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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2009
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    574

    Default Why oh why do vets not LISTEN????

    Took Casey the 8 year old boxer to the vet today with the request that they give him a good check up because there is something not quite right about him.

    For the last six months, he's been STARVING. To the point that he's stealing food from the counters, the other animals, me, etc. That is new for him. He's always been a good eater, but now he's obsessed with food.

    Last year, we moved from Maryland to Florida, and he started having skin problems. We came to the conclusing that he's allergic to Florida, and we do periodically (two to three times a week during the summer ONLY) give him steroids to help keep him from digging himself bloody. He hasn't had steroids for about 7 months, just starting to get itchy now that it's pollinating again.

    We also found out when we got to the vet that he has lost 5 pounds. In tip top condition, with hints of the last rib showing, Casey was 63#'s. Today he's 57. I don't notice a huge difference in his condition, but dang, that's a pretty big weight loss.

    Vet looks him over. I told him about his grade 2 heart murmer, he didn't mention it to me. He said he looks good on physical (I actually agree...other than the skin). He didn't think bloodwork was warrented. Basically, he thinks I'm being paranoid, but I know my dog. He's not being normal. I had to insist that he do a senior panel with a thyroid check. I had to insist they check his urine. And do a fecal.

    Why don't they listen. I understand the dog in their clinic right now looks good, he's in a healthy weight, he's alert, bright, and friendly. But when the owner is telling you something is wrong, could you please just listen to me. As an owner, I should not have to insist on a geriatric workup. *sigh*

    Sorry for my vent, but it's aggravating. This was a new vet at the clinic I have been going to, and I think I'll ask not to see him again. I don't mind advocating for my pets, but I hate being treated like I'm stupid and paranoid.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
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    17,734

    Default

    If your vet makes you feel stupid and paranoid, then it's time for a new vet. No question. FWIW, I think you're absolutely spot on with the bloodwork and other diagnostics. I would want that, too.

    I know it can be really rough to find a good one. Maybe if you post exactly where you are, people here might have some suggestions?

    I feel really lucky to have an assortment of top notch vets that know me and my pets well. It's taken a long time to find them all, and I can't even imagine moving and having to start all over!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
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    I've always been lucky in that my vets listen to me when I say, "I don't know. He/she is just.not.right." One of my vets told me that no matter what they felt on initial diagnosis, if the owner said something wasn't right they took a good, hard look.

    Sadly, every time I'm taken a cat in for something that was just not right, it was bad, very bad.
    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
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    Default

    63-57lbs is a fairly insignificant weight loss. As long as it isnt "trending" down, its very very common to fluctuate +/- 10lbs in large breed dogs. Especially as scales can differ and frequently be off calibration. I would re-weight in 2 months.

    Did your vet flat out refuse to do bloodwork, or tell you they didnt feel it was needed at that point? Most vets offer to do it, but some get so flamed by clients who say they are just money grabbing that they dont offer gold standard diagnostics to seemingly healthy animals.

    Increased hunger isnt often a common complaint in most dogs unless they have cushings...but since your dog has a history of steroids it may not be unreasonable to test for it. Usually they do have a potty abdomen and increased thirst as well though. Hyperthyroidism isnt super common in dogs but in cats it can also increase hunger. Hopefully the bloodwork will give you a clue as to whats going on!


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,111

    Default

    I don't know if that's necessarily a problem. Is this vet's style different from your last vet's? I take my pets to a mixed practice...they handle the large farm animals here as well as small pet animals. They are very practical and, yes, they don't order testing on well looking animals without a specific request. That's why I chose them.

    My old dog is a 16 year old ACD mix. She has some pretty serious arthritis, but otherwise is doing pretty well for her, very advanced, age. Last time I took her to the vet's I asked for, and recieved, bloodwork. I personally want to know how her major organs are doing and whether the chronic Adequan and Previcox I'm giving her is causing any damage. Vet pretty much thinks, "Old dog looks good and happy enough, no need for expensive testing".

    The vet didn't order the bloodwork of their own volition, but they did it when I asked for it and didn't make me feel silly about it. I don't have a problem with that at all. That's why I chose this vet, they are very conservative on ordering tests. BTW, as the vet suspected, the bloodwork turned up nothing of concern...she's still very healthy despite being extremely lame, even with treatment. She's just plain old, but very healthy otherwise.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
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    1,345

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    That's one thing I like about my vet. He doesn't jump into every test available, but he does listen and if you have a request he'll either go ahead with it or explain why he doesn't think it's correct. I've left practices before that treated me like an idiot. And I've trusted vets who insisted I was wrong and it killed my dog. Never again.

    StG


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Default

    that's really not a significant weight loss. One of my dogs can easily lose 5 pounds in a weekend of trialing, and then gain it back during the next week. If the dog has lost weight and is acting hungry, I'd suggest feeding him more/differently, not doing bloodwork. Older dogs tend to have more difficulty digesting foods, and have an increased need for dietary protein and fat, so look at what you are feeding instead of getting cranky with the vet. Older dogs should be fed a very high protein moderate fat diet, and may benefit from probiotics.

