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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I posted about a week ago about my puppy with an injured leg. Basically, my lhasa apso (3.5 mos) was playing with my kids and something happened. Someone accidentally tripped, stepped on her leg, or my two year old grabbed too hard. Anyway, she was limping badly, and we took her to the vet. The vet gave an antiiflammatory and told me to return if she was not significantly better in a few days. She wasn't, so I did.

I took my dog into the exam room, and even though she was not ill, the tech wanted to take her temperature. I was immediately surprised when she used a digital rectal thermometer without a cover, took the temp, then quickly sprayed it and wiped it off, and put it back into the drawer.

Vet comes in and says dog needs and X-ray, which is fine. He takes her in the back and for about 15 minutes I can hear her through the walls just SCREAMING. She is not a barker - it was very upsetting. Vet comes out without my dog and goes into the office to read X-rays. I had to ASK if I could have my puppy back. She is brought to me, the vet comes in, and there is a non-displaced tibial fracture. He says it has probably already started to heal, but needs a splint. He, again, takes the puppy "to the back" and I, again, listen to the puppy just freaking out. He eventually brings the puppy back with the splint on and tells me to keep her confined to her crate except for using the grass to eliminate, and to come back in a week.

I then ask if I should make another appointment for vaccines (she needed her third round), and he said that "we already did those in the back."

Okay, fine.

Yesterday my husband takes a call from the vet. He said he talked to a veterinary orthopedic surgeon in another town, and that we should have a hard plaster cast placed, JUST to be sure the break doesn't become displaced (right now, it is lined up perfectly for healing, but I guess there is a small chance it could shift and heal poorly.) Our vet does not do casting (is that normal?), he said, so we need to take the dog in on Monday, leave her at this veterinary hospital to get a cast put on, then pick her up around 4 PM. So basically, I will be leaving my already-nervous puppy there all day, for a 20-30 min procedure that was quoted to us at $300.

I realize that a dog is not a child - but does this strike anyone else as a bit weird? Or, am I just totally uncomfortable for no reason? I am a first-time dog owner, so please do tell me if I'm off base here and this is normal.

My dog is VERY calm, sleeps all day, and does not wrestle, jump around, or run, and she is completely separated from the children. I want to do the right thing, but for some reason, this isn't sitting well with me. Help, please!

(thank you in advance!)
 

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It's fairly common for vets to consult with a specialist. If there is another ortho specialist in your area, you might see if they'll give an opinion which will of course cost more money. If it were me, I'd probably go ahead and have the hard cast put on, to be on the safe side.

Mention to the ortho vet that your dog was very terrified and possibly in pain when xrayed and splinted at the vet. Call tomorrow morning and see if they will give her something to alleviate the pain before they cast her leg.
 

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I've been to one vet (it was a Banfield) where the vet took my cat out of the exam room down the hall somewhere. That made me really uncomfortable.

All the other vets I've been to kept them in the exam room unless it was to do something like an xray. If the vet makes you uncomfortable, try a different one.

As far as specialists go, yeah, they often refer to specialists who are really, really expensive.

Did you see the xray? Did they show you the fracture on it? My dogs sometimes come in limping. While sometimes we can figure it out (a burr caught in a pad) other times we can't and just let them rest. A day or 2 off their feet and they're usually fine.
 

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It is typical for digital thermometer to be put in dogs backside for temperature :) the rest gives me concern because you cant see what they doing etc and i like to know what going on. at the vet before i go to atm tehy took her in back and kept her for a few hour-all day for a blood test, when came to anal gland flush basically had to drop her off and hour later was all done. i had to go back then (walking it) and walk back with Jessie unsteady i wasnt impressed or happy.

Current vet is fantastic he lets me be there unless having operation. I was there for when she got her bum stiches out but Jessie became distressed as did i. He suggested to leave her for 30 mins and come back to give her time to calm down and let a staff nurse hold her and he take them out that worked. Otherwise i was there for her blood test when trying to find out why she was so ill night before went to after hour vet showed heat stroke.

So now id think it dodgy if you can be there for majority of things especially vaccine and they dont say why taking to the back.
 

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For the most part, all of this is normal. It's common for dogs to be "taken in the back" for procedures because sometimes they can panic more when their owners are there, or the owners get upset seeing their animal in distress. Dogs also do very often scream when in pain, and fear. I mean your puppy has a very hurt leg and there were strangers holding her and putting her on some weird scary table. She might've been protesting against being restrained for the x-ray or during a necessary exam on the leg that caused pain. It's also common for vets to have specialists for certain problems, just like people drs. If a child broke an arm it wouldn't be that odd for a dr to suggest an orthopedic dr. work on it. For example, my dog had surgery this fall and his vet didn't do it, a surgeon did it. If it's not the procedures but the demeanor of the staff that bothered you, then you can look into other vets that make you feel more comfortable.

