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post #24 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2012, 03:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Dogs Name: Violet, Java
Dogs Age: 3-4-11 (Violet), 12-16-11 (Java)
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What type of Veterinarian do you use and why?
We use a traditional veterinarian. When I left my last clinic, I was conflicted about whether to continue going there as a client or search for a new doctor. I absolutely loved the veterinarian, but ex-employees always seemed to get stuck with shoddy treatment that employee pets can get - your dog will always been seen last if other appointments run over, doctors aren't as concerned with maintaining client satisfaction so things just get half-assed, etc., and I decided to pursue a new veterinarian. We were happy enough with the one that we started going to with our Collie and GSD, but the GSD had some severe aggression issues. We worked with trainers, behaviorists, behavioral modification, you name it, and after a year of intense work she had attacked a small child and begun lunging at us without provocation, and we knew that euthanasia was our only option. It would not have been ethical to "pass the problem up the road" so to speak and rehome, she was massively unsafe. After explaining the situation at length to our veterinarian, who had been abreast of her problems all along and had personally ruled out a medical concern, the tech said "It would just be a shame to put her to sleep right away, maybe you could give her away." After the year of hell we'd been through and as absolutely gutted as we were by the decision, we were too upset to go back, and returned to my fiance's family's veterinarian that he'd been to as a child and found ourselves very happy with him and his staff. He's an older man who is a friend of my ex boss's and owns Dobermans, has a wonderful bedside manner and is a straight shooter.

How often do you take your dog to the vet and why?
Needless to say, emergency care is as needed, and has thus far been infrequent, knock on wood. Right now they go for routine visits annually, when each dog is five they'll begin going twice a year.

Are your dogs on the prescribed vaccination regiment they recommend? Do they get other vaccinations due to your environment surroundings? (Lyme disease, others)
Yes and no. We will follow their prescribed regiment until 2, and then titer annually.

What tests do you get done on a regular basis and/or have you established baselines to monitor there health?
Java's testing will be as follows, and so on for as long as he is alive. Pending a clean bill of health in other areas, he'll also need to have his hips, etc. checked if competing in frisbee or agility is still an option for us.

1 - Pre-an. vWD test. Baseline thyroid.
2 - thyroid (free T4). Pre-an. Echo & Holter. Titer.
3 - thyroid (free T4). Pre-an. Echo & Holter. Titer.
4 - thyroid (free T4). Pre-an. Echo & Holter. Titer.
5 - thyroid (free T4). CBC. Echo & Holter. Urinalysis. Titer.
5.5 - Pre-an. Echo & Holter.
6 - thyroid (free T4). CBC. Echo & Holter. Urinalysis. Titer.
6.5 - Pre-an. Echo & Holter.
7 - thyroid (free T4). CBC. Echo & Holter. Urinalysis. Titer.
7.5 - Pre-an. Echo & Holter.
8 - thyroid (free T4). CBC. Echo & Holter. Urinalysis. Titer.
8.5 - Pre-an. Echo & Holter.
9 - thyroid (free T4). CBC. Echo & Holter. Urinalysis. Titer.
9.5 - Pre-an. Echo & Holter.
10 - thyroid (free T4). CBC. Echo & Holter. Urinalysis. Titer.
10.5 - Pre-an. Echo & Holter.
11 - thyroid (free T4). CBC. Echo & Holter. Urinalysis. Titer.
11.5 - Pre-an. Echo & Holter.
12 - thyroid (free T4). CBC. Echo & Holter. Urinalysis. Titer.

How do you treat wounds/injuries of your dog?(minor injuries like cuts and scraps) Does the vet do it all or do you do some your self? Do you have any type of training in emergency care of animals? Where did you get this training?
If they're minor enough, I treat them. I worked as a veterinary assistant for 6 years, 2 of them in an emergency hospital. My fiance also spent 2 years in an emergency hospital, so most minor things we are capable of handling.

How much faith do you have in vets? (believe everything they say, take recommendations under consideration)
A moderate amount. Having spent 6 years in the field, I know better than most that they are humans. Some are exceptional, some are unethical, most are in between. They have off days, they make bad judgement calls, a lot of diagnostics is about educated guesses and process of elimination, their levels of skill, training, and compassion vary as much as any other humans do. That said, they do have more education in their field than I do, and veterinary medicine is a for the most part a thankless, difficult, underpaid industry, even for doctors. Many of them take decades to get out from under their student loan debt, have no health insurance, and work ridiculous hours under sometimes dangerous conditions with often two extremes for clients: extremely undereducated in animals, or educated enough to walk into the clinic with a chip on their shoulder. It is a rough job. For the most part, there's no reason to get into it unless you have a real desire to help. I take all of these things into consideration, and my own knowledge and experience. I have to be an advocate for my dogs - Collies can't have Ivermectin or a number of other drugs, so I have to be an active partner in the process and protect her. Java may well have vWD, so no backroom jugular draws for him. You have to find a balance. I don't know everything, but I do know plenty, and I know my dogs. I also know that if you feel the need to be combative and rude to your veterinarian, that demonstrates a lack of trust, and you need to find a new one.

"Show me a dog who still cannot perform a task after it has been trained over and over again, and I'll tell you who the slow learner is." - Barry McDonald

Violet and Java Blog

Last edited by Brianne29; 06-11-2012 at 03:42 PM.
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