    Also one of the side effects of steroids is increased, frantic appetite, so that may be what you are observing.

    Most of the nasty illnesses of older dogs cause loss of appetite, not increased hunger. And 8 is barely middle-aged, not old.
    Last edited by wendy; Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:31 PM.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2009
    Location
    Central, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
    Did your vet flat out refuse to do bloodwork, or tell you they didnt feel it was needed at that point? Most vets offer to do it, but some get so flamed by clients who say they are just money grabbing that they dont offer gold standard diagnostics to seemingly healthy animals.
    This
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
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    2,906

    Default

    Try another vet, and sound them out about their approach. Like owners, they all have opinions about the appropriate care for various things; some are much happier with being aggressive, some are much happier taking a wait-and-see approach. The best probably manage to combine the two, and work with the owner's style despite their own.

    I think if the appointment is a NQR situation, the vet should go in knowing the owner leans toward the aggressive side of the spectrum. NQR is not something that generally strikes the wait-and-see people as worthy of a vet visit.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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    13,290

    Default

    Long term use of steroids can cause steroid induced cushings. The ravenous hunger reminds me of my brother's dog that had it. I'd go to a different vet, if you aren't comfortable with the one you usually use, and ask for a full blood panel and cushings test.

    Do you notice increased thirst? Random panting or restlessness?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    Sometimes you have to shop for vets to find one that fits with your pet management style. I ran into the same thing when we moved here...the first three vets we tried were just too laid back for me. When I pay for an exam and vaccinations, I expect an exam, for instance.

    I now have a great small animal vet and equine vet. Both know when I say that my guys "Ain't doing right", an actual veterinary term , that something is going on. My senior dog gets the senior panel every year, all the dogs get a fecal at their yearly check-up and my cocker with a history of calcium oxalate stones gets an ultrasound every year. Just part of the checkup.

    I lost my cocker to blastomycosis several years ago because a vet didn't listen...find yourself a new vet OP.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2001
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    Here and there
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    I second those that say find a new vet. You know your dog best, and if something is NQR, you're going to know it. I have vets in 4 states because of my traveling, and they all know me well enough that if I say something is wrong, they start digging to find out what because there really is something wrong. The first time one refuses to do so is the last time they'll see me.
    Not all who wander are lost.

    Ralando II


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2010
    Location
    PNW
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    309

    Default

    I third, fourth or whatever those that are saying find a new vet. It does not sound like you are being unreasonable at all, and your concerns are being poo-pooed. I hate having my concerns poo-pooed....

    We have tried multiple vets over the years until we finally found one that was straight and to the point while addressing our concerns. For instance, one of our dogs was just plain acting weird, and it got the point where we were really worried about him. The vet checked him thoroughly after listening to us describe what was happening, gave us the option of a blood and urine workup although did say he would be surprised if anything showed up, and suggested that if the workup did not show anything that this could be a mental issue. We decided to do the workup which all ended up being perfect so the vet was right, mental issue.

    The other type of vet I can't tolerate are the ones that think you should do every last test and every last treatment while making sure you know you are a horrible person if you choose not to (ummm, not everyone is a millionaire vet person). Grrr...



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHotSensitiveType View Post
    .

    The other type of vet I can't tolerate are the ones that think you should do every last test and every last treatment while making sure you know you are a horrible person if you choose not to (ummm, not everyone is a millionaire vet person). Grrr...
    Yes, that's what I like about my vet too. We discuss how much a test is going to cost, if there it's necessary and if there is a way to keep the cost down. For example, with the cocker with stones, we could have done a urine test, but since she's had surgery twice (with a previous owner), we decided it was best to do the ultrasound.

    Somewhere there has to be a happy medium.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
    Location
    Tampa Fl.
    Posts
    4,042

    Default

    I did not read all of the posts, but I want to address the outdoor allergies. Give your boxer half a tablespoon or so of LOCAL RAW HONEY. I don't know where you are in Florida, but I am over in Tampa and I use Eden's Nectar. They collect honey from their co-op of bee keepers several times during the year and separate the seasons. They have Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Riley, my boxer cross somethingorother have horrible outdoor allergies to the point where you can't touch him because he is so itchy. He will break out in hives, get stinky ears and lick his pads/paws.

    The oak pollen is killer right now and I actually started the Spring honey a few weeks early to help him. He gets it once a day in his breakfast.

    Check out your natural health food store for RAW LOCAL honey.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    I understand how you feel. My old dog had a sore on her stomach and I took her to the vet 3 times over 6 months. The vet said my dog must have scratched herself on something and now its infected. Antibiotics didnt do anything and I kept coming back it. I felt a lump behind the sore and the vet said it was from the infection. I begged him to aspirate the lump to see what it was and he wouldnt.

    I went to a different vet and within the first minute, he said it wasnt an infection, it was a tumor and it needed to come out. Surgery was the next day and they found two cancerous tumors. I found a new vet and it sounds like you need to do the same. I hope you figure out the cause of your dog's hunger.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2011
    Posts
    981

    Default

    I think vets often get the frantic owner who wants every test done every time Fluffy sneezes, too, and that makes them -- cynical?

