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RANT ALERT!!!! Once again, complete stress and humiliation at the vets..

(24 Posts)
AnonymousBird Tue 21-Jun-11 20:53:08

Yes yes, I know, change vet. But there is not another one anywhere near me, without travelling a long way in completely the wrong direction for work/school/home. Not sure it will make any difference anyway.

DDog absolutely hates the vet. She is not the only pet that dislikes the vet, but everyone there acts like they have never seen a dog get upset about being there.

She goes ballistic. Today was jabs day and two f**king stupid people who could clearly see that my dog was distressed in the waiting room decided to stick their bloody noses in and wind my dog up even further. ONE of the two stupid idiots actually works at the sodding vets practice. I snapped at the first lady, another customer, yes I was rude, but how ridiculous that a grown up should decide to wind up a distressed dog. I just said "I'd only just got her to settle in this god forsaken place, she hates it here and now you've undone all my efforts" which yes, was rude, but stupid woman.

She backed out the door saying how sorry she was and that it was her fault etc.

THEN the vet nurse who witnessed this first instance decides to offer FOOD to my dog in some extraordinary belief that this would then settle my dog!!!! FFS!!!!! She is a labrador, she would climb Mount Everest on one paw for a biscuit, so a biscuit is NOT going to calm her down.

And then after all the winding up by these two prats, someone else has the audacity to say to me "she's a bit lively". P*SS OFF!!!!!

Sorry, I am seriously angry, I just needed a rant.

clam Tue 21-Jun-11 21:18:46

Perhaps they were trying to help? You know, be nice?

<<backs away>>

fruitshootsandheaves Tue 21-Jun-11 21:20:17

Do you take your dog in the car to go to the vet?
If so i suggest you leave her in the car until you are called in to the examination room rather than going through all the waiting room stress, and then put her straight back in the car after the examination and then go back to settle your bill.

My collie quite likes going to the vet. But she does not like other dogs so I know how stressful it can be in the waiting room.

highriggs Tue 21-Jun-11 21:22:09

My dog was the same so she was left in the car until it was her time to go straight through to the vet so no waiting in the waiting room.

DogsBestFriend Tue 21-Jun-11 22:07:02

Perhaps it may help in future to get pooch used to the vets without actually having anything done. If you can manage it/incorporate it into your walks or whatever why not try literally just walking in with pooch and walking out, gradually building up to sitting in the waiting room with her for a minute, then 2, then 5. Take her a treat or two, give her loads of praise for being good when you leave but leave immediately she becomes too stressed and it looks like being there is going to defeat the object and try again another day.

De-sensitise, is that the word I'm looking for?! confused

I appreciate that this may not be practical and will be a PITA (and unless you tell staff what you're doing and why you'll look a loon!) but it may be worth a try. smile

GreenTeapot Tue 21-Jun-11 22:10:45

I am a vet and pets which get that worked up are difficult to help if they become ill or get injured, so we work hard to encourage owners to do as DogsBestFriend has suggested. Regular, consistent reinforcement of the message that it's a nice place where good things happen makes a huge difference - I have seen some pretty scary fear-aggressive dogs build great trusting relationships with staff when their owners have been prepared to put in the time to bring them for socialisation visits.

Also, dogs which are that upset don't take treats from nurses ... grin

DogsBestFriend Tue 21-Jun-11 22:48:44

Oooh! GreenTeapot (funny name! grin ) another vet for us to pick the brains of help us! Great stuff! smile

alice15 Tue 21-Jun-11 23:00:51

Completely agree with Green Teapot and DogsBestFriend. We offer food to pretty much every dog that comes through the door. Reactions vary from having to count our fingers afterwards (most Labs) to having the dog look at it with horror as if smelling the cyanide (most sighthounds), but I don't ever remember a situation where a dog got more upset as a result of being offered food - I imagine the nurse offered food not to calm her down but to make the surgery seem a nicer place, and I am sure she offered food in an effort to be helpful and defuse the situation.
We had one dog once which progressed from being like Hannibal Lecter to being willing to accept a muzzle and sit nicely for an examination, purely because one nurse and the owner had the patience to desensitise her gradually, over months and months and months. However bad your dog is, I am sure the staff have seen worse, and if it's a decent practice, they should be willing to work with you to try to desensitise her - or to see her in the car or the car park, if that's easier. Some dogs just are a complete nightmare, but in 21 years as a vet, I have only had one which I literally couldn't get near enough to to examine at all. Remember that vets have seen it all before and are used to this kind of thing!

DogsBestFriend Tue 21-Jun-11 23:12:16

"Reactions vary from having to count our fingers afterwards (most Labs) to having the dog look at it with horror as if smelling the cyanide (most sighthounds)"

Oh I'm chuckling here! I'm the first to scream that there are no breed specifics, only individual dogs with individual personalities (pro-Staffie rescuer here!) but nonetheless as a generalisation that is SO true!

I must say though that I have a Lab X who would look at a treat as if to say, "What's THAT???? You want me to eat THAT! And what, pray, are you after, devious human?" and a pair of GSD who would say, "More! More! Whatcha mean there's no more?" having eaten your fingers to get to the treat!

Bast Tue 21-Jun-11 23:24:54

Can someone else take her? Maybe your stress was transferring to her. I'm not saying you in any way caused the problem but ranting at strangers or snapping at staff probably don't allow your dog to feel relaxed and supported.

