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Have you ever thought that maybe it might be time to get a different set of eyes/ education/ wisdom to look at your dogs health? Is is ever okay to question the confidence you have in your family vet or should you just assume they always have your dogs best interest?
 

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If the dog is facing aggressive treatment, with possibly severe side effects/high probability of poor outcome, I'd get a 2nd opinion.
If the current treatment is not resulting in an improvement of the dog.
If there are 2 courses of treatment avail, both with positive/negatives, and I need help deciding which to do.
If the alternative to treatment would be euthanasia.

Good vets will have no problem with someone getting a 2nd opinion. Just tell them that it is a big decision, and you'd like a 2nd opinion, and ask if they will email your dog's vet records to the other vet.
If you haven't already, call your State Veterinary Board and ask if your vet/any potential vet has any disciplinary actions/complaints/formal or informal hearings taken against him. I used a vet I thought was good, until his misdiagnosis killed my dog. Then I found out he had 8 comkplaints against him for malpractice, misdiagnosis, cruelty (doing surgery with only a paralytic agent and no anesthetic).

Not sure if this post is due to your old GSD having accidents at night, but a Cushings test is pretty straight forward. Definitely get that done, as the age/symptoms seem to suggest it. Medication really helped my dog with Cushings. He lived another 4 yrs with it and was playing frisbee up until a month before he died.
The other thing I noticed was that you feed fish oil. If you aren't also supplementing with Vit E, yuo need to be careful of toxicity. It can cause a variety of strange symptoms, that will resolve with Vit E. Talk to your vet about it, just to rule it out. (Note- one fish oil pill a day won't cause problems. Doing several a day may).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks spotted nikes! Yes it does refer to my old GSD and her chance of having Cushings disease. About a year ago I had an awkward exchange with my Vet's new assistant vet (who has handled 100% of my visits since she was hired). It left me feeling less confident in the practice. I hate to second guess a professional but I always feel a little uncomfortable since she handles my dog.

The assistant vet was the one who suggested fish oil. She NEVER mentioned toxicity. She also suggest water aerobic for my dog at about $85.00 a session (and one session a week).
 

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Have you ever thought that maybe it might be time to get a different set of eyes/ education/ wisdom to look at your dogs health? Is is ever okay to question the confidence you have in your family vet or should you just assume they always have your dogs best interest?
Never assume. You are dealing with a life, it is ALWAYS okay to question the confidence you have in your family vet. Vets aren't perfect, and sometimes a "fresh" set of eyes can be needed. For example, I always trusted my vet. They don't believe in docking, cropping, or declawing, so I assumed they were super great. They are for the most part, but some of the things I have heard are just wrong. For example, they said raw meat can make dogs really sick (??). It is never wrong to question their knowledge, and it isn't wrong to feel uneasy about a vet tech or assistant. If I were you, I would ask if someone else could handle your dog. It is perfectly OK to say you don't feel comfortable with someone so new to handle your dog. It is your dog, your money, your choice :)
 

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Fish oil is safe in smaller doses. Just don't double the adult people dose or anything. The problem is Vitamin A toxicity or if you give salmon oil, it can cause problems. Haddock for example contains a lot of vitamin A and a tablespoon of it's oil daily is toxic.

You could always request to see the vet instead of the asst vet, except for regular check ups...
 

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Depends. In general no, however if there is not an explanation for each treatment/medication I will move on. I want to know why this medication, what the plan is for illness X and why. The more forward a vet is with information (goes directly into explaining everything) instead of me having to pry for answers - the more comfortable I am with them. I loved my experience with Dr. B (my avian vet) as she said she noted discharge around his nares and would like to swab his throat, she then explained how she would swab his throat, how they would get results (on agar plates), how long the results would take to get back, what to do if he should worsen while we were waiting for results, what time of day she would probably call me with the results and general treatments and what she thought it might be. All without me having to ask. When she did call with results she discussed what had grown, the treatment, the dosages and arranged for me to bring in my bird for a medication administration demonstration and an appt. to have him recultured to assure it was gone after the treatment. A vet this through I tend not to question - my last vet that barely looked at my dog and wrote a fast script (he was in and out of the room in less than 5 minutes for a new onset severe allergic reaction) - I tend to question. I went home and googled what he prescribed and treatments to be sure I didn't need to go elsewhere (any inconsistencies and I would have).
 

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If you have any feelings of being not comfortable with what your current vet is telling you by all means go get a second opinion. It could mean a difference of saving your pet. You did not sign a lifetime contract and are free to go to whomever you want to go to. If one of my own animals was facing a crisis, I would not hesitate in the lease to go to a University/specialist for treatment. In my own health, I went to a different doctor for a second opinion when surgery was mentioned. It has been 3 years since then and I have not had to do surgery. A second doctor, a second opinion, and a second type of treatment. Life lesson learned-go to someone else if you are not happy with the results.
 
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