Should I go to a different vet?

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

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la panthère de- la maison-- RAWR!!
Purred: Fri Oct 29, '10 9:14am PST 
Hey guiz! So, I already picked a couple vets to possibly go to next time instead. At the time I started this thread, I was very confused as to what to make out of the situation. While I've lived with animals in the past, these two I have now were the first I've actually taken to the vet. My first vet visit was at the humane society clinic, and they just took Louis to the back while I sat out front.

But thank you everyone for your input! I know I probably put more attention to the declawing thing than I should have, but I guess it's just the vet saying it was far more humane than not doing it and implying my thoughts on the subject were purely emotional when they're really not. Almost all of my neighbors have dogs that they let run loose in my neighborhood even though we have a leash law, and if one of the kids slips out, they need to be able to defend themselves; I don't think that's a purely emotional thing. Like I said, I understand it in extreme circumstances, and I'm not putting down owners who have done it since that's really their business.

Anyway, once again, thank you for your input, and I'm definitely going to a different vet. smile

So there's a vet that's VERY close by, so I decided 'Hey! I'll just go to that one since Louis looks like he's getting the sniffles, and even though he's very active and eating and drinking just fine, I want to check to make sure there's no problem'.

Then I walked in, and the first red flag that went off in my head was a woman who brought in her cat to be declawed. Now, I know it's none of my business what the other woman does, though it does concern me that this vet was willing to declaw her cat. Having a friend who did declaw her cat as it was being extremely aggressive, I could understand in an extreme case, so I asked her. And she told me it was because the cat was scratching her furniture. So this vet is declawing cats for the sake of furniture? /: That doesn't sit quite right with me.

So then I go in with Louis, and the vet comes out, and I ask him if they do declaw animals there. He rather enthusiastically said yes, so I asked why, and told him I heard it was a very bad idea and should only be done under extreme circumstances. He then told me that declawing them was the humane thing to do since many owners put their cats outside because of destructive clawing. But what he said that really stuck a thorn in my side was that the other side of the declawing issue (keeping the claws) was a PURELY EMOTIONAL ISSUE and that declawed cats DO JUST FINE OUTSIDE. WHAT?!

Not that I'm considering declawing my babies at all, this tells me something about THAT vet. Oh, but it doesn't end there!

When he was telling me about the vaccinations and boosters, I asked him why I should get all of them, especially since I read some very interesting things about how many vaccines either don't work, or even how they INDUCE the illness, and I don't want that happening to my babies, especially since I keep them indoors anyway, and only take them outside on a harness and leash.

And then he went off on me telling me that I had to do it or I wasn't being a responsible pet owner. He wasn't yelling at me per se, but it was very clear by his tone face and body language he was getting really pissed at me for not just taking his word. Moreover, he never really answered my question. If he gave me a reasonable sounding scientifically based argument, I would definitely not have a problem.

I asked my grandmother and step dad about it, and both say I should go somewhere else. In fact, my grand mother, who owned several cats during her life, were all outside and never vaccinated, though they all lived out in the country. And when I told her about the declawing thing, she told me, "Well, he obviously never met a country cat!"and she's right. I've seen the cat she used to have use his claws A LOT to defend himself and his territory.

What do you guys think?

Edited by author Mon Nov 1, '10 7:07pm PST


Joey (In- Memory)

I'm big, I'm- bad, but I am a- real mush!
Purred: Fri Oct 29, '10 1:08pm PST 
If it were me - I would find another vet. You need to feel as confident in your vet as you would your own doctor. There are a lot of bad vets out there and there are a lot of good ones. In my opinion, a good vet will work as a partner to the pet owner, be conservative in their approach to care and work with pet owners financially.

