Vet Frustration - am I wrong?
#1
Obviously, vet things are not my forte. I don't pretend to know much about dog health - I can barely hold down a raw diet, and that's with someone holding my hand. So I have no clue if this little rant is even on target, but I gotta get it out, and see if any other dog owners would be equally as turned off (or if I'm being one of "those" dog owners where nothing is ever good enough Tongue).

Ranton 
I took Ember in to her appointment today. This appointment was set up over the phone, and at the time of setup, I had specified all of the concerns I would like to discuss today. They scheduled me for a "wellness check".

Voiced concerns:
Pooping issues - several day poop strike + diarrhea rotation
Diet - the very clear correlation that poop issues started within a week of trying to "force" kibble
Nutrition/Allergies - Shedding + Dandruff + itching + nose + eyes really ramping up in the past 6 months
1 of 2 vets requested - first was incredibly hard to schedule, so I requested the second, who is hollistic/behavior oriented

Actual visit:
Vet only showed for about 5 minutes, had at least 2 if not 3 helpers that I primarily dealt with
Wasn't either vet I had requested
Shrugged off every concern:
- shedding is natural, she's not balding
- seasonal allergies are a thing (and no talk as to what to do about it, not even a suggestion of Benadryl - and no offer to find out WHAT she might be allergic to)
- she hasn't been around any puppies or water to have contracted any diseases, so there's that (didn't run any tests)
- B12 levels are only low in dogs with chronic diarrhea (it was mentioned to me to get her checked there since she is so low energy naturally) - wouldn't even try to check them


On the maybe plus side, but concerning for me (probably needlessly) - Ember is actually up to 40 lbs now - she has gained 3 pounds in 2 months since moving. And that's after this food strike. That doesn't seem natural, and I couldn't get any sort of talks going as to why that might be happening. Basically - I got the "I don't believe in raw, because most common people can't do the ratios right - so I'm going to suggest you not try it unless it's pre-made" talk, after trying twice to explain what Darwins was and getting waved off and interrupted about how she wouldn't feed a dog raw but people do and their dogs are fine so if I must.

According to this vet, the constant itching, shedding, and dandruff isn't enough to combat "how good her coat looks". Which to me it doesn't even look that great, I've seen it better, when she was actually shedding only twice a year and not consistently for 6 months straight.

I left with...
This impression that the vet "had more important things to do" attitude and she kept waving her hand at me whenever I spoke (perhaps ampliflied because I was a bit "hangry" having skipped lunch - but I noticed it, and I don't notice things like that often - and they almost never bother me).
An antibiotic for the poop stuff
Told to go buy some probiotic from the local pet shop if I absolutely wanted to (not even prescribed or suggested - just mentioned in passing)
A reminder that "most dogs live well on regular dog food".
Rantoff

I just feel like I'm failing my dog, and I can't get the help I need to not do so. Something isn't right, I know it isn't, but I don't feel like anyone is taking me seriously. My nature is to always question myself first. I could be wrong. It's been a weird summer, we moved, she's had a rough year. She "could" be "just that picky". I would like to believe that it had just been a long day for the vet, that she didn't have any concerns for good reason, that she didn't want to put my dog through a rigorous first visit even though I was willing.

But all I want are answers. Why is my dog so "un BC" like? Why is she a couch potato? Why does she itch so bad and how can I alleviate it? Why is she so picky - does she know something I don't about her insides?

My vet in Myrtle Beach wasn't very knowledgable in a lot of areas I needed them to be - but they listened, they tried, they talked through things WITH me, and I always left feeling like I at least understood a little better - or at the extreme least, that someone else was trying so I could.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
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#2
(07-31-2017, 02:18 PM)Ember Wrote: Obviously, vet things are not my forte. I don't pretend to know much about dog health - I can barely hold down a raw diet, and that's with someone holding my hand. So I have no clue if this little rant is even on target, but I gotta get it out, and see if any other dog owners would be equally as turned off (or if I'm being one of "those" dog owners where nothing is ever good enough Tongue).

Ranton 
I took Ember in to her appointment today. This appointment was set up over the phone, and at the time of setup, I had specified all of the concerns I would like to discuss today. They scheduled me for a "wellness check".

