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Adoption medical and pet assessment...

(22 Posts)
Iggyflop Mon 18-Dec-17 17:03:32


We’ve requested a home visit to discuss adoption.

I have a couple of questions, 1 I can ask on the day but am too impatient to wait! That is what does the adoption medical involve? Is it a ticklist of conditions, medical history height, weight and blood pressure or is it more probing than that. I don’t have any deep dark secrets in my medical records. Just interested really.

My next question is what they look for in terms of pets. We have a VERY friendly and bouncy lab who’s an overgrown puppy (literally...he’s officially still a pup but huge) we’ve worked really hard to try and stop him jumping up at visitors and mostly he’s good at it unless it’s someone new (which obviously a visiting SW would be) the problem is we ask people not to encourage it, we explain what to do (no eye contact, gently push him down and then a fuss when he settles) and people say yes okay and then make a big fuss of him when he jumps up at them (he is very cute, all wagging tail and smiley face)

I know it’s all down to the SW on the day and how they view dogs and their personal tolerance for them but just wondered if this sounds like a deal breaker? At an open evening they mentioned a pet assessment so I wondered if that’s on the day of the initial visit or if that’s only done if we’re accepted. It’d be great to know what they look for on the assessment too.

Thanks every one. I’m getting a bit nervy swervy about it all now! Keep imagining having to rehome our pup because he’s too bloody friendly and feeling devastated at the thought! (Totally understand why he could be seen as a risk though)

OP’s posts: |
Iggyflop Mon 18-Dec-17 17:19:40

Ps we do seperate him from guests with a baby gate and he’s not allowed to say hello until he’s settled but as soon as they come through the gate he will try to jump up. I’m pretty confident he’ll pick it up quickly as he’s a quick learner, it’s just if someone’s let him get away with it once it takes about a week to retrain him again!

OP’s posts: |
howmanyusernames Mon 18-Dec-17 17:27:02

Regarding the medical, you've pretty much got that one covered. They also look back on your whole medical history - an isolated fit I had 22 years ago had to be logged, but was fine as it was isolated (and I did see a specialist privately) which was in my notes.

We have two dogs, Chocolate Lab who is 11 and terrier-mix who is 7-11 (she's a rescue so no idea how old she actually is!). Our Lab is docile as anything and just sleeps, but the terrier-mix barks whenever anyone comes to the door, or even if we pull up in our cars! I was worried our SW would think the barking was aggressive (it's not, it's more of a 'Hey, I know you're there!') and after two visits he just said he could see they were calm dogs and didn't need a separate assessment (the terrier-mix stops barking after a couple of mins of being ignored).
I did make sure we sat at the table though as if we sat on the sofa both dogs would have been jumping up trying to get attention! wink

hidinginthenightgarden Mon 18-Dec-17 17:28:16

Medical is pretty much as you said unless you have any medical issues or mental health issues.
Cannot say for the pets sorry.

happytoseeyou Mon 18-Dec-17 17:37:12

Our pet assessment was pretty straightforward even though our pup is a little bit over excited with visitors.
The social worker recommended we move the food and water bowls from the kitchen to the utility room, which is where they had always been ... I have no idea why it was in the kitchen on the day of the visit, but I think they felt better that they had put forward a recommendation wink

TidyBadger Mon 18-Dec-17 17:39:04

Medical is what you're expecting.

Pets isn't an issue as far as any adopters I know have been concerned. Sws have to book an outside agency to carry out a pet assessment and so will only cover that cost if they have concerns. A friendly lab should not give them any concerns.
If he's not very well trained yet just make sure you outline the training classes that you have planned for him. Tell them all about the work you're doing with him to get him socialised with children and if you're not doing the above with him yet get some plans in place!
It will be fine, don't worry! I know people with big scary looking dogs and snakes that have adopted.
Our dog can be a bit fussy about people but she fell in love with our sw on first sight and remains devoted smile

Wolfiefan Mon 18-Dec-17 17:42:43

You need to teach four on the floor! Join dog training advice and support on FB for guidance.
You can't just say he's a baby or expect guests to manage him. Keep him on a lead for introductions. This needs sorting. Every time he's allowed to jump up at guests that reinforces that that is the way to greet them. Just what you don't want!

