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Brian Link
September 17th 05, 11:03 PM
Megan used to go on about finding a decent vet, and surprised me with
how many vets are actually clueless and even dangerous.

As a simple consumer, I hadn't realized this was an issue. I mean,
these folks go to college, they get accredited, you would think there
would be uniformity in their skills.

Now that we have another cat in the household, I'm thinking about
shopping around again for a vet. Our current vet is close (minimizing
terrorized howling-in-the-carrier time) and good with people, but I
don't know how to evaluate whether they're good with our cats. Luckily
(touch wood) we haven't had any major crises with any cats since being
at that vet, but I'd like to think that if something did come up we
were giving them the best care possible.

What do you folks think is the average competency of your
garden-variety vet? And what questions do you ask, what research do
you do to convince yourselves that a vet is safe and knowledgeable?

Thanks

BLink

Joe Canuck
September 18th 05, 12:20 AM
Brian Link wrote:

> Megan used to go on about finding a decent vet, and surprised me with
> how many vets are actually clueless and even dangerous.
>
> As a simple consumer, I hadn't realized this was an issue. I mean,
> these folks go to college, they get accredited, you would think there
> would be uniformity in their skills.
>
> Now that we have another cat in the household, I'm thinking about
> shopping around again for a vet. Our current vet is close (minimizing
> terrorized howling-in-the-carrier time) and good with people, but I
> don't know how to evaluate whether they're good with our cats. Luckily
> (touch wood) we haven't had any major crises with any cats since being
> at that vet, but I'd like to think that if something did come up we
> were giving them the best care possible.
>
> What do you folks think is the average competency of your
> garden-variety vet? And what questions do you ask, what research do
> you do to convince yourselves that a vet is safe and knowledgeable?
>
> Thanks
>
> BLink


I prefer a cat-only veterinary clinic.

At least at those clinics there is some measure of specialization and
thus more of an indepth feline knowledge and the notion that those vets
working there are very likely feline fans.

Rona Y.
September 18th 05, 12:45 AM
I once would have thought cat-only clinics would be preferable. Then I
found out that my brother's cat-only vet recommended that his 22-pound
cat lose 5 pounds the first week, and at least 2 pounds a week after
that. I don't know much about feline nutrition, but I wouldn't even
suggest a human lose 5 pounds in a week, and generally a loss of 2
pounds/week is standard for humans who weigh 5+ times as much as cats.
Something was amiss, I thought, and I suggested they find another vet.

MaryL
September 18th 05, 12:47 AM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
oups.com...
>I once would have thought cat-only clinics would be preferable. Then I
> found out that my brother's cat-only vet recommended that his 22-pound
> cat lose 5 pounds the first week, and at least 2 pounds a week after
> that. I don't know much about feline nutrition, but I wouldn't even
> suggest a human lose 5 pounds in a week, and generally a loss of 2
> pounds/week is standard for humans who weigh 5+ times as much as cats.
> Something was amiss, I thought, and I suggested they find another vet.
>

That's incredible. Are you sure your brother quoted the vet accurately? If
so, that is gross negligence and/or incompetence.

MaryL

DevilsPGD
September 18th 05, 01:02 AM
In message > Joe Canuck
> wrote:

>I prefer a cat-only veterinary clinic.
>
>At least at those clinics there is some measure of specialization and
>thus more of an indepth feline knowledge and the notion that those vets
>working there are very likely feline fans.

I've found that the opposite is true, the cat-only ones tend to charge
significantly more and offer mediocre knowledge.

However, it probably varies depending on area.

--
To the book depository!
-- Homer

Topaz
September 18th 05, 01:02 AM
Brian wrote:
>
> What do you folks think is the average competency of your
> garden-variety vet? And what questions do you ask, what research do
> you do to convince yourselves that a vet is safe and knowledgeable?
>
>

I look at length of time a practice has been around and length of time the
vets at the practice have been there, first.

Then I want to know what they do for the community. Do they
participate in TNR programs etc.?

Once those requirements are met, I do my own research into
every health condition that comes up before I allow the vet to
do anything to my cat--if I can. Since I have never had a
sudden emergency I have always been able to. Used judiciously
the Internet is a treasure trove of good information.

Nobody is perfect. I check up on my own doctors as well before I let
them do anything to me or prescribe anything for me.

K2
September 18th 05, 01:57 AM
find out if they hire certified technicians or just people off the street to
care for your pets.

