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catey

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Posts: 44
 #1 
Hello,

I recently lost my beautiful Aussie Shepherd, (last Wednesday), Prowler, and am still in the midst of heavy grieving, but I'll get to the point of this post, because of our other doggie, Cleo, whom I want to get a full checkup asap. We have recently moved, and I'm not that thrilled, to be honest, with any vet I've ever taken my dogs to in the last 10 years. I don't ever feel they are that caring. I've also only found one kennel in ten years that I thought was halfway decent for when I can't bring pets. So first, can anyone give me some tips on how to find a caring, ethical vet? The icing on the cake would be if anyone also knows of someone in the Seattle area. Further, a good and decent kennel for when it is needed. Even tips on finding a wonderful vet would be very helpful. Thank you ahead of time.

I admit I am kind of skeptical about doctors, including vets. So many people work there, and who knows if they are treating your darling with care. I worry about that, since our pets can't tell us. I know it's important to find someone though in the area we've moved to. I'm just at a loss -- I'll check Yelp, too.

EdW

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Posts: 1,429
 #2 
Please note:

To recommend veterinarian to catey, do it by private message or email.

thanks,

EdW
catey

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Posts: 44
 #3 
Also, what do most of you look for in a veterinarian?
Loudpurring

Registered:
Posts: 774
 #4 
Hi;
 
I am sorry I do not know any Veterinarians in the Seattle Washington area, but I will keep my ears open.
 
I have worked in general practice, emergency hospitals and for the last 5 years at a veterinary specialty hospital in both the internal medicine department and now in the surgical department. So, I have had some experience in this area.
 
The thing that I think is very important to understand is that sometimes with veterinarians, caring and good do not mean the same thing. I have seen botched cases by veterinarians that really did care. In fact they felt awful but it didn't help the patient any. I have also seen veterinarians that have terrible bed side manner, and seem like they don't care about anything be exceptional and preform miracles. I think it is important to figure out what is important to you. I have always said that i don't care how big a "%^$#@" the veterinarian I work for is, just so long as they are good. And I mean really good. I am lucky now because I do work for very caring and exceptional veterinarians that are also a pleasure to work with. That is rare. So what I am saying is that do not judge a veterinarian's medical knowledge or abilities based on their friendly or not friendly attitude towards you. Some e, most veterinarians I have met are introverted. Often they went into veterinary medicine thinking that they wouldn't have to deal with people, only animals and they are shocked to learn once in practice that almost all of what they do involves talking to people.
 
Another thing to remember is that general practice veterinarians are expected to know everything about every species. And to stay current. Really that is not possible when you think about it. I mean it would be like the same doctor that delivers your baby being the same doctor that checks your eyes and fixes your teethe, and also that is the same doctor that sets your broken leg. In human medicine it is not going to happen. That is why it is important to see a specialist whenever there is a problem that your regular veterinarian cannot seem to get a handle on. The sad thing is that most of the time you have to ask for a referral as many general practice veterinarians do not ever refer or if they do it is to late.
 
Now of course there are competent general practice veterinarians that do refer when they can't get to the bottom of a problem and there are also veterinarians that are good with people and animals and do really care. How to find them I can't tell you. I do know that while reviews can be helpful in finding out how a veterinarian deals with people it is not that helpful in finding out the quality of medicine.
 
There are questions that you need to have answered before deciding on a veterinarian for your baby. Call and talk to the receptionist that answers the phone. Is she friendly? Sound stressed? Sound happy to help your or is it like you are bothering her? Can she tell you how long the practice has been there without putting you on hold first? Go in and check the place out. Will they let you see the "back" area or do you have to make an appointment for that. If you do I would be wondering why. A good hospital has nothing to hide ever. There is no excuse for why you cannot see the back of a hospital. That thing about insurance reasons they might try to tell you is not true as far as I know.
 
Ask how long the veterinarian has been in practice and where he/she graduated from? How many veterinarians in the hospital? What are their hours? What about overnight care? What do they do with their patients? I would never leave my baby in a hospital where there was nobody overnight to watch them.
 
Ask how many registered veterinary technicians they have on staff? Ask the person you talk to how long they have been there. A quick turnover of staff is a problem signal.
 
What do the patients look like in the waiting room? Are the people waiting looking relaxed or stressed or worse yet mad? Does the receptionist greet you when you walk in the door or does she not take her eyes from whatever she is doing? Remember attitude and ethical professional behavior all trickle down hill. So the attitude of the veterinarian, the real attitude is usually reflected in the staff.
 
Just some things to think about. Let me know if you need any help.
ShannonH

Registered:
Posts: 1,605
 #5 
Good suggestions, Loudpurring!!

I have also worked in veterinary medicine for some years now.  I was so spoiled by my first experience - wonderful people and wonderful skills.  I also started there very young (high school) so it was easy for me to assume that every place would be like this.  I was wrong.  The clinic I was in more recently it was a mixed experience - some people I wanted to have treat my own pets and others I didn't.  I also spent a little time in another clinic of someone who was a friend (but who I really wouldn't want to take my pets to!)  The strange thing is that we have just recently moved and I am now a stay-at-home mom  - and somehow I feel like a total novice in finding a new vet for my pets.  I've always had the "inside scoop" first and now I don't.  

But you have just described all that I know and feel but somehow couldn't put into words.  (Maybe because I didn't want to think about it - I liked where we were living and this move was hard.  I just didn't want to deal with finding some place new.)

