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what is important to you in a vet practice?

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Have you asked your horse vet? I feel your pain![/QUOTE]

    Thanks yellow! I ask EVERYONE! It's been a real education in that one of the horse vets that I use, was a small animal vet. One of the small animal vets that I use, was a large animal vet. Huh? In my great ignorance, I guess I thought that there was large animal vet school and then small animal vet school. Dumb eh? Soooo, I would think that ideally, if a vet has been in practice for 20 years, you'd want all of that experience to be in the genre of animal that you are bringing into the practice for treatment? Also, I start out well with the vets, but then I get in trouble because I'm really really dedicated to procuring the best possible care for animals that have sometimes been in my life for up to 28 years (the horses) and because so many mistakes (not discounting the wonderful help received as well...) have been made, that I have a lot of questions and I look up stuff on the internet, and then I have more questions. Then they say don't look up stuff on the internet, it will just scare you. True enough, and though I try to be respectful, I know I am a pain with all of the questions and angst.

    Also, how do you sort out the Caribbean vet school issue?? I've had bad luck with a young vet with a degree from one, good luck with another. Both lovely, lovely people. Can most people who want to study veterinary medicine and have the grades get into a school here? I know Davis, Cornell etc. have limited enrollments, but are there enough programs for everyone within all of the schools combined here? Is it an availability issue, cost and/or qualifications? And how is it impacting veterinary practice here?

    Appreciate very much the information in these replies. It's helping a lot actually so thank you.
    Last edited by Kachina; Mar. 26, 2013, 12:16 PM. Reason: sp

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Kachina View Post

      Thanks yellow! I ask EVERYONE! It's been a real education in that one of the horse vets that I use, was a small animal vet. One of the small animal vets that I use, was a large animal vet. Huh?
      I can totally see this. As vets get older, livestock is harder to handle. You get hurt more easily and the cost of doing business is less for a small animal vet than one who does livestock too. Gas/equipment/what you have to stock in your truck etc. I know that one of the vets who has been around forever here is no longer taking any large animal clients. If you aren't already established, you have to go somewhere else.


      Also, I start out well with the vets, but then I get in trouble because I'm really really dedicated to procuring the best possible care for animals that have sometimes been in my life for up to 28 years (the horses) and because so many mistakes (not discounting the wonderful help received as well...) have been made, that I have a lot of questions and I look up stuff on the internet, and then I have more questions. Then they say don't look up stuff on the internet, it will just scare you.
      it is more than just scaring you. There is all sorts of information floating around out there. Good information, bad information and partially good, partially bad information. As a lay person you have to be very careful as some sounds convincing when it's a really bad idea.

      Also, how do you sort out the Caribbean vet school issue?? I've had bad luck with a young vet with a degree from one, good luck with another. Both lovely, lovely people. Can most people who want to study veterinary medicine and have the grades get into a school here? I know Davis, Cornell etc. have limited enrollments, but are there enough programs for everyone within all of the schools combined here? Is it an availability issue, cost and/or qualifications? And how is it impacting veterinary practice here?
      Vet school is incredibly hard to get into. I'd only use a vet who has a license issued by a USA Vet school hanging on the wall.

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      • #23
        A vet that won't perform de-clawing. Sadly, hard to find.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Limitless View Post
          A vet that won't perform de-clawing. Sadly, hard to find.
          wait, is this a criteria for you in finding a vet?

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          • #25
            I like a clinic that has good diagnostic competency, as threedogpack said, and clinicians that know enough to know when they need a second opinion (and aren't too arrogant to refer). I expect them to practice good medicine and offer all appropriate diagnostics and treatments (even if it might be outside my budget), and they should explain the benefits of each.
            yes- I prefer a small, basic "GP" type clinic myself as my "primary care"- one or two vets, max, so they KNOW me and my pets history before I even walk in the door- the vet remembers THIS dog reacts badly to a particular vaccine without even having to read the chart, or remembers that THIS dog has never had a GI upset before ever and thus the fact that I'm sure it's a severe problem is probably true. I also like a vet practice that listens to what I say, and treats me like a competent adult- offering all options and letting me choose one. I don't like vets that skip diagnostics and just offer Band-Aid drugs like steroids for everything, just in case it works. You diagnose first, then treat.
            I expect this kind of practice to be very competent in basic exams and tests, and to be quite quick to refer you elsewhere to an expert when they know they are out of their depth. Vet medicine is WAY too complicated these days to expect one vet to know everything there is. They have to specialize. Vets who are willing to admit they don't know, but know how to find out, are priceless.

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            • #26
              I've never had a vet who wasn't willing to refer. I find the thought of a vet who wouldn't really odd.

