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Discussion Starter #1
I have scheduled to get a second opinion for my 12 yr. old Yorkie with another vet because I have become unhappy with some of my vet's responses to my concerns.

So I want to ask everyone what your experiences with your vets have been - have they been wrong and you actually were the person who knew what was wrong with them to begin with? Have they advised you not to have certain tests done, etc.?

And I really really want to hear from people who work at the vet's office.

Here is why I am thinking about another vet:

I have been going to the same vet for about 5 years now with no issues. They always try to avoid having to do any x-rays and tests, which I am grateful for.

But I asked about the senior tests that need to be done and one of the doctors (out of two at this office) said that basically "a vet can tell you to do anything he wants you to do." He says that he focuses on the issues present, signs that are obvious and doesn't recommend senior profiles / blood exams. He'll of course do blood exams for anesthesia, but not for age issues. My problem with this is by the time it's an obvious issue, it's already too late! He even said that he cannot guarantee her bloodwork will come out okay, but he is not concerned because I have not noticed anything strange about her. He said he'll do it if I want him to - but now I just don't feel confident that they'll even examine anything closely, considering my last visit. I had to ask him questions while he was walking out the room and get him to come back - I mean he didn't even examine her, he just looked at what I was pointing out.

The other doctor, who is very nice too (aren't they all), always gives me the same response as he does - just watch the lump and let us know if anything changes. And my BF's sister took her dog to her b/c she thought her Fuzzy had bladder stones since his mom did and he was exhibiting the same symptoms. The vet did a urinalysis and didn't find anything and argued with her that it couldn't possibly be stones. Well she demanded they look into it and guess what, it turns out he did have stones and needed surgical removal of it.

My Yorki has what the first vet calls a wart on her left shoulder, a little black mole on her rear end, and now I've found a lump on her nipple and one next to it.

What would you do in my situation? I've always recommended my vet to everyone, but after all this, I feel so betrayed! And to those who work in vet's offices, what is your take on these kind of responses and do dogs really need senior profiles (isn't prevention key)? I know doctors can't always diagnose everything, but IMO, I think it's kind of bad when the owner can correctly diagnose a dog and the vet can't. ???

sorry it's so long!
 

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Every vet has their own style of practice. If you don't feel confident in your vet than I would take her to another vet for a second opinion. Have the senior blood work done (I never turn down information). Have the lump checked. Preventative medicine is always better than having to treat after symptoms appear.
 

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I've worked in a vet clincs for a few years. Personaly if I were in your situation I'd start looking for a new vet. It is NEVER proper medical advice to advise against doing a test, esspecialy blood work, even more so if the owner is willng to have it done. I always do bi-annual full blood work and urinalysis(if the have anything in thier blader). I've had cases with my own pets where somethings happened and having normal values to compare with has greatly helped improve thier recovery or help save thier life.

A vet should also be smart enough to take the owners thoughts/opinions into consideration. You know your pet better than they do. And hardly anything ever goes by the book.
 

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A vet should also be smart enough to take the owners thoughts/opinions into consideration. You know your pet better than they do. And hardly anything ever goes by the book.[/QUOTE]

I absolutely agree with animal crackers.
 

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I had a vet similar to yours - and i too was grateful that he didn't think it was necessary to do the extra test or x-rays. Then one day, my diabetic dog woke up blind and i rushed him to the Vet's office. The vet told me there was nothing he can do - i have to let it be. I asked if he can refer me to an ophthalmologist and his response was "just let it be". WHAT! I stormed out of his office and found my self a new vet.

Definitely, find your self another vet that is willing to care for your pet as much as you do. They're out there - you just have to find them. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had a vet similar to yours - and i too was grateful that he didn't think it was necessary to do the extra test or x-rays. Then one day, my diabetic dog woke up blind and i rushed him to the Vet's office. The vet told me there was nothing he can do - i have to let it be. I asked if he can refer me to an ophthalmologist and his response was "just let it be". WHAT! I stormed out of his office and found my self a new vet.

Definitely, find your self another vet that is willing to care for your pet as much as you do. They're out there - you just have to find them. Good luck!
After reading your post, I think I may switch all three of my dogs to a new vet. I just spoke with one and the staff seems very caring. They are a bit pricier and about double, but you get what you pay for sometimes. My 12 yr. old is going in on Friday for her CBC count, blood panel and urinalysis and of course physical exam. Wish me luck! I hope I don't run into another one of the same kind of vet.
 

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It never hurts to go to another Vet practice for a second opinion (I always put it to people this way if you were diagnoised with cancer you wouldn't only go to the first doctor for treatment you would look around and get other doctor's opinion's first)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just got the results from my Yorkie's blood panel/tests. He said that her liver enzymes are slightly elevated - 158 vs. 118 for normal values. He said he's not too concerned, but wants a second test in a month. If those values go up, he suggests an x ray and if nothing is found there, then an ultrasound....