I mean, if she feels you aren't calm and in control, who has she got to turn to in that scary place? No-one = PANIC!

chickchickchicken Tue 21-Jun-11 23:45:57

i would agree with taking dog to sit in the vets. we did this (for different reasons) and after checking with staff what quiet times were we went and sat in vets for a few minutes and built up to longer visits during surgery time. staff were great about it

chickchickchicken Tue 21-Jun-11 23:46:40

excuse grammar blush i should go to bed i think

misdee Wed 22-Jun-11 07:53:52

i walk to the vets, go in, pick up a leaflet, or just check the price of something then walk out and carry on.

however this didnt work with tom, because if there was another animal of any sort there he would go ballistic. so i used to poke my head round the door, sign him in with the nurse on reception and then wait outside till called. last time this resulted in him pissing all over the vet and me though.

ralph loves it there as he love the fusses and is more settled than tom was.

Threadworm8 Wed 22-Jun-11 08:13:48

My poor terrier is fear-aggressive at the vet too. A couple of younger vets were really unhelpful about it when I first brought him there. They said that'guarding himself' meant that he was sending a message of dominance, and when I asked one of them to feed him dog treats she said that would reinforce dominance problems. (He is actually rather timid, and in other situations he is fine with people ). She recommended I have him desptroyed -- on the sole grounds of fear aggression during treatment.

Other vets there have been more helpful since, but I still have to muzzle him for treatment, and it is impossible for vets to listen to his heart because they can't hear anything over the growling.grin

I do understand that a dog in this state is scary and difficult for the vet, and I've worked hard to try and improve him. But he is a well-behaved dog in general, and one behaviourist told me the best thing was just to accept this problem and just 'manage' it by strategies to prevent harm.

GreenTeapot Wed 22-Jun-11 08:34:24

Threadworm sad stories like that make me really annoyed about how poor the behavioural side of the veterinary course can be. Going back a few years now but I think we had a half day of lectures - for most of us we went straight into practice spending a huge percentage of our working lives dealing with stressed dogs. It's crazy not to equip vets with the knowledge to deal appropriately with these situations.

Maybe it's better these days. A student who recently spent some time with us knew all about clicker training from being taught at vet school, which was really great to hear smile

Threadworm8 Wed 22-Jun-11 09:17:38

Really, Greenteapot. That does seem bad. It upset me and shook me when those vets were so negative, precisely because I thought their stance was an informed one. I thought that their judgement was the expert/correct one. It took me a long time to get past that.

One thing I regret a lot was having him chipped (or at least having it done whilst he was awake, not waiting for his neutering op to get it done under anaesthetic). I'm sure it made him mistrust any approach to his head/neck.

The reception staff are always nice and there are plenty of dog treats on the counter, but I don't think we will ever get past his nerves now.

alice15 Wed 22-Jun-11 09:28:57

We had no behavioural lectures, no business management lectures, no lectures on bereavement or handling clients - just one weekend course on it which I couldn't go on because I was on duty at the vet school. I do think things have improved now, though.
Threadworm, you may be right about the microchip; that's why we try not to do it at the first vaccination, so as not to put the puppy off - but then I've seen people complain on here that they've not been offered microchipping straight away, so we can't win!

Threadworm8 Wed 22-Jun-11 09:33:29

grin

I should say in fairness that I am quite a fan of my surgery on the whole. They have a high turnover of young staff and most of them are fine. And they really seem to work to keep the fees down.

Some dogs are just so sensitive to a single bad experience. I suppose sensitivity to experience, the ability to learn quickly from a single experience, is precisely what makes some dogs so trainable (and my dog is pretty trainable), but it also brings problems.

Lizcat Wed 22-Jun-11 13:43:15

Anonymouse I am more a difficult cat rather than dog kind of vet. However, I do try to get nervous pets booked in at the start of surgery so they don't have to wait with other pets and intolerant people. I also often bring them in and out through the back door. I also sometimes actually look at them in the car or car park to help with the actually entering the building problem. Final suggestion is some dogs are better with some individual vets and not others.

AnonymousBird Wed 22-Jun-11 14:00:25

I know people may have been trying to help, but if you saw a distressed animal in the waiting room, would you seriously approach it, thinking that your "magic touch" might help?!

I've had lots of eye rolling and tutting at this vet before, lots of sarcasm and "oh dear Mrs Bla bla, got a loose cannon here" type comments which frankly, is unnecessary and just rude.

Unfortunately her first ever admittance was for emergency surgery after being attacked by another dog which left with her nose, tongue and mouth ripped open and pouring blood. As that was our first ever visit, I have absolutely no idea how she would have reacted if our first visit had been a routine one. She hates it, and that is how it is, I just don't see why other people felt the need to interfere. Next time I will definitely ask for her to be seen in the car, though even then, she is freaking out as soon as we park up so although that will save the waiting room distress and embarrassment, it won't save her general anxiety at just being within range of the building.

I know I should not have snapped, but if I were there and saw someone struggling with an anxious dog I absolutely would NOT interfere, I'd stay well away.

Lizcat Wed 22-Jun-11 14:12:56

I think Anonymouse you need to write to the practice manager or senior partner as I don't think you are being supported with your dog by the staff's attitude. In my practice we do everything we can to help nervous cats and dogs, your poor dog clearly had a really terrible time and is now reliving it every time she visits the vets.
It is really possible to help dogs like yours, but the staff need to be understanding and supportive for this to happen.

GreenTeapot Wed 22-Jun-11 18:19:57

I would second that Lizcat, I agree with your suggestion.

mymumdom Thu 23-Jun-11 16:43:39

Where abouts are you? I am a mobile vet, there are a few of us around the country now and a lot of the animals I see are quite manageable at home, but get themselves into a state at the vets. Maybe you could see if there is anyone close to you for the routine stuff?

AnonymousBird Fri 24-Jun-11 18:40:22

I am in top corner of Essex.

I had no idea a mobile vet existed - I will definitely research that.

Thanks for the tip smile

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