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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2020, 06:38 PM
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I specifically said "when the Doctor has time" and "no rush." Am I over-reacting? If it's this hard to get past the gatekeeper it doesn't seem worth it to me.

Good Afternoon Stephanie,

Unfortunately right now the doctors are very busy, I know we spoke over the phone a few days ago. Our doctors here are very accommodating to their patients. When you have your puppy please feel free to give us a call and we can set something up so one of our doctors can meet you and your new puppy and they would be more than happy to answer any further questions you have.

Regards,
Carolina
I agree, this sounds to me like someone who hasnít even asked the question of the vet.

Even though more of us should be making these phone calls to vets offices, I think they actually field very few. I would not be surprised at all to hear that techs and receptionists are answering these kinds of questions without realizing they donít actually know the answers. A direct response from the vet via email would be more preferable to me vs. someone guessing.

It would be great if most vets were up to date on all of these things but I think thatís hard to find. My feeling is itís most important that the vet doesnít see everything as one size fits all, that they are open to new information or ways of doing things, and that they are sensitive in how they interact with my Havanese. Anything about wolves, packs, or dominance, and Iím out the door.
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2020, 09:21 PM
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Mudpuppymama, YES!! That's how I am starting to feel!!! I asked the receptionist above if they use thimerasol free vaccines. She didn't know what that was. Put me on hold to ask someone else. Came back and said I don't know but this is the brand we use, you can look it up. Didn't know about titers. She still wouldn't let me talk to someone else! At least the vet tech at the other office could answer that one and said yes, theirs are thimerasol free and we could discuss checking titers at that time although it doesn't seem to be the way they recommend doing vaccines. They would ordinarily give them yearly or as recommended.
As far as I am concerned, run don’t walk from ANY vet practice that is boostering all vaccines annually.
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2020, 09:33 PM
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Itís so interesting. Most vet practices in this area are now recommending waiting until 10-12 months for spay/neuter, and are doing the core vaccines every 3 years. Lepto and Lyme have to be done annually if owners choose to do those, but most Havanese owners donít.

Banfield vets, of course donít, but the whole culture there is to sell as much ďserviceĒ as possible, whether it is ďbest practiceĒ or not.


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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2020, 09:43 PM
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I heard back from one of the doctors at the one office that I didn't speak to anyone at!!

For the vaccine question, she said "There are 6 total vaccinations that dogs MAY receive. However, these are based on each dog's exposure/environment. Rabies should be given after 12 weeks old, but we don't recommend waiting more than a few weeks after that age, because then they are not protected against the rabies virus. We are happy to divide up vaccines, especially in small dogs. We can run titers for the distemper/parvovirus. However, that vaccine is very unlikely to cause side effects, compared to how sick they can get with either of these viruses. Our website goes into details about the various vaccinations and which dogs would be considered "at risk" for the various illnesses. We can make a notation in your file to split up all vaccinations, as well."

For the spay/neuter question she said "For spay/neutering- for small dogs, we still recommend about 6 months of age for females and between 6-12 months for males."

She also said "I completely understand that it is difficult to bring your new baby to a vet visit, especially when you have to wait outside. We LOVE animals of all kinds, and who wouldn't love a Havanese puppy? The technicians and assistants gently hold the patients and we give treats while we do our examination and give any recommended vaccinations."

So far so good, I guess with the one question of delaying the spay/neuter, which I still don't know if/why I want that, but I gather I need to look into that!
You STILL have a right to decide on what gets done when, and exactly which vaccines your dog gets. (Except that Rabies has to be given within the state mandates... In MA the first Rabies vaccine must be given by 6 months, and Iíve given it to ALL of my dogs just short of their 6month birthday. But I donít know what your state law says) It is up to you to educate youself on these matters. But you have time to do that between now and when you bring your puppy home. Same with learning the pros and cons of of early spay/neuter.

But I agree, this vet sounds kind and willing to discuss things with you, and listen to your concerns. That is a good start!
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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2020, 09:51 PM
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Honestly, I don’t know if it’s really the vet recommending it or if that’s what the receptionists and office staff see. I think 6 months is still driven by pet parents. Pet parents are the ones concerned about neutering/spaying before marking and first heat. Although there are still lots of vets that recommend this, I also think when vets DO recommend waiting, a lot of people don’t want to because of old traditions and fear. My vet recommended waiting until 9 months to a year, and our area is a bit behind the times. We neutered earlier because of daycare. I actually can’t think of anyone I know who didn’t do it pretty early. Next time I will wait.

