I dont get it. it's the third time I 'm changing vet. I thought this one was good enough. I paid a lot for her. she cured my baby from worms and his skin desease is getting better but today it turned out that she gave wrong diagnosis 3 weeks ago and now my baby's skin is worse again!
If you find one let me know! I am still looking! Where I live the vets are way overpriced compaired to where my other friends live, and they are not always nice. The receptionist and techs can be so mean to me and other customers! I wish I could find a nice vet also. Plus everytime I go to the vet he does not know what is going on and costs me lots with tests to end up still not knowing what is going on. (it ended up being nothing but dry skin) yet he had me do all these tests! UGH! It is hard. My one friend took her 3 years to find the right vet. Where I live it is just to many overly expensive vets. I would like to move just for that reason. What costs me 450.00 would cost my friend not even 35.00. I guess it is just the location, and I am not kidding I checked with her vet I have no idea why here they are so much more expensive! Good luck on your search I am also still looking!
Okay, this is just my opinion-- trying to be helpful, sharing my experiences in my location. Seek out a rural vet that treats all animals. They generally have a lot of diverse experience and don't waste a lot of their time and your money on un-necessary tests. They are generally busy and want to get to the point of real problems and if there is nothing 'wrong' like w/ dry skin or what ever, they will just give you several suggestions and tell you to come back if it doesn't improve. Rural vets also are more loyal and work at all hours pretty much all the time for their customers. No sending you off the the emergency vet to get raped, yes raped. Personal experience: rural vet after hours c-section & spay $198, urban vet $700, emergency vet $2000 (and the pups all still died there). STAY AWAY FROM EMERGENCY VETS(and some vets associated w/emergency clinics)! They are low quality vets that pray on people's desparate situations and try to charge 10x as much for the same proceedures. If you balk at the price they start the high pressure about 'you must not love your pet, and that's just part of being a pet owner-- bullcrap. There is NO way that someone should be charged $500 on a Sunday afternoon for an IV of lactated ringers ($6), and some cephellexin ($15) for what turned out to be a 'cold'.
alicat1 - I agree with you! I want to find a rural vet! How would I find it in my location? Should I look in the yellow pages? The only thing that could bother me is if there is a emergency and I am far away and need to get there right away. I was looking around where my hubby's family lives already I was thinking the same thing you wrote! Only they live 2 1/2 hours away. I don't mind taking them there every now and again, but what about a emergency? That is a long way hey? I am having such a hard time finding a good vet!
Well...honestly I kind of live in the country, so any emergency clinic is 35 min away, and my vet(s) are about 45-50 minutes away. I have several that I use for different things-- and if one is on vacation or what-not I do have a back-up vet that I still feel comforable with. Honestly, you are still gambling if you just look in the newspaper. There are a few ways to kind of pre-screen and ask around. See who your local animal shelters or rescues use. If you purchased your dog in the area from a breeder ask them who they use. Or you could go to a few local feed stores (lg animal too) and see who local dog breeders use and recommend. Many times feed store workers will give you the scoop on vets. Unless you are in a very rural State you shouldn't have to travel over an hour. In my area vets are a dime a dozen, good vets are harder to find.
I think your rural vet will laugh at you if you complain about not getting a skin problem right the first time.Our vets are very no nonsence but they will flat out tell you this may not be right. If you find a vet you like and trust,stick to him. Changing vets all the time isn't going to help becaue the next vet probally won't know more than the first. When they do things like diagnose allergies or skin conditions it is a process were they generally go broader then try other narrower things. You are going to have a hard time finding anyone if you switch everytime your dog has a skin problem and the vet doesn't find the magic answer the first time.
Did they diagnose it as mange or something that actually requires a test or did they just say to try something and see if it works. I see people get mad when the vet suggests changing food before going through allergy testing.
Vets overcharge on there meds because that is how they make a profit. I doubt you'll ever find a vet that gives a shot at cost for them. Ask around in your community and see who people like and trust and try them out.
