:Kathy is…at a Crossroads


Hi Debby,
Just reread the older entry
…”but Doc, the dog is dead”…my criteria 
for a vet is certainly different than your needs as a breeder.  And I 
have thrown caution to the wind, with having all of our dogs 
vaccinated including meds for heartworm, the raccoon meds and kennel 
cough.  We do board from time to time.  Our groomer doesn’t require 
it.  Mercifully, everyone seems to be surviving!!

But I have reached a painful reality that my current vet has let his 
office run “amuck” with poorly trained staff.  Our 11 year old Sophie 
has been on the same thyroid meds for years and was recently given
the wrong pills 3x before the desk ladies could figure out how to renew 
the prescription properly.  Soph weighs 12 pounds and they gave us 
meds for a 100 pound dog!!  We caught the mistake immediately so no 
harm was done to Sophie.  We have been overcharged for special food, 
charged for incorrect procedures, etc.  And it doesn’t appear the 
situation will be correcting itself anytime soon.  So it’s off to find 
a new “Wizard”!!

Any suggestions?  Especially questions to ask?   Special things to 
look for…Could you open this up to the blog?

You have shared who you go to for normal vet procedures…my groomer 
and her family have used the same vet for years and recommend him, 
too.  Did you make a special appt. just to meet the vet before making 
the move?


P.S. From Debby:

As always, I like to include a photo or graphic with each entry. I came upon Are You Busy Doc? through the all-powerful google. Having worked in a Nebraska Sandhills practice the first three years out of vet tech school, looks like a must read!

One Comment on “:Kathy is…at a Crossroads”

  1. lhasalhady says:

    A day (more like a week!) late and a dollar short, but this Crossroads blog entry deserves attention, especially given Kathy’s latest episode. Sophie had an appointment with her regular vet, the vet that had followed her for years. When Kathy made the appointment, she made sure it was on a day he’d be in the office. She requested him, both on the phone and on the check-in sheet. Instead, the new vet walked in.

    To answer Kathy’s specific questions…

    Rather than going with an ‘interview-you’re-on-trial’ approach, I scheduled an appointment for a health certificate, a harmless procedure. The initial appointment was made by phone. Golden Animal Hospital is 30 minutes from my house. I’m know Golden much better now, but at the time I didn’t know exactly where the clinic was located. Needing to change the appointment time and wanting to find the place, I stopped by one afternoon. I’m not a big ‘gut feeling’ person, but when I pulled into the parking lot, I knew I’d arrived ‘home’.

    During the initial appointment, through conversation, I interjected my questions…or should I say ran my philosophy by him…getting his reaction, getting his feedback. Do you mind working with breeders? Doug was forthcoming in all his answers, entering into conversation with zest.

    Of course this wasn’t a ‘blind’ visit. I sorta have inside info because I can poll my own clientele. (Kathy, you’re not the only one unhappy with your dogs’ vet and/or clinic!) I was well aware the staff had been there for years upon years. I was aware Dr. Hill was one of seven vets; the other six are horse vets, although one – Dr. Donna Johnson – cares for the small animals when Doug isn’t there. I was aware the practice was Old School. (Yes!!! for Old School!!!) My criteria included long-time staff (shows a stable work environment) and a veterinarian using the Art of Diagnosis (for economic reasons large animal vets must rely more on their own diagnostic skills than the results of a multitude of costly tests [that often don’t reveal the problem or change the course of treatment]). Although I wasn’t going to compromise quality for cost, price did factor in. I need to be able to afford veterinary care for my dogs. I knew Golden Animal Hospital was reasonably priced. I knew emergency calls were handled Old School. After hours an actual person answers the phone and relays the emergency to the vet on call that night. What a concept! Old School!

    Kathy, my advice is stop by several veterinary clinics in your area. Introduce yourself. Mention you’re considering changing veterinarians…and happened to be driving by and thought you’d stop in. No need to go into detail about your current situation. Ask about the clinic’s vaccination protocol, that’s a good general question. No need to judge based on the answer; just use it as a conversation piece. (BTW, Doug is Old School vaccination-wise. I don’t hold it against him 🙂 It doesn’t matter because I do my own vaccinations.) It would be great if a tour of the clinic was offered. That might not be practical on the spot, but it would give you more opportunity to get a feel for the clinic. And by that, I mean the people running the clinic, not necessarily the facility! Casually ask how long that particular employee has worked there. That simple question can provide lots of insight!

    Start with Dr. Barnes. And Dr. Doug Hill. Both have excellent references!

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