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What to ask when interviewing a vet???

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm in a new area now and have three dogs, two cats and several foster cats. My fosters have a great vet, but she's too far for me to take my pets to, so I'm interviewing local vets. I've had horrible experiences with the local "walk-in" clinics and want to go to someone who is more serious about my animals. I'm wondering if you all can help me think of some questions to ask in order to get a feel for the vet. Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. What are your feelings on "over-vaccinating"?
2. Do you require me to use any/all of your vaccinations?
3. What is your average wait time for an appointment?
4. Do you have a flat visit fee?
5. Do you work by appointment or walks-in's only?

Anything else you can think of?

post #2 of 5
This is a list I have put together:

1. What are your recommendations on bloodwork - yearly, senior?
some vets only do bloodwork when something is wrong, and some like to keep an eye on thigs year after year

2. What does your surgery protocol include?
\ta. IV fluids? - animals recover faster if given these
\tb. Catheter? - easier access to vein if there is a problem during surgery.
\tc. ECG? - check on heart functions
\td. Blood pressure monitoring? - do they take the blood pressure regularly throughout surgery? This can alert them to problems very early on
\te. Bloodwork? - do they require/suggest getting preanesthetic bloodwork to make sure kidney and liver functions show it is safe to put your pet under anesthesia?

3. What brand of rabies vaccine do they use? The Imrab brand has been shown to cause feline carcomas in cats. The purevax brand is much safer, though a little bit more expensive.

4. Are cats separated from dogs during hospitalization/boarding? This could make all the difference to an already stressed out cat.

5. Recommendations on vaccines? Distemper?
Do they recommend distemper yearly or every 3 years?

6. What are the prices on:
\tA. Yearly vaccines
\tB. Exam
\tC. Dentals
D. Spay/neuter

Another good thing to do is to find the list of AAHA certified hospitals in your area. They have very strict guidlines that their hospitals must adhere to. The hospitals are inspected twice a year.
You can find on in your area here:

Good luck to you!
post #3 of 5
I just went through this. I'll have to post again when I get home, because I had 2 or 3 pages of questions for him. (Of course, I included space to write his answers, too, so it wasn't that bad!)

One big question for me was their feelings on declawing. To me, this tells me if they are going to do whatever just to get more money from me, or if they truly care for the wellbeing of my pet. (I was duped by my first vet with the "It's a routine procedure, just removing the nail and nail bed" lines). I was pleased with his answer, that he will only do it on cats under 6 months old and only after discussing the procedure and alternatives with the owner.

I'll find my list when I get home, and post what I asked. (Hubby said that I caught the vet by surprise on a few of my questions. )
post #4 of 5
I ask one thing, do they declaw. If they don't they are the vet for me!
post #5 of 5
When I found my vet 11 years ago (just moved across country at the time), I simply explained my situation (that I'm forever taking in strays and ferals and getting them vetted), and was he willing to work with me on price (e.g. discounts) and flexible schedule. He is a generalist, so for any specialty problems I obtain referrals, which he is happy to do. I lucked out with him, as after living here for 11 years and hearing what the neighbors say about other vets in the area, I've got the best around here. Had he been bad I would have switched vets.
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