What should you expect from a vet ?

BubbaGumps

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I adopted a cat from a county shelter a couple weeks ago and took it to the Vet for a general 'checkup' and vaccine that was due. It seems like most vets are really backed up with appointments and many dont even accept new patients. Then I found one near me and set up an appointment. I kind of was wondering why it was so easy given other vets are behind on scheduling. I found out when I took the cat in.

Its been years since I had an animal in the house but I dont recall the vet experience ever being this bad. I was the only patient there, which I thought kind of odd. The receptionist didnt even say, 'hello' and just looked up at me and said, 'Yes?'. I said I had a scheduled appointment then she looked at her book and said my name. I said yep, that's me. She then just said, 'Did you bring the paperwork'? I said yes then had a seat. That was the introduction to a new customer.

The vet was equally as indifferent. It was all matter-of-fact--"Put the crate up here", "Remove the cat", etc etc...No introduction, "Whats your cats name?" etc etc...When I took the cat out he started feeling around the stomach area and such and the cat kept trying to lay down. He then said, "lets try it this way" then scruffed the cat and yanked it in the air to examine its underside."

When he gave the vaciine, he kept looking at me and I was wondering why...he then said, "Would you mind restraining your cat while I administer the vacciine?"

This is no exaggeration. Thats how it went down. I also got a blox of flea medicine to apply and wasnt asked if I had any questions or anything. When I asked, how often do I apply , he didnt even say a word and just pointed to the back of the box that said, "Apply Monthly"
 

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Personally, that's not a vet I would stick with. A client needs to have a good relationship with the vet and be treated well by the vet and the staff. Clients also need to be proactive in their pet's care and that means asking questions if the vet isn't explaining things. If a vet waves off questions and sends a client on their way, that's a sign a new vet should be found.

Are there any other vets in your area? Get recommendations from other pet owners in your area (local FB group, people at the pet store or dog park, etc). Yes, some vets are booked weeks in advanced these days due to staffing shortages and general burn out and all the "pandemic adopted pets" needing vet care now.

See if there are any Yelp reviews of this vet. You can also check the vet's veterinary license status by going to your state's board of veterinary medicine: Public Resources | AAVSB

Many people recommend a cat-friendly vet. You can see if there is one in your area here: Find a Veterinarian and Practice | The Cat Community

Tips on how to choose a vet:


You don't need to tell the current vet why you are leaving for another vet. Just get copies of your cat's medical records for the new vet to have.

I have a longstanding great relationship with my vet. He's been my vet for well over a decade now. I was originally referred to him by another cat owner. I had been going to that vet hospital for years with my gerbils (my cat at the time was going to different vet hospital) and had seen this vet on occasion so I knew who he was. Right from the beginning he listened to my concerns and was blown away by all the research and reading and tracked blood glucose levels I had done for my diabetic cat. I'm kind of a "science person" so I was able to talk veterinary stuff with the vet. He pretty much let me take control of how to manage my diabetic cat and provided the veterinary advice as needed. After that cat passed away, it was about a year later when I brought my new kitten to him for the typical wellness exam and vaccinations and to schedule the neuter. Vet was totally fine with me feeding a raw diet even though he discourages it for other clients. Fast forward a decade and the now grown up kitten starts falling apart health-wise with IBD and asthma :crazy: My other cat has her own aging issues. The vet has his own secretary whom I call daily or email with updates on both cats and any questions and concerns. I love my vet and dread the day when he retires which seems like in the near future since he has cut back his hours a bit.

The staff at the vet hospital is great. I've never had an issue with any of the vet techs or front desk people. I received a really nice and unexpected sympathy card from the ER vet when I brought my sick mouse in and unfortunately the mouse had to be euthanized. When my diabetic cat passed away after being ill after a week's long stay in the ER, the vet and his resident surprised me with an engraved plaque that now hangs on this beautiful "tree of life" sculpture for :angelcat: pets in the hospital's lobby :hearthrob:
 
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iPappy

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I made the weirdest face I've ever made reading about your experience. OK, so some places have crappy customer service but talented vets, I understand that (overworked, underpaid, burn out, etc.) But scruffing your cat and lifting them up to "examine" them, then asking you to restrain your cat while they administer a vaccine is so out there. I wonder what their policy is if the owner does the "restraint" and doesn't do it correctly and gets badly bitten themselves. Most of the time, there are technicians that are trained to do that to keep lawsuits out of it and to keep everyone safe because they know how to safely and effectively restrain cats.....this is bizarre. I'd call around and get an appointment with someone else, even if you have to wait, for any follow up work you want done. If your cat has a bad reaction to the vaccine or the flea medication, do you think the vet you saw will give a crap? If you have an emergency, will they care? My guess is no. Keep Vet shopping, there are excellent vets out there...and enjoy your new cat friend! :)
 