Voiced concerns:
Pooping issues - several day poop strike + diarrhea rotation
Diet - the very clear correlation that poop issues started within a week of trying to "force" kibble
Nutrition/Allergies - Shedding + Dandruff + itching + nose + eyes really ramping up in the past 6 months
1 of 2 vets requested - first was incredibly hard to schedule, so I requested the second, who is hollistic/behavior oriented

Actual visit:
Vet only showed for about 5 minutes, had at least 2 if not 3 helpers that I primarily dealt with
Wasn't either vet I had requested
Shrugged off every concern:
- shedding is natural, she's not balding
- seasonal allergies are a thing (and no talk as to what to do about it, not even a suggestion of Benadryl - and no offer to find out WHAT she might be allergic to)
- she hasn't been around any puppies or water to have contracted any diseases, so there's that (didn't run any tests)
- B12 levels are only low in dogs with chronic diarrhea (it was mentioned to me to get her checked there since she is so low energy naturally) - wouldn't even try to check them
I wouldn't waste my time going back to this vet. Can you ask on your facebook page for recommendations for vets? Since you are new to the area picking someone can be difficult. 

On the maybe plus side, but concerning for me (probably needlessly) - Ember is actually up to 40 lbs now - she has gained 3 pounds in 2 months since moving. And that's after this food strike. That doesn't seem natural, and I couldn't get any sort of talks going as to why that might be happening. Basically - I got the "I don't believe in raw, because most common people can't do the ratios right - so I'm going to suggest you not try it unless it's pre-made" talk, after trying twice to explain what Darwins was and getting waved off and interrupted about how she wouldn't feed a dog raw but people do and their dogs are fine so if I must.
I have found most vets in my area aren't for raw feeding. Most vets will admit they don't know all that much about nutrition. Well, the vets that don't have the big egos will.  
According to this vet, the constant itching, shedding, and dandruff isn't enough to combat "how good her coat looks". Which to me it doesn't even look that great, I've seen it better, when she was actually shedding only twice a year and not consistently for 6 months straight.
Have you ever tried coconut oil for her? Zoe had a dry patch going down her back and I used Avon Skin So Soft in a spray bottle mixed with a little water and sparayed her lightly and the rub in with my hands. I know hers was allergies. Then I started giving all the dogs coconut oil daily and no itchy and the dry patch went away.  

I left with...
This impression that the vet "had more important things to do" attitude and she kept waving her hand at me whenever I spoke (perhaps ampliflied because I was a bit "hangry" having skipped lunch - but I noticed it, and I don't notice things like that often - and they almost never bother me).
An antibiotic for the poop stuff
Told to go buy some probiotic from the local pet shop if I absolutely wanted to (not even prescribed or suggested - just mentioned in passing)
A reminder that "most dogs live well on regular dog food".
Aren't you giving her yogurt or kefir? That's as good as any probiotic. 
Rantoff

I just feel like I'm failing my dog, and I can't get the help I need to not do so. Something isn't right, I know it isn't, but I don't feel like anyone is taking me seriously. My nature is to always question myself first. I could be wrong. It's been a weird summer, we moved, she's had a rough year. She "could" be "just that picky". I would like to believe that it had just been a long day for the vet, that she didn't have any concerns for good reason, that she didn't want to put my dog through a rigorous first visit even though I was willing.
You are NOT failing Ember. Do you think it could be the events that have taken place this year that are catching up with her? 
But all I want are answers. Why is my dog so "un BC" like? Why is she a couch potato? Why does she itch so bad and how can I alleviate it? Why is she so picky - does she know something I don't about her insides?
Not all Border Collies are high energy and athletes. I know of 3 that are very much rug like. They don't like to play ball, swim, ride in a car or many things most non Border Collies do. They are very content to stroll through the house and flop down for a nap. 
My vet in Myrtle Beach wasn't very knowledgable in a lot of areas I needed them to be - but they listened, they tried, they talked through things WITH me, and I always left feeling like I at least understood a little better - or at the extreme least, that someone else was trying so I could.
Is it possible to take a step back and start new. Take any pressure from training off her and let her decompress. Try not to worry too much if she doesn't eat every meal. She has done this before and came out better in the end. Let her have a vacation. 
If after a few weeks you don't see any changes then I would certainly be looking for a vet to have her checked out. You know her best and can only do what YOU feel is best for her. Do know, you are NOT failing her in any way. 
Hugs for you both. Comfort


Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#3
(07-31-2017, 02:18 PM)Ember Wrote: Obviously, vet things are not my forte. I don't pretend to know much about dog health - I can barely hold down a raw diet, and that's with someone holding my hand. So I have no clue if this little rant is even on target, but I gotta get it out, and see if any other dog owners would be equally as turned off (or if I'm being one of "those" dog owners where nothing is ever good enough Tongue).