Kim

"Brian Link" > wrote in message
...
> Megan used to go on about finding a decent vet, and surprised me with
> how many vets are actually clueless and even dangerous.
>
> As a simple consumer, I hadn't realized this was an issue. I mean,
> these folks go to college, they get accredited, you would think there
> would be uniformity in their skills.
>
> Now that we have another cat in the household, I'm thinking about
> shopping around again for a vet. Our current vet is close (minimizing
> terrorized howling-in-the-carrier time) and good with people, but I
> don't know how to evaluate whether they're good with our cats. Luckily
> (touch wood) we haven't had any major crises with any cats since being
> at that vet, but I'd like to think that if something did come up we
> were giving them the best care possible.
>
> What do you folks think is the average competency of your
> garden-variety vet? And what questions do you ask, what research do
> you do to convince yourselves that a vet is safe and knowledgeable?
>
> Thanks
>
> BLink

September 18th 05, 03:12 AM
Brian Link wrote:
> Megan used to go on about finding a decent vet, and surprised me with
> how many vets are actually clueless and even dangerous.

Very, very bad, vets, like most doctors, trading on their diplomas
instead of their actual knowledge which is mostly by rote. But that's
true for all doctors of any stripe.

> As a simple consumer, I hadn't realized this was an issue. I mean,
> these folks go to college, they get accredited, you would think there
> would be uniformity in their skills.

But if the school and the teaching is bad? I have seen truly terrible
vets and their students at one of the best vet schools in the country,
an ivy-league vet school, deaf, dumb and blind is how I would describe
the vet students I met here. But there's a chance they will get better.
Things are getting better but they were truly terrible at one point and
churning out a lot of bad vets.

> What do you folks think is the average competency of your
> garden-variety vet? And what questions do you ask, what research do
> you do to convince yourselves that a vet is safe and knowledgeable?

I ask and ask again. A good local vet missed parasites that I diagnosed
sight unseen for someone. So I file that away. This vet appears to be
good for emergencies but dishes out too many it's the food as the
cause. In this case, missing parasites was just plain dumb on her part.
However, she did stay up with a very sick cat so for emergencies she
might be good.

Another vet I noticed had really good hands but not the academic
knowledge. And vice versa for yet a third vet, who was board certified
in her specialty but had clumsy and awkward hands, not a good vet for
handling the little critters.

I think that in general, vets are getting better. The ones I remember
from years ago were just terrible. Now I see some rather kind and
knowledgeable people. But I still remember that over-rated vet school
and the mistakes they made while pretending to be the best.

I better quit before I start naming names.

Joe Canuck
September 18th 05, 03:30 AM
Brandy Alexandre wrote:

> Brian Link > wrote in rec.pets.cats.health+behav:
>
>
>>Megan used to go on about finding a decent vet, and surprised me
>>with how many vets are actually clueless and even dangerous.
>>
>>As a simple consumer, I hadn't realized this was an issue. I mean,
>>these folks go to college, they get accredited, you would think
>>there would be uniformity in their skills.
>>
>>Now that we have another cat in the household, I'm thinking about
>>shopping around again for a vet. Our current vet is close
>>(minimizing terrorized howling-in-the-carrier time) and good with
>>people, but I don't know how to evaluate whether they're good with
>>our cats. Luckily (touch wood) we haven't had any major crises
>>with any cats since being at that vet, but I'd like to think that
>>if something did come up we were giving them the best care
>>possible.
>>
>>What do you folks think is the average competency of your
>>garden-variety vet? And what questions do you ask, what research
>>do you do to convince yourselves that a vet is safe and
>>knowledgeable?
>>
>>Thanks
>>
>>BLink
>>
>
>
> You really just go by gut instinct and ask lots of questions. If the
> answers are direct and to the point, they know their stuff, and if the
> response is meandering and vague, they're bluffing.
>
> I adore our new vet since moving. When Kami had her asthma attack in
> LA, we were given two different drugs, and the ER vet said at the first
> sign use the Breathine and if it gets worse, the prednisone. I went
> over the instructions with the new vet and she said to go straight for
> the prednisone. Why? Both drugs are bad for the kidneys, so go for
> the big guns that will stop it so you don't have to give any more. Her
> logic is impeccable.
>

Oh yes, absolutely. <rolls-eyes>

cybercat
September 18th 05, 03:52 AM
"Joe Canuck" > wrote in message
...
>
> Oh yes, absolutely. <rolls-eyes>
>

Are you from Canada? :)

Rona Y.
September 18th 05, 06:38 AM
It's possible they did not get the numbers correct. It was a number of
years ago, and they have since moved out of town (out of country,
actually) so they do have a different vet now. I'm quite certain that
the vet wanted 2 lbs/week for a limited time, though, and she may have
said after the initial large weight loss, the cat could go down to 1
lb/week. Isn't that still too much for a cat, though? And it was
definitely pounds, not ounces.