She didn't fast before getting tested and he said it may have to do with that also. He also saw something in her urine and something called lipaste (don't know how to spell), but thinks it's because she didn't fast. He also said her triglycerides were a little high, but also thinks its because she didn't fast.

I'm so worried now! I have a whole month to worry before hopefully, (very hopeful) her results come back normal. He said he's not that concerned about it and doesn't consider it high.

I'm thinking about staying with my current vet and going to this one for blood work for all three . I just can't afford their yearly vaccs and exams at this new animal hosptial. (~ $200-$250 vs. about $120 at my current vet).

So stressful =(. My heart is just pounding because I'm so not prepared (are we ever?).
 

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Sassy's one liver enzyme is always elevated. Try doing some googling. I don't know about all liver enzymes but there is at least one that is only considered a problem if it is double or triple the 'normal' level! I never fasted her before testing either. Ask the vet before going in next time. Cute, oh the levels are a bit off but maybe because she ate something? ARRRRGH.

A little off isn't a problem it is just something to watch. Don't worry, you are on top of it and if she needs help you are ready.
 

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For a 12 year old dog those values sound good.

I'm gonna guess your vet meant lipase and it's generally not something to worry about when the other values are normal. So try not to worry for the month (easier said then done, I know) and I'm sure everything will be fine!

As to running blood tests I'm a fan of them and so is the vet I work for. She actually recommends them yearly and at first I thought it was excessive but after catching things early quite a few times I've become a believer. In fact just on Saturday we ran a routine blood test on a 1 and a half year old mixed breed who presented perfectly healthy and turns out he's in begining stage kidney failure! Unfortunately it looks to be chronic (followed blood test with a urinalysis and ultrasound) but now the owners have a chance to be proactive and help the pup lead as healthy a life as possible.

My general feeling is there really isn't a negative to running bloodwork so why should a vet refuse to do it? I'd be thinking of switching also in your case.
 

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I always recommend that people call their State Veterinary Board, and ask if there are any complaints/findings on the vet they are considering or the vet they are using. I used a vet that ended up misdiagnosing my Cocker that ended up having Congestive Heart failure. He told me on the first visit that she was coughing because she was old. Four months later I brought he in because she would pass out if she got excited. He told me she was epileptic and prescribed a tranquilizer. Two months after that her abdomen bloated up like a water balloon and he told me she had Pneumonia. He said to leave her at the vets, but "I'm not gonna brag about the outcome". When I called to check on her, and said that if there was nothing to be done but euth her, that I'd rather have her at home, then he got mad and said "You can pick her up in the morning" and hung up on me. I went down there the next morning and they were closed. First thing Monday I picked her up and drove straight to another vet. I had asked for copies of any tests that the first vet ran to determine whether it was viral or bacterial Pneumonia. Vet didn't do any tests, he tells me. Second vet listens to her heart and tells me right off that she has a blown heart valve that is really obvious, and no fever. No pneumonia. Vet asks me if she has been coughing, and I mention vet appt 6 months previous for that and 2 months earlier for the fainting. I'm told those were classic CHF symptoms. Vet says that if she had been put on meds when the first symptoms appeared her life could have been extended.

I filed a complaint with the State Vet Board, and they found against the vet. I found out that there were 8 other complaints including performing a Cryptorchid neuter on a Boxer using only a Paralytic agent w/no anesthetic, having the boxer fall off the table while his abdomen was open, so he bruised his intestine. Vet removed 4 inches of intestine and used fish-hook type metal staples (that are normally only used on the outside of the body) to close intestine. The bile/feces ended up leaking into his body cavity causing massive infection. Owner was never told of any of this when he would call, only being told "he needs to spend another day as the surgery was longer than expected". On the 4th day owner showed up and basically forced his way to the back where he found his dog laying lifeless in a pool of blood.

He raced dog to another vet, who told him, he HAD to find out details, as the dog was almost dead, and he didn't think he would survive exploratory surgery. Owner got the info from a vet tech at first vets. Dog underwent surgery but died on the table. His abdomen was filled with feces, and metal staples were found, along with severe bruising on the dog's ribcage from falling off the table.

That owner also filed a complaint w/vet board. I never knew about the other complaints until I checked w/vet board. I thought my vet was "Nice" and competent.

Please check w/vet boards to see if your vets have lots of complaints.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
OMG that is awful! I would have been so mad if that had happened to me. I'm sorry that you had to go through that.

