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Old 12-30-2012, 07:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Tomcats, sorry for your loss of Little Jaws. As a caretaker of several cats with FeLV+, I understand the additional medical issues as well as the reluctance of some vets. You don't say where you are from so I don't know what your options are. Among the few benefits of living where I do, in the burbs of a large city like Detroit, is the number of options WRT vet care. Although I am very pleased with the vets that I use, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to drop one if I was displeased or uncertain about the care my cats received. I go to several vets including one that deals exclusively with my FeLV+ cats. My loyalty is to the vet(s)/vet techs and not the office they work out of. It's usually pretty obvious whether they care about their patients or not. Word of mouth counts for a lot with vets. Them as don't care don't last long. My "first cut" comes from recommendations from local animal shelters. Peace to you.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would definitely get a different Vet. If it were me, I would have found a different one when they pushed back my appointment. There is no excuse for that. I keep all of my pet's records for their entire life. Just buy a folder and keep everything in there. Then you have it just in case of an emergency or if you board/move you'll have all that info at a moment's notice. Definitely sorry for your loss and wish you the best of luck in 2013.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the kind words.

We are currently in rural Arkansas. Previously, we lived in Chicago and Austin, and it is true, we had better vet care then. Maybe the competition, or maybe the fact there is more oversight in bigger cities has a role.

I know in rural areas, not only here, but in the west, the advice we got from shelters regarding FelV cats was "euthanize". I had two shelters in Arizona tell me I was "nuts" for saving a FelV litter 4 years ago. One woman told me if "I really cared" I would not waste my time on hopeless kittens...
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 3gatos View Post
I would definitely get a different Vet. If it were me, I would have found a different one when they pushed back my appointment. There is no excuse for that. I keep all of my pet's records for their entire life. Just buy a folder and keep everything in there. Then you have it just in case of an emergency or if you board/move you'll have all that info at a moment's notice. Definitely sorry for your loss and wish you the best of luck in 2013.
Unfortunately, they did not push it back officially until we were there and waiting an hour. By then, it was too late in the day to try and get in elsewhere at the last minute. I agree, there was no excuse for the vets behavior, especially when they knew she extremely ill. It still makes me sad.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm very sorry about your experience and the loss of Jaws. What a terrible things to be put through... stuff like that makes you wonder why those people went into that field in the first place when they don't seem to really care about the animals.

Competition must play a big role in things like this. More competition is a really good incentive to keep up to date on the best practices and policies and also a good incentive to treat your customers well. I think your chances of finding a good vet are better in an area where there is a lot of competition; there are more vets to choose from, and the bad ones are more likely to be weeded out.

My own experience with vets has generally been very positive. The town that I grew up in was a small city with only 2 vet clinics. The vet I took my animals to was great- very compassionate and caring, competent, and the rest of the staff were friendly and helpful. Their prices were dirt cheat too. I liked that clinic so much that I continued taking my cats there even after moving 30 miles away.

The city I live in now is home to one of the top veterinary schools in the country, so I feel like there are a lot of exceptional vets in town and therefor a lot of competition. There have been some clinics that I have not liked very much, but nothing that even comes close to your experience. Our current vet, who I have been taking my cats to for about 5 years, is wonderful. The prices are high (but still in line with other vets in the area), but I feel like I can trust her and that she cares about my cats. The clinic is clean, the techs are wonderful and caring, and I feel like I am treated with respect as a well-informed pet owner. It is also a cat only clinic, so I'm getting a vet who really knows cats because that is all she does. We've been to a couple of the emergency clinics in town, and I have generally felt very comfortable and that my pets were in good hands with them as well.

I think I would have a hard time trusting vets after your experiences as well but I wanted to share my own experience to show that there are good vets out there who are worth trusting. There are good and bad vets just like there are good and bad (and just mediocre) doctors, teachers, mechanics, etc. It just goes to show why we need to be informed and aware so we know what to look for in the right one. If you don't get a good feeling about the care you're getting, you shouldn't have to go along with it just because they are the one with the degree.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think there are many more good vets than bad, but people rarely post about good experiences, they mainly post to complain. But that's the same with most everything. You'll find sites like radioshacksucks.com, jc-pennyssucks.com, but probably not kohlsrocks.com.

I've had mostly good experiences with vets during the past 6 years. Vets that went above and beyond, were compassionate, even going so far as not charging me for some services when I was unemployed and my girls needed vet care. And it wasn't that I couldn't pay, they were simply being kind. Even my new vet recommended a course of action to see if that worked before doing expensive tests and bloodwork.