I am one of the lucky folks that has a "Super Vet" - in fact, my clinic has 2 vets that I am in love with. Here's a few pointers on finding a good vet :
1.) DON'T LOOK AT THE PRICE ALONE!!!! - My vet clinic is one of the more expensive ones in town BUT they know my breed (since I breed this is very important as I have 16 shelties), they know my dogs (I can call on the phone and say that Daizy is having a problem and they know exactly who I am talking about), they know me (I don't even have to use my last name when I call most of the time), and... here is the clinker for me... I never have to use the emergency number or go to the emergency room. I am supposed to call them regardless of what time of day or night it is. They give my dogs excellent care, are willing to research a diagnosis before they give it, are VERY knowledgable, take the time to fully explain everything to me (they don't treat me like and idiot who won't understand and just hand me pills - they actually explain the problem and WHY they are treating it a particular way). They have saved a number of my dogs lives, they are always on hand, and I feel like they are always looking out for the well being of my dogs at all times.
2.) RURAL VET DOES NOT MEAN THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!!! - Beware of what I call "farm vets" who treat everything from horses to lizards to cows and back again. I personally prefer a "small animal vet" who specializes in dogs and cats. Often times vets who specialize in horses don't know what to look for in a small animal.
3.) GET REFERENCES!!! - Talk to other clients who use the vet and get their opinion on the care their pet gets. I have referred every person in my area that adopts a puppy from me to our vet and they have all be thrilled with the change. I can't tell you how valuable a good review from another client is!
4.) Bring your pet in to meet the staff before you schedual an appointment. Most good clinics are okay with you checking them out. If your pet doesn't get along with the techs and staff then it doesn't matter how great the vet is. Technicians generally handle the animals more than the vets do. My dogs LOVE the techs at my office (in fact, one of the techs has one of my pups) and they actually all have a favorite that they head straight for when we visit the vet. The techs should be friendly and understanding. This will also tell you if your dog is comfortable in the environment. Mine get excited to go to the vet.
Diagnosis can be wrong. It happens. The key is to find a vet that will work for you to make sure they do find the correct diagnosis eventually (it may take some trial and error first). You need to find a vet that makes YOU feel comfortable with the level of care they are giving you and your pet.. Talk with them. It isn't a good idea to keep switching vets. Take some time and find the right ONE. My vet is 40 minutes away and a city vet. They are both highly educated and they work well together. Often times they will consult one another to get a diagnosis (two heads ARE better than one). You will KNOW when you are happy with the vet. You'll feel it. Good Luck!
Normally I agree with Abbylynne, but this time I comepletly disagree with her statement about farm vets. I am not talking about an equine specialist. However, normal 'farm vets' are often a dying breed of older MUCH more experienced vets that have seen it all. They don't just pander to the pet crowd so they can make more $$$. Mine farm vets TEACH specific classes at MSU. I feel they have much more customer loyalty and again make arrangements for if they leave town other than 'go to an emergency clinic'-- which I feel is feeding you to the wolves. They often know your pets name without looking on a chart, and for breeders they often work with you to help better your breeding program. I agree, while you should not look at price alone if you are scarificing quality, but... why would anyone want to pay more for the same services of equal quality? I stand behind my 'farm vets' all the way.
I think you are lucky alicat. I have dealt with breeders that use farm vets. The ones I dealt with (5 different breeders) the vet doesn't encourage the breeder to check stool samples on their litters or their dogs unless they see something fishy. I got a puppy with Giardia from one and the breeder and the vet stood behind the fact that the puppy had gotten a health certificate so it was sound and healthy. NOT TRUE. (I consider parasites to mean an unhealthy puppy - and my vet HIGHLY recommends that I run a full fecal panel on my puppies just for my own piece of mind to insure I know I am sending out a healthy puppy) I also know a breeder that her "farm vet" diagnosed at least one puppy in 10 consecutive litters as having a heart murmer. She took a couple of the pups in the last couple litters to my vet as a second opinion (and my vet teachs as well...) and they didn't have a heart murmur or anything close to it.
From my experience "farm vets" also seem more prone to handing out medication that isn't needed to folks without actually giving the dog a full examination.
How can a vet be familiar with all kinds of farm animals (especially large ones) and be the best option to examine a 3 lb puppy as well? Would you take your child to a doctor that wasn't a peditrician and expect the same level of knowledge?