I have decided to stay with my current vet. There are two doctors there. I spoke with one yesterday regarding her take on blood panels (I had already asked the other one and that was the one that worried me). She explained everything to me and why they don't do it and will do it if the owner requests it. Her reasoning is that blood tests only report levels for that time and it could be different everyday. She said that 90% of her cases were from the owner noticing something was wrong with their dog and bringing them in right away. It's when owners wait a couple of days that results in bad situations. She also said that blood tests are not really that effective - it only pinpoints to an area where there may be a potential problem when the owner notices a change in behavior among other things. She said she'd rather have her clients save the money and spend it on higher quality dog food.

I think she knew what I was thinking because she explained the difference in dog blood tests VS human blood tests and how humans have genetic markers - what I basically interpreted was that there isn't enough research in these types of things for animals. She also showed me the results of another dog and explained to me everything on there and what they meant. And she said some of them are being disputed now as to what it means (which I did also see on the internet when I did my research).

I think just won't book appointments with the other doctor there. He doesn't like small dogs and certainly did not like my Yorkie. He at times did explain things well, but there were times when his mind was somewhere else.

The one I saw yesterday was very happy to answer all of my questions and didn't make me feel bad about asking them either - she was happy that I was even asking in the first place.

To me it does make sense what she said about blood panels and what it shows. My Yorkie is still getting her follow-up blood test though.

A lot of times, just with humans, it seems we need some kind of indicator to know that something is wrong and the blood test can pinpoint was is wrong. I feel better after talking to her and am very hopeful that my Yorkie's follow up blood test will be okay.

Also, I just checked http://www.tbvme.state.tx.us/disciplinary.asp - the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examaminers Disciplinary Summary list and did not find either doctors on there.

Thank you for recommending this. I didn't even think of it.
 

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OMG that is awful! I would have been so mad if that had happened to me. I'm sorry that you had to go through that.

I have decided to stay with my current vet. There are two doctors there. I spoke with one yesterday regarding her take on blood panels (I had already asked the other one and that was the one that worried me). She explained everything to me and why they don't do it and will do it if the owner requests it. Her reasoning is that blood tests only report levels for that time and it could be different everyday. She said that 90% of her cases were from the owner noticing something was wrong with their dog and bringing them in right away. It's when owners wait a couple of days that results in bad situations. She also said that blood tests are not really that effective - it only pinpoints to an area where there may be a potential problem when the owner notices a change in behavior among other things. She said she'd rather have her clients save the money and spend it on higher quality dog food.

I think she knew what I was thinking because she explained the difference in dog blood tests VS human blood tests and how humans have genetic markers - what I basically interpreted was that there isn't enough research in these types of things for animals. She also showed me the results of another dog and explained to me everything on there and what they meant. And she said some of them are being disputed now as to what it means (which I did also see on the internet when I did my research).

I think just won't book appointments with the other doctor there. He doesn't like small dogs and certainly did not like my Yorkie. He at times did explain things well, but there were times when his mind was somewhere else.

The one I saw yesterday was very happy to answer all of my questions and didn't make me feel bad about asking them either - she was happy that I was even asking in the first place.

To me it does make sense what she said about blood panels and what it shows. My Yorkie is still getting her follow-up blood test though.

A lot of times, just with humans, it seems we need some kind of indicator to know that something is wrong and the blood test can pinpoint was is wrong. I feel better after talking to her and am very hopeful that my Yorkie's follow up blood test will be okay.

Also, I just checked http://www.tbvme.state.tx.us/disciplinary.asp - the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examaminers Disciplinary Summary list and did not find either doctors on there.

Thank you for recommending this. I didn't even think of it.


Be aware that the website you listed will only report if disciplinary action was taken. In my vet's case, they did an Informal hearing, where they can make a finding but agree with the vet to take no disciplinary action. I had no choice in whether it would be formal or informal. In an Informal hearing, apparently the vet involved is more likely to cooperate and it will cost the Vet Board less money to investigate. They told me after the fact, that in an informal hearing, they take no disciplinary action. Basically they just tell the vet, "You screwed up...don't do it again."

You can find out about ALL complaints, by contacting the Vet Board directly, and asking if there have been complaints and how many, and for what.

I'll disagree with your vet about blood tests, to some degree. It is always a good idea to get a blood workup done when the dog is young, then again as the dog gets older, but is still healthy. That way you know what is normal for YOUR dog. Then, later, if there is a problem, you'll know if the results are abnormal for YOUR dog. All dogs can have a slightly higher than normal reading somewhere on a given day, but if your vet has something to compare it with, they'll know if that is normal for your dog, or a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had called the board, but they said they won't confirm or deny complaints. =(. I probably will do the blood tests so that I'll have something to compare to like you said. Otherwise it'll be like picking a needle in a haystack with nothing to compare right if something really is wrong right?

Thanks again.
 
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