Iggyflop Mon 18-Dec-17 18:11:12

Thanks, will check out that Facebook group. I get what you’re saying about not expecting guests to manage him. At the same time it’s hard to get the balance as we can’t train him not to do it without exposing him to guests in order to practise it so we do have to ask them to respond appropriately so it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. He’s absolutely fine with us and people he knows. The strategy we’re using is upon the advice of a dog trainer. (Which completely contradicts the advice from his puppy training classes so I know there are conflicting opinions. We decided our best bet was to pick a strategy and stick to it otherwise we’d be tying ourselves in knots) Trying him on the lead for introductions is a good idea too. Hadn’t thought of that. Thank you.

We’re also working on socialising him with kids too tidy badger and that’s going well.

He’s generally obedient and knows all the commands. It’s when he meets someone new he gets over zealous which is exactly what we don’t want!

Thanks for the heads up happy to see you, the dogs bowls are in the kitchen so will be sure to move them!

Thanks for the ‘sitting at the table’ tip howmanyusernames. That’s also a great idea that wouldn’t have occurred to me.

I know the behaviour isn’t okay and we need to work on the training. Like I say for 1 visitor he gets away with jumping up at there are 5 who he settles quickly for. If it was any worse than that we’d have delayed requesting the visit.

Also, thanks for replies re: the medical. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Over the last few years I haven’t tended to keep my knickers on or leave with the same amount of blood in my arms as I went in with when I go to any medical appointments so wasn’t sure how intrusive I should expect it to be smile

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CheeseAtFourpence Mon 18-Dec-17 18:48:30

We also had a bouncy lab that jumped up and demanded attention for 5 minutes before snoozing at SW’s feet. We showed that we had been proactive in thinking about him by ordering a BAAF worksheet for a couple of pounds. We demonstrated that we had thought about how he would react, how they would be separated, how we would maintain his routine etc. Our SW was fine. DD’s SW was NOT a dog person at all, but we sent him to daycare whenever she was due grin

whereisteddy Mon 18-Dec-17 21:05:20

No pets here, but I remember stage 1 social worker saying people with pets must be very clear about what comes first, the child or the pet.... She cited a case where child moved in with prospective adopters and it turned out that the child was allergic; the adopters insisted that it was the child who left, not the dog. Obviously the couple were never allowed to adopt again.

Dontbuymesocks Mon 18-Dec-17 23:07:22

My LA sends out a pet assessor to all applicants. We have a lovely, friendly, bouncy cockerpoo and the assessor spent over an hour with us. Amongst other things he took him for a walk and pushed him over very suddenly while walking, then later pulled his ears and tail (very sharply!) etc to gauge his reaction. Luckily for us, there was no reaction, just a slightly quizzical look! However, as an owner it was very hard to watch.

Papergirl1968 Tue 19-Dec-17 10:14:26

Just re the medical, mine was very basic but a friend who adopted had to have a breast exam and another friend who adopted had to have a breast exam and an internal. So just be prepared in case you have a very thorough doctor.
And I know a few years ago adopters had to pay for medicals themselves, so not sure if this is still the case. I think mine was about £100, and wasn’t claimable.

Choccogoingcuckoo Tue 19-Dec-17 10:15:29

With regards to your pup, continue with that training even if it means your visitor coming in and out the door quite a few times until your pup learns what behaviour is expected of them.

Luckily our sw loved dogs, ours used to literally lie all over her, cuddle into her, put toys in her bag etc. Sw viewed this as our dog being really loveable however her snr sw came out and was a bit scared of dogs and did not like my dogs attempts in getting cuddles. Luckily my mum was visiting my neighbour and done some dog sitting for me on this occasion. I think it was good to show that snr sw fear of the dog was put first over my dog?!

The vet will come to your house to assess your pup at home and see if your dog will be okay with a child around lol.

Iggyflop Tue 19-Dec-17 18:29:48

Thanks for the new replies. I’ve had to explain to DH that we might have to rehome...he suddenly tightened up on letting the dog get away with stuff quickly!

Oh gosh an internal and breast exam?! I’ll make sure I’m in my best undies that day.