Ranton 
I took Ember in to her appointment today. This appointment was set up over the phone, and at the time of setup, I had specified all of the concerns I would like to discuss today. They scheduled me for a "wellness check".

Voiced concerns:
Pooping issues - several day poop strike + diarrhea rotation
Diet - the very clear correlation that poop issues started within a week of trying to "force" kibble
Nutrition/Allergies - Shedding + Dandruff + itching + nose + eyes really ramping up in the past 6 months
1 of 2 vets requested - first was incredibly hard to schedule, so I requested the second, who is hollistic/behavior oriented

Actual visit:
Vet only showed for about 5 minutes, had at least 2 if not 3 helpers that I primarily dealt with
Wasn't either vet I had requested
Shrugged off every concern:
- shedding is natural, she's not balding
- seasonal allergies are a thing (and no talk as to what to do about it, not even a suggestion of Benadryl - and no offer to find out WHAT she might be allergic to)
- she hasn't been around any puppies or water to have contracted any diseases, so there's that (didn't run any tests)
- B12 levels are only low in dogs with chronic diarrhea (it was mentioned to me to get her checked there since she is so low energy naturally) - wouldn't even try to check them


On the maybe plus side, but concerning for me (probably needlessly) - Ember is actually up to 40 lbs now - she has gained 3 pounds in 2 months since moving. And that's after this food strike. That doesn't seem natural, and I couldn't get any sort of talks going as to why that might be happening. Basically - I got the "I don't believe in raw, because most common people can't do the ratios right - so I'm going to suggest you not try it unless it's pre-made" talk, after trying twice to explain what Darwins was and getting waved off and interrupted about how she wouldn't feed a dog raw but people do and their dogs are fine so if I must.

According to this vet, the constant itching, shedding, and dandruff isn't enough to combat "how good her coat looks". Which to me it doesn't even look that great, I've seen it better, when she was actually shedding only twice a year and not consistently for 6 months straight.

I left with...
This impression that the vet "had more important things to do" attitude and she kept waving her hand at me whenever I spoke (perhaps ampliflied because I was a bit "hangry" having skipped lunch - but I noticed it, and I don't notice things like that often - and they almost never bother me).
An antibiotic for the poop stuff
Told to go buy some probiotic from the local pet shop if I absolutely wanted to (not even prescribed or suggested - just mentioned in passing)
A reminder that "most dogs live well on regular dog food".
Rantoff

I just feel like I'm failing my dog, and I can't get the help I need to not do so. Something isn't right, I know it isn't, but I don't feel like anyone is taking me seriously. My nature is to always question myself first. I could be wrong. It's been a weird summer, we moved, she's had a rough year. She "could" be "just that picky". I would like to believe that it had just been a long day for the vet, that she didn't have any concerns for good reason, that she didn't want to put my dog through a rigorous first visit even though I was willing.

But all I want are answers. Why is my dog so "un BC" like? Why is she a couch potato? Why does she itch so bad and how can I alleviate it? Why is she so picky - does she know something I don't about her insides?

My vet in Myrtle Beach wasn't very knowledgable in a lot of areas I needed them to be - but they listened, they tried, they talked through things WITH me, and I always left feeling like I at least understood a little better - or at the extreme least, that someone else was trying so I could.

Well, I think you have every reason to be upset, it certainly wouldn't be good enough for me. I understand that a vet clinics day can turn pear shaped but there is such a thing as a phone that they could have used to ask if you were happy to see someone else or would you like to reschedule.
The dismissal with a waving of hand is rude, arrogant and a poor excuse for communication no matter what the vet was thinking at the time.
They were not listening to your knowledge of your dog. Maybe her coat does look better than some, I see some pretty horrid BC coats around but fact is "you" know it has deteriorated.
There is a combination of symptoms that you have mentioned that resonates with me as a human sufferer of under-active thyroid. Unexplained weight gain, lethargy, constipation, dry flaky skin, dull hair, depression/decreased mood. I mean, would a few blood tests be out of order when the owner is happy to pay for investigation. My thyroid can swing from these symptoms to the opposite including hair loss.

"un BC" haha, I understand but also know many dogs that are the opposite of their typical breed characteristics, it does happen but with everything else that is going on I would want to negate medical causes before I just accepted that my dog was atypical. 