I truly believe there are at least 1,000 good vets for every bad one. At least.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I truly empathize with what you and Little Jaws had to go through. The previous vet clinic I went too was also in poor condition, with pulled up and urinated-on tiles, cramped and stuffy waiting rooms, and odd examination rooms that were too small to fit three people in. The office was a converted farm house that should have never been converted. The staff there were not even that pleasent, seeming more fearful of my cat (who is TOO affectionate and not a cranky cat at all) then of people who deal with animals on a daily basis. They would grab Meenu by her scruff and put their hand under her stomach and usher her to the back (not holding her close to their body for support). They didnt allow me to watch them perform blood samples and whenever I asked how she was doing, the staff would give me the impression as though she was fighting tooth and nail with the staff.
I brought her to another office and they truly seemed to care. Petting Meenu, taking time to get to know how I got her and allowing me to accompany them to the back to watch the blood sample being taken. They even explained and allowed me to see Meenu's file, which never seemed to happen at the other vet.

It is so much easier when vet staff show a little more compassion when an animal is clearly in a stressed situation. They should have given you an examination room so you could have taken Little Jaws out of the carrier and console her. Thats what I do with Meenu, she cant even go the 15 minute drive to our vet office without puking, pooping, and yowling herself into a tizzy. And the new office understands that and ensures I have an examination room to stay in. The previous office had other cats in the waiting room and would look ill upon me for not having Meenu in a carrier, if I wanted an exam room I would have to fight for one to be ready for me when I got there. There are so many things the office could have done to relieve Little Jaws, just remember how she played those days prior, as a happy, playful, and dearly loved kitty. RIP Little Jaws.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie73 View Post
I truly believe there are at least 1,000 good vets for every bad one. At least.
Absolutely! Vets and vet techs are overwhelmingly first class!! I've mentioned many experiences where they went above and beyond.

Funny thing about complaining. I had a First Sergeant years ago who explained why he often criticized and seldom praised by pointing out that: "You shouldn't expect to get a pat on the back for doing your job, but you should expect a kick in the [butt] if you don't". Perhaps it's often the case that no praise, is praise.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie73 View Post
I think there are many more good vets than bad, but people rarely post about good experiences, they mainly post to complain. But that's the same with most everything. You'll find sites like radioshacksucks.com, jc-pennyssucks.com, but probably not kohlsrocks.com.

I've had mostly good experiences with vets during the past 6 years. Vets that went above and beyond, were compassionate, even going so far as not charging me for some services when I was unemployed and my girls needed vet care. And it wasn't that I couldn't pay, they were simply being kind. Even my new vet recommended a course of action to see if that worked before doing expensive tests and bloodwork.

I truly believe there are at least 1,000 good vets for every bad one. At least.
Until 2006, I would have agreed with you.

Up until then we had taken 100's of animals to vet visits. Our own, TNR cats, fosters, and cats and dogs from the rescue programs we volunteered with, even some skunks that caught in our traps ( that was fun ).

We had a few minor issues with lost records, incorrect diagnoses, and some poor surgery work that led to a serious infection, but nothing above and beyond what could be considered normal for the number of ill pets we were dealing with.

Since 2006, our luck seems to have run out very badly. I thought having 4 out of 5 spayed kittens become pregnant was the low point for vet competence (incompetence) before, but the latest incident was worse. Far from finding 1000 good vets for every bad one, we've had trouble finding 1 good one for every bad one. Maybe that is a function of moving away from cities and competition. Maybe we have simply run into a string of bad luck, I don't know.

I've never complained about vets before, because I saw them as integral partners in caring for the animals, but I am not sure I feel that way any longer. I always felt they cared about the animals as much as we did, or they would not have made it their career. After this last incident, it has caused me to reevaluate the service we've had from our vets recently, and I can only conclude they either did not know as much, or did not care as much as their predecessors. Certainly, I have never been in a dirty vets office before.

You can officially put me in the group with the complainers after this incident. Because I am going to complain to the county about this vet, loud and long. I've thought about it for more than a week, so I could make a more detached judgement on it. But I cannot, in good conscience let someone else's pet suffer because I could not be bothered.

For myself, I think people complain because they have had bad care, or bad experiences. I wish someone had complained before I took Jaws to these people.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thank you, both Nell, and SamSim.

I think competition makes a big difference, as does the fact that there is more oversight in the cities. When I think about it, we had very few vet issues when were in places like Chicago.

Honestly, I never saw a dirty vet office before this. Even the vet who botched the spayings had a nice, clean office.
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