Have You Ever Felt the Need to Break Up with Your Vet?
My vet's office, which I shall not name, has been around since the early 20th century. It is held in high esteem in the community and considered to be the top veterinarian office in southwest Georgia. I have used various veterinarians in that office over the past six years, with varied results. Despite its reputation, I'm seriously considering breaking up with the practice. Sadly, I don't really think anybody there will care.
Here are three reasons we're probably breaking up:
1. I always have to wait
I expect to wait a little while at any doctor's office, and my vet is no exception. Emergencies happen, super chatty clients happen, lots of things happen. That being said, if I make an appointment with your office for 1:00, I don't expect to be seen at 2:30, or, as the case has sometimes been, even later. I really don't want to spend hours upon hours at your office for something as routine as a yearly exam. Sadly, I've found that I have to wait just as long for a scheduled appointment as I do when I just walk in.
2. Poor communication skills
Seriously. I call and tell my vet's office I am dropping my cat off for a urinalysis, yet I get called hours later while I am at work because no one seemed to have written that piece of information down. Or, better yet, I drop my cat off for his first visit with my vet and let them know he needs an exam, updated vaccines, and his microchip scanned so the office can have it on file. Hours later, I get a call from a very excited vet, "We found a chip in the lost cat you brought in! We're tracking down the owner now!" Um ... I'm the owner!
When Toby made his debut at this vet's office, I gave the technician all of his pertinent information. When I came to pick him up, everyone in the office was abuzz about how absolutely adorable he was, and how they had never seen a cat so small before. Apparently, someone put his birthday in the file very, very wrong. I've never met a two-year-old cat who only weighed five pounds and still had only baby teeth, have you? A messed-up date wouldn't be so bad if it was a one-time error, but this office constantly writes things in the chart that aren't accurate ... if they write anything down at all.
3. The issue with misdiagnosis
Years ago, my mother-in-law took in a cat from an aging family member. The cat seemed very sickly, so she took her to the vet ... one of the vets at the office I currently use. He said the cat was fine, just stressed from being in a new environment, and sent her home. She started getting worse, so my mother-in-law took her back and insisted on seeing a different vet (who has, unfortunately, since retired). That vet quickly identified a large tumor, easily felt on a manual exam, and proceeded with the appropriate care.
Who misses a giant tumor? I've had it written in ALL of my pets' charts that I don't want them to see that particular vet, yet he has handled their care on more than one occasion.
The first time I took Toby in, I asked that they check him for parasites, as I was relatively sure he had some sort of worm issue going on. I was told his sample came back negative. I asked the vet why Toby was having such an issue with diarrhea. He told me, "It's really just a kitten thing."
The next morning, I went to scoop Toby's box and saw several moving worms (ew!). I made sure and scooped up a big sample with lots of these foreign dancing creatures and dropped it off at my vet's office. They said they would call me with the results.
They never did. I had to go in the next day to try to find someone to give me the results. They said the sample came back "clean." I insisted they check it again, because I SAW worms in the sample I had brought them! They checked again, and this time said Toby had tapeworms. They gave me some medicine to give him and sent me on my way.
The medicine took care of the tapeworms, but the diarrhea was still a constant problem. Needless to say, I won't stop until I find out what's wrong with my cat.
What would you do? Would you keep pushing your vet to help your cat or go to another office? Have you ever had an experience like mine? Let me know in the comments!
About Meghan Lodge: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it's in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of two dogs (one being very dumb) and one cat. I'm a former quiet nerd who's turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.
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