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What are your thoughts about my vet? Grumble grumble...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My friend works as a vet technician and recommended him to me when I got my kittens. He's older, in him 70's, and has alot of experience. But she warned me that he doesn't talk much. He's nice, but "forgets" that people don't know what he knows, so he won't necessarily tell them much about what's going on. He will answer questions when asked, though, so she encouraged me to ask questions.

Well, the communication has always been an issue. I am a person that wants to know EVERYTHING or what's going on; vet and family doctor too. I stay informed and will ask bunches of quesions to get a good understanding of the situation. But I always feel like my questions are "dumb" or "what's up with this hyper woman who is obviously paranoid and overconcerned". Not that any of them say that to me LOL... But they seem surprised about my questions when it's something unusual, and they don't seem to think it's anything for me to concern myself about. Just leave the pro-stuff up to the vet, kind of thing...

Recently I took 5 mo. old Jasmine in to be spayed (the other kitty too) and was wondering if Jasmine had already become pregnant. He felt her belly and said he didn't believe that she was, and I said that I was wondering about her belly sticking out alittle, if it could be worms or something. (Note: I SAID, not ASKED) He didn't say a thing. He's a man of few words, but this is one of the things that is frustrating about him. He's a good vet in many ways, but seems like he should have explored that thought some more or at least filled me in with what it could be and what is normal for a cat her size and age. He will only answer very shortly and specifically what I'm asking, and only if I fraze it as a real question. Thoughts stay thoughts. Also his office is 35 min of freeway away from me, so that doesn't help it any with these gas prices and a busy life with 3 young kids. And now I DID find a worm in her stool.

One reason I stick to his office is that he is extremely reasonable on services that are not routine; let's say the cat broke her leg, he will get that taken care of for a minimal price, which makes it easier to get the animals treated if they need it. And he has walk in hours every day, which mean I could bring newly adopted Jasmine who was very sick at the time I got her in August, directly to him to be checked and treated, no appointment. He treated her for worms, ear mites, adviced me on nutritional supplements, and he tried to draw her blood. He was unsucessfull (due to her tiny vessles at the time, he said) and he only charged $10 for that whole visit. They said he felt bad that he couldn't draw her blood and help us out with testing. Next time I brought in both my kittens, he drew blood from both of them just fine.

When I was going to have them spayed he was sent home by the tecnichian due to stomac flu, and he normally works sick or not. It's VERY unusual for him to not go to work. He's just always there to help people. He's been very kind. It's just this communication issue that drives my nuts, and the distance.
What are your thoughts on this?? Would you switch office? There is an office 10 away from here...
post #2 of 14
I feel it is always best to trust your intuitions when it comes to the best care for your babies.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyViking
He's been very kind. It's just this communication issue that drives my nuts, and the distance.
What are your thoughts on this?? Would you switch office? There is an office 10 away from here...
i don't know if i would. if it really bothers you that much, then you should look into a new vet. i actually take my guys to a vet that's a 20 min drive from here because the in town vets just charge too much $$$. the vets at the clinic are just as good. and there's an emergency clinic about 5 minutes away if there's a true emergency.

before we moved out of state last year, i knew people who saw a vet (in town) for years. and he was known for not-so-great bedside manner. but he was a great vet so they stuck with him. he always treated their animals well.

so really, it's up to you. good luck with your decision.
post #4 of 14
Maybe you could get more info from the vet techs that work for him. If I felt like he was very knowledgeable and capable, I probably wouldn't switch if I could get info from the vet techs. I would just want to know what is going on! Like you.

I have been to vets (before Cupid) that were very nice, compassionate, and spoke a great deal, but were not very good vets. On the other hand, I wouldn't go to a human doctor that didn't tell me what was going on. I have encountered doctors that act as if anything they said couldn't possibly be understood by mere mortals. In that case, you could ask a nurse to explain things to you, but if no one could, you'd definately seek a new doctor.

IMO, communication is part of his job. If you can't get the information you need to make you feel comfortable and feel like you have a good understanding of what is happening from the techs, you should probably find a new vet, regardless of how well he treats your babies. I think. Tough decision! Maybe he's just shy...
post #5 of 14
I'm sorry but I'm on your DVM's side in this; great treatment of your animals, unbelieveable charges($10.00 for what you outlined ) , knowledgeable/experienced, dedicated, convenient hours, and maybe more positives.........................., against a few extra miles(gas prices have dropped back recently) and lack of "conversation" I know; you're not asking for conversation, just information but, HE's taking care of your kittys in a pfofessional manner. So he's a little stand-offish(sp?).................. Not a big deal when you consider the "pros" IMO.

