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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm not sure where to post this but whatever.

One week from today my Australian Shepherd will be 16. I was hoping she would make it, but I think she is ready to go. This has been a rough year for her since she had a seizure a few months back. Since then her health has gone down slowly and it has been so hard to determine quality of life because despite the fact that her arthritic body causes her pain, she wants so bad to catch a frisbee, to take walks, to roll in the grass. Pain meds seemed to control help all of that at first (she's been on Meloxicam for quite some time) but lately after doing these activities she is quite stiff and often limps. The other day my boys were playing with the frisbee in the backyard and Shadow wanted them to toss it for her so bad. We had to put her inside so she wouldn't insist on causing herself pain. It's not that she can't do these things, it's that she wants to but afterwards is in pain. So basically I'm stopping her from doing things that make her happy. That's not letting her live happily. That's letting her simply exist. That's not fair to her and it's not a quality life. She has a pretty sensitive stomach these days, so I avoid most treats (except plain milkbones, those she can tolerate) and no more bully sticks. Me taking away more stuff she enjoys. How thoughtful of me, right?

Anyway, despite all of that she has seemed happy. Until last night. She was having trouble getting up, which sometimes happens, so I helped her up as usual but this time was different. She didn't trot off to whereever she wanted to go, she just kind of stood there for a second and shook slightly (not a seizure, just kind of like she was uneasy standing due to pain). She just kept giving me this "help me please" look. She ate well and took her meds good. But I did hesr her pacing last night. This morning I actually heard her wimper, still giving me the look. Now that she's had her morning Gabapentin, shes finally sleeping soundly in the playroom. I decided today we should let her go.

Now, here's the rant. So, my vet's office has gone downhill significantly over the last few years. They have several new doctors there and they honestly are all pretty terrible. I figure it's because most of them recent graduates and inexperienced. So I avoid them as much as I can. The one vet I like (she's one of the owners) is getting older and I think cutting back on her hours. Which is understandle, but since they can't find competent vets to fill their places, it's just ridiculous. Their other staff is also extremely lacking in customer service skills which brings me back to today. I called, with a teary voice asking if my preferred vet is in and explained why. The guy that answered offered no sympathy, not one cheap given, and told me my options were to wait until Monday and come in as a walk in and warnes me I would be waiting a while or schedule an appointment for Wednesday. I told him I didn't think we could wait much longer than Monday. He seemed annoyed and tried to schedule me an afternoon appointment Wednesday. I told him I would have to call back. I hung up and cried. I decided to call up another vet's office in town that I have already been looking into. The person that answered the phone there was so sympathetic when I explained my situation. She answered all of my questions and went through my options with me. She told me they would be there if I ended up needing them this weekend and told me they would fit us in ASAP. She told me to call back if I had more questions or even if I just wanted to talk about things. I've never been a client there before, never talked to this person before, but her support and compassion was 100x what I got from when I called the office I have used for several years. I didn't hang up and cry after speaking with her, I felt peace that if I needed to come in before Monday, these people were definitely going to take good care of me and my girl. And honestly, I would complain to my current vet about things with their office but I feel like it would fall on deaf ears (from reading yelp, Google, and facebook reviews it seems like I am not the only long term client noticing the downward spiral of the office). I imagine the owners of the practice are burned out and just ready to retire. It seems like it would be better to just slip away and find a better place.

Sorry for the super long post/vent. I'm pretty emotional today and I don't have anywhere else to let it out. It's all been building for a while.
 

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I'm sorry that you have to let your girl go and that your vet's office was so rude about it. I don't think that someone like that guy should be working reception at a vet's office. Receptionists are the first people clients interact with and should care about making a good impression, and they should especially care about being kind to people who are already sad. The lady at the second place sounds even better than I'd expect -- even offering to chat with you if you just needed to talk. Much, much better.

I've had to take a few pets in for this in my life, and it's never easy, even when it's the right time. Know that your Aussie had a good long life with you and that letting her go is the kindest thing you can do for her.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Having to make that decision is one of the hardest things to do - and I feel so bad that your vet is causing you even more stress when they should be doing the opposite. If I were you, I'd definitely move to a different practice if it's at all practical.

Your girl is lucky to have lived such a long life, and lucky that you're willing to make the tough decision so she can go peacefully. My thoughts will be with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. We have a final appointment scheduled in a couple of hours. I am nervous about doing such a personal visit with a new and strange vet because as aggravating as my usual office is, the doctor I use has made euthanasia appointments so calm and peaceful and easy for us in the past. But if the doctors are half as good as the girls I've talked to on the phone, I'm sure we will be in good hands.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your situation :-( I hope everything went smoothly at the new vet's office.

Maybe you could write a letter to the old vet's office explaining your situation and how you were treated. I don't like to complain, but sometimes I think the owners are just simply unaware of what's going on when they're not around and I think they should be informed. If you don't get a good response from that, you could do a Google review or something like that.
 

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I am first sand foremost sorry about your old dog reaching the end.

Second I am sorry for the poor.. piss poor actually.. treatment you are getting. That is inexcusable.

Leave. Have your new vet request your records. No apology needed. No reason need be given. You pay your bills and you owe them nothing.

Again, I am sorry for your situation. Take your old dog to the new vet.
 
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