Thanks for all the other tips, they’ve been really handy. Chocco think that was a great call sending the dog to your mum. I was thinking if he wasn’t home on our initial visit then that might seem suspicious! I work in the community visiting people in their homes and have been bitten and DH was afraid of dogs as a kid so were both pretty understanding about guests not necessarily wanting to be around a bouncy lab. That’s why we seperate him from new visitors. Out of courtesy to them rather than because he’s a risk

OP’s posts: |
Choccogoingcuckoo Tue 19-Dec-17 18:54:37

I'm sure you'll be fine. The vet also messed about with her food in her bowl so maybe practice telling him to sit while you move his food away mid meal.

I'm sure medical will be fine also, ours was pretty run of the mill stuff and no internals or breast examinations here.

Good luck.

Iggyflop Tue 19-Dec-17 19:33:42

Thanks. Its so helpful to hear people’s experiences, especially if they’ve done the assessment process with a friendly dog themselves. we’ve got him well trained on the territorial front...poor dog has regularly had his food bowl removed mid meal, bones and favourite chew toys whipped out of his mouth from behind as my MiL’s dog (which does bite) can’t even have bones as he’ll bite anyone who comes within 3 feet if he’s chewing a bone. He also goes for people who come into the kitchen if he’s eating or drinking so we’ve always made sure that it wouldn’t happen with our dog. He just looks at us a bit forlornly and slopes off to find something else to chew!

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Choccogoingcuckoo Tue 19-Dec-17 20:36:23

Aw he sounds like a big sweetheart.

Italiangreyhound Tue 19-Dec-17 21:57:22

Medical pretty much as you say. I was told to lose weight!

Just to say I love dogs but I get frustrated seeing dogs jump up! A friend's dog knocked ds over when he was 4 and he was quite scared by it. Despite coming from a birth and foster family with dogs.

I wonder if there is a way of training with rewards for sitting etc?

My relative has a big dog and it goes berserk when you enter the house. It eats any stray food, chews shoes and they spent a while saying how yoing it was but now it is older and pretty much the same!

But I also know a lovely adopter couple with a big dog who barks a lot and they got through assessment fine with young kids and the kids love the dog.

Our cat was fine but our new cat is moody!

Good luck. flowers

Iggyflop Tue 19-Dec-17 22:25:55

Thank you Italiangreyhound!

Yes, him jumping up really bothers me. I grew up with a dog who never jumped up and it wasn’t tolerated in our house. DH was initially quite dismissive of my worries and saw it as great fun until I pointed out we might be asked to rehome him if our adoption application is accepted. He soon stopped allowing it!

I think this is a bit of last minute fretting on my part as one of the (self imposed) criteria for requesting our initial visit was that he’d stopped jumping up. We posted the visit request form on Saturday and since then he’s jumped up at people twice 🤦‍♀️ That’s then worried me and combined itself with my other nerves and anxiety about the whole situation. I guess this is just so huge and hopefully life changing (as in adoption, not one SW visit 😉) for us I’m worried something like the dog jumping up could jeopardise it all!

OP’s posts: |
Flower20166 Thu 21-Dec-17 00:06:41

Try not to worry too much, it’s likely going to be middle of January onwards before they come and do the visit, so plenty of time to get him retrained smile.

As for the medical, mine was really straight forward..looked at my medical history etc, weighed and measured me, felt my abdomen, checked my eyes and ears and I had to do a urine sample. It was over in about 10 minutes!

Italiangreyhound Thu 21-Dec-17 07:10:38

Try not to worry.

Moogletea Thu 21-Dec-17 07:25:53

My medical was very thorough - the receptionist bought me in a cuppa half way through smile. But we did have a lengthy history of miscarriages so there was a lot to go through. I also had a breast exam as well. We paid about £100 each for them

At the time we had two large dogs (both sadly died since). We talked about strategies for introducing etc and how we had child free dog safe spots etc. One thing we did that was very useful was to take video of our dogs with other children such as our nephews and nieces. That way we could actually show SWs real life footage of the dogs interacting. That really helped them visualise how the dogs would be. Based on the video we didn't have to have a separate assessment

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