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  1. #1
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    Default Disconnect at the vet

    I recently had an experience with a vet and was wondering if anyone else ever has stuff like this happen. I took my 8 year old Shiba Inu in to have his toe looked at. He got a insect bite and it formed a small cyst over the period of a weekend. He also had developed reflux either from the pain or from licking at it constantly. My normal vet was not in the office that day, and I had never met the one who looked at my dog.

    It turned out the cyst needed to be removed, requiring anesthesia, so my dog had all the pre-requisite blood work and tests done. His health was described to me as that of a "puppy" and the vet was very impressed how great all the tests came back. He was in, "beautiful shape. His teeth are fantastic!"
    We talked a bit about the reflux, and here is where the disconnect began. She asked what I fed him. Red flags started going off because they push Science Diet. I feed raw and free feed kibble. I admit, I took the easy way out...
    "Orijen", I said.
    "Never heard of it." she said.
    I rattled off several other "premium" brands I used, none of which she'd heard of.
    "You should feed him Science Diet. It's better."

    Um...

    "So what you're saying is that my "senior" dog has the body of a puppy, is, in your own words "gorgeous", but I should change what I'm doing because...?"

    She did not have an answer to this other than to claim that Science Diet had "science" behind it.
    It also has powdered cellulose and peanut hulls as main ingredients.

    "What's the nutritional value of peanut hulls?" I asked. I couldn't help it. I was in a mood by then.
    She changed the subject quickly.

    The new vet and I took my dog into the back. He had to spend the night, so I put him in the cage while she fixed him some food. She fixed him Science Diet. It looked like solidified oatmeal - and not in a "Yum! That looks hearty!" kind of way.
    I said, "He won't eat that."
    "Oh, they all eat it." she said.
    Well, he didn't eat it.
    My dog sniffed it, licked it (once), backed away, charged the bowl to knock it over, buried it under a towel, and then peed on it. Very Shiba.
    I only wish I had filmed it and sent the testimonial to Hills.

    If you can't tell, I dislike vets who push food because they get paid to do so. (Edit: This part is a joke. She acted like she was being paid by Hills. Sorry if I implied all vets get paid by Hills.) Especially ones that tell me I'm doing everything right and then suggest I should change what I'm doing.

    My other vet tells me he hates raw because "well, his teeth are spotless, and he looks awesome, but raw gives them worms."
    My dog has never been positive for worms. It's so bizarre.
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  2. #2
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    Sometimes you just have to smile and nod, especially when you are not seeing your regular vet. I would invent some food allergies that would prevent him from eating their food, or a gastric sensitivity.

    I do love how your dog conveyed that the food was not acceptable!



  3. #3
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    Perhaps if you wanted your dog to eat a non-SD food, you should've brought it with you?

    Vet clinics (and boarding kennels, etc) cannot be expected to carry every type of dog food -- they don't have the space, nor the cash for that kind of overhead. Most carry Science Diet because they also carry Hills Prescription foods. Sure, they could carry Orijen, but then the folks that feed Wellness would be upset.

    I hardly consider her offering your dog the "house" food to be "pushing food because she was getting paid to do so."

    Kind of like when you're in the hospital...you eat what they serve you (if you can bear it). Some folks don't mind...some do...and some don't have an appetite at all because they're in a strange place.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotGait View Post
    I recently had an experience with a vet and was wondering if anyone else ever has stuff like this happen. I took my 8 year old Shiba Inu in to have his toe looked at. He got a insect bite and it formed a small cyst over the period of a weekend. He also had developed reflux either from the pain or from licking at it constantly. My normal vet was not in the office that day, and I had never met the one who looked at my dog.

    It turned out the cyst needed to be removed, requiring anesthesia, so my dog had all the pre-requisite blood work and tests done. His health was described to me as that of a "puppy" and the vet was very impressed how great all the tests came back. He was in, "beautiful shape. His teeth are fantastic!"
    We talked a bit about the reflux, and here is where the disconnect began. She asked what I fed him. Red flags started going off because they push Science Diet. I feed raw and free feed kibble. I admit, I took the easy way out...
    "Orijen", I said.
    "Never heard of it." she said.
    I rattled off several other "premium" brands I used, none of which she'd heard of.
    "You should feed him Science Diet. It's better."