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              • #27
                Relatively inexpensive, ASKS before performing a procedure that's going to cost money, EXPLAINS what they are doing in terms the client can understand (vet here showed me the teeth they'd extracted from Tucker, and they took photos of both dogs' mouths before and after dental cleaning to show me), does not keep patients waiting excessively (emergencies happen--they were delayed at my old clinic in MA when a dog-ate-trash emergency came in, I didn't care), has a variety of hours available, not acting as a pharmaceutical salesman as far as pushing flea and tick/heartworm brands THEY sell.

                Silly as it sounds, too, friendly, personable staff who seem to like animals. They don't have to remember my pets' names or anything, but showing an interest and being nice is a plus, especially if I'm leaving my pets for a procedure.
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                • #28
                  I really just need to be able to talk to them. I'm in a weird spot of needing to be careful financially, being practical, and yet wanting the best care I can get for the price when the situation calls for it. For the important/dicey thing I'll pay top price but I won't just pay through the nose b/c it is policy. I probably seem to be a PITA client. I have a lot of animals and I am always walking the line of what is practical and what is necessary and recommended. I worked for a very high end clinic and remember staff meetings where making more money was the goal for the next month (recommend those lab tests!) and it really set me off for not wanting to waste money. I saw elderly people blow their entire SS check on a dog that threw up that morning ($350 in tests and observation on a Saturday) and it infuriates me when vet work goes to the financial side without considering the family.

                  I need to trust the vet to listen to my level of comfort and I need to trust the vet to be practical and competent. I have a good friend that is a vet and she's my preferred though she's far away. I can assist on a surgery and run things past her and she listens and meets me where I'm at. I feel very disconnected from a lot of clinics.

                  Also-if the tech comes out cooing at my dog and too friendly and OMG he's SO CUTE What is WRONG with POOKIE today?? I am immediately suspicious. I expect my dogs to get the same reaction as one of my cows.
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                  • #29
                    Also, how do you sort out the Caribbean vet school issue?? I've had bad luck with a young vet with a degree from one, good luck with another. Both lovely, lovely people. Can most people who want to study veterinary medicine and have the grades get into a school here? I know Davis, Cornell etc. have limited enrollments, but are there enough programs for everyone within all of the schools combined here? Is it an availability issue, cost and/or qualifications? And how is it impacting veterinary practice here?
                    My horse vet and his wife (also a vet) both are graduates from Ross, one of the Carribean schools. And they are both exceptionally good, smart vets. I've known quite a few others that I have been very happy with (all equine vets, but I encounter more of them). I would not hesitate to use one. They do their clinical work in the states (Ross students go to VA Tech, I think). There is nothing wrong with their education, it isn't some fly by night school. But it does give good students in an exceptionally hard study path another option. US vets schools are SO HARD to get into (I have heard stories of students going to med school instead because they couldn't get into vet school), almost too hard.

                    I am sure there are vets from the Carribean schools that aren't good, but I have certainly run into PLENTY of vets with American educations that I wouldn't let touch any of my animals with a 10 foot pole. It's a fact of life. Some people are better at what they do than others!

                    As for the treating both large and small, this is less and less common as everything gets more and more complicated and specialty. James Herriot certainly did everything from kittens to cows! The small animal vet I used to use before I left had, at one point, done everything (partly because she practiced in a rural, mountain area), including exotics. She now focuses on small animals, and actually has a "real" job caring for research monkeys, along with her house call practice. But she was handy to have around the horses because she COULD care for them if we were in a wicked pinch, waiting for the equine vet.
                    Amanda

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                    • #30
                      While competence/training/cost are obviously big factors for me, I think the biggest would have to be their ability to not just listen to me...but to actually hear and TRUST what I'm saying to them. If I tell you that my cat/dog/horse just isn't quite right, please don't tell me that there's nothing to worry about - I know my animal much better than you ever could. If I tell you that it's time for my animal to cross the rainbow bridge, please do not demand to run a bunch of diagnostics just to confirm it. If I tell you that my dogs come with me to the farm and often drink from streams, puddles, etc, don't tell me that it's ok to not do the Lepto booster. Please listen to me and hear what I'm saying...

                      Thankfully I have wonderful large and small animal vets - they listen, hear, and trust. And in return, I do the same for them.
                      “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
                        Vet school is incredibly hard to get into. I'd only use a vet who has a license issued by a USA Vet school hanging on the wall.
                        It depends on the vet. One of the best equine vets I ever used went to Ross, but finished up his last year at Texas A&M. I believe they do have to do a year in the U.S. to be licensed.

                        Vet school is harder to get into than med school.

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