and neuter done.

The first red flag was when we walked in the door with him and the receptionists didn't even look up from their desks to greet us. Never said hello to him. He was a 15 pound ball of fluff just wanting some attention...who doesn't love a golden puppy?! This continued every visit.

Next issue..they made us wait between 25 and 30 minutes in the little exam room for the vet to come. Then she would come in and complain that he was too hyper and she needed a vet tech to hold him down. Ummm maybe don't make him wait for half an hour and get excited smelling everything. She never said anything nice, only that he was "weird" and clingy. She never leaned down to pet him.

THEN we read all this research about waiting to neuter when he is close to 2 years old. I print out the information and bring it in for the vet to see. She tells me she usually neuters at THREE MONTHS (What?!) but the oldest she would do is 8 months. AND we needed to pay an extra $150 because in the tiny print at the bottom of the puppy package contract it said "must be neutered by 6 months."

The final straw was when I asked her for a list of good dog foods and she said "Oh I don't know, I guess Purina has some good ones"

For months after that we searched for a better place and finally found one. The place we went last night was a total 180. Thank God!
This! Front desk staff can make or break a practice! I have actually recommended that my parents stop using the practice/vets they have used since I was a kid (I worked there before vet school) because their front desk staff is so bad and could have caused some bad outcomes had I not intervened on my parents' behalf. I interviewed for a job at a practice in NY after my internship and knew before I even met the doctor that I would never work there because the front desk staff treated me so badly. And then for you to follow it up with a vet who seems to be phoning it in (to put it mildly), I'm so glad you have changed and found somewhere you like!
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 05:59 PM
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I have a vet clinic 5 minutes from my home. When we first moved in I took my diabetic dog to that clinic. I was appalled to discover that the vet in that clinic actually knew LESS about canine diabetes than I did. In fact he actually told me, "Well, just give Maggie as much insulin as you think will work" (!?!?) That, obviously did not give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I got a recommendation for a clinic from a woman who works with a well known rescue in MN. The vet clinic is 45 minutes from my home but every vet in the practice is fantastic. When it turned out that the dog my daughter had rescued needed major surgery shortly after she got him (the dog had been hit by a car and, according to our vet, had some of the worst damage from badly healed fractures she had ever seen) we were immediately referred to an exceptional ortho surgeon. Yes, the surgery was outrageously expensive (of course DH and I paid for it as she was still in law school...and it meant they basically rebuilt the dog's left hind leg) but the surgery was successful and our daughter's dog is doing well now. I shudder to think what the previous vet would have told us...maybe, "Here's a scalpel, fix it yourself"? At any rate I have recently learned that our previous vet has lost his license to practice veterinary medicine in this state due to "failure to treat in an appropriate manner". So, my advice is that if anything seems a little off with a vet clinic or vet find another one. The majority of vets, in my experience, are good and competent people who are trying to do what is best for your pets but there area a few stinkers out there. Don't settle for a bad vet. Even if it means you have to drive a distance to a good one!

"In rescuing animals I lost my mind....but found my soul"
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