I have had a couple of experiences with vets that caused me to go looking for a new one. The first vet I took Joey to was great - he was compassionate and passionate about pet care. One day he was not in the office and I needed to see his associate instead. I carefully instructed the associate that Joey was very aggressive and she should not do anything to him without me being present. At first she agreed - during the exam she wanted to get his weight and took him in the back to do so - this is fine and we had done this in the past. Well not 10 seconds after she went to the back with him he started screaming, I mean screaming, so I went into the back room to find she had wrapped him in a towel and started clipping his nails. I said to her that she should not be doing that and she ignored me - so I grabbed Joey out of her hands and proceeded back to the exam room - just then Joey bit me - clamped down on my hand and hit my thumb bone with one of his canines. I fought the instinct to pull my hand away and waited for him to release - about 30 seconds later he did and I put him in his carrier, proceeded over to the sink to wash my hands and the blood was everywhere. Just then the associate came back into the room took one look at my hand and said "you know, you really should just put him down". Well I went off the wall! I explained to her that had she followed my simple instruction that this would not have happened. Needless to say we found another vet.

After that we found another vet who at first was wonderful - Joey was less aggressive and responded positively to vet visits. However, after a very expensive surgery it seemed every time I brought him in for a checkup the estimate for the visit was $1,000, every time. So I was starting to feel like I was being taken advantage of. After moving about an hour away I found a new vet - so I requested Joey's records for the new vet - and don't you know - looking through the file - I found a notation on one of the pages "$$$ ???". I took this as a critique of my questioning the bill in the past (kind of like when a doctor makes a note in the file that the patient is "difficult"). I'm glad we switched vets.

My best advice is if anything makes you uncomfortable - get a new vet.


I may meow to- you if you're- worthy
Purred: Fri Oct 29, '10 3:18pm PST 
I agree - I had a vet that I loved, and she left the clinic. I have tried the others, and although they are nice, I just do not have the confidence I should have in them. I had Maizy at the vet today, and sure enought they were pushing the prescription food. I am currently looking too. Listen to your inner voice...


la panthère de- la maison-- RAWR!!
Purred: Fri Oct 29, '10 6:40pm PST 
Then I most definitely am going to shop around some more. I'm not taking them anywhere regularly to someone I wouldn't trust like my own doctor.

I was with a friend today who has owned her cat for four years, and I told her about what happened and I told her what vet it was, and she was like, "Oh, them..." She then proceeded to tell me about how they misdiagnosed her cat 6 times, none of the employees except one nurse explained anything, and some other things I can't quite remember, and that the only good thing about them was that the medicine there was affordable. I'm most definitely looking into other vets.

Thank you!!

Olivia,- Tanner, &- Finn

The Dyna Cats!
Purred: Fri Oct 29, '10 7:34pm PST 
Goodness! I should say so! shock


Loners can be- loved too.
Purred: Sat Oct 30, '10 6:59am PST 
I stopped using a vet once because after going there so long I knew a few of the other clients. . .one came in with a new addition to their home, a 5 month old female cat. Dropped her off for her Spay WHILE I WAS THERE. 4 months later she comes in with the SAME cat (she had had her microchipped no way it was another cat) and the poor thing was PREGNANT. Spayed kitties do not have babies. Apparently they had opened her up, an emergency happened and they just closed her back up. So she had stitches then a scar but no surgery was actually done. I do not know how this was resolved. I never went back. I was too afraid.


headed for the- light.
Purred: Sat Oct 30, '10 7:36am PST 
I know I'm in the minority, but I don't think you did the right thing. I'd suggest going to another vet and NOT starting a debate about things you have read online, what procedures they do, etc. If you don't want to use a vet that declaws, why not just call around and ask if they do it there. If they say yes, then just say ok, and if you feel you need to say anything else, say "I don't want to go to a vet who declaws", and get off the phone. Obviously, the vet knows what the procedure involves and what happens afterward.
In my opinion too much internet information which might or might not be factual has created legions of "experts" who want to confront doctors, attorneys, car repair shops, and yes, vets about every little thing, and give them a lecture. If you think after talking to or using these professionals office that you don't want to go there again, why not just go elsewhere?


la panthère de- la maison-- RAWR!!
Purred: Sun Oct 31, '10 3:13pm PST 
@Silver: Dear God, and they didn't tell the owner? D8

@BooBoo: I wasn't trying to start a debate, I wasn't claiming to be an expert, and I wasn't going to give a lecture. In fact, I just dropped the issue since I really didn't want to get into that, and just wanted to get to the issue at hand with Louis. I didn't even think about it since most vets don't declaw. It was when I saw the woman who was getting her cat declawed over her furniture that I was very surprised, and, being surprised, I asked the vet about it. I wasn't asking for a debate. I hate debating. Like I said, I understand declawing in extreme circumstances. It's the fact that he said it was more humane than not declawing them and that the other side of the issue was purely emotional, when that is not the case at all. In fact, his argument was the emotional one. This tells me that he's not very objective and prone to bad judgement calls, which, according to my friend, seems to be the case.

