Should I Switch Vets?

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Should I Switch Vets?

This is a discussion on Should I Switch Vets? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; When I was first preparing to adopt Delilah I was trying to do research on different vet clinics and was very overwhelmed with all of ...

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Old 02-26-2016, 01:29 PM
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Should I Switch Vets?

When I was first preparing to adopt Delilah I was trying to do research on different vet clinics and was very overwhelmed with all of the choices. The current clinic I'm taking Delilah to, my mom recommended it because she likes a specific vet there for Mia. When I first made an appointment there for Delilah, that vet wasn't available so they assigned me a different one. Is it normal to be assigned a vet and have to see the same exact vet every time you go to the clinic?

I've had a couple concerns with this vet

1) The first time Delilah had an appointment there, we were waiting in the exam room. The chair was in the corner so I was sitting in the chair waiting. Delilah was exploring the room but as soon as the vet came in she ran under the chair and cornered herself. The vet walked right up to her, looming over her, while she was cowering and barking in the corner. I didn't expect a vet to respond inappropriately to a frightened dog.

2) The last time I brought her to this vet it was because she was having bloody diarrhea for the third day in a row (it had cleared up the second day but came back the next day). We discussed: antibiotics, dewormer, and fecal floatation. She also said they would give Delilah fluids for free because she's probably dehydrated after having diarrhea. That was all fine for me. When I got the bill it was twice as much as I had expected because they had given her two steroid injections that they hadn't told me they were going to give. So I wasn't happy about them giving the steroids without asking me about it first or explaining why they were going to give them.

So I'm wondering now: should I continue going to this clinic and just ask to switch vets? Should I go to a different clinic all together? I have social anxiety so I would like to do whatever would be the least offensive and avoid confrontation. I'm not sure the best way to switch vets without doing that; is it normal enough for people to switch vets that the current vet/clinic wouldn't be offended?. I've been looking at some but there are so many choices and they all have good reviews online so I'm not sure how to choose the best. I want to take Delilah to the vet to talk about some non-serious health concerns but I have to figure out which one I want to take her to first.
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by revolutionrocknroll View Post
So I'm wondering now: should I continue going to this clinic and just ask to switch vets? Should I go to a different clinic all together? I have social anxiety so I would like to do whatever would be the least offensive and avoid confrontation. I'm not sure the best way to switch vets without doing that; is it normal enough for people to switch vets that the current vet/clinic wouldn't be offended?. I've been looking at some but there are so many choices and they all have good reviews online so I'm not sure how to choose the best. I want to take Delilah to the vet to talk about some non-serious health concerns but I have to figure out which one I want to take her to first.

Here's what I would do, were I in your situation. And I also want to mention that while I don't have social anxiety, I absolutely hate confrontation and avoid it at all costs.

First off, I would absolutely switch vets. Not just vets, but actual clinics. Some vets are more dog people, some vets are more cat people, and then you have the magical vet who doesn't seem to have a preference, ha, but if the vet you saw who didn't understand how to approach Delilah was more of a "cat" vet, then I would give them a pass and find the "dog" vet at the place, BUT if they administer medication without first going over it with me then that's where I draw a line.

I'm in the process of changing vets as well. I live about 2min away from one that has excellent hours and operate on a walk-in basis, but they have horrible customer service, the vets I know aren't incompetent but I think due to the stress of never knowing what's coming in ever since they don't take appts they sometimes miss things or don't always operate in full "vet" mode. I'm going back to my original vet that is 15min away and harder to get appointments but have an amazing staff both vets and techs.

And here is where I can give some advise for the social anxiety part... don't worry about it. First look to see if they have an email contact, then email them to ask if they can email a copy of Delilah's records as you prefer to keep them electronically. Then you can forward them to the new clinic that you choose. If they don't have an email address you can call and say the same thing. They should be able to accommodate that.
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:21 PM
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If a vet gave my dog a steroid injection without talking to me first I wouldn't go back.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:01 PM
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I tend to just switch vets and not say anything to the original vet. Around here the new vet is able to call the old one and request records.

I just changed Zody's vet. I got tired of the other vet never fully discussing what was going on with Zody, never really questioning me about the symptoms I was seeing, not seeming to do a through exam, and not discussing treatment options. Zody was also terrified at the vet to the point of peeing on the table every time we were there but I though that was Zody being Zody. When I got Zody that was the vet who had always treated him so instead of going to the vet I took my dogs to in the past I just stayed with him.

Well I went to my old vet for a second opinion and he took the time to calm Zody down when he saw how scared he was, he did a very through exam, asked about what was going on and listened to my answer. He discussed what he though might be the problem and what he thought the best treatment was. Best of all Zody was not terrified! Zody actually wanted to get down on the floor after the exam and explore, he'd NEVER done that at the other vet. At the other vet he always wanted to be held, not once in the exam room did he want to explore.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:30 PM
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Ask yourself, do I have confidence in the Vet, can I talk to him or her openly, does he or she listen, and am I comfortable working with him or her for the benefit of my dog? If the answer to any of those questions is no, your next step is finding a Vet that you are more comfortable with.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:26 PM
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I also have social anxiety, so I know what it's like. That said when it comes to my animals I do speak up. I would switch vets. It is odd to only be able to see one vet at the clinic. I would never go back to a vet that gave my animal something without discussing it first. There is no reason to tell the vets you are leaving, just find a different vet. You need to like and trust your vet. Up until a few months ago I would travel 45 minutes one way. This vet I had been taking my animals to for ever. I took my first pet rat there to be neutered when I was 10. Ok, my mom took him, but you get the point. I had tried different vets in the area but I just didn't like them. Now I take my guys to a holistic/homeopathic vet who also uses traditional medicine too.

If you are questioning the vet find a new one.
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Old 02-27-2016, 04:24 AM
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If you are uncomfortable/unhappy with your current vet by all means change vets. Trust is a hugh issue if you do not trust your vet it will transfer to Delilah. Do not worry asking to have records faxed to the new vet of your choice. It happens everyday at vet clinics and is should not be a problem. After all they are your dogs medical records. In fact one of the things I would suggest is stopping by the new vet's office to make the appointment in person just to get a feel for the environment. If when you walk in to talk to the staff and you are not comfortable with the office set up or how you are greeted than say thank you walk away. Good luck.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:39 AM
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I ended up switching vets and I'm soooo happy I did! Even though this one is a man and Delilah's more nervous about men than women, he was so calm and gentle she ended up tolerating him a little better than the last vet.

The last vet told me that she "might" have one luxating patella and then the next visit she told me that it felt much stronger and it was probably just a developmental thing. Unfortunately this new vet informed me that she not only definitely has a luxating patella in one knee, but in BOTH knees. So I'm glad I got a second opinion either way.
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