    My vets have always been wonderful, but I did have to prove to my newest one that I knew what I was talking about. I came home to find blood all over the paddock and one of the geldings standing there with blood spurting out just above the hoof wall. Called new vet (emergency call) and he said, "Oh, probably just a vein. But I'll come out. (sigh)." He got there, unwrapped my emergency bandage, and said, "Wow, he did hit the artery, didn't he?" He's never doubted me since.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2012
    Location
    Wairarapa New Zealand
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    373

    Default

    I have an incredibly timid little BC bitch who is very very very wary of strangers - particularly those that she hasnt met yet . When I go to the vet with her for anything other than normal injections (where she wears a soft muzzle and is carried in my arms), I take videos of what she is doing/behaving etc - IPADs are great. Trying to diagnose her with clinical assessment only is incredibly difficult. Is the dog vet I use the best? By no means and I do question him on a number of issues. Is he the best for my timid BC? Yes, by a long shot! He is a big and jovial man that genuinely loves the animals that he is treating. He gets down on their level and most dogs run/limp/waddle to him. Little Jimmy even licked his nose on the 3rd visit to him . We cried - honestly, we did. Seriously, we cried - it was such an achievement for her to accept someone touching her in a willing manner in such a short # of visits.

    OP - I would take a deep breath, step back and review how it was said. IF the vet just said "Nah, no need, you are just being silly/stupid/etc- he's fine!", then yes, get another small animal vet. If he said "well, dogs this size can, in my experience, lose/gain weight quickly. I would certainly be concerned if this was a little dog ...", then he is probably just trying to save you some $s and heart-ache of waiting waiting waiting for those test results.

    Sometimes, you have to be happy with the vet you've got - maybe he is right. (I always introduce myself to a new vet by "well, you can tell me I am being stupid/paranoid/whatever - but you better have a very good reason expressed very well".
    Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
    Posts
    1,233

    Default

    I absolutely knew something was not right with my old sheltie. His usually
    nice hair coat wasn't growing back as quickly, and he was getting thin in
    spite of having always been a pork chop puppy. Nothing horrible, but
    I knew something wasn't right.

    Took me until the 3rd vet and vet practice to find out what was going on.
    My new vet routinely does a full blood panel, including thyroid and quite
    a few other things that I don't remember, on senior dogs. They call it a
    geriatric panel. It runs about $300. Anyway, they suggested I have this
    done, then possibly more tests if warrented (cushings, diabetes, etc.).

    Turns out that my boy's thyroid wasn't working. At all. That is a very
    easy fix - he was on thyroid meds for the remainder of his life (several years)
    at the cost of $18/ month. Took a bit of fiddling and re-testing to the get the dose
    just right, but his condition improved dramatically within a few months.

    So as other have said, I'd go get another opinion. I found out about
    vet #3 from a very good friend of mine who is a small-scale breeder.

    I would ask people who you respect and who know what they're doing
    with dogs who they use, and go from there. Heck maybe someone here
    can point you in the right direction. If you find a potential big problem early,
    it's a lot easier to do something about it.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2008
    Location
    now in KCMO, and plan to stay there
    Posts
    3,157

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arrows Endure View Post
    Took Casey the 8 year old boxer to the vet today with the request that they give him a good check up because there is something not quite right about him.

    For the last six months, he's been STARVING. To the point that he's stealing food from the counters, the other animals, me, etc. That is new for him. He's always been a good eater, but now he's obsessed with food.

    You definitely need a new Vet. That 'starving' seems like a diabetes symptom to me. FYI, even if a Vet does not believe blood work is needed YOU can insist upon it.

    Last year, we moved from Maryland to Florida, and he started having skin problems. We came to the conclusing that he's allergic to Florida, and we do periodically (two to three times a week during the summer ONLY) give him steroids to help keep him from digging himself bloody. He hasn't had steroids for about 7 months, just starting to get itchy now that it's pollinating again.

    We also found out when we got to the vet that he has lost 5 pounds. In tip top condition, with hints of the last rib showing, Casey was 63#'s. Today he's 57. I don't notice a huge difference in his condition, but dang, that's a pretty big weight loss.

    Vet looks him over. I told him about his grade 2 heart murmer, he didn't mention it to me. He said he looks good on physical (I actually agree...other than the skin). He didn't think bloodwork was warrented. Basically, he thinks I'm being paranoid, but I know my dog. He's not being normal. I had to insist that he do a senior panel with a thyroid check. I had to insist they check his urine. And do a fecal.

    Why don't they listen. I understand the dog in their clinic right now looks good, he's in a healthy weight, he's alert, bright, and friendly. But when the owner is telling you something is wrong, could you please just listen to me. As an owner, I should not have to insist on a geriatric workup. *sigh*

    Sorry for my vent, but it's aggravating. This was a new vet at the clinic I have been going to, and I think I'll ask not to see him again. I don't mind advocating for my pets, but I hate being treated like I'm stupid and paranoid.
    You definitely need a new Vet. That 'starving' seems like a diabetes symptom to me. FYI, even if a Vet does not believe blood work is needed YOU can insist upon it.
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



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