And when I asked about the vaccines, once again, I wasn't looking for a debate at all. I was really hoping he would explain it to me and, being a good doctor of anything, educate a client about something that's important. But he doesn't do that. He only becomes angry with me goes on about how I have to do everything he tells me to do, or I'm being an irresponsible pet owner. I wasn't educated about any decision, and only came out angry, put down, and not informed about anything.

Furthermore, he gave me the medicine after looking at Louis for all of 5 minutes, none of which he sneezed, coughed or did anything, nor did that vet check his breathing (as a different one did with Coco, and as my own doctor does with me). Additionally, all his numbers were normal; not even a fever. And he still says that if I don't give him the anti-biotics, I'm being irresponsible. I just asked him if he was sure he needed them, and he only grew more irritated.

That tells me he doesn't care about the animal. He just wants me in, out, pay the bill, and go home. More about the money than helping Louis and me.

I wasn't entirely sure what to make out of the situation at the time I posted it, which is why I did. Now that it's been a couple days, I've made up my mind completely that I'm going to a different vet, and feel awful that I should've done my research first since very few seem to like that one, and most pet owners talk about how he gets angry with them very easily. I did find a couple vets that I couldn't find anything negative about, and one of them even specializes in feline medicine.

However, whatever Louis had seems to have been viral anyway, and it's already passed. Since I keep them indoors the vast majority of the time, I doubt I'll have to worry about taking them to the vet much besides check-ups and such.

Edited by author Sun Oct 31, '10 3:27pm PST



Psycho-kitty at- the Rainbow- Bridge
Purred: Mon Nov 1, '10 10:49am PST 
I'll throw in my 2 cents and agree that you should go with your instincts. It bothers me that the vet would prescribe an anti-biotic for a virus. Anti-biotics are for bacterial infections, not viruses. They don't do anything for viruses and they'll kill the good bacteria in the intestines that the body needs.

Good luck!

Hunter- *Dreamboat- #82*

Master of- Disaster!
Purred: Mon Nov 1, '10 11:34am PST 
I would definately go to another vet. However you also have to think of a veterinarian as a business. Most vets, not all, will do things to make money. Hense selling Science Diet pet food. If you don't believe in a certain practice thats fine. You don't have to have that conversation with your vet. Stand up for what you believe in. Even if the Vet is 'enthusiastic' about declawing, state your opinion and that should be the end of it. We go to vets for their professional opinion and for diagnosis. You choose what is done to your cat, not your vet. If you and the vet don't see eye to eye, then obviously he/she is not the right vet for you and your cat.

The one thing out of your situation that would have me chose another vet, would be his/her tone of voice. That is rude and disrespectful and doesn't deserve my time. It is their job to listen, be kind, understanding and sympathetic. Also, they went to school for their profession, they should be able to explain what each shot is, is it worth for your cat to receive it, and what are the side effects, etc.

I switched vets about a year ago. I had a vet I went to for years. They misdiagnosed my Angel Hanna 3 times. She died because of them. Now, Hunter sees a terrific vet who actually read Catinfo.org and was impressed when I went there with the whole website printed out. I explained what I wanted him to eat and how everything should be grain free. He quickly agreed with me. Also, they believe in only giving certain shots to certain cats. Hunter is an indoor cat. He did not get the shot for FIV I believe it is. (not quite sure, I would have to look back on his records)

Make an appointment with a vet for a 'consult'. Just you and the vet. State what you believe in. Ask questions, and hopefully they can answer them for you.

As for as your situation, I would get out of there fast!

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