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After the lastest with Gibbs I have decided that I need to find a new vet. I take mine to PetSmart which is convinient (sp?), but there are many problems. The dogs NEVER see the same vet, though I always take them to the same office. None of these people actually know my dogs, they are just a number I feel like, and they are way expensive. A friend of mine got her dog around the same time I got Gibbs we each took our dogs for their usual new dog shots and it cost me 2x as much for THE SAME SHOTS! A friend of my mom's has a vet that is kinda a drive but it's a husband and wife team, they actually know the dogs since it's just them, and they have come in late, early, etc whenever my mom's friend has needed them, plus because she has more than 1 dog, they give her a discount on all visits...

So here's my ?... What are the main things ya'll look for in choosing a vet?

~Heather
 

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Hi,
Our vet clinic has several doctors...and we don't mind using them all since they know our doggies. But I do make a choice between the doctors...I look for kindness, willingness to talk, someone with advice and compassion. Yesterday we were at the vets and saw their newest doctor...we did not realize she was the doctor when she came in...very low key and gentle...made us feel right at home. By the time we left, we were sure of what we were doing and where we were going. I am very hard to please having been in health care for over 20 years. I don't put up with being put off! Guess I am a little tad fussy!
 

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Hi,

This is a really great question. I look for:

1. Willingness to put up with my neurotic-ness - very important!
2. Staff who get to know my dogs - techs and receptionists, office staff that know me when I call and come out to say hi to the dogs.
3. Openess to me offering ideas and wanting to try new approaches - in other words, doctors without a "god" complex - who want to hear new ideas. I've brought in holistic books and discovered my vet spent four hours reading new material to help me find a holistic approach to allergies - wow!

Also, I have a regular vet office I go to where I know all the vets and my vet who works there has a traditional medical background, but is also listed with the holistic vet association and does acupunture and chinese herbal medicine. I just tried out a 100% holistic vet to get some advice on nutrition and vacinations and I really like having both resources available to me.

Good luck finding the right fit!

Susan O.
 

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I just recently changed vets myself. It wasn't that the Vet I had taken Emma to did anything wrong, but it was VERY expensive. I took her for her annual shots and heartworm stuff, and they did some extra testing because she's "Senior" (she's 7 1/2). Well, that bill was $462. Two weeks later, I had to take her back for more tests because they discovered protein in her pee...That bill was $460. So yeah... I was really torn...because I did like the vets there, but holy hannah, that's a lot of money.

I took Emma to a different vet--a little more of a drive--who we just LOVED. She's in a smaller town...and when she walked into the room, I told her right off the bat that Em was nervous (she had just been to that other vet for so many tests and pokes and needles and stuff)...AND they diagnosed her with not only high blood pressure, but at the same time she managed to get a back injury. ANYWAY... I told Mary, the new vet, that Emma was nervous...and so Mary got right down on the floor with her and did her exam there (instead of having us lift her up to the exam table). She was so kind...kissed the top of Emma's head... talked to her like WE do. Then... I asked her about taking Emma's blood pressure, and she told me of this new blood pressure machine they had gotten that very morning...and if I didn't mind being the guinea pig, they'd give it a whirl. Well, the Tech was on the floor with us hooking up this thing, and we managed to get several blood pressures :)

Anyway, long story short... it turns out that Mary said she would have diagnosed Emma exactly the same way as the first vet did..and that if I was comfortable with them, I could feel sure that she was getting good care there. But HER bill was only $138 for some of the same tests this other clinic had done. SO... we switched vets and I'm glad we did. Not only do we LOVE her and the rest of the staff, her prices fit much better with our budget.
 
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