    Um...

    "So what you're saying is that my "senior" dog has the body of a puppy, is, in your own words "gorgeous", but I should change what I'm doing because...?"

    She did not have an answer to this other than to claim that Science Diet had "science" behind it.
    It also has powdered cellulose and peanut hulls as main ingredients.

    "What's the nutritional value of peanut hulls?" I asked. I couldn't help it. I was in a mood by then.
    She changed the subject quickly.

    The new vet and I took my dog into the back. He had to spend the night, so I put him in the cage while she fixed him some food. She fixed him Science Diet. It looked like solidified oatmeal - and not in a "Yum! That looks hearty!" kind of way.
    I said, "He won't eat that."
    "Oh, they all eat it." she said.
    Well, he didn't eat it.
    My dog sniffed it, licked it (once), backed away, charged the bowl to knock it over, buried it under a towel, and then peed on it. Very Shiba.
    I only wish I had filmed it and sent the testimonial to Hills.

    If you can't tell, I dislike vets who push food because they get paid to do so. Especially ones that tell me I'm doing everything right and then suggest I should change what I'm doing.

    My other vet tells me he hates raw because "well, his teeth are spotless, and he looks awesome, but raw gives them worms."
    My dog has never been positive for worms. It's so bizarre.

    Good for you - and your dog - for standing your ground. How interesting that the vet wasn't prepared to discuss the nutritional content of peanut hulls.



  5. #5
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    We ran into a disconnect at the small animal vet over Prozac. I have a cat with food and pollen allergies. They wouldn't believe that was the reason she was itching and pulling out her fur, and wanted to prescribe her Prozac for separation anxiety, which she would stay on for the duration of her life. Sold to me by them. She was 4 years old. No matter how many times I suggested allergies, they went right back to Prozac.

    A couple of trial food changes later, the itching stopped and her coat became absolutely gorgeous and remains so to this day! No Prozac needed. We have not gone back since.

    Signed:
    Totally Turned Off.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/



  6. #6
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    Its up to you what you feed your dog, and your vet shouldnt have pushed the subject. However, just be aware that many dogs are NOT ALLOWED to be in boarding facilities or will be in isolation at vet clinics if they are known to be on a raw food diet. We do not allow any clients to bring in raw food for the safety of the staff, and if they are on raw food they are kept in the isolation ward with proper safety protocols. The reason behind this is that there are sick animals in hospital, and the chance of a raw food fed animal to carry salmonella is very high. We cant risk the other patients getting sick from these dogs.

    That being said - sure, I drop a raw piece of chicken and my dog gobbles it up before hitting the ground. Shes healthy and fine.

    And my old german sheppard lived to 15 on science diet dry - I believe it to be a wonderful food with years and years of medical research behind it.

    Each to their own - and really, if you dog is old and happy keep doing what you are doing.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Can I just say that as I vet, I don't get paid by Hill's!! I don't know WHERE this myth is perpetuated...



  8. #8
    GotGait is offline Advanced Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben and Me View Post
    Perhaps if you wanted your dog to eat a non-SD food, you should've brought it with you?
    Nah, I didn't care about that part at all. He can eat SD for one night - or Pedigree which is what I think he ended up eating. It won't kill him. I disagreed with her trying to completely change my entire diet regimen after telling me he was fantastic. If it ain't broke don't fix it, right?

    It didn't stop with this one visit either. I didn't finish the story. She had him on tons of meds to control his reflux, told me he'd probably be on Reglan for the rest of his life, yada, yada, yada...

    We went home and I took his kibble away for a few days until his throat healed up (raw only). Reflux was gone in 24 hours. I took all the meds back when I took the dog back for a recheck and she said he was doing awesome, but that I should get some SD I/D for his reflux - that he no longer had. WTF?