I'm not saying ALL farm vets are bad for pet owners. I'm saying the ones I have encountered would not be my choice. All the things alicat mentions that her vet does - so does mine! And guess what, when I take my dog or puppy in to be examined I know they specialize in small, pet animals. I'm okay with what my vet charges because they really do go above and beyond. They know things about specific dog illnesses that I can't imagine that a vet that also sees cows and horses and sheep would be prepared to diagnose. And an older dying breed of vets? I don't think age should play into it. Would you only see a 60 year old doctor and not go to the 30 year old one?
Let me just throw this at you - to heck with making arrangements for me when my vet leaves town - my vet was in labor with her own baby and called to make sure that my sick dog was okay. That is loyalty and dedication. Do I think there are bad, low quality vets out there? YES! I've met them. I've met ones that jab you unnecessarily. Would I rather pay more to go to a clean, friendly, well managed office, with a vet and techs that have more knowledge concerning DOGS? Heck yes!
My point was that people were pointing folks in the direction of the low cost farm vet saying that they are all good quality and a much better deal and that "city vets" just jab people unnecessarily. This isn't the picture you want to paint. What needs to be said - and what I was trying to say - was that you can't just look at the price of a vet and run the other way because you think you can get something cheaper - and you can't choose a vet because their price is lower than the next one. It needs to be a choice based on merit and comfort level and the knowledge the vet has about dogs and YOUR breed. I wouldn't take my shelties to a vet that deals more with horses OR that knows next to nothing about my breed.
And my final point - don't go to a vet to discuss breeding. Most of them don't know anything about being a responsible breeder because they don't breed themselves. I don't care how horses and cows are bred. If they happen to breed dogs then they are a reliable resource. If they breed your breed, then talk to them - but I had a lady tell me that her vet told her that all breeds of dogs should be able to successfully have puppies unattended and unassisted - or the dogs were unhealthy and had bad genes. Ummm....To start with shelties are one breed that this totally doesn't apply to if you have ever had ONE litter. Vets know medical stuff - but necessarily breeding stuff. Again - it would be like going to an eye doctor to get a mammagram... If you want breeding advice, find someone in the breed already that will help you. Your vet can tell you what is "healthy" for the dog (like not breeding on the first heat cycle) but that's about where the buck stops with MOST vets. Again, there are exceptions to every rule!
The problem that a lot of people have with farm vets is that they are not going to coddle you like a normal vet. If you complain that there first diagnosos is not right then they'll tell you to deal. They don't rush or make a scene about anything eitheir and I know a lot of people that would think my vet is mean because of that. A dog got hit and came in and he let it sit while he finished some other exams up because"if he was going to live he'd be fine another ten minutes". I think most people would flip at that. He also tells you if something is pointless instead of asking for a ton of money. We used to get our exams free for the dogs all the time because he was my horse vet too adn my horse had some problems! His building burned down though and now he has to pay for the new one:(
I love my farm vet but I really don't think they are right for someone that complains about one mis-diagnosis. They'd more than likely freak at the no nonscence stance they often have.
About handing out the medication,I think they don't see us as retarted so if we say we see something they are not going to charge us all the tests to find out.
My vet breed corgis and tried to get me to breed gizzy for years but we never found a suitable stud dog.
I really hate the newer vets around me though. Every time I go I feel cheated and that they have lied to me and given me too much of their opinion and nothing else.
Well Abbylynne you are definatly entitled to your own opinion, but as I said I stand behind my farm vets that I feel have more animal knowledge and common sense in their pinkie fingers than pet vets have in their whole bodies-- at least in our area. My vet is the only one in our area to do ICG homone testing for dogs and he does know a lot about breeding, but I figure it is up to an individual to decide what is good breeding practice... but it is also good to work with a knowledgable vet to help. I don't know about them giving out more meds than other vets, but I can tell you that they DON'T try to rip people off by all sorts of unnecessary test like pet vets tend to do. My vet also knows that I have a lot of knowledge about my own animals and trusts how I am describing any problems they have. My vet also has a very large clientel of pugs, boxers (my breed) and danes. I competely trust him to work on my dogs. Again, if two vets are equal in service, or one provides better service, why would someone pay more?
