There can be sketchy breeders.. can there be sketchy vets? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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There can be sketchy breeders.. can there be sketchy vets?

Hi all,

So I'm trying to find a good regular vet for Molly in Calgary, but I have no idea who to go to. I don't mind driving further if they are a better vet, but does anyone know any good Calgary vets? Or if not, are there ways to tell that a certain vet is sketchy so I can stay away from them and look elsewhere? The last vet I went to for Brandy I didn't like, mainly because the first thing I saw when I walked in the office were ten pamphlets on how anyone who sells cropped or docked dog is a BYB and they were trying to start some kind of docking and cropping petition...

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 07:44 PM
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What part of Calgary are you in? The vet I used for years retired last year. Now I usually go to Calgary North Vet Hospital. They are open 24/7 and don't charge extra for off hours.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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I am in the SW along Lower Springbank Rd on the way to the Springbank school! We live in Rockyview County!

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 08:04 PM
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The answer is yes, there can be sketchy vets. Sorry your experience was so poor we have a few of those in my area and a few really awesome vets. I really like my vet and I find her to be honest and fair. There are others in the area that I haven't been impressed at all by, whether their attitudes or their beliefs.

I live in the States so sadly I'm not much help tracking down a vet for you

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Brandy&Melanie View Post
I am in the SW along Lower Springbank Rd on the way to the Springbank school! We live in Rockyview County!
You could PM "Dreamvalley" on here. She lives in the SW and I know she likes her vet.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 08:26 PM
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Yes, there are VERY sketchy vets out there, I worked for one very briefly. He has done unauthorized blood donations to boarding pets, surgically removed microchips from stolen dogs, sold ketamine on the streets, and lied on his notes to allow sick pets gain insurance.

It's worth it to do your homework on the vets in your area. Take a look at the staff, are they happy? How clean is the facility? Is there a high turn around in staff? How advanced are their equipment? Do they allow you to go to the back and watch any procedures?

Do not be afraid to use multiple vets, having different eyes on the same case might catch something the other one didn't. You will also get a feel for each vets practice and you may click better with one and that can be your primary vet.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 09:12 PM
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There can be very good and very bad people in every field - including vets. Some use animals like cash cows, some may love animals but don't have great diagnostic skills, etc.

I'd get some personal recommendations before checking anyone out. Great to get some recommendations here and ask lots of people's opinions directly, but I wouldn't trust other internet comments. You never know who made the comment, why they posted or if they really know what they're talking about.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 09:16 PM
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I have been looking around for a good, regular vet since mine retired but I did have very good experiences at Fish Creek and Southpointe in the past year. There is a Dr. O'Brien at Macleod Trail whom I liked as well, but I didn't care for the other vet I saw there as he was afraid of my dogs before even meeting them. I have heard excellent things about Mardaloop also.



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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 09:22 PM
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When you try a different vet ask yourself if they make you feel like a partner in your pet's health. I know that my vet knows a lot more than me when it comes to diagnostic and medication issues for my pet but she never makes me feel like I'm asking a stupid question or just assume that I don't know anything.

I went to one vet here in Kentucky and while I couldn't really fault any treatment she prescribed for Tess I never really liked the practice. She made it clear in condescending tones if I mentioned another vet's opinion and instead of getting practical and clear answers to questions I would get vague "it not worth it" or "it's too expensive to be practical". Those things are probably true but explain the procedure or protocol to me, the pros and cons, and let me decide what may or may not be worth it.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 10:10 PM
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If you interview a vet, try to ask innocently phrased dobe specific questions like--"I've heard of something called vonWillebrand's, what is it and how do you test for it?" or "Are there any medications dobes shouldn't have?" (see if he mentions sulfa drugs), or "What are the best tests to pick up DCM in dobes?" to see what he knows specifically about the breed.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 03:42 AM
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I always always always interview a new vet. I evaluate how they interact with me and how they interact with my pets.
I write down questions I have and take notes.
I've never had a sketchy vet but you know they're out there. IMHO a vet is like your family doctor. You have to trust them implicitly.


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 01:10 PM
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I'm a tech and worked for Dr. Biernacki at Canyon Meadows Vet Clinic. I think he is a great vet. My parents live in Rocky Mountain House and still make the trek down to see him with their dogs, my brothers take their dogs and cats to him, and when I got my pup, I called him for advice (I live in BC). Good luck with your search!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 04:46 AM
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That is actually a problem I'm having at the moment, I think my vet is a good vet with regards to knowledge and patience (towards me...I'm not a easy pet owner). My little dog was always ok with her, not that he was in love with her but didn't dislike her.