Also I'm sure you will be more vigilant now, but you can't leave a dog (esp small breed puppy) alone with little children, especially toddlers. Whether this was an accident or done by a child that didn't know better, it can happen again, and possibly make your dog dislike your children.
 

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If my vet ever gave unauthorized vax(or any other meds outside an emergency) I'd tell them off, likely refuse to pay as I didn't give them the ok and find a new vet. Find a vet you are comfortable with.
 

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Most of it sounds normal, except for the vaccine part. I would be furious that they did that without my permission.
 

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I guess I'm more relaxed. I wouldn't care that much about the vaccines either, especially if my dog was due for vaccines anyway. When I was younger, our dog charged after a squirrel and ended up getting a piece of a metal fence through her foot. The vet kept her in the room to stitch her up, and I wish they would have taken her in the back because it was horrible to watch her struggle and scream.
 

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My problem with the vax is that many vets over vaccinate. I do minimum vax, I want to know what my dogs are getting. I also do not do multiple vax at once. So I'd have a huge problem with that. I also don't take any meds from my dr without knowing what they are and what they are for. Luckily my dr explains everything and asks what I'd like to do without my prompting.
I also would rather then do whatever they are doing with me in the room, I hate to see my animals in pain but I'd rather be there. Though they do take them out for certain things. Most vets will listen to you if you ask. Sometimes you just have to speak up, and don't let them push things one you if you are not comfortable with it.
 

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I have worked at a few different Vets and most of them take the dog out the back as most of them misbehave more with the owners there. I would be a little annoyed at the Vet giving the shots without asking first even if they were due.

The Vet I use sometimes is a "travelling Vet" so has a big rig like a huge motor home so you can go to them when they are parked in your area. Nowhere for them to take the dog to. Otherwise I use the local Vet and they know me well so have never taken the dog out back from the examination room.
 

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If my vet ever gave unauthorized vax(or any other meds outside an emergency) I'd tell them off, likely refuse to pay as I didn't give them the ok and find a new vet. Find a vet you are comfortable with.
I've had a bordetella vax given to my dog AFTER telling them not to beforehand. I politely said I am not paying, problem mostly solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, everyone! We did end up switching vets, who did the cast himself. Pup is doing well, although a bit bummed out by the massive cast and the crate rest. I was really not keen on a vet "referring out" for a simple cast - I understand that occasionally animals have complex surgeries that are better done by specialists - but we weren't looking at surgery at all, so I am glad we found a vet who is more comfortable practicing a wider scope of medicine.

I can't help but find it just a teensy bit funny that there is even such a thing as a veterinary "specialist."

Our new vet also noticed a mild ear infection (yeast), so we're treating for that. Our old vet's office was PISSED when we asked for a copy of the X-rays, but coming from a medical family - second opinions are the norm, and should not be taken personally.

Anyway, we sure have learned our lesson on this one. Thank you, again!
 

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I can't help but find it just a teensy bit funny that there is even such a thing as a veterinary "specialist."
There are many different types of specialist, like human doctors. My GSD, Nevada went to a specialist for her heart surgery when she was a pup and Vegas had panus diagnosed by an eye specialist. Though that time I already thought that was what it was, but I guess my vet wanted a second opinion because the treatment would have been completely different depending on what it was. But I would expect an vet to be able to do a simple cast. Glad you found one you trust, that is very important.
 

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Doing the Vax without telling you is what would concern me/make me mad
id be furious and i hope they had vaccination book handy........
 

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Our old vet's office was PISSED when we asked for a copy of the X-rays
Um... this would be a red flag to me. Second opinions are common. Why be concerned or even angry over releasing x-rays they should have shown you to begin with? What do they have to hide? Wow. Glad you switched.
 

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Most of it sounds normal, except for the vaccine part. I would be furious that they did that without my permission.
That also seemed funny to me - but perhaps they had spoken about it earlier in the visit somehow that made the vet think they were on the same page? Can the OP clarify?
 

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If the vet makes you uncomfortable, try a different one.
I agree with this. Some vets, just like people doctors, have a poor bedside manner or are unprofessional, give negative vibes, whatever. Try to find a person you and your dog both like! Also the idea of them doing anything without asking your consent is a big red flag.

As far as getting the specialist involved, is it really necessary, who knows. The thing is if you don't trust the vet you are left to wonder. Good luck with everything in any rate, I hope it goes smoothly.

EDIT: I didn't see the second page, where it was revealed this had already been resolved. Glad to hear it came out alright!
 
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