How do i choose a Vet?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Henry Carmona, May 2, 2002.

  1. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    I got a new dog (puppy) and there are sooo many vets in town.
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=67418
    Anything i should look for, or ask?
    Unfortunately i dont know anyone who takes their dog to a vet. Every one i know has mutts [​IMG]
    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    Hopefully you got your new puppy from a respectable breeder. Ask them if they can recommend a vet to you.
     
  3. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    There are tons of vets out there. Some better than others. Probably the best thing to do is ask around the neighborhood or work and get advice. A good vet is worth tracking down.

    Jeff
     
  4. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    If you don't know anyone with a pet (which I find hard to believe) look at the ads in the phone book for vets that are certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. Find one that's nearby, as you don't want have a dog pucking in your car while you drive across the county. After that do the same things you would do if you were looking for a doctor for yourself. Look around. Is the place clean? Do they treat both you and your pet well. And most of all if you go to a vet and you're not happy find another one. Oh and one other thing don't always choose the vet just because they have the lowest prices.
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Good question [​IMG]
    Julian Reville, DVM
    P.S. Even mutts should go to see the veterinarian. All 4 of my dogs are mixed-breed, and they see me every day.
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    If they will scratch behind my ears, rub my tummy and give me a biscuit, I'm usually okay with them. [​IMG]
     
  7. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    If you can, I would recommend that you try and find a vet that makes house calls. We have one that comes to the house when needed, and it makes things much easier on our animals. It costs a little more, but it's worth it (especially since we have cats that completely FREAK OUT when we try and take them in the car...).

    As for what to look for, I don't know. Make sure you like them, and that they treat your animal well, I guess.
     
  8. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Thanks Julian,

    What i meant to say was that everyone i know who owns a dog, owns a mixed breed and they dont think enough of them to take them to a vet i guess.

    Unfortunately the couple i purchased my puppy from live more than 100 miles away and they dont know anyone here.

    I managed to get a name from the vet they once took my puppy to. That vet recommended a class mate that now works in my city.

    I have an appointment with her on Monday. I guess the thing that concerns me most, is whether or not the clinic is able to handle all kinds of emergencies, and their hours of operation.

    I kinda dont like the fact that every place ive checked is closed on Sunday's, and is only open half a day on Saturday.

    Does anyone have Health insurance on their pet?

    One receptionist told me that most Vets dont take insurance.

    You must send the insurance company your bill and they reimburse you. Hmmm.
     
  9. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Henry,
    You're doing well by asking questons. Most of my new clients come by word-of-mouth, from friends, neighbors, relatives. A few come from the Yellow Pages.
    As a solo practitioner, I find that M-F 8-6 & Sat 8-1 is all I can handle. That's 55 hours every week, and I don't get paid overtime. [​IMG] I get what's left over after paying all the bills and the government. For a clinic to be open 7 days a week, a minimum of 3 Doctors is required. To be open 24/7, a minimum of 8. Luckily, most cities and towns have after hours Emergency Clinics that are fully staffed at night and on weekends.
    Health insurance IS available for pets, but most people don't have it. It involves more paperwork, and works by spreading risk and cost out over a larger group. VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) is the best known. www.petinsurance.com
    Check out VetQuest and Pet Care Forum, both found on www.vin.com. I have been a member of VIN (Veterinary Information Network) for over 10 years and a veterinarian for 14. Some access on VIN is restricted to veterinarians only, but a lot is free to the public.
    I don't agree that a housecall practitioner is the best (self-serving I'm sure). Most medical problems and procedures are best handled in a hospital setting. Some pets DO better at home, especially if they are scared by travelling, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
    Good luck with your new puppy. [​IMG] He/she will give you tons of unconditional love.
    Julian Reville, DVM
     
  10. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    As stated ask around other owners will often let you know wat good and bad experiences they have run into with Vets in your Area. Also look at how often they are open and if they have any after hour numbers to call in case of emergency or another office which is open 24x7
    Best of luck with & training the new puppy, or should I say with keeping the puppy from training you. [​IMG]
    KyleS
     
  11. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Henry,

    One of the good things to ask about is whether the vet you're considering has an affiliate emergency clinic. We were using our vet for almost 2 years before we even found out that they were affiliated with a 24 hour vet clinic. Of course we found out when our dog got very ill, but never knew before. Turns out that in our area at least, most vets have some type of arrangement like our vet does.