Now Keon, for some reason over the last couple of months has been less keen to go there, he is ok with the assistant but only tolerant of the vet, he will let her touch him just because I say so.

I want them both to go to vets they like, I only go to docs I like. But it's hard to find a vet that knows more than just give yearly injections and have the x-ray facilities and such.

I'm at a loss at the moment.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
If you interview a vet, try to ask innocently phrased dobe specific questions like--"I've heard of something called vonWillebrand's, what is it and how do you test for it?" or "Are there any medications dobes shouldn't have?" (see if he mentions sulfa drugs), or "What are the best tests to pick up DCM in dobes?" to see what he knows specifically about the breed.
I think this is deceptive and unfair. Many really good vets might not know ALL the details for a specific breed given that there are hundreds of breeds of canines and felines. Asking a question when you know the answer but pretending it is a sincere question is a crappy way to start off any relationship. A more fair question would be, "I have learned a lot about Doberman specific medical treatment and conditions. Are you willing to have a conversation with me about those specifics and work together to keep my Doberman healthy?"

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 08:50 AM
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In my opinion, a vet with a "know-it-all" attitude is just as bad as a "sketchy" vet. Dobermans are known to develop conditions that need specialized diagnostics and care. I want someone knowledgable and thorough, but willing to refer to/ work with specialist vets when needed.

Our current vet has been fantastic in that she will take a proactive approach with an internal medicine specialist in managing Jossie's copper storage disease. She will communicate updates to that vet, even if the liver values are looking good.


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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 09:33 AM
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In my opinion, a vet with a "know-it-all" attitude is just as bad as a "sketchy" vet. Dobermans are known to develop conditions that need specialized diagnostics and care. I want someone knowledgable and thorough, but willing to refer to/ work with specialist vets when needed.

Our current vet has been fantastic in that she will take a proactive approach with an internal medicine specialist in managing Jossie's copper storage disease. She will communicate updates to that vet, even if the liver values are looking good.


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Agree. If the vet is not open to learning from the pet owner who has solid information and/or the vet thinks he/she already knows it all, that attitude can ultimately cause my pet to receive substandard care.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
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I think this is deceptive and unfair. Many really good vets might not know ALL the details for a specific breed given that there are hundreds of breeds of canines and felines. Asking a question when you know the answer but pretending it is a sincere question is a crappy way to start off any relationship. A more fair question would be, "I have learned a lot about Doberman specific medical treatment and conditions. Are you willing to have a conversation with me about those specifics and work together to keep my Doberman healthy?"
What vet would answer no to that? But what they say and what they do can be two different things.

I still think saying--"I know a little about doberman health concerns but I'm always willing to learn more. What health problems do dobermans have that other dogs don't?" is a fair question.

I want a vet that knows the basics of doberman health, but I'm not willing to set myself up as an expert on dobe health. Sometimes a vet can tell me things I don't know and I want to hear that. But if he gives me bad information on the basics or is not willing to admit there are gaps in his knowledge that he would need to research and/or refer, I wouldn't want to work with him.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 11:14 AM
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What vet would answer no to that? But what they say and what they do can be two different things.

I still think saying--"I know a little about doberman health concerns but I'm always willing to learn more. What health problems do dobermans have that other dogs don't?" is a fair question.

I want a vet that knows the basics of doberman health, but I'm not willing to set myself up as an expert on dobe health. Sometimes a vet can tell me things I don't know and I want to hear that. But if he gives me bad information on the basics or is not willing to admit there are gaps in his knowledge that he would need to research and/or refer, I wouldn't want to work with him.
Um, most of the vets I know would answer my suggested question in a kind and thoughtful manner and I know about 2 dozen up close and personal (my husband's vet school classmates or vets he has worked with). A good vet is always happy to learn new info that might help them do a better job with a future patient. And yes, an egotistical a$$hopper will blow you off and you can move on with your search.

I never said a word about setting myself up as an expert nor did I suggest that anyone else do so. Neither does my suggested question imply that the person speaking it is an expert, just that they know some breed-specific things about health.

Twist it up up anyway you want but you suggested a deceitful approach and I stated my objection to it as well as suggested a sincere and kind alternative approach to interviewing a veterinarian. Nothing more and nothing less.

