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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:24 PM

I have a vet coming to my house on Friday...UPDATE and looking for advice**

Last edited Tue Mar 5, 2013, 11:28 AM - Edit history (1)

I've been thinking about using a mobile vet for some time and now that I'm down to one dog, I decided to try it. There's the regular vet and then the assistant who specializes in acupressure and behavior therapy. They plan to do an overall exam/parasite check and then we'll talk about his separation anxiety. I really want a vet that gets to know him and I have been very, very unhappy with the former vet. They basically were sold to a franchise and the vet who really took care of my dog passed away. Ever since, it's been impersonal and frustrating (long waits, misinformation, etc). I should NOT have to tell them that he cannot get vaccines. They should look at their own records!

Anyway, we'll see how this goes.

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They came to my house and entered very quietly. The vet spent a little time just talking to me while the tech petted Max and got to know him. He seemed a little confused about why these people were here but then he began licking them and leaning on them to pet him some more. He was totally fine during the exam. There was a little confusion about where they wanted him and in what position but he did what he could. They did their tests and then the vet sat with me at the kitchen table while the tech did acupressure on him. I admit my ignorance of this. She tried to explain certain places dogs like to be massaged and touched, but I mean, who doesn't respond to this? Eventually, he plopped down like a side of beef and went to sleep (that's normal for him after he's been awake for a whole hour!)

The vet talked to me about Trifexis instead of the products we normally use. Anyone have experience with this? At first I thought it might be a good idea so I agreed to let her order it for me. We also talked about the glucosamine treats - which I had been giving but had gotten away from.

I'd say they were here just over an hour.

Later, I started googling of course and I wasn't thrilled with what I read about Trifexis. Now, it's probably a perfectly good product. However, Max has a compromised immune system and I am so afraid of trying new things on him. Now I am sure many of you have more knowledge of the various treatments but I am not sure about the difference between the many brands. Over the years, the vet changed our prescription a few times and I was never quite sure why. I remember the lab having a reaction once and the vet said it was the same medicine, but when I checked the records, it was not (I think it was switched to revolution). In any case, we switched back to the previous stuff. However, once they went franchised, they stocked their own brand and that was last we used. Interesting enough, some of these brands are believed to cause cancer in certain breeds. That's probably my heavy heart and paranoia talking. The Trifexis does not kill ticks and that is something we definitely need to consider. My husband finds ticks on himself but never the dogs. This vet recommended a prescription collar which previous vets said were worthless. We also have concern about heartworms and hookworms so I won't take any chances with that.

In any case, I looked over all the records and discovered the thing he's been on the most is Heartguard Plus and Frontline Plus. I can get both at Costco. I told the vet and she tried to talk me out of it but understood and said she would send me the prescription in a few days.

The bill for the visit, exam and parasite check was ONE THIRD what I used to pay at the old vet and this dog cannot even get vaccines! I know everybody's got to make a living but why should there be such a difference in cost?

Test came back and herein lies my confusion. Since the hospitalization on 2008, this dog has never had "normal" blood work. Tests show elevated Alkaline Phosphatase enzymes, increase in his eosinophil count. Did not see typical protein in the urine so does not think he has Cushings. Not much has changed in 5 years. Vet recommends more tests but I have to ask for what? We could test him repeatedly and probably find stuff but why? He's an older dog with a funky system who loves to walk and eat and sleep. I feel like these are gravy years with him. I certainly DO NOT want to harm him in any way but where do I go with this? The last vet also wanted to do this and started talking about various medications to try even though they weren't sure anything would help.

This vet also recommends Denamarin which seems to get good reviews. But again, what am I trying to do here? Cyclosporine nearly killed him. How do I give this sweetie something now and not fear it's going to hurt him?

I haven't responded to the vet yet about the new tests. Sorry this was so long but would appreciate any advice (of admonition!) if you have any to offer.