I think it depends on where you live. There are vets here that are popular because they've been here for a long time but I don't think they're that great.
I found my vet through word of mouth and I love him to death. He is very down to earth and doesn't overcharge. He will do what he thinks is necessary, but the top quality in him is that he has a true love for animals. I think that's what makes a difference. He's been around a while too (nice way of not saying he's getting old) but on the other hand I went to an older vet once and will not go back, so I don't really know if that's it or not.
When Rusty was neutered at the Humane society and kept bleeding and on and on I finally took him to this vet (my first experience with him) he tried to treat him by taking out the stiches and stapling him, he put him on antibiotics. A few days later Rusty had a large swelling and I called right before closing on a Saturday and they said they would wait. I got him there and the vet told me that something was wrong and he was going to have to open up his incision to see for himself. Turns out they had left a sponge in him. Took it out, a round of antibiotics and he's never been sick again. The thing that really impressed me most at that point was that he called me at home and told me what happened, he said everything was fine. He also told me that in all his years of practice, while he had heard of such a thing he had never seen it before. Said he'd mail me a bill. Never did. Now sees all my dogs, and sometimes it is trial and error, but I have complete confidence in him.
So, I suggest you ask around. I don't know where you live, or if it's city or there's a rural area around, but I think references, word of mouth, is the best indicator for you. All vets make mistakes, as do everyone else, but if they truly love animals it will show and you know they will do their best.
The rural vet I took my GSD to be spayed was a butcher. She died 2 days post-op from internal bleeding. I took her back 3 times, leaving her all day once, to check her out.
The last time was at 10pm, he says she has pneumonia, gave her a shot of antibiotic. He refused to give her fluids. She died 2 hours later.
After the fact, people in town started telling me their horror stories about this creep. We were new here, did not know his reputation. Why no one else ever complained, I don't know.
I complained to the state vet board. After nearly 2 years I got a letter saying he "did not meet the standard of care". His punishment, a few remedial classes! He never even said he was sorry! I am thinking of taking him to small claims court. I found a new vet, he is nearly 40 miles away.
Unnecessary testing? If the vet is willing to take YOUR word on what is going on with your animal without seeing it, don't you think if they saw the animal that they could diagnose it without tests? My vet will give me basic stuff on my word as well. But I'm not a fan of vets that just hand out things like metronidizole without even seeing if the dog has a parasite first because the owner says the dog has loose stools. In cases like that I think testing NEEDS to be done to make sure that there isn't something else wrong. (for example, metronidazole doesn't treat coccidia. I know breeder that called her farm vet and told him that her litter of puppies has loose stools and he gave her Metronidazole without even doing a fecal panel. 2 weeks later, after the puppies were in big trouble they discovered it was coccidia instead - a $15 fecal panel at my vet could have saved them the cost of the metro. and they wouldn't have had such sick puppies on their hands).
My vet doesn't do any tests on my dogs unless she explains to me WHY she is doing them and what direction she is heading in with a diagnosis. Then she asks me if I want the test. So IF I choose to do something then it's ME making the decision. I don't know a single vet that just does random testing for no reason? If you find a vet like that, run for the hills! I mean, how many vets will test for heart problems when you say your dog has loose stools...
But come on, who wants a vet that will just lets the pet owner call them and tell them what is wrong with their dog and hand out meds. I completely understand that my vet wants to see the animal before she will give out anything big. What if she gives meds and it turns out to be a different problem? They can get into big trouble for that if the person sues. Why use a vet if you don't want them to do everything the can to make sure your dog is healthy?
What kind of unnecessary tests are you talking about? Because I think it's hard for me to consider your point of view unless I understand what you consider unnecessary. My vet is knowledgable enough that she never orders a test unless she thinks that she is going to get some information towards a diagnosis with it. I've had tests come back negative before. But they were to rule things out that COULD have easily been the problem.