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 12:56 PM
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Triciakoontz:

It just seems to me that if you ask a reputable OR a disreputable vet if they will work with you, their customer service instinct and desire to have you as a customer would lead them to say, "well, of course I'll work with you." They would hardly say, "I'm the vet; you're the customer; you're here for my advice and I expect you to follow it without asking questions!"

I think we are up actually against internet limitations in transmitting tone and attitude here in this discussion. I'm not saying I think you want to tell the vet you know it all,etc, nor am I suggesting that a vet should know everything about all the different species and breed of animals he deals with.

But I do want a vet who is willing to admit he is not familiar with some particular problem, and who will refer me if needed rather than mucking around guessing what a proper treatment might be with some serious condition dobermans often have, like DCM, or insisting they cannot do an operation on a carrier vW dobe without ordering in lots of extra meds, fresh frozen, whatever, thus raising the price for me for unnecessary things.

I would also expect a vet to understand a little bit about the ins and outs of when to order genetic testing and what that will tell them instead of saying to me, perhaps a customer who doesn't know any better, that an Elisa test will tell me everything I need to know.

Vets who say that they crop ears and post them afterward are all over the place--and they don't know what they are doing. The customer looses money and gets a poor product--even worse, the dog suffers needlessly. The vet should not be saying he has an expertise he does not have.

I want honest answers and honest admissions of lack of familiarity about a certain condition with my vet--it takes some due diligence on my part to find the right vet for me, but a person new to the breed or even new to dogs might not even know how to tell whether a vet is good for them, and may not know anyone to ask who can give them referrals.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
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Triciakoontz:

I want honest answers and honest admissions of lack of familiarity about a certain condition with my vet--it takes some due diligence on my part to find the right vet for me, but a person new to the breed or even new to dogs might not even know how to tell whether a vet is good for them, and may not know anyone to ask who can give them referrals.
Bold above is mine. My only complaint about your advice was the dishonesty in the way you suggested interviewing with a veterinarian. If you want honesty then give honesty. Why not just ask how he/she rates their knowledge level with regard to Doberman-specific health conditions? Why not simply state that you have a concern that the veterinarian who cares for your Doberman may not be fully knowledgeable about certain important breed-specific issues such as the fact that many Dobermans are sensitive to certain antibiotic drugs? YOU COULD PHRASE EVERY CONCERN THAT YOU HAVE IN AN HONEST WAY AND get a response that you can evaluate.

Why be dishonest and try to trick them with false questions? That just seems like really crummy advice to me and that was my ENTIRE point. It sounds in all your posts on this thread like you are targeting the veterinary profession as being largely dishonest. So much so that you advise that someone has to be dishonest and use trickery to ferret out the truth.

I'm not going to track off into debates about vets that don't know about ear cropping, blah blah blah. I just think it's weird that you want honesty but you advise interviewing with dishonesty. Not the way I want to start off a potential relationship with a new health care provider for my dog.

Now I'm going to quit beating this poor old Dead horse!

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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 08:32 PM
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I shouldn't have used the word innocently, I suppose--it does make it look like a deceitful question. But really, why not ask "How would you treat DCM?' and see if their answer matches what you know about the industry standard. They might be more up to date than you are and name a treatment you hadn't heard of before and you get to learn something, or they might come out with a treatment that has been shown to be less than effective and is considered outdated. The part I like is when a vet has the courage and integrity to admit they don't know everything and might need to do sone research to come up with the best diagnosis or treatment, or maybe has to refer you on to a specialist.

I also think that different vets have different skills and specialties--I would guess that being a whiz at surgery might be different than being a whiz at interpreting a dog's movement to get an idea what is wrong with his joints which might be different from doing microscope work to id cancers, or parasites. One person can't be wonderful at everything--even within one career like vet medicine--and I would like a vet who says--so-and-so might be better for you to work with for that particular problem. I sucked at practical bacteriology in the lab, for example, though I love the study of epidemiology and tracing the progress of disease transmission, I can't tell one little grey translucent blob from another on a culture plate for the life of me. And my hands shake, so I would invariably grab the wrong colony on my loop to culture and have to start all over.

And now the horse is very dead, so I'll call a truce and if you feel you must answer again--I'll take a deep breath, snatch my hands off the keyboard and try not to respond with another "BUT........."

Last edited by melbrod; 07-22-2014 at 08:40 PM.
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Dr.Natasha Mutlow at Fish Creek hospital. She is great. The only downside she is extremely busy.


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