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Q: Picking the RIGHT vet for your Pet

July 14, 2009 | By Richard t. | 9 answers | Expired: 1825 days ago

Richard t.

OK this is a good question, How do you find the right vet for your specific pet and know that he/she has the experience to be the best for your pet and and not learning on your dime and time.

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Kelly
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Jul 27, 2009

When I moved here I didn't know any of the vets. I went to Petsmart & just talked to people & one name kept coming up over & over again. After doing further research on the vet & liking what I read, I went to his office & visited with him & his staff. I came away feeling like he deeply cared about the animals & wasn't in it just for the money. As I sat there, I listened to people talk about how he always answered his own phone no matter the hour & how they often saw him at the office after midnight. I was convinced & started taking my pets to him & he really was wonderful. I do rescue & it wasn't long before I was calling him in the middle of the night on a weekend to treat a stray cat that was near death. He never hesitated. When we have sick animals, he call every day to check on them, even on weekends & holidays.

I want to know all I can about a vet BEFORE my pets go through the doors. If I get a bad feeling or I don't like their attitude, I won't use them. If they seem less concerned about the animals & more concerned about making a dollar, I won't use them. I have been to vets where the first question was, "how much do have to spend?" I don't go back to those. I have to feel like the vet AND the staff really care & that they are going to do what is best for my pets.

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Calmhorse96
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Jul 17, 2009

Ask the breeder ar shelter that you got your pet from. I did that withe the bird that i got and the told me about a really nice good vet.

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Linda B.
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Jul 15, 2009

I go mostly by what I see during the visit. I've read good reviews and had recommendations on some vets and didn't like them at all. For example, I have concerns about our local vet school. They take your pet away to examine it, which causes stress for the pet and me - I like knowing what's going on and seeing how they handle my pet. Our vet is very caring - they treat your pet like it's family, which is important to me. They discuss all treatment options - starting with the least invasive procedures. They make sure we have all the information we need to make the right decision. How the office staff interacts is another factor - staff who seem to care about what happens to my animals is an indication of a vet who cares.

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Azzurrapl
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Jul 14, 2009

I agree with everything Debra said. I had a terrible experience with my first Vet over a year ago.
I actually made a list of questions that I asked the Vets that I interviewed before switching to them.
1.) What animals do you have in your home?
2.) Which Vet School did you graduate from? and what practices/societies have you worked for before this one?
3.) What is your philosophy about vaccinations/tithers/giving medicine? What procedures will you do here in the office and where would you refer me to for anything you don't do in house?
4.) Is there a breed that you like the most to work with? (My last Vet made a comment about shelter dogs that didn't go over too well with me. I would hope a Vet wouldn't be stupid enough to actually answer this question...... if they did - I would write them off the list of good candidates)
5.) How friendly is your staff? Is the Office - pet friendly (you wouldn't believe the first Vet I went to had signs all over saying "stay off the grass" - they didn't want you to walk your dog on their property?)
6.) For emergencies - do they have an after hours service? and how long would you have to wait to see a Vet if it were an emergency?
7.) What continuing education do they and their staff take? (This is an important one.... there are advances in pet medicine everyday and some old-time Vets do not keep abreast of them. My trainer was trying to get her Vet to give her dog some medicine for Canine Cognitive Disorder (doggie alzheimers) and her Vet didn't even know what the term meant and refused to call Tufts to find out more? Now, my trainer is going to my Vet - who loves to work with Tufts - Dr. Dodman and his team.)

When I first adopted my puppy - I went to the old vet I used to go to with my older dog.... but they changed Vets and everything was different.... I was made to feel stupid if I asked questions...... They made me feel like they were doing me a favor - Then I HAD to change my paradigm,..... I was doing them a favor paying their fees and accepting mediocre service..... As soon as I did - I was able to call other offices and ask for an office visit to meet my next Vet before subjecting my pet to them. The only thing was- I did pay an office visit to meat about 5 different Vets before choosing my new Vet - which I love. Now, my Vet practice liked my idea so much - they have referral cards that give new clients a free office visit to meet them and give their pet a free wellness exam..... I think that is great marketing.... I have handed out a few of their cards.
There are pros and cons to getting an older Vet with experience - they may have more experience doing the everyday stuff - but they may be close minded about new medical advancements? Some younger Vets who have worked at a Humane Society or Shelter may actually have more experience handling emergency procedures then an older person who has a private practice? So, I think you just have to meet and talk to the Vet you are thinking about going to?
Good Luck finding a new Vet..... if you were close to here - I would bring you to my vet.

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Cheryl
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Jul 14, 2009

http://www.healthypet.com/ might be a start. This is from the American Animal Hospital Association. Word of mouth is excellent...plus take time and interview any veterinarians you are considering.

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Michele Z.
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Jul 14, 2009

.....Is this a trick question to see if anyone mentions doing a service review (vets) search on ZOOTOO??

:)

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Michele Z.
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Jul 14, 2009

In Pennsylvania (and I presume each other state), there is a PA State Board of Veterinary Medicine. By contacting the Administrator, you can find out if a particular veterinarian's card is valid and if s/he is active and in good standing, among other things. This can be used as a preliminary screening device before contacting a vet.

After that, I think you need to actually see and hear the vet in practice to decide if you want to continue at that office. And, of course, "word of mouth" (as others pointed out) is useful.

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DevilDawg
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Jul 14, 2009

WORD of mouth around here !!

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Debra B.
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Jul 14, 2009

I will visit the vet clinic and speak with staff and the vet before I make a decision. I rely somewhat on personal recommendations of others, but like to check out the clinic on my own. Since I have so many cats, I want the vet to be cat knowledgeable and hopefully like cats, and has to be a caring individual. I ask where they went to vet school. A vet needs to be more than medically competent, he/she needs to have great people skills because it is the people that bring the pets to him.her, not the animal that makes the decision of where to get health care. I ask what percentage of the practice is treating cats. I also want to know what lab work is done in house and what is sent out. I ask what is the cost of a standard yearly wellness exam with vaccinations for a cat.
My current vet is more of a dog than a cat person. He is young and very well trained on current techniques and procedures. He has a gorgeous, well lit, new clinic and good vet techs. Mostly improtantly, his clinic has no ammonia smell from urine! The receptionist also needs to be a friendly and helpul person. Nothing is mroe of a turn off to me than a front office person with lousy front office personality.
I prefer a solo practicioner to a group vet setting as I like to see the same vet at each visit. Bottom line is that the vet and I must develop a good, respectful working relationship in order for me to continue bringing my cats to that clinic.

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