Nebaug

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I made the weirdest face I've ever made reading about your experience. OK, so some places have crappy customer service but talented vets, I understand that (overworked, underpaid, burn out, etc.) But scruffing your cat and lifting them up to "examine" them, then asking you to restrain your cat while they administer a vaccine is so out there. I wonder what their policy is if the owner does the "restraint" and doesn't do it correctly and gets badly bitten themselves. Most of the time, there are technicians that are trained to do that to keep lawsuits out of it and to keep everyone safe because they know how to safely and effectively restrain cats.....this is bizarre. I'd call around and get an appointment with someone else, even if you have to wait, for any follow up work you want done. If your cat has a bad reaction to the vaccine or the flea medication, do you think the vet you saw will give a crap? If you have an emergency, will they care? My guess is no. Keep Vet shopping, there are excellent vets out there...and enjoy your new cat friend! :)
Can you actually sue someone (vet , doctor) for your pet biting you???? When you think you heard it all, lol. You are right only difference is that I would walk out of that appointment midway …
 

neely

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Its been years since I had an animal in the house but I dont recall the vet experience ever being this bad. I was the only patient there, which I thought kind of odd.
I guess you answered your own question, i.e. being the only patient there. Was there a vet tech in the room to take the cat's weight, vitals, etc. or even in the office? Definitely start researching other vets so the next time you can get an appointment with the appropriate follow-up care and guidance. I'm terribly sorry your cat and you had such a negative experience. 😿
 

