Choosing Your Vet

21st November 2012 - in Health

Choosing a vet is a very important factor in the care and attention that will be directed towards your puppy, not only at the outset of its life, but also through the growing years, into adulthood and finally into old age, with hopefully not too many twinges or aches and pains on the way.

It is just as important to yourself as well, that you take time to choose a vet that you feel comfortable with and trust their judgement. After all you are placing the welfare and sometimes indeed the life of your dog in their hands.

People Skills

Whilst every vet has to go through training to a very high standard to pass the required exams, I personally do not believe that necessarily qualifies them to have the abilities, desires and most of all the understanding of how to deal with people. This is further compounded by the fact that when they need to deal with clients, it is often when the owner of the dog, is concerned, nervous, worried and sometimes very distressed and more often then not, their customer service skills are woefully lacking.

The "holier than thou" attitude displayed by many vets I consider disgusting and their patronising and condescending manner is even worse !

When I moved house a few years ago I reluctantly left behind an excellent veterinary practice, with which I had developed a wonderful relationship and rapport. I trusted my vet and I consider this to be crucial.


Compare if you will your doctor, does he or she have the time or indeed inclination to listen to you and take on board what you are saying, regarding your problems?

Do they talk to you and with you and use this extra information when reaching their diagnosis or do they talk at you ! After all, albeit highly skilled and trained, they are still "detectives" and are looking for as many clues as possible to reach a diagnosis and thereby hopefully prescribe the correct or most suitable medication and treatment.

The same investigative procedure should apply with your vet. However, maybe because the animal itself cannot speak and provide the clues, many vets seem incapable, reluctant and usually unwilling to place any credence whatsoever, on information provided by the owners.

I would say at this point that I am not on a vendetta against vets, it is just that I have had so many dealings with vets over the years and have had to play mind games with most of them to establish my credentials and beat them at their own game, before they will reluctantly climb down from their self-constructed high throne and be of any use to me and my terriers whatsoever. Luckily, I have now found a vet whom I trust, respect and like very much and in whose hands I personally feel very comfortable and by virtue of this I trust her with my dogs.

I do not purport to be a vet, but am highly skilled and experienced with dogs and am blessed with that second sense that seemingly all "animal people" have. This extra information, delivered in the correct way can assist the vet to reach a better understanding of the problem by working as a team and thereby increase the likelihood of achieving a satisfactory and successful outcome.

Other Dog Owners

So unless you have a preferred vet that you feel comfortable with, before you book your new puppy into a veterinary practice, take some time to ask around to other dog owners and find out about their experiences and the treatment and service they have been afforded. Not least, find out about the costs they have been charged.

When it comes to our animals and our children, I understand that cost is not an issue. However, I personally believe that many vets use this feeling that we have for our animals to their advantage and the stories that I hear from distressed owners about the poor treatment, rudeness and excessive costs, I find disgusting to the extreme.

I have, in the past, used a large veterinary practice where their pricing schedule is more than excessive and seems to be solely designed to relieve your wallets of the maximum amount of money at all times for the least work. The patronising attitude that I witnessed first hand in that particular surgery is such that I am amazed that normal, sane and well balanced individuals in their distressed state of mind, worried about their animals do not lose their tempers every time, at the poor service with which they are provided which is further compounded by the extortionate invoices!

So the moral of this missive is: Before you choose a vet, do your homework, ask around to your doggie friends, neighbours and anyone else you meet. Then make your choice, but remember the vet is your servant. He or she is there to serve you and your dog. They have no mandate to dictate to you. If you are not happy or comfortable with the service they provide, then take your animals and your business elsewhere.

  • 2nd December 2012 18:37 - Posted by : Violet

    How true and accurate your blog is.

  • 10th December 2012 04:53 - Posted by : Kate

    Very true. I just had this experience today with a vet who patronised me and told me I was anthropomorphising my dog simply because I was describing to her the lengthy periods of bizarre behaviour my dog was exhibiting since she started him on antibiotics for a hot spot. She made it clear she thought I was just mollycoddling my dog and she appeared to have made up her mind about that before I even walked in the door.

    Her advice was to take him off the antibiotics despite the fact she thought this had nothing to do with his bizarre change in behaviour (even though it is a noted side effect of the drug).

    When I questioned whether this was the right thing to do as it meant not finishing his course and clearly she thought there was no good reason to take him off it she spoke to me so rudely practically shouting that I was so shocked and misunderstood that I began crying. Wow. I cannot believe that a vet would behave like that towards anyone regardless of what they thought of their client - erroneous or not. This is also at a respectable Sydney veterinary hospital. Who would've thought?