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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 07:56 AM
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Itís so interesting. Most vet practices in this area are now recommending waiting until 10-12 months for spay/neuter, and are doing the core vaccines every 3 years. Lepto and Lyme have to be done annually if owners choose to do those, but most Havanese owners donít.

Banfield vets, of course donít, but the whole culture there is to sell as much ďserviceĒ as possible, whether it is ďbest practiceĒ or not.
I also thought that most vets are now doing the core vaccines every three years. But evidently this is not true here because I have talked to several people whose vets still do annual boosters. In fact one of my friends goes to two supposed highly respected vets at the University of Missouri Vet School. One of them does boosters every 3 years. The other does them every year and says this has no possible negative impact on the dogís health. Urghh......
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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 02:02 PM
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Here's my latest vet update. The holistic vet's office I mentioned above called back. I spoke to a woman who wasn't the doctor herself but was very knowledgeable about the practice and had all of the answers I was hoping for. She always checks titers before suggesting vaccines, she separates vaccines except for parvo/distemper which comes together. She knew of Dr. Dodds and said that they follow a similar protocol. She does generally spay/neuter at 6 months but is fine pushing it later, etc. Since it is such a small office and there are only 3 staff that work there, they are not doing restricting visitors due to Covid so I would be able to go in with my puppy.

Here's the problem though, she is a sole practitioner. If she is in surgery, she is unavailable. She is closed on Sundays and Mondays and doesn't open until 11 am T-F and 12 pm Sat. My husband doesn't like that there are such limited hours and I am not thrilled with that myself. If she is unavailable she recommends an emergency vet 40 minutes away which is annoying as there are two that are within 10-20 minutes away from her office/my house.

This is posted on her website. Is this "too out there?" I am all for holistic methods but I do think there are times when mainstream medicine might be needed... then we'd have to go somewhere else. Have any of you seen a disclaimer like this at your vet's office?

Dear Client,
I am honored that you are willing to trust me with the care of your animal.
As you are likely already aware, my practice is not the usual. What I offer in terms of treatment is
the use of homeopathic medicines and nutritional therapy (in the form of fresh food diets, vitamin
& mineral supplementation, and food concentrates). I emphasize this form of treatment because I
feel it is the most effective way of dealing with a wide variety of health problems that animals
face. It is my opinion that homeopathic and nutritional therapy can be used to treat the same
broad range of problems that are conventionally treated with drugs. It is also my experience that
this is a very successful approach using natural remedies without any side effects with
conventional drugs.
However, not every problem can be successfully treated by me, and sometimes the disease is too
advanced for my methods. Other times, I do not have necessary knowledge or experience or
occasionally, my methods fail in spite of my best efforts. I say this not to discourage you, but
rather to honestly communicate my skills and limitations.
It is important to realize that regardless of the nature of the problem your animal has and in spite
of the diagnosis or prognosis that you have received from another practitioner, I am going to use
the abovementioned methods and no other in the treatment of your animal. If at any time you
decide to use conventional drug therapy or surgery that I cannot provide, I will refer you to
another practice.
If what has been presented here is acceptable to you and, indeed, what you wish for your pet,
please sign the paragraph of acceptance that follows.

I realize that what works for some people doesn't work for all, but I am curious if you would be comfortable with this practice.

I am still waiting on another MUCH larger practice to gt back to me. They are complete opposites from what it seems but I know a lot of people who love the huge practice and they are open 7 days a week with something like 10 doctors, etc. They are not allowing anyone in the office due to Covid and are much more traditional with vaccines, etc. I am curious to find out how flexible they will be.

I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts or advice if you have any feelings on this. Thanks!!
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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 05:09 PM
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Remember when I said you need to get the philosophy of the holistic vet and see if it is in line with yours? This is what I was talking about. There are different types of holistic vets. One type is like a true classIc homeopath who attempts to use homeopathy and then refers you to others if a conventional approach is needed (like the one you found). Some holistic vets do both homeopathy and conventional, but some of those are pretty much like pure conventional so you might as well go conventional. Clue for this is if you go into their office and you see a huge sign advertising NextGard. There are also integrative vets which are basically conventional but they are better informed about over vaccination and early spay/neuter and they do not pull out conventional drugs at the drop of a hat. For example, they do not give antibiotics ďjust in caseĒ which is something that will send me screaming from the vetís office.