artiemom

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LTS3 LTS3 I am going to have to look at the "tree", when we go there next week.. yes, I agree, he is great.. I think he is really getting stressed out from the nature of the veterinary world. It is a shame.
He works extremely long hours.. no one can do that for very long without burnout.
Always greatfull for your referral... ❤
~~~~~~~
I have to agree, with the others, B BubbaGumps , this "Vet" does not sound like someone I would take any animal to. It kind of reminds me of a clinic in my city..one which has really cheap prices, and very poor attitude, management, lack of caring.

I would run from them. Just be thankful that you will not need to revisit a vet in the near future. You have time to research and ask around.
Good Luck!!
 

CatladyJan

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I agree with LTS3 LTS3 I would see if he is even licensed. I currently have 2 different veterinarians because I have 7 pets. I take my pets that need more attentive care to one that I had before I moved and my others to the one that is closest location wise. The closest one doesn't have vet techs per se but will have someone in the office come in for restraining if necessary. The other one I get red carpet service.
 
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BubbaGumps

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I guess you answered your own question, i.e. being the only patient there. Was there a vet tech in the room to take the cat's weight, vitals, etc. or even in the office? Definitely start researching other vets so the next time you can get an appointment with the appropriate follow-up care and guidance. I'm terribly sorry your cat and you had such a negative experience. 😿

There was no Vet Tech(at least that I saw)..Only the receptionist and the vet. Perhaps the receptionist was also a tech but she did not come into the exam room.

The vet told me to hold my cat while he administered the shot. He scruffed my cat and said, 'hold her like this'. It was just an odd experience altogether.

I had just found this place at random while searching around my area for a vert available to take an appointment. The adoption agreement called for ensuring the animal receives a vet checkup visit and any vaccines that might come due within a month of the adoption. I could have delayed the visit until I got an appointment with a vet closer to me but I signed the agreement so was going to abide by it. This was one of the only options.

Here is the outside of the vet clinic from Google Maps. The same car was there that is in the image taken 3 years ago by whoever creates these street views for google maps. The vet also had a vehicle on the other side. Other than that, I was the only one there.

The moral of the story ? If it is hard to find vet appointments in your area and you come across a vet with an empty parking lot that can get you in at any time, you might want to take this as a signal to look elsewhere.

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CatladyJan

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There was no Vet Tech(at least that I saw)..Only the receptionist and the vet. Perhaps the receptionist was also a tech but she did not come into the exam room.

The vet told me to hold my cat while he administered the shot. He scruffed my cat and said, 'hold her like this'. It was just an odd experience altogether.

I had just found this place at random while searching around my area for a vert available to take an appointment. The adoption agreement called for ensuring the animal receives a vet checkup visit and any vaccines that might come due within a month of the adoption. I could have delayed the visit until I got an appointment with a vet closer to me but I signed the agreement so was going to abide by it. This was one of the only options.

Here is the outside of the vet clinic from Google Maps. The same car was there that is in the image taken 3 years ago by whoever creates these street views for google maps. The vet also had a vehicle on the other side. Other than that, I was the only one there.

The moral of the story ? If it is hard to find vet appointments in your area and you come across a vet with an empty parking lot that can get you in at any time, you might want to take this as a signal to look elsewhere.

View attachment 428519
I understand about the adoption contract and I applaud you for following it. What's done is done, lesson to be learned is to contact the rescue group and explain the situation about the vets not having any openings. I think usually it's 30 days unless a booster shot is needed in a timely manner. Now I would find a vet that has a good reputation.
 
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BubbaGumps

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..and on a positive note, Panther handled the visit like a trooper. She didn't react at all to the vaccine shot and the only time she resisted was when the 'vet' was feeling her underside and belly. She started getting a little angry at that but didn't get aggressive -- just a little vocal.
 
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BubbaGumps

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I understand about the adoption contract and I applaud you for following it. What's done is done, lesson to be learned is to contact the rescue group and explain the situation about the vets not having any openings. I think usually it's 30 days unless a booster shot is needed in a timely manner. Now I would find a vet that has a good reputation.

Yes. Now that I have time I will be looking around.

The shelter had actually told me that it can be a little challenging to find vet openings in the current post-COVID environment. Even the shelter has staffing issues and operates on appointment only. They do not currently have an open-door visitation for guests due to volunteer and paid staffing shortages. I found this true for most vets I called. A couple said they are not accepting new patients but most were just saying the soonest apt for a new patient would be 6-8 weeks out unless it was an emergency.
 

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I hold my cats while the vet gives them their vaccinations. He does have a vet tech who is in the room but I'm usually the one holding the cat since the cats are more comfortable with me. Not sure if he lets other clients hold their pets during an exam.

B BubbaGumps does your cat need any vaccine boosters or other care soon? If not, you can look for a new vet and book a wellness exam to see if the new vet and office is better and where you want your cat to be cared at. Sometimes you have to "try" different vets to find one who you feel comfortable with to provide veterinary care to the pet. Check the vet hospital web site if there is one. There's usally a small bio on each of the vets and the staff there. I'd stay away from chains like Banfield or VCA. Some locations are better than others and both are really only into making profits.

If being in the room with the cat during an exam is important to you, ask before you make an appointment. Some vet hospitals are not allowing clients into the exam room. Others are still not allowing clients into the building.
 

furmonster mom

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Scruffing is very aggressive to an adult cat, and should only be used as a last resort.
When scruffing is necessary, it should be done to hold the cat down, never to lift. If it’s necessary to lift, scruff down with one hand, then lift the body with the other, keeping the body weight from pulling on the scruff.
Again, scruffing should be used only as a very last resort, there are so many other gentle techniques that any half experienced vet or tech should know.
 

iPappy

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I hold my cats while the vet gives them their vaccinations. He does have a vet tech who is in the room but I'm usually the one holding the cat since the cats are more comfortable with me. Not sure if he lets other clients hold their pets during an exam.

B BubbaGumps does your cat need any vaccine boosters or other care soon? If not, you can look for a new vet and book a wellness exam to see if the new vet and office is better and where you want your cat to be cared at. Sometimes you have to "try" different vets to find one who you feel comfortable with to provide veterinary care to the pet. Check the vet hospital web site if there is one. There's usally a small bio on each of the vets and the staff there. I'd stay away from chains like Banfield or VCA. Some locations are better than others and both are really only into making profits.

If being in the room with the cat during an exam is important to you, ask before you make an appointment. Some vet hospitals are not allowing clients into the exam room. Others are still not allowing clients into the building.
I hold mine, too. I've had grooming customers hold their own cats or dogs, but only if they're experienced. I wouldn't let a first time owner or someone who didn't feel confident do it because I don't want someone getting bit on my watch. A very experienced cat owner with a fractious long haired cat would hold her own cat and knew all the tricks to restrain him but keep him calm. We always felt very confident with her doing that job for us.
 

artiemom

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I hold my cat when they are given vaccinations, and occasionally for temp checks. The Vet tech is always in the room, and readily available.. She mostly takes notes during the IMVet exam. At the regular Vets, I just sit on a bench, and let them do their thing. If my cat is getting a bit antsy, either I go up there, talk to him, or they are so capable of calming him.

Both Vets have gone through, publicized the fact that they have attended and practice "Fear Free" examinations.

I also agree that Scruffing is something that should be avoided on adult cats. It can hurt them more than calm them.
I have to admit, I have done a bit of scrubbing with Geoffrey---BUT never lifting his body up.. only to kind of calm him..
I do not have the hand strength to do him harm; even if I had the strength, I would NEVER scrub him in order to lift him up.. That is NOT a practice a Vet should do...

Good luck finding a new Vet.. Once you do, it is wonderful..
 

Tik cat's mum

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Unfortunately not all vet experiences are the same. I used a low cost clinic for my boy's for a couple of years the vet's there where very good but there were a couple of things i noticed while my daughter was there with her cat with one vet in particular. You never knew who you would see or if it would be the same vet. I decided i didn't want to take the chance of getting this vet for my boy's. So we looked around for another vet. Luckily we have found one who is lovely and understands cat's aren't dog's. She even sprays calming spray on blankets for the cat's to sit on. I held both my boy's while they got their shots but when patches needed to have blood taken my vet asked if I thought he would let us. I explained that he would but be careful after you've finished because he might try to scratch as he had tried to at the emergency vets after a injection. She said not a problem called the vet technician in and off he went to be placed in a bag while they shaved him and drew blood. He was handed back in carrier with the blanket placed over because there was a dog in the waiting room. Vet said no injury to her, but he didn't like the clippers and wriggled a bit still with a smile telling him all done and back to mum. Follow your gut and good luck with the new vet, most are fantastic.
 
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BubbaGumps

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Glad to hear it, she sounds like a keeper! :thumbsup: And glad you gave Panther her forever home. BTW, love your user name too.😉 Is it from the movie or restaurant?

Hi. Its been a longtime user name. I just picked it from the movie.
 
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