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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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How to tell vet to politely...

Drop it?

This is about my dog. For 2 years he has been fed a RAW diet and has turned from near death to mostly healthy dog. I left my previous vet because of this situation.

I went in because he had liquid poo for 4 days. He felt his belly and said he didnt feel a blockage and asked what I fed. The second I said raw he wanted to RUSH him in for x-rays and surgery because he was pretty sure he had a blockage from the bones. I insisted he test his stool first and low and behold it was coccidia. Treated it and all was well.

I found another vet recently because of this. Took a while because he didnt have any issues until now. We seem to have this issue sorted out but this new vet will not stop bringing up raw. She doesnt push her food on me but she always says something snarky about his diet. The other day it was "Raw diets do no provide complete nutrition and you MUST add a supplement if you choose to feed it" and her latest one was in response to me saying raw improved his stool quality and she said "I find it hard to believe raw firms stools" as I told her on kibble he ALWAYS had the runs.

I am getting tired of hearing this. I really like her, shes...local (not foreign) not that I have an issue with different races its just I find her easier to communicate with, she takes her time with my dog and doesnt push things down my throat like food, vaccines etc.

How can I politely tell her to drop it regarding his diet? I dont want to come across as rude. But basically if something conclusive comes along that is directly related to his diet and not based on assumption I dont want it brought up. Its just exhausting me. I was also thinking about printing up a few papers on RAW diets for her to read...

Suggestions? I cant ignore it because it makes me feel uncomfortable to. Normally, if I didnt like the vet I would tell them off pretty quick and rudely and not return, but I like how she treats my dog.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 12:27 AM
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Maybe just say it exactly how you just stated it in your message? "I really love the care you're providing for my dog, but I don't want to talk about his diet, and I'd appreciate it if you respected that." It's always so hard to have these conversations with any kind of medical professional--the best you can do is stick to your guns, tell her you have the information you need.

You could also make a snarky comment about HER diet "wow, that doesn't look nutritionally complete!"

Sorry I can't help more We're meeting a new vet in a month or so and I actually interviewed like 5 vets here by email before deciding on one. The one that I went with was the only one who wrote back and said "diet can be like medicine for some animals, and cats are obligate carnivores anyway, so I don't feel as strongly as some other vets that a raw diet is unhealthy." Figured that was the best I was going to get!


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Fyreflie View Post
Maybe just say it exactly how you just stated it in your message? "I really love the care you're providing for my dog, but I don't want to talk about his diet, and I'd appreciate it if you respected that."
We have several clients in our practice that have notes in the chart, "do not mention XYZ to client, they are aware of our feelings on the matter and do not wish to discuss it" This almost always has to do with Dental disease, for some reason people feel like taking dental health into consideration is ludicrous for a pet, but I digress. I could easily see such a note being made about diet. I think its a reasonable request.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 09:14 AM
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This is a hard one - I can see both sides. Taking in a list of references, esp if you have any written by well known vets could help...actually as much as it is a pain to hear it might help if you can re-frame it a little.
Instead of - the vet just picks and picks on diet - an issue I have already resolved
try - the vet is really invested in my dog and its needs, we clearly don't agree but at least said vet cares enough to adress my dogs whole life and not just areas that would make her more money - this only works as you mentioned she wasn't pushing 'her' food.

I have yet to find a single medical professional for either humans or animals that I agreed with across the board -not a one. So the best I can do is find ones who do seem to actually care when they are advisory - like general practitioners. Or acknowledge they have NO bedside manner or people skills but they are incredible at what they do - like surgeons. I know all dont fit those profiles but it certainly describes my sons doctors well. I'm sorry I cannot help more, but for the most part I dont consider docs to be the be all and end all anymore, they're just people with permission to use a different skill set that have accress to rx pads and other higher end tools - but they are just people, like the roofer, the mortgage writer, the grocer - whatever. Sometimes I wonder if we forget that. Best of luck - and good job holding your tongue, it isn't an easy thing to do, least not for me. LOL
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I have spent tons of hours researching this diet, I made sure it was balanced. I even went out and found a website thats says how many of this Vitamin and that vitamin are in this piece of food and printed out a chart on how much of what a dog his size needs a day. I made sure its balanced and as an extra net I add a multivitamin.

I just dont like that God almighty attitude. They feel since they are vets and have spent 7 years in school that every one should bow down to them. I dont constantly nag her and tell her Hills Science Diet is a horrible food that I wouldnt let my dog touch even on his death bed. Why? Because I dont really care what she feeds her dogs because they arent mine. I can feel bad for them, but, thats as far as I go.

My dog is healthy, blood work shows it (well it did last year, havent ran any this year hes going in a couple weeks). But, I guess shes better then my previous vet who wanted blood work ran every 6 months to make sure I wasnt killing my dog (thats actually what he said). I told him that I would be more then happy to run blood work, but since your so concerned about my pets health you can discount the blood work 40% to a staff discount and then I will run it. It was a no go, obviously he was more concerned about his wallet as the test he wanted me to run every 6 months would cost $150.