Hmm, the diet thing. I don't think nutrition or behavioural issues are a vets strong suit. I think they only touch on the basics in their studies because really their studies are about medicine. I am fine with that but not fine when any professional puts on a know everything hat they do not have adequate education to wear.
Regular dog food- what is regular dog food- that which they were designed to consume in my opinion. I am not knocking kibble, I use it and also believe there are some truely good and highly adequate formulas. It makes more sense to me for it to be considered that many, many dogs do very well on the "non-regular" dog food of kibble and can also do well on "regular" dog diet of raw.
I agree there are many people who do not feed raw correctly but how dare anyone assume any given person is one of those who do not feed raw correctly.

More important things to do. Nope not a good enough feeling to walk away with. My vet Marcus had a big day lined up in surgery yesterday. Jasper was first up and because things went wrong his whole day was set back. On top of that they had a paralysis tick case that was very serious. Dog should have been transferred to emergency at the specialist centre on the coast because it needed to be on a respirator but the people could not afford it. Marcas still found time to ring me personally after Jaspers surgery and also come out to reception and talk with me when I picked Jasper up. The nurse has rung me this morning to see how Jasper is going and to advise that Marcus will have an opportunity this afternoon to ring his colleague at the specialist centre in respect to where we should go from here. I might add that they only charged me A$280 for the procedure because technically Jasper has not been properly desexed and they acknowledge that I will have to pay for further procedures.
I expect to walk away from my vet feeling they did the best they could, made every effort and genuinely cared.

I think I would look for another vet to be honest. Even if you don't get satisfactory answers it matters that you are taken seriously and your concerns are investigated. You are not failing your dog at all, you need to stop being so hard on yourself. You can only use the tools you have and it sounds like this vet is not a useful tool, just a "TOOL" (which is what we often call a dickhead) sorry for bad language.
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#4
Thank you guys Smile I felt like I was being unreasonably irritable towards this vet, but after explaining it here and explaining it to my parents, I've come to the same conclusion. Different vet. I try so hard not to compare, but I really had a good one before I moved (yes, I'm in that "I can't believe I did this" stage right now, which isn't helping lol!).

Part of my problem is that I know this could be normal life for Ember. And if it is, it is totally okay. I can accept that, and honestly it makes her a SUPER easy dog for it. Maybe not the fun one I wanted, but she's mine and that will never change how I feel about her.

That being said, I have a very strong need to KNOW that it's normal. I'm trying so hard to rule out everything that could be wrong. But this is the 5th or 6th vet we've seen since I adopted her, and only 1 of those has even given me an ear and actually felt helpful.

At the very least Ember is eating normally again. She's still not regular on pooping but I do have a 10 day antibiotic for that. She has gotten very worried about pooping in general (I thought it was the location but realized recently it probably hurts right now), so we are actually walking A LOT more to help her out. She had been going a few days between "go's", but have gotten the time span down to once a day with 2 15-30 minute walks a day. I find myself basically dragging her after 15 minutes, until she gets sight of our building, and then suddenly she's sprinting home - it's actually really funny. We have started braving the "walking paths" our community has. It runs along side the road but has many spots that has bushes/trees between it and the road, and it weaves lazily from road side to neighborhood side. It's not even close to a "hiking" feel but we get distance and new territory and Ember gets to track. I can't tell if she likes it or if it over arouses her, but I can tell when she's done. She'll go from almost pulling me to following behind me in about 3 steps and I have to coax her back home.

We haven't done any training in about 2 weeks, and I won't be doing any until her little insides clear up. We are in a Fenzi class that starts tomorrow but it should be a slower one with more decompression and brain games and super easy training (its called Hidden Potential, for the dogs who just don't train well and give up too easily). We'll see how her attitude improves. I have to start getting one meal in a stuffed kong - hard to do with carpet and raw food LOL! Someone's gonna learn to eat out on the deck!

I will be asking the next vet for a thyroid check.

Oh and yea, she's been turning her nose up at all the dairy except cheese lately. So the probiotics isn't really getting in her.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#5
Wait, they gave you antibiotic for Ember's diarrhea?! Did they bother with a fecal sample? When I had my GSD he went through a few weeks where he had an issue with diarrhea.  He would have issues, then it would stop, then it would come back again.  My vet did a fecal and he had giardia. I'm not saying that is what is causing Ember's issues but the vet should have mentioned it.  

Have you tried giving Ember fish oil?  It helped for my GSD.  He had allergies and had a dry coat, dandruff, and sever itching.  

I agree that you need to find another vet.
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#6
(07-31-2017, 06:35 PM)Tasha Wrote: Wait, they gave you antibiotic for Ember's diarrhea?! Did they bother with a fecal sample? When I had my GSD he went through a few weeks where he had an issue with diarrhea.  He would have issues, then it would stop, then it would come back again.  My vet did a fecal and he had giardia. I'm not saying that is what is causing Ember's issues but the vet should have mentioned it.  