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Reply I have a vet coming to my house on Friday...UPDATE and looking for advice** (Original post)
Phentex Feb 2013 OP
livetohike Feb 2013 #1
Phentex Feb 2013 #3
Curmudgeoness Feb 2013 #2
Phentex Feb 2013 #4
Phentex Mar 2013 #5
livetohike Mar 2013 #6
Phentex Mar 2013 #7

Response to Phentex (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:32 PM

1. I think I have been searching for a good Vet for my whole life

Our ACD Murphy is "challenging" to say the least and I can't think of one vet we have had in the past 35 years who could handle him. The current one is worthless, but out here in the woods we have few choices.

This sounds interesting....looking forward to your report. Good luck .

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Response to livetohike (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:13 PM

3. It's never a good feeling to think your vet doesn't care...

we had a few bad experiences with vets when we had a rottweiler, and she was a total baby. Guess THEY had some bad experiences with rotts, lol.

I have lots of choices, but you don't know until you try someone. And that can take many visits!

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Response to Phentex (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 03:03 PM

2. I have a neighbor who uses a mobile vet, and she loves it.

She was shocked that the price was better than some vet's offices, and one of her cats was hiding and the vet helped with the search and coaxing, even getting down on hands and knees. She decided to use the mobile vet because 1) she has several cats and a trip to the vet with all at once would be difficult and 2) one of her cats is so terrified of the carrier and the car and is getting old enough that she worries about the stress. Having the exam done at their home was a godsend.

The only reason that I have not decided to try it is that the hours/days are not convenient for me. Also, if surgery is needed, this vet's office where she does major treatment isn't very convenient. But it works great.

I bet that seeing the home environment helps to give the vet a better understanding of the dynamics between pets and people too...and I hope it helps to find a solution to the separation anxiety you speak of.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:37 PM

4. I doubt this is any less expensive but it will be convenient...

well, we could walk to the last vet and it's nice to have someone close by in an emergency (usually the former lab getting into something!) but convenience was about all they offered. It's funny, once you start asking neighbors and other dog people about where they go for care, you hear the stories about the same vets over and over. But I suppose it all hinges on your individual circumstances. When the lab was sick this last time, I took her to the hospital for blood work because I knew I could trust them. Too bad they don't do routine care.

I hope this is a good fit.

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Response to Phentex (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 11:28 AM

5. kick for update

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Response to Phentex (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 12:59 PM

6. Decisions

I'm glad the home visit was much easier and cheaper! Wish I had that option here.....

I think that in your heart, you know what to do. You have to be comfortable with your decision. For example, both of my dogs are ten years old. On their last vet visit, they did bloodwork (for Lyme disease and heartworm and complete blood count). The vet said that their liver enzymes were elevated and she wanted them to come in for a retest in six months. Well it is 18 months later and we haven't taken either dog in.

They are eating, exercising, bodily functions are fine and nothing seems wrong. Why test?? Do the vets have some magic pills to make my ten year old dogs blood work "normal"?

I have also learned in 40 years of dog ownership that just because the vet suggests something, it is not always the best thing for the dog, or you.

We gave our dogs Interceptor and now that is off the market. So we switched to Heartguard a few months ago when it was time for more pills. (We had a dog who had heartworm back in 1980 and vowed that it would never happen again). I also give the dogs chewable glucosamine pills from www.thepaws.com and fish oil capsules (regular store bought). That's it. No need to pollute their system any further, in my opinion.

Hope any of this helps. I think testing for a specific purpose in mind is okay, but a "fishing expedition" is unnecessary. Just my two cents.

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Response to livetohike (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:30 AM

7. I did some more research...

spent a lot of time the other night talking with a friend and extreme pet lover. She explained how she's had to push back at the vet a few times when they start wanting to go down some roads or try to push expensive meds. She buys online and said she isn't a Costco member but found it much, much cheaper than the vet prices. It really is about quality of life, age of your pets, what you can afford, etc. She gives one of her cats denamarin but said the cat was in liver failure when she started.

"They are eating, exercising, bodily functions are fine and nothing seems wrong. Why test?? Do the vets have some magic pills to make my ten year old dogs blood work "normal"? "

That's how I feel. I don't think he'll ever have normal blood work again because of his history. I really think giving him anything more than he truly needs might harm him.

Thanks for the info about the paws, too. I'll check it out.

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