Friday, November 9, 2012

Choosing a Vet

Tubbles has been acting like her teeth has been bothering her. I usually only take her to the vet once a year. Its been seven months since she visited hers in Germany and now that we live in a new place, I spent the day calling all the vet offices around. Steve was laughing at me on how I did it but my baby is going to have a high qualified doctor. With all I have learned while being a Vet Tech student, I now know how shady some vets can be; only doing the bare minimum. Her last two vets (the German vet and the on-post Army vet) didn't even take her weight and that is something that should be recorded in her record every visit.

So I wrote down all the things that mattered to me and called up each office and asked them. Some I even went online to look up myself.

1.REVIEWS! Top one to me. I looked up reviews to see how they treated previous clients. That right there helped me sort the good ones.
2. Prices. Needed something reasonable that we could be able to pay off.
3. Payment plans. No one offered them so the prices and being able to pay them off after services were rendered were even more crucial.
4. Hours. We needed a vet office that was open for the majority of the week so if she needed to go immediately, like if there was something wrong, then we would have access to her doctor (for future concerns). But we also have the 24/7 emergency animal hospitals info on the fridge.
5. Location. Having the office someplace close where Tubbles isnt sitting in the car for an hour for the drive there.

I found the right vet for her and its actually one I applied to for a Vet Assistant position. I remember filling out a long grueling packet that quizzed me on my knowledge. I really like that now so I know the Techs and other staff members were hired for their knowledge. So I am even happier about my decision.
Her appointment is this morning and its where the doctor just looks and her teeth and gives her recommendations. Then we can make another appointment for her dental cleaning or whatever the doctor thinks is best.

WHILE AT THE VET- The staff there was great. As we were checking in, the Tech had to take her medical history record and make copies. She couldn't understand some of the writing from Tubbles' previous German vet so it was fun to translate a bit. We went in to the examination room and the first thing she did was take her weight. That made me happy that it was something I now knew they did. They asked very good open questions and then came time to check her teeth. It was as I thought. They are not looking good and causing her pain. I felt so bad but the vet told me there was nothing I could have done.. its just bad genes. She needs surgery on them to get them cleaned (dental Prophylaxis) and some may even need to be pulled. The doctor answered all of our questions and was really straight forward. She told us that this was going to be a battle for the rest of her life. She will need her yearly cleanings now and she might have to eventually have all of her teeth pulled. The good thing, she doesn't need teeth to live a happy life.
She is getting her first cleaning done early December and she will be on an antibiotic until then.
I also had another ear cytology done to look for mites. I had one done at the Army vet on-post in Germany and she said it came back negative but she has still been itching her ears. This time it came back positive and she has a bad ear infection. I could almost bet money she had an ear infection in Germany too but that mean vet just didn't care. She was horrible. So she prescribed some meds for her ears as well.
How her med cycle goes is she gets one dose of her antibiotic at 8am in the morning, then ear drops at noon, then another dose of her antibiotic at 8pm... every day, until her dental prophylaxis and then the vet will check her ears then as well to see if the infection has cleared. Tubbles fights tooth and nail, this stuff stinks and probably tastes horrible as well. Luckily, I have an amazing husband that holds her while I give her the meds.  Looks like this cat mama has some nursing to do to get her baby to feeling well again. I just can't wait to get her in to her surgery so she can eat without pain even though I know the antibiotics are helping, I already see improvement.
Well that was our day. I am relieved to know what is going on and that it is being taken care of.


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  2. Thanks for sharing your experience choosing a vet! My poor little puppy has been acting sick lately. We had a great vet when we first got her, but then we moved and haven't had to take her to the vet yet! I really like the 5 things you mentioned that we should consider when making this choice! I definitely agree that reviews are important. You want to make sure that other people have had positive experiences with a vet that you're going to be taking your animal to! I also like that you mentioned that hours should be considered. Having a good vet isn't useful if their office isn't open at the times that you need them!
    Megan |