  9. #9
    GotGait is offline Advanced Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
    Can I just say that as I vet, I don't get paid by Hill's!! I don't know WHERE this myth is perpetuated...
    Ok, paid isn't correct. When I was a vet tech, I got discounts or free bags of the Hills products we carried. This new vet was just such a "true believer" I got caught up in the hyperbole. It was supposed to be a bit of a joke, but I don't want to perpetuate a myth.



  10. #10
    GotGait is offline Advanced Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
    Its up to you what you feed your dog, and your vet shouldnt have pushed the subject. However, just be aware that many dogs are NOT ALLOWED to be in boarding facilities or will be in isolation at vet clinics if they are known to be on a raw food diet. We do not allow any clients to bring in raw food for the safety of the staff, and if they are on raw food they are kept in the isolation ward with proper safety protocols. The reason behind this is that there are sick animals in hospital, and the chance of a raw food fed animal to carry salmonella is very high. We cant risk the other patients getting sick from these dogs.
    Interesting. What about the "dehydrated raw"?
    I'm not a raw fanatic. I switch back and forth quite a bit, but I stick with what works for my dog. He definitely can't handle grains. It ends explosively.



  11. #11
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    Ditto that we vets don't get paid one bloody red cent by Hills, or any other company. Apparently that vet's opinion was very positive for Hills' foods. And as for discounts? Don't know how that one clinic did it cuz we sure don't. If you buy what they call kennel bags, they are cheaper due the volume and more generic packaging. But they are clearly labled as not for resale. If Hills finds out that employees are buying kennel bags for their own use, there will be repurcutions from Hills.

    Which food a practice feeds is a personal choice. One practice cannot possibly carry every brand known to man. We pick one and stick with it.

    I am not a big fan of raw diets. But no, they don't give dogs worms. Unless he is talking about trichamonas.

    Dog food companies, at least the big ones, spend alot of money on determining what needs to be in a dog's diet. Dogs are not people, not cats, not horses, etc. But they are omnivores. ie not strict carnivores. Not all foods are created equal, despite what labels may or may not say. BUT if you have a dog that has been a particular food for a long time and is doing well, don't change it unless there is a reason to change it? I know dogs that do very well on Walmart's brand of dog "food". Would I change them to Iams, etc just cuz? No. (Well, I would if they were my dog but I won't push the owner to.)

    And if pet is on a particular diet, for whatever reason, and it is going to have to stay somewhere, it is a good idea to bring some of its food. However, it the dog was having anesthesia tomorrow, it would be off food overnight anyway. And missing a meal or 2 is not the end of the world in dogs. Cats are another story but dogs can go forever without eating.



  12. #12
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    Wow, coincidentally,when I took my JRT pup to my vet yesterday, she asked what I was feeding. I replied Purina ProPlan, as thats what the breeder fed and she gave me a bag and I dont mess w/baby puppy food until we are sure all is well, but I'd be switching. She got all fired up telling me how Purina, SciDi, Iams do all the research, and how PPP is a great food. FINE...but as I told her, 3 dogs I've known since puppyhood (all now over 12 y o) have eaten PPP since pups, and all have dull coats. Vet happens to be vet of all 3, so she could not disagree. Then again, I pointed out to her that a beautifully-coated red Golden we both knew from 8 wks. to 12 y o ate Purina Dog Chow or Fit n' Trim all her life....go figure.



  13. #13
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    I agree that Science Diet is an overpriced food for the actual ingredients it contains. My vet had pushed it when I had my first cat of my own, so I fed it for years. He stayed HUGE on his special SD light... I finally did some research and was kind of shocked at SD and changed brands (fat kitteh did lose some weight on a wet grain-free diet but not a ton, but we had NO more urinary tract issues after the switch, which was HUGE). I mean, if they charged half the price, maybe. I think perhaps the food snobbery sometimes goes too far, but I feed stuff I think is good (and it is a tad pricey), and my pets do well on it.

    Anyway, I haven't been to a vet's office in awhile that doesn't have SD on the shelves (and pretty much only SD), so there's certainly a reason the "vets love SD" stereotype is out there... I hear Hills does a lot of nutrition clinics at vet schools and such, but have no first hand knowledge (not being a vet, and not being in vet school, haha).