If I may add one more suggestion.  When you do decide on a vet you like, stay with them as much as possible unless there is a real need to change (or for referrals of course).  Its best for both patient and doctor for history to be spread around as little as possible.  Arbitrarily choosing to vaccinate in one place, treat an ear infection in another and deal with vomiting in another(though sometimes understandably for cost or convenience) it makes difficult for the veterinarian to understand your pets complete health history and thus make the best treatment plans.  Ideally keep the same doctor within a clinic as much as possible (may not always be possible), especially for chronic problems.  But at least stay within the same clinic where all records can be reviewed and doctors can consult with each other easily.  Both you and your pet are better known this way and this helps to ensure your pet gets the most thorough care.

Shannon
catey

Registered:
Posts: 44
 #6 
Wow, shannon and loudpurring, I apprecaite your informatin so very much! I will also reread it, to make sure I don't miss anything.

I am looking for a new vet since we moved from the other side of the state 6 months ago and I haven't found a vet I am that thrilled with. I admit I kind of fear what they might do with my dog behind closed doors.

After Prowler had an xray last year, he became very fearful of going to vets. He didn't want anyone else to touch him. It was all I could do to let them take the xray that ultimately gave us the terrible news just over a week ago. I had to let them take him to the back but I hated it. I guess that's normal to feel that way. Do others have those feelings as I do?

Thank you you've given me a lot to think about. I'm going to find someone I really like if it's the last thing I do!



Loudpurring

Registered:
Posts: 774
 #7 
Hi;
No you are not the only one with those fears. I wouldn't let anyone vet or otherwise take any of my animals to "the back". There is rarely a need. Although you cannot go into the radiology room. That is a state and OSHA law. But for blood draws or anything else really short of anesthesia you should be able to be present.
 
Where I work we had a dog that looked like a #100lb cattle dog come in that had apparently gone after technicians at another hospital. I mean actually full on attacked them, not just tried to bite. The first day I saw the dog and he was with his owners I didn't even look at him, I just tossed a couple of bisquets his way from behind my back. The next time I saw him I was going to actually have to work on him as in getting a blood sample etc. That day I let him stay with mom and we had our office call outside at the table and benches set up by a tree. That is where I got my history for his file etc. The doctor of course saw him in an exam room but I made sure we all walked in together so nobody got to "own" the room if that makes sense. That was the wonderful day in that dogs life that he discovered the joys of meat, chicken I believe, baby food. He loved it. You could probably do surgery on the dog without anesthesia as long as someone was spooning him gerbers baby food. Anyway long story longer that dog wound up loving to come to the hospital because he always got baby food. It took very little time to make his scarry previous hospital visit go away and be replaced by a good baby food memory and something to look foward to.
 
Guess what I am saying is you want a veterinary staff, and doctor that will do what it takes to make you and your dog or cat relaxed and calm and happy. You want someone who will take the time to exceed your expectations and your dog/cats. I say dog/cat because i have never had a good snake hospital experience.
 
Keep us posted on how your search is going.
mollyboltsmom

Registered:
Posts: 991
 #8 
We too have just moved to a new state. When we rescued our sweet schnauzer girl Abbey over a year ago, we hadn't needed a vet for 2 years since we lost our schnauzer girl Molly. The vet clinic we normally used for Molly had changed, and the vet we'd liked so much had moved on. So...Abbey had 3 different vets in a year, all in a 100 mile radius as we moved around. Not a good situation. I had 2 vets harshly scold me for Abbey's diet, which I didn't appreciate.

Well, we moved 600 miles away and faced again having to find a vet. This time we relied on a referral from a family member. We needed to get Abbey to a vet the first week here, and we like this new vet. He didn't spaz out about the homecooked diet she's on(she's allergic to soooo many foods)and gave me sound advice about the nonstop diahrrea she was suddenly having. Shots are due in Feb and we'll see where he stands on that. I think she needs to have her thyroid tested, lousy coat, and we'll see where he stands on that. His prices are more than reasonable; he wants folks to take care of their animals. Abbey likes him. Now, it's just a "we'll see."
Now if I could just find a good doc for myself :)

Lorraine
ShannonH

Registered:
Posts: 1,605
 #9 
"Now if I could just find a good doc for myself"

Yeah - human is just as hard!  I loved the doctors who took care of my toddler since before he was even born!  Two wonderful doctors split the prenatal care (so at birthing whoever was on would be familiar) and then we had one continue baby care.  Finding someone to take their place for my son (and me when we are ready for a second child) is just as scary.  So far so good - my son's 18month check up seemed to go well.  I hope I like them as well as I did our previous doctors.

Now its on to the cat's care!

Shannon
catey

Registered:
Posts: 44
 #10 
Thanks everyone. Yes, it's hard to find good human care, too. :-) I'll take everything you all say into consideration. I don't actually live in Seattle, but north of it.
Rachelv

Registered:
Posts: 1
 #11 
Hi Catey-

I'm sorry for your loss.  Moving is always stressful, and to lose your dog on top of that must have been horrible.  I know its been awhile since your original post, but if you haven't found a good vet yet, you might consider going to America's Family Pet Expo this weekend in Puyallup, Wa.  It's an expo dedicated to pets and pet care, so I would bet they would have some great Vets on site as well as other animal experts that can help you find what/who you are most comfortable with.  It would give you the chance to meet with multiple people and see what they are like without having to make an appointment.  Just a suggestion!  You can check it out at http://www.PetExpoWA.org and get more information on the different exhibitors that will be there. 
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