Monday, October 12, 2009

Not our ordinary vet visit

*Warning- much complaining ahead*
Well, it's that time of year. Time for Titus' annual exam and vaccinations. Finding a new vet is not fun or easy. A few weeks ago I started asking friends for vet recommendations. I was given many names to choose from, but in the end I chose the one that had a convenient location with Saturday appointments and offered the rattlesnake vaccine (we've already seen 2 rattlers, so it's only a matter of time before Titus tries to befriend one!) Mom was in town and went with me and is my witness to all that follows in this entry! Remember that Titus usually LOVES the vet- new smells, new animals, attention from lots of people, and lots of treats- what could be better!?!
We show up and there is a separate cat and dog entrance. Well, that's no fun. How is Titus supposed to get the felines all riled up? Oh well, no cats anyway, just other dogs. The front desk people were very friendly. They took Titus' vaccination records, gave me paperwork to fill out, and took Titus' weight (96 pounds this year- yikes!) So far, so good. Then we were called to the back.
First of all, the vet was in jeans and a scrub top. Yes, it was Saturday, but we're not dealing with cows and horses on a farm here, we're in the city at a small animal clinic. A little professionalism would have been nice. Second, no vet tech but instead a HUGE man as an assistant. I mean this guy was HUGE in every dimension- I don't know how else to describe him. And he was in jeans and a t-shirt. Third, no introductions. The vet did not introduce himself to me, Mom, or Titus. He just came in and started a speech about the latest studies concerning 3 year vaccines vs. 1 year vaccines. Granted this was one of my questions, but who are you and why haven't you greeted us yet?
Next, the big guy asks the vet, "Do you want him on the table?" I begin to get worried and mention that Titus does not like to be picked up. Who puts a 96 lb dog on a table anyway!?! Nobody listens to my warning, and the big guy proceeds to pick Titus up. Titus starts growling (did I mention he DOES NOT like being picked up!?!) and the big guy bonks Titus' head on the table as he lifts him. After getting him on the table, he forces Titus to lay down and kind of leans across him to make sure he doesn't get up. He could have just asked Titus to lay down and he probably would have. No force needed, thank you. Titus is looking worried at this point and I'm already stressed. They took a blood sample for a heartworm test then began the vaccinations. They started with the Bordetella vaccine, which by the way, I did not ask for nor did they ask if I wanted it or tell me what they were giving Titus. Well, it consists of a spray in each nostril. Titus has never had this vaccine and DID NOT like it! He was squirming quite a bit, but big guy had him pinned down. Next came the worming meds, aka banana juice in a syringe. No warning or discussion involved, they just yanked open Titus' mouth and squirted the stuff in. Well, Titus was done at this point. He spit ALL the juice right back out onto me, the vet, and big guy. They tried again and held Titus' head up until he was forced to swallow. I kindly mentioned that if I knew that was coming, we could have just put the meds in a bowl and Titus would have quickly licked it right up without all this trouble. They didn't seem to care. They quickly finished with a shot in the leg (rattlesnake vaccine) which Titus never notices. They decided to wait on other vaccinations since we have to go back in a month for a rattlesnake booster and his shots are not really due for a few more weeks anyway. So at this point we were just waiting for the heartworm test results so we could get our preventative medicine and leave.
Does anyone see anything missing from this visit? Maybe an examination!?! The vet NEVER looked at Titus' eyes, ears, mouth, etc. No temperature taken, no listening to the heart, nothing! Keep in mind that this vet has never seen Titus before and also never asked for his medical history other than vaccinations. This guy just pumps all this stuff into my pup without even checking to see if he is healthy and well that day. I couldn't believe it! I just kept thinking about all this while the heartworm test was being done. Meanwhile, Titus is so stressed out that he is just drooling all over the place like he's never drooled before. Of course I'm on the floor with him apologizing for putting him through this torture. I think I took it worse than Titus, but he was definitely not himself. And did I mention NO TREATS!?! What vet doesn't have treats for their wonderful clients? I looked for them, but they were nowhere to be found. And he never loved on Titus at all. At one point Mom said, "This guy really doesn't seem like an animal person at all." Agreed. (Big guy did give Titus a little love at one point, but I can't remember when exactly.)
Finally, the test was done, Titus was negative for heartworm, we could get our meds and leave. The front desk people were again very nice, gave us a 10% ACU discount, made our appointment for next month, and we were done. My poor Mom had to hear me complain the whole way home and then Josh got an earfull too (and now you're getting an eyefull of my complaints!) I immediately gave Titus a treat and told him how sorry I was again. I dread going back in a month and I'm considering looking for a new vet before then. If I stick with this vet next month, it will be the last time he ever sees us. Maybe I'm crazy and this is how it's done in TX, but I think my baby deserves better. I hope this horrible vet trip has not taken away Titus' love of vets (or mine!) Thanks for letting me rant and rave!


Shelly said...

Lady- you need to be done with that vet N-O-W! How rude to not even introduce himself or do an exam?!? Titus is such a good boy and if they would have paid attention the visit would have been much smoother. I'm all riled up for you now too! How dare they not love him up- that's their job! You should see if there's a web site or somewhere you can make a public review to warn others of the unprofessionalism and non-exam nature of that business. Give T-pot a big ol kiss from me!!!

Sharron said...

DON'T YOU DARE TAKE THAT BABY BACK TO THAT IDIOT. There are far too many excellent vets in your area. I will send you a list of who I would recommend. Anyone can give the follow-up vaccine. You do not need to return to this place. I am ashamed to admit it but there are still idiots in my profession who have no business being there. And they do teach bedside manner in vet school, he just didn't pay attention. This was awful. You should not be required to endure anything like this again, and especially not Titus.

Sharron said...

I forgot to tell you to report him to the TVMA (Texas Veterinary Medical Association) in Austin. I will also send you the telephone number. Be sure to just copy and include your entire report and don't leave anything out. He should definitely be reported.

Alyson said...

Get a new vet! I don't understand vets who don't like animals, but they're out there and they're not worth dealing with. If they're not the sort of person who you could see dog-sitting Titus, then there's no reason they should be in charge of his medical care. I mean, if they can't even pet him, are they going to have his best interest at heart? I've had vets in the past who seem not to be animal people, as well as inattentive doctors, and rude dentists and don't even give them a second shot.

Danielle said...

It must be a TX vet thing... I had to take Rondo in right after we moved here and the stupid vet just kept talking about giving us estimates for everything, including an estimate getting teeth pulled. You don't pull ferret teeth because it'll break their jaws. Then she took Rondo's temperature... there's a size issue there. In 2 states and 4 cities, I've never had a vet take a ferret's temperature. And then when she went to give Rondo her rabies shot, she thought Rondo had very tough skin and had to get another needle. I'm thinking about making a questionare to ask before I make another appointment anywhere around here.

Andrea Casey said...

That sounds awful!
If it makes you feel any better, it can sometimes be just as bad for little human babies at their DR visits. :| 2 hour waits, just to get shots in the legs, no great treats (maybe a sticker), and a $300 bill. Mommy's flustered as she tries to quiet her screaming/whaling baby, never wanting to return. We HATE those wellness checks!

I hope Titus can forget about his horrible DR visit.

Mom said...

There was no exaggeration in your story. As you said, I was a witness to it all. I think
Titus deserves another treat -- or maybe not, if you're watching his weight now. Love, Mom

Amanda said...

oh amber that sounded awful!
i hope you find a new one!