This holistic vet sounds very good to me. She sounds honest about the shortcomings of homeopathy and that she knows when a conventional approach is needed. I belong to a group where there are several certified homeopaths and they have done wonders with it on dogs. However, they also know its limitations which is very important. For example, if a dog has a tick borne disease, it needs antibiotics. If a dog has IVDD, it needs the big gun anti inflammatory drugs. One thing I was wondering is if there is a particular conventional vet she refers you to or if this is based on what problem the dog has. This would be good to know so you can check out the vet you will be referred to.

In my opinion, if a dog has good genetics, minimally vaxed, eats a fresh food diet, not desexed too early, and you minimize using conventional drugs, they are likely to be a healthy dog and you should not have to go to the vet too often. It sounds like this vet could set your dog on a very healthy path. As far as emergency vets, we need to have one if necessary but that is not going to be that often. You could ask your vet why she recommends the one so far. They could be a better vet and it is worth going farther.

As far as her availability, you said when she opened but not when she closed. I think the times when you need to rush your dog to the vet are minimal. There are advantages when there is only one vet because it is likely going to be less stressful for you and your dog unless you can find a fear free certified vet.

This vet also sounds knowledgeable about nutrition which is something I think is important. Not sure if that is something you are interested in but that is hard to find.

I guess there is no perfect vet. Everybody needs to think about what is most important to them. It is a hard decision. Good luck. Note that you can always switch in the future too. A vet is not a lifelong commitment whereas a dog is! I am on my fourth vet.
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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 05:35 PM
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I think this comes down to what your own views are on homeopathic medicine and itís role. Iím under the impression many people go to both. The mainstream medical community is slowly becoming more holistic in treatment approaches, but I donít know if thatís so much the case with veterinary care. The homeopathic care may fill a void in traditional veterinary care, but Iím not sure it can replace it. Hopefully those with experience can describe the differences, because Iím interested in what theyíve seen.


As far as limited hours, I donít really see this as a problem because her treatment philosophies mean she may not be equipped for some types of emergency care.

If sheís recommending a specific emergency care clinic that is further away because her experience with it has been good, that might be a good lead. Since she offers referrals in some cases, does that mean she has good working relationships with other offices in your area she could also refer you to?
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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mudpuppymama View Post
Remember when I said you need to get the philosophy of the holistic vet and see if it is in line with yours? This is what I was talking about. There are different types of holistic vets. One type is like a true classIc homeopath who attempts to use homeopathy and then refers you to others if a conventional approach is needed (like the one you found). Some holistic vets do both homeopathy and conventional, but some of those are pretty much like pure conventional so you might as well go conventional. Clue for this is if you go into their office and you see a huge sign advertising NextGard. There are also integrative vets which are basically conventional but they are better informed about over vaccination and early spay/neuter and they do not pull out conventional drugs at the drop of a hat. For example, they do not give antibiotics ďjust in caseĒ which is something that will send me screaming from the vetís office.

This holistic vet sounds very good to me. She sounds honest about the shortcomings of homeopathy and that she knows when a conventional approach is needed. I belong to a group where there are several certified homeopaths and they have done wonders with it on dogs. However, they also know its limitations which is very important. For example, if a dog has a tick borne disease, it needs antibiotics. If a dog has IVDD, it needs the big gun anti inflammatory drugs. One thing I was wondering is if there is a particular conventional vet she refers you to or if this is based on what problem the dog has. This would be good to know so you can check out the vet you will be referred to.

In my opinion, if a dog has good genetics, minimally vaxed, eats a fresh food diet, not desexed too early, and you minimize using conventional drugs, they are likely to be a healthy dog and you should not have to go to the vet too often. It sounds like this vet could set your dog on a very healthy path. As far as emergency vets, we need to have one if necessary but that is not going to be that often. You could ask your vet why she recommends the one so far. They could be a better vet and it is worth going farther.

As far as her availability, you said when she opened but not when she closed. I think the times when you need to rush your dog to the vet are minimal. There are advantages when there is only one vet because it is likely going to be less stressful for you and your dog unless you can find a fear free certified vet.

This vet also sounds knowledgeable about nutrition which is something I think is important. Not sure if that is something you are interested in but that is hard to find.

I guess there is no perfect vet. Everybody needs to think about what is most important to them. It is a hard decision. Good luck. Note that you can always switch in the future too. A vet is not a lifelong commitment whereas a dog is! I am on my fourth vet.
Thanks for your description on this, it makes sense to me.
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