Have you tried giving Ember fish oil?  It helped for my GSD.  He had allergies and had a dry coat, dandruff, and sever itching.  

I agree that you need to find another vet.

That's a good point TMM. My vet also won't give antibiotics for diarrhoea unless they have done a feral test to confirm it IS something treatable with antibiotics.In the abcense of any other symptoms they will give me a chalky suspension and say, "if that hasn't settled it in a few days come back with a sample.

Jaspers pants are now pantaloons LOL. He was getting his nose up the leg to the incisions so I cut them and tired more knots.
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#7
Yea, no sample (I'm supposed to get one to them when she DOES go), and an antibiotic. It was a rather cheap one so I assumed it was a low level cure-all. Metronadazole. Part of it is she had a wellness exam done right before we moved, when I got her records to take with me, so they were doing a lot of looking at that. But a lot can change in 2 months, no?

I may be into raw food and essential oils but I'm not anti-medicine or even really a hollistic person, so it didn't occur to me to question it. Kinda sad on my part Tongue I will give it to her anyway with high hopes that it will help, if only because I have to wait a few weeks before trying another vet. This dog is expensive lol.

Jasper! Such a little nosey bum! LOL I love how you've been figuring out this new cover.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#8
I wouldn't say it was sad on your part.  You take your sweet pup to a vet and expect them to know the answers or at least try to figure out the answers.  

This reminds me of a time when I took my son to the urgent care.  We had just moved to a new state, it was Sunday and mid-day Saturday my son came down with a horrible cold.  He had asthma and the inhaler that I had was expired.  I spoke to the doctor and told him our situation and how long I had been dealing with my son's asthma.  I explained that I just needed an inhaler and told him what I needed (at this point I had been taking care of my kid's asthma for six years).  I didn't look at the prescriptions I was handed until I got to the pharmacy.  One was for the inhaler I requested and the other was for an antibiotic.  I tossed the one for the antibiotic in the trash.  My child had a cold.  Why would he need an antibiotic? Please don't take this as a negative toward you choosing to give Ember the medicine.  Ember can't tell you how she feels and you haven't been dealing with this issue long so why wouldn't you do what the vet says?  I think the fact that the vet didn't spend time with you and listen to your concerns is a major red flag.  I hope you find the answer to her issues soon.  My GSD was a challenge.  I always felt I was trying to stay one step ahead of him when it came to his health.

If Ember won't eat the yogurt try getting a probiotic in capsule (powder) form and mix it in with her raw food. She might not notice.
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#9
Usually for a loose stool that lasts all day I will try a Pepto Bismol tablet or pumpkin. Either one of those combined with a bland diet usually works. 
If it's more persistent than I get a sample to the vet. I'm not big on drugs fr myself or my dogs. I have been lucky to find vets who are not drug pushers and take a more natural route unless more is needed. 

Before you start doing this or that and giving her supplements it might be best to go back and start with the basics. Meals and nothing else. After a few weeks then add in 1 thing, be it probiotic, fish oil, etc. Wait a few weeks and start the next and so on. And NEVER start a new food, medication, or add in on a weekend. 

Keeping my fingers crossed for both of you.  Heart
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#10
Thank you guys Smile She's eating less of her food again, but I think it's because I've begun transitioning to the Darwins and may be over feeding her (I don't know how much half a patty of darwins equates to in rice and chicken, but I'm guessing now it's not equal portions lol!).

OB, she's been loose for almost 2 weeks now, and on the bland for almost a week. The only thing she's getting right now is chicken and rice and Darwins. No treats (we boiled chicken for treating at the vet, but that's about it). I haven't added anything else in either.

Trifan, you are the second person in a week who asked about thyroid checks. Our Fenzi class started today and the very first lecture said this: "It is not normal for a young healthy dog of any breed to mope around all day, have little interest in exercise, or a poor appetite. If I just described your dog, my biggest piece of advice is this: dig until you find it." And it's followed by a testimony from a student who basically described Ember and found it to be thyroid issues.

I just scheduled with ANOTHER vet on the 14th (the one my mother took her Rascal to, and literally right behind my apartment). We are going to do a full bloodwork that includes thyroid, kidney, and a few other things. Again, if I'm told she's healthy, that's that - totally acceptable, but I have to know. Thanks for the ideas guys!
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
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