    I don't think vets should be expected to be experts on nutrition or behavior unless they've done the advanced schooling in those areas. Similarly, I don't expect my GP doc to be an expert in all things human. So when my vet says, "Have you considered SD?" (which hasn't happened in awhile), I usually just say, "Yes, I used to feed it, but I've found another food that suits my pet better." If they want to hear about my research and sources, I'll tell them, but otherwise, I just leave it.

    Another thing: my dad has always stressed the importance of "knowing your body" when talking to your doc. Yes, your doctor has the medical knowledge, but they can't know your body as well as you do. So you have to help them. Same with your pets. You see them for hours and hours each day, and an observant owner can tell when something just isn't right. Most vets (and human doctors) respect that and are willing to work with you if you are willing to have a respectful dialogue with them. I always try to be well researched and informed for my medical visits without being too "know it all" smug = ) That being said, I also try to use doctors and vets that are willing to be respectful with me as well, haha. No use for smugness on either side.



  14. #14
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    I've had a similar problem - my old dog has an extremely sensitive stomach and even has issues with the sensitive stomach dog food. I've tried many different kinds, and long ago came to the conclusion that I should just cook for my guys. Rice, ground beef, and veggies, and no problems. Anything else ? EXPLOSIVE poo all over, and a miserable pup. Anyway, several vets of the years have wanted me to switch to a manufactured food - 'because he might not be getting good nutrition' . But if you look at my guys, their bloodwork comes back good, they are in good weight, not heavy or skinny, have bright eyes, shiny coats, and waggy tails (oldest pup is 16!) . So I'd say that what I'm doing is working.



  15. #15
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    Worked in a clinic for a number of years. Did all the (old) Hills nutrition training. We actually got a 50 cent per hour raise for every level we completed! LOL And, for full disclosure, I actually worked as a rep for SD for a time when I was dead broke.

    As far as the regular SD, I think there are other foods that are better, but SD is by far better than anything you get out of the grocery store. And to do raw WELL takes a lot of effort--effort that some people just don't put into it--hence giving it a bad name.

    I had been seriously researching some other foods for my dog (then a 6YO lab) who had been on SD his whole life (yeah, I drank the koolaid). Just when I had chosen the new food, (Nutro) there was the whole contamination thing and two of my friends' dogs died as a result.

    So I decided that if my dog was doing great on X then by goodness, I'd just stay on X.

    All that said, I do think that the Hills Prescription diets are pretty rockstar. And I think that, more than anything else, is why so many veterinarians stock Hills. Veterinarians don't get kick backs. But it's a hell of a lot easier to get client/owner compliance for a special diet when you can hand them a can of I/D or S/D than it is to ask them to concoct their own home brew. Which in turn, is likely better for the critter in question.

    I'm sorry you had that experience. Most of the vets I know assess the individual. If all is looking good, food isn't even discussed (though it's always part of the initial exam questioning)
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotGait View Post
    I recently had an experience with a vet and was wondering if anyone else ever has stuff like this happen. I took my 8 year old Shiba Inu in to have his toe looked at. He got a insect bite and it formed a small cyst over the period of a weekend. He also had developed reflux either from the pain or from licking at it constantly. My normal vet was not in the office that day, and I had never met the one who looked at my dog.

    It turned out the cyst needed to be removed, requiring anesthesia, so my dog had all the pre-requisite blood work and tests done. His health was described to me as that of a "puppy" and the vet was very impressed how great all the tests came back. He was in, "beautiful shape. His teeth are fantastic!"
    We talked a bit about the reflux, and here is where the disconnect began. She asked what I fed him. Red flags started going off because they push Science Diet. I feed raw and free feed kibble. I admit, I took the easy way out...
    "Orijen", I said.
    "Never heard of it." she said.
    I rattled off several other "premium" brands I used, none of which she'd heard of.
    "You should feed him Science Diet. It's better."

    Um...

    "So what you're saying is that my "senior" dog has the body of a puppy, is, in your own words "gorgeous", but I should change what I'm doing because...?"

    She did not have an answer to this other than to claim that Science Diet had "science" behind it.
    It also has powdered cellulose and peanut hulls as main ingredients.