I guess my thing is that my vet doesn't OVER CHARGE me. I know what her supplies, vaccines, ect... cost her and of course she has to make some sort of mark up - but I also know she is cheaper than a lot of other vets in the area who aren't using the same quality vaccines and such. I would be skeptical of WHY another vet could charge less. If they are getting their supplies and such at a lower cost, then that makes sense. If they pay their employees less, that makes sense. If their rent/mortgage on their building is low then that makes sense - but I don't want to pay less at the expense of the level of care my dogs receive.
I agree if you can find two EQUAL vets then go with the cheaper one. But don't choose the cheaper one based on the price alone! BEFORE you find out if he/she is equal to the other spendier one. You sound like you have a great, knowledgable vet, alicat. Good for you. I also have a great, knowledgable vet. I don't know how their prices stack up (that might be interesting to see!) but I don't doubt that we are probably getting similar levels of care for our animals. So I think what we are both saying is check out all kinds of vets and see which one fits YOU!!! Am I right?
I usually hear that the farm vets are not experienced like the city/suburban Vets. They just aren't going to see the same problems. I wouldn't expect a farm dog to get the same treatment as a dog that lives in the city. Dogs in the city live indoors and in close quarters with their family. So they tend to notice problems. Clients that move to the country often will call us and make appointments in the city for their pets. They say things like he was rough with the cat, or didn't solve my problem or "I don't think he new what he was talking about" I was in a small town Vacationing for a week, and I needed to go to the vet. My problem was simple, I even knew the treatment. She was shocked at Leeza's condition, and her age. I talked to one of the staff members about the topic, and there is definetly a difference in care. Its mostly about knowledge, priorities and vet access. Some people just don't see dogs as a priority.(Let alone cats) On the upside, the country vet was willing to open up for me to buy toothpaste, on a Sunday (I think she was shocked by my request)When they were closed and the costs were consideratly lower. And I could call the Vet directly if I needed.
"But come on, who wants a vet that will just lets the pet owner call them and tell them what is wrong with their dog and hand out meds. I completely understand that my vet wants to see the animal before she will give out anything big. What if she gives meds and it turns out to be a different problem? They can get into big trouble for that if the person sues. Why use a vet if you don't want them to do everything the can to make sure your dog is healthy? "
All my dogs are considered farm dogs by me. I have time to go into the vet but a lot of the people aorund me don't some times. There are times of the year when they are up at 4am and to bed 2am. If I say there are worms in my dogs poo I'll get medicine. If I wasn't sure on what it was I'd take him in but three are so many times it is unnecessary. Maybe not so much with my dogs but definately with the horse. I think most of my vets clientel has more animal knowledge anyway. Not only do a lot of us live on cow,pig,chicken,or horse farms but we have gone through a lot of teaching by him.He knows he can not always come out to houses right away or if we are in the office he might be out. I can't explain it to you any better than that. You'd have to live around here to get it I guess.
joce - that makes sense to me. It does. And I can see how for alicat it works as well, because you both KNOW animals. I'm great at being able to guess what is going on with my dogs as well as I have more animal knowledge because I breed - BUT that isn't the best way for the typical pet owner to do things. While breeding I have run into some people that have real common sense deficiencies. If a vet let them decide what was wrong with their animal, the animal would be dead. If you have a "farm vet" that is able to distguish when it is wise to listen to the client and when to tell them to come in - it's a different story. BUT from my experience they sometimes assume too many people have common sense.
People who know animals are different than people who just got their first puppy. The original poster on this thread doesn't sound like they have had 20 dogs in their lifetime. They sound like this is a first or second puppy for them and in that case they need a vet that they can trust won't leave things up to them, but will give them the guidance they need. That was my point.
And again, I must be lucky because my vet will meet me at the clinic at all hours of the day or night (maybe not to get toothpaste... but to look at one of my dogs in a heartbeat).
I would still be curious to see how much someone's "farm vet" charges to see if your idea of expensive is the same as mine.
How much is your office call? How much for a spay/neuter (including pain meds and pre blood work)? How much for a rabies vaccine? How much for a fecal panel (I mean the whole sheband, smear, float, giardia snap test - or you can just put a seperate figure)? Just curious....