Dan
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightninrod
I'm sorry but I'm on your DVM's side in this; great treatment of your animals, unbelieveable charges($10.00 for what you outlined ) , knowledgeable/experienced, dedicated, convenient hours, and maybe more positives.........................., against a few extra miles(gas prices have dropped back recently) and lack of "conversation" I know; you're not asking for conversation, just information but, HE's taking care of your kittys in a pfofessional manner. So he's a little stand-offish(sp?).................. Not a big deal when you consider the "pros" IMO.

Dan
Yeah, I agree with you. There are alot of positives. Fortunately, we've gone through most of what we need to by now; first/second shots, bloodtesting for FAIDS/leukemia etc, and now they are done with the spay. So really, unless they become ill, it's just the yearly check-ups, that I can think of. I feel like I've been there so many times already, but this really should be it for a while. So it makes sense to just stay for now. And it's not like my cats had complications and they won't tell me what happened. These are routine procedures and there isn't much more going on than the usual, probably.
Thank's for helping me put things into perspective!
post #7 of 14
It is also possible to go to 2 vets. We used to have a vet in town who was basically a horse vet, but he did real cheap spays and neuters one morning a week. He spayed my akita-I took her in, he gave her the shot, I helped lift her onto the table, and I left.

He didn't do the other routine shots, etc, except as part of the surgery. Like my barn cats got their basic shots when he did their spays. He was good, and very inexpensive. So he did the surgeries, but other things were handled by another vet in town. I don't think that is a good idea for people who are not real careful about their animals, but for a careful Meowmie it works just fine.
post #8 of 14
My opinon is that a vets job is not just to treat my animals, but to communicate with me. My babies can not speak for themselves & therefore my vet must be able to deal with me. There is a vet at the clinic I go to that I will not take my cats to because of an experience I had with him & my last cat. Table side manner is part of a vets job, but that's just my opinon, if you really like this vet & are able to communicate with him in a manner that makes you happy that's all that matters.
post #9 of 14
It sounds to me like this vet is really dedicated to the animals, and that's my number-one requirement! When I see my own doctor, I write down as many questions in advance as I can think of... maybe that would help you with this vet.
post #10 of 14
I personally don't have any problem with using different vets for different things. I have one vet that I use for most of my spays and neuters and semi-routine surgeries, especially for repair of injuries. The price is right and he's a good surgeon. But I would never take an animal there to be diagnosed or for treatment of a complex medical condition - I go someplace else for that.
post #11 of 14
A good vet tech is an invaluable resource.
Using the tech as my first line of communication, is efficient & it gets the job done.

At my primary vet's hospital, I have established a relationship with his main technician. Her expertise in vet medicine is almost on a par with the vet. When I have questions about my kitties care, I call her. If there is something she can't handle..she informs my vet, who then calls me.

I have written letters to my vet praising the quality of service that I get from individuals on his staff. Also, one time I had a problem with one of his doctors. He was abrupt & rude. I wrote my vet a letter about that too. The problem was resolved. Lines of communication goes 2 ways.

However, if you continue to feel uncomfortable, it might be time to change vets.
post #12 of 14
I am also the type to ask a lot of questions and in honesty, if my vet wasn't the type to communicate with me, I would drop him. Mine isn't chatty, but he does answer questions that I throw his way and if he doesn't know, he'll research them for me and get back with me.

But I also have a great relationship with all his vet techs and everyone else that works at his office. I recognize their voices when I call and they recognize mine. I know them well enough to know their areas of expertise and will talk to them also. They see as many patients as the vet and have a wealth of experience to fall back on.

If you stay with this vet, I suggest that you bond with his techs. If he doesn't talk to you, perhaps they will.
post #13 of 14
I live in West Michigan also and know some really good vets if you decide to try another. Where in Michigan are you?
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crittergirl
I live in West Michigan also and know some really good vets if you decide to try another. Where in Michigan are you?
How fun! I'm outside of Grand Rapids, in the Caledonia area...
It would be great to get a recommendation, however it needs to be someone reasonable... My current vet is in Wayland, so it's a ways away from me...
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