    "What's the nutritional value of peanut hulls?" I asked. I couldn't help it. I was in a mood by then.
    She changed the subject quickly.

    The new vet and I took my dog into the back. He had to spend the night, so I put him in the cage while she fixed him some food. She fixed him Science Diet. It looked like solidified oatmeal - and not in a "Yum! That looks hearty!" kind of way.
    I said, "He won't eat that."
    "Oh, they all eat it." she said.
    Well, he didn't eat it.
    My dog sniffed it, licked it (once), backed away, charged the bowl to knock it over, buried it under a towel, and then peed on it. Very Shiba.
    I only wish I had filmed it and sent the testimonial to Hills.

    If you can't tell, I dislike vets who push food because they get paid to do so. (Edit: This part is a joke. She acted like she was being paid by Hills. Sorry if I implied all vets get paid by Hills.) Especially ones that tell me I'm doing everything right and then suggest I should change what I'm doing.

    My other vet tells me he hates raw because "well, his teeth are spotless, and he looks awesome, but raw gives them worms."
    My dog has never been positive for worms. It's so bizarre.
    This is very funny, especially the charging the bowl, burying it under a towel and peeing on it. I have been thinking I might want a Shiba. Maybe you can duplicate this and put it up on youtube under Hill's Diet Palatability Test. I hope your dog comes through this visit with this "expert". Man I really despise some vets.
    "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK



  17. #17
    GotGait is offline Advanced Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calamber View Post
    This is very funny, especially the charging the bowl, burying it under a towel and peeing on it. I have been thinking I might want a Shiba. Maybe you can duplicate this and put it up on youtube under Hill's Diet Palatability Test. I hope your dog comes through this visit with this "expert". Man I really despise some vets.
    She was a fine vet other than her sales rep tactics. She was a newer vet at that office and I had never met her before. But, I even told her my dog did not tolerate grain and that SD was loaded with them. I thought that would be reason enough why I would not want to switch food.

    Shiba Inu are interesting. It's like they are a cat trapped in a dog's body - which makes them a bit disgruntled. So if you don't mind hard headed animals, the Shiba Inu is an ok choice. Otherwise, they will make you pull your hair out. Oh, and they scream when they don't get their way.



  18. #18
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    I personally didn't like the hard sell on Science Diet at the previous vet office either. They were obviously getting the profits because they were retailing it. I think it has it's place if you animal does well on it, but shoving it on a pet owner that has an animal doing well on another plan is not right.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  19. #19
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    I've had a zillion dogs in my life. All have lived full, happy, healthy lives on good old Blue Seal Natural 26 (from the feed store) and table/people food bits. I think, in the odd case, supplements, fancy dog food, etc. can be useful. I've used meds at times toward the end. I do not think you need more than decent food, plenty of exercise/fresh air, people goodies, a bed and lots of TLC for the average, reasonably healthy pet.

    For our spring shots I was pushed all sorts of supplements. Not a one of our dogs is currently over 6 or has any health issues. It's just the name of the game these days. I usually just nod my head and leave saying "I'll think about it".



  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=BuddyRoo;5623582]All that said, I do think that the Hills Prescription diets are pretty rockstar. And I think that, more than anything else, is why so many veterinarians stock Hills. Veterinarians don't get kick backs. But it's a hell of a lot easier to get client/owner compliance for a special diet when you can hand them a can of I/D or S/D than it is to ask them to concoct their own home brew. Which in turn, is likely better for the critter in question.
    QUOTE]

    Actually the biggest reason the clinic I work for doesn't sell any Hills is because they don't stand behind it. Royal Canin makes diets for all the same conditions, but if you buy a bag and Fluffy doesn't eat it bring it back! It's taste guaranteed, and since their food trials involve more than just a bunch of Beagles we have found most pets are far more willing to eat it!

    Of course, we also carry Iams/Eukanuba, as well as having a variety of raw diets and books on home cooked meals for different medical conditions, so I guess we're a lot more open in that sense than the clinics you guys are all discussing.

    Katherine
    Vet Tech



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