    We looked into health insurance for our dog, but only after she got very sick. By that time, most of the benefits we could have gotten from pet insurance were voided by "pre-existing" condition clauses, including genetic defects. From what we read in our research, there were only 2 or 3 companies that are long standing established insurers. The rest are fly by night and may or may not be in business when you need them.

    My conclusion with pet insurance is that it may be worthwhile, but only if you sign up for it before pre-existing condition clauses outweight the potential benefits. Hope this helps a bit!
     
  12. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Julian, Carl,

    Thanks for your help.

    Thanks for the links Julian.

    I do intend on getting my dog insurance if you think its a good idea. Ill have to read it over.

    I paid too much money to have this little booger get sick and die on me.

    Thanks yall, and i wish you many years of successful practice Julian!
     
  13. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Pick one that will take an active interest in you and your pets. Sometimes it's good to get a more expensive vet, because they are usually good. It's also good to that the vet is straight forward. You don't want one that will give you hidden charges, do stuff that doesn't need to be done, etc. The vet should also give you info on all different types of procedures done to treat illnesses and ailments, even if the procedure is commonly done, an experimental procedure, or otherwise. They should be up to date on what's going on in veterinary medical field which new technology, procedures, medicine, and all that. Always ask for advice from them. If they are a good vet, they'll give you advice, and tell you when they aren't experienced in certain areas and will refer you to one who is. Bad ones tend to not do that. The staff is important too. See how they react to the animals there. Bring your dog there just to meet the vet and staff to see how the pet, vet and staff react to each other. It's always good to get your pet acquanted with new people, especially vets and people they see alot, so the pet feels comfortable around them. Try to stay with one vet if there's more than one at the animal hospital. It makes the animal feel more comfortable.

    Take a look around the place. See if it's clean(doesn't have to be lab clean due to having tons of animals coming in and out), kept up, smells ok(sometimes you'll smell pee and poop due to animals being nervous and releasing their stuff, etc), and all the other stuff. Ask to take a look out back to see if the kennels and stuff are taken care of and are clean. See if the animals are taken care of, fed, given water, are walked, have no wastes in their cages, and all that. See if the operating tools and other supplies are clean and not rusty. See if they wash the floors in the waiting room, kennel, operating room, etc. Also check the examination room to see if they are clean. It's also good if the animal hospital you go to has a kennel you can board your pets at if needed, a pet grooming shop, dog traing courses and other such things, 24 hour emergency phone number, vets on call, etc.

    You should also pick a vet that is certified in treating animals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, small mammals such as rats, rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs, and farm animals/livestock, along with cats, dogs and other common animals seen at the vet. This tends to show that they are dedicated to animals. Check around to see the reputation too. Ask other vets what they think of their competition. This is a big indication of whether the ones you ask are good or not. Ones that are good will tell you what they've heard and seen of the others, and what they offer that the one you asked doesn't or has a limited knowledge of. bad ones usually won't tell you or will put all the other ones down. Also check magazines and books, because they only advertise vets that have at least a very good reputation.

    I love my vets. They are great with my animals. My animals love them too. I have one vet for my dogs and cat here in town, and one 2 towns over for my birds. My avian vet is advertised in the magazines, so I know he's good, plus he loves my Amazon Sam. I know this because he always talks to Sam, smiles at him, sings to him, treats him good, etc. Sam trusts him too. My other vet is similar with my dogs and cats. She loves them all, especially my runt pug Rosie. she thinks Rosie is awesome and cute. She's always hugging Rosie. Rosie loves her back. If your pet feels comfortable aroung the vet, take them, if not find another one. Don't want a huge problem to result while getting them to the office.

    Have any other questions? Ask me if you do.
     
  14. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Thanks Stephen!!

    Ive got an appointment Monday, so ill be sure to look around and ask questions.
     
  15. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    I second getting the insurance. My dog has been pretty ill and we have spent about $1200.00 over the last week in diagnostic testing and such.

    Jeff
     
  16. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    We have 3 cats and 1 dog, and 2 of the cats get COMPLETELY freakd out by travelling. One screams and screams, the other one goes into an almost "coma-like" state (just sits there staring blankly into space). They take 1 or 2 days to adjust fully (they don't eat or drink). For them, a vet that makes house calls was the best option. Since the vet comes for them, we have them treat the other animals too.

    Note that we only use the house-call vet for appointments like check-ups and immunizations. For emergency situations, we have a 24 hour clinic a few miles away that we've used (the travel-happy cat got bit in the head by a dog once, that's the only time we've had to go there fortunately, except for the time we took an injured lost dog there).

    /Mike
     

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