So your dog is a jerk at the vet. Part 4 – Expections and difficult patients

So your dog is a jerk at the vet. Part 4 – Expections and difficult patients

While trying to make your appointment as efficient as possible, we do need to ensure your safety and the safety of our veterinary care team.  We never hold any bad behaviour against a pet, we know they are afraid, but some steps may be necessary to ensure no one goes home with sutures or a cone.  If you know your pet will bite or lash out, please be proactive about the situation and remind your veterinarian what sets your pet on edge.  Some pets are very head shy, which others dislike having their feet touched.  We try to make notes when we notice an animal does not like something, but it is better to be safe than sorry.  Once our team knows how your pet reacts we can work to ease your pet’s fight or flight response.  Often times we will try taking your pet to the treatment room for exams and procedures. This allows our experienced registered veterinary technicians to restrain your pet.  Once properly restrained, many pets do not feel the need to fight back against an exam or a needle, as it lets them know that we have control of the situation.  Removing your pet to the treatment area also puts them in a neutral situation, they may no longer feel the need to protect you or their territory and are much more patient.  They also do not associate you with the ‘bad thing’ and are that much happier to see you standing at the front waiting for them.  Let us know your expectations for your visit when booking your appointment.  If your pet needs us to go slow for exams and vaccinations but also needs his nails trimmed, we may need to book you some extra time or accommodate for some extra helping hands.

 

An important aspect of veterinary care with aggressive pets is expectations.  If your pet will not allow us to examine them safely, we cannot do a thorough exam and we will rely on you to tell us when something is abnormal.  There are some precautions we can take with aggressive dogs to provide them with veterinary care in a safe positive manner.

  • Call ahead, your pet may be able to come at a quiet time of the day, or come in through a separate entrance.  This VIP treatment can allow them to avoid the stress of meeting many new animals and people in a short period of time.
  • Muzzles: while we have muzzles available at the clinic, an aggressive dog may be more comfortable with a muzzle that was purchased to fit his/her snout individually.  Many designs are also available to provide maximum protection and comfort for many different sizes and shapes of dog.  Muzzles from home also smell more comforting that ones from the clinic, so purchasing your own can be a great investment.  We also carry muzzles for cats, which work great for short procedures.
  • Sedation: sometimes sedation is necessary to perform examinations and procedures, such as dental exams or blood collection for testing.  Sedation protocols will be chosen by your veterinarian to suit your pet’s specific needs to maximize safety.  The added benefit of sedation is many of our medications are great for reducing anxiety and can contribute to densensitization therapy.

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