This old vet if he found ANYTHING wrong with him would blame on raw. My dog has Pannus, and eye condition that is making him go blind. My old vet actually said if I put him back on kibble, that would cure. Yeah..ok, just give me the eye ointment he needs for life thanks.

So I guess there are worse then her out there. She has implied that maybe it was his diet but never actually had the danglies to come out directly and say "I think your diet is killing your dog". Maybe I give off that "Dont even go there" attitude from the experiences with my old vet I dont know.

But I do like the idea of putting it in my file. I do remember with my previous male dogs I would have the vet write in my file "Do not discuss neutering unless it is brought up by the client" because I blew up at my one vet when he prebooked my service dogs neuter appointment without asking then gave me this whole "Your being irresponsible speech". I told him that it only becomes irresponsible when I let him breed which I have not nor intend to do. It was left at that. I gave him a printed article that says the negative drawbacks a dog can suffer after being neutered, albeit thats a very small percentage of dogs, I dont wish to risk it with a dog who costed me thousands to train to assist my disability. All I need is to have him neutered and he has issues with behavoir or a health glitch. No thanks.

I wish I had my old vet, to bad she retired. She was the best. So maybe I will just have the vet write in my file "Please do not discuss the clients choice to feed her dog, she doesnt wish to discuss it with any one but a board certified nutritionalist"...maybe they will get the drift lol
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 11:01 AM
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Perhaps you can look for a homeopathic vet in your area. They inherently have open minds about treatment types and may just embrace the raw diet.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 12:20 PM
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I agree with Leazie, look for a vet with a more open mind. When you are looking for a vet, ask them up front how they feel about raw diet. If you approach it up front, you may have better results.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by squeekers View Post
She has implied that maybe it was his diet but never actually had the danglies to come out directly and say "I think your diet is killing your dog".
LMAO....that made me snort my coffee I was laughing so hard....never had the danglies...priceless

I know how frustrating it can be finding a vet that supports raw diets, feline or canine. Hopefully a note in the file will get it across that they're not going to sway your opinion. I know nutrition isn't really covered in vet school, but with the invention of this weird little thing called the Internet, you would think (maybe?) they would do some of their own research. Bah, boggles the mind.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 02:55 PM
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I say stick with her for now, but keep looking for a vet that you agree with more.

I'm super picky about vets. I know it, the vets I've dealt with know it, my family knows it. When it comes to the care of my pets I know what I want and I have quite a bit of knowledge about my pets. Certainly higher than average.

Since I'm also non-confrontational it was important to me to find a vet who would listen to my opinions, answer my questions (yes, all of them), and allow me to make an educated decision. Oh, and not treat me like a child.

I tried out every vet in my town, a few in the city near me, and finally found one I like an hour away. Worth it. This took me about 4 years.

Now the vet I go to respects me, and my veiws on health care for my pets. We had 'the raw talk' once, she made sure I was thinking about overall balance (not just feeding steak), and that was that. She put a note in my file, end of problem. When I took my four in for their last check up I was hesitant to vaccinate two of them. She listened to my concerns, and agreed with me. She is an exotics vet as well so she can care for all of my pets, and while she does check my knowledge or make suggestions about their care once she knows I understand she also respects my choices. Oh AND she always gives me the option of restraining them myself, rather than having a tech help. I love that.

In short...I love her. lol

Until I found her I was using a vet I could mostly get along with. He was nearby, polite, and would only bring up the raw thing once a visit. *sigh*. I also got a good laugh out of the visit 'cause he'd always say "Oh they are so healthy, and muscular, and have lovely coats and clean teeth! What do you feed them?" me: "Raw" Him: "Oh...right. You know that's not balanced/safe, ect ect." I had a good laugh in the car on the way home every time.

Keep looking. The good ones are out there.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 03:25 PM
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Ill agree with that. My vet is AWESOME. Awesome enough that I live an hour and a half/two hours away and do not drive, but I STILL go to him. When I fed my dog RAW, all he did was periodically check for parasites when I brought him in. He chatted to me about the benefits/drawbacks and we both decided that Seymour's diet was balanced. That was the end of it.

My dog is also allergic to most vaccinations, and(here's the kicker) Benedryl. Also he is a puppy mill rescue with absolutely ZERO confidence around new people. He took to my vet like he had known him for years.

HECK, when I called to tell them about Tucker and Sasha, one of the vets there, 'the kitten vet' as they call her, gave me her home phone number. Anytime anything happens with my animals, serious or not, one of the Dr.s will check up on me periodically. THROUGH THE NIGHT if need be. All in all, my vet is AMAZING, and I don't see myself changing vets any time soon.
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