First visit to our new neighborhood vet

June 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm 10 comments

The bath time “counter-conditioning with treats” strategy doesn’t work on Boogie. When he hears the sound of water running, he is already in cowering-under-the-nearest-table position (even if I am running a bath for ME). When he is in the bathroom, he won’t eat. Even after his bath, when he is freshly showered and I have rubbed him down with the towel, he turns his nose away from any stinky food in my hand. Or he takes the treat and spits it out, reorienting towards the closed door. “For f’s sake, open this door”.

I open the door, he shoots out of there, does a BT500* around my living room, and gleefully flings toys in the air. Only now will he come running for treats.(*BT500 = Boston Terrier version of zoomies)

On Friday, we went to a new vet clinic in my neighborhood. I haven’t decided yet if I will permanently switch vets because I am very happy with our current vet Dr. R… The only problem with Dr. R is that he is always so fully booked… it is so hard to get an appointment.

The appeal of the new place is that they are bigger, have more technology and staff, are almost walking distance from my home (a huge plus!), and the Dr. is really lovely and comes highly recommended. They also have a very progressive attitude at this place: the consultation forms use “your friend” instead of “your pet”, and there are no metal examination tables in the rooms! The exam rooms are decorated with warm cozy colors – as if you were in someone’s home. And there being no tables, the vets get down onto the floor to examine the animals.

Unfortunately, in Boogie’s case, being confronted with a stranger seated on the floor, in a room (in which there is no escape) is no less disturbing than having to stand on an elevated cold metal surface. At least in a traditional vet exam room, he knows what’s coming. He has been through the metal table routine many times, and he always stands there LEANING his body into me when Dr. R checks his mouth, ears, butt etc.

On the checkered floor of the new fandangled exam room, it was much harder for anyone to hold onto Boogie. When Dr. F called him, he sniffed her, took a treat, then backed away. And then he crawled under my chair and stayed there. It didn’t help that there had been an off-leash (resident) dog in the waiting room so Boogie was already agitated on arrival and all he wanted to do was GET AWAY FROM THIS PLACE. The only way he could have anything examined by Dr. F was if I picked him up and held him on my lap the entire time ….

Dr. F was super gentle and did not want to pressure him to be near her, so in the end, I didn’t feel that Boogie had a thorough enough of a check-up. :/

She said Boogie looked good though… everything looked fine except for a minor ear infection.

So now we have some new drops for Boogie’s ear infection and two new shampoos (Virbac: Ketochlor & Cortisoothe) for Boogie’s skin issues. I don’t know if these products are better than the ones we get from Dr. R…  hopefully they are because they’re way more expensive. We’ll wait and see. Fingers crossed.

Have you ever changed vets for your scaredy/reactive dog? What do you look for in a vet?

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Entry filed under: Skin issues, Vet visit. Tags: .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. oreoowner  |  June 4, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Yes, it is always crazy bringing a dog to the vet, especially a reactive dog. I always try to avoid the whole waiting room thing and go through the “back door” but hope to one day be able to have her calm enough to be okay in the waiting room. But hey, if she’s not that’s okay too. Hope Boogie’s ear infection clears up soon!

    Reply
    • 2. lili  |  June 4, 2012 at 6:17 am

      thanks, Oreo’s mom. It’s itchy season now… I hope we don’t have a repeat of every year’s summer allergies and infections.

      Reply
  • 3. Margie  |  June 4, 2012 at 4:23 am

    if you drive there, you could leave Boogie in the car (assuming it’s not too hot, of course) until it’s his time to go into the exam room. My Roxy girl is very scaredy-pants but when she’s overwhelmed, she’s anti-reactive. She ignores cats and other dogs. Usually, she is quite reactive!

    I love my current vet and his staff, with the exception of one assistant. She uses a crazy baby-voice with the dogs, which only spooks them more!

    Reply
    • 4. lili  |  June 4, 2012 at 6:15 am

      Yes, I think next time (if I return) I will arrange to have Boogie in the exam room ASAP. At the other place, there are usually lots of dogs in the tiny waiting room but at least they’re all on leash and Boogie will stay on my lap.
      Re: your vet assistant – I never understand the baby voice thing!

      Reply
  • 5. Pamela Webster (@S_Wagging)  |  June 15, 2012 at 12:39 am

    We have a couple of mobile vets in our area. They come to your home. Do you think Boogie would do any better being examined at home?

    Reply
    • 6. lili  |  June 15, 2012 at 1:29 am

      Boogie is way more comfortable at home but there are also more places to hide! :) eg, he crawls under the table or into his crate when it’s bath time. I really like the mobile vet idea!

      Reply
  • 7. Alex  |  June 19, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Yes, I have switched vets, albeit within the same clinic. After discovering that Bella was fear reactive to men (a few months after adopting her), I decided to switch from a male vet to a female vet. She never had any reactivity towards her vet, but I just wanted to be sure that she didn’t associate anything negative (ie- thermometer up butt, shots, etc) with a man, especially since I was working so hard to countercondition her!

    Reply
    • 8. lili  |  June 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Alex, you are such a great doggie parent!

      Reply
  • 9. RescueABoxer  |  June 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Poor Boogie. While your dog would hide on under the chair, my 80 pound boxer would jump on everyone working at our vets office out of excitement. Kind of embarrassing really.

    Reply
    • 10. lili  |  June 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Ha, I was going to say – I just posted a blog entry about a mini-course that teaches a dog “not to jump up” and how to greet politely, but to be honest (ssshhh) I am always letting Boogie jumpup to greet people. I am just lucky that he isn’t 80 pounds…

      Reply

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