And there I was, telling them that 1 lb/month would be safer...they
thought *I* was the idiot...

-L.
September 18th 05, 10:12 AM
Brian Link wrote:
> Megan used to go on about finding a decent vet, and surprised me with
> how many vets are actually clueless and even dangerous.
>
> As a simple consumer, I hadn't realized this was an issue. I mean,
> these folks go to college, they get accredited, you would think there
> would be uniformity in their skills.

They all pass vet boards - some with better grades than others. Some
have better bed-side manner than others; some have better ethics than
others.

>
> Now that we have another cat in the household, I'm thinking about
> shopping around again for a vet. Our current vet is close (minimizing
> terrorized howling-in-the-carrier time) and good with people, but I
> don't know how to evaluate whether they're good with our cats. Luckily
> (touch wood) we haven't had any major crises with any cats since being
> at that vet, but I'd like to think that if something did come up we
> were giving them the best care possible.

Do they suggest multiple tests for fairly simple illnesses? (e.g. Do
they seem eager to get you to spend money?)

I have seen vets convince people to throw literally thousands of
dollars at hopeless cases. Not all vets are altruistic.

Do they offer you multiple treatment plans or choices in ways to treat
an illness? The choice in treatment should be your's, with very little
pressure from them.

>
> What do you folks think is the average competency of your
> garden-variety vet?

I used to be a lot more trusting than I am now. I had a vet
misdiagnose my dog and it cost her at least a year of her life, maybe
more. Now I am more leery.

>And what questions do you ask, what research do
> you do to convince yourselves that a vet is safe and knowledgeable?

In terms of finding a vet, this is what I recommend:

1. Get recommendations from friends and/or neighbors. Ask them why
they do and do not like their vet. Another good source is breed
rescue groups...they often deal with sick or ailing animals, and
should be able to recommend some good vets. Ask your local HS/shelter
if they use any local vets and/or if any local vets donate their time
to the HS/shelter.

2. Schedule a "get acquainted" visit, before you need to use their
services. Ask information about their qualifications, length of
service, professional affiliations, areas of expertise and ideology.
Your ideology should jive with theirs. (Ask questions about their
feelings on spay/neuter, declawing, tail docking and ear cropping,
breeding, vaccinations, etc.)

3. Call your local veterinary lisencing board, and ask if there have
been complaints filed against a specific vet. This information should
be easy to obtain as it is a matter of public record. (They may charge
you a report fee).

4. Call the BBB, and see if there are claims against the practice. A
vet practice should have a good record with the BBB.

5. Ask to tour the facility. They may need to schedule a tour, but
they should allow it, regardless. You should be able to tour the
entire facility except for the isolation ward. Cats and dogs should be
housed separately, and the facility should be clean and tidy unless it
is really early in the AM when they do clean-up from the night before
(which can be chaotic).

6. All vets should be willing to supply written estimates. If they
won't, don't patronize them.

HTH,
-L.

MaryL
September 18th 05, 10:52 AM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
oups.com...
> It's possible they did not get the numbers correct. It was a number of
> years ago, and they have since moved out of town (out of country,
> actually) so they do have a different vet now. I'm quite certain that
> the vet wanted 2 lbs/week for a limited time, though, and she may have
> said after the initial large weight loss, the cat could go down to 1
> lb/week. Isn't that still too much for a cat, though? And it was
> definitely pounds, not ounces.
>
> And there I was, telling them that 1 lb/month would be safer...they
> thought *I* was the idiot...
>

Yes, 1 pound a week is *much* too large. As an illustration, *people* are
generally advised not to lose more than 2 pounds a week -- and look at the
overall percentages that would mean!

MaryL

Phil P.
September 18th 05, 10:54 AM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
oups.com...
> It's possible they did not get the numbers correct. It was a number of
> years ago, and they have since moved out of town (out of country,
> actually) so they do have a different vet now. I'm quite certain that
> the vet wanted 2 lbs/week for a limited time,

Perhaps he said 2% of body weight per week. Although some vets feel this
is safe, this rate of weight loss results in a higher proportion of weight
loss from lean body mass and a lower proportion of weight loss from body fat
compared to cats losing 1% of body weight per week or 1 lb/4 weeks.

Phil

September 18th 05, 08:00 PM
In my personal experience, the few who know what they're doing seemed
to gravitate toward product promotions, increased fees while degrading
their customer service, less face time and a more "test" environment
than a "solution" environment. I had one vet, who I thought was pretty
good, who eventually went from "here is the problem, do this and your
dog will be fine," to "let's try this $500 test and see if that does
any good"...or, "let's try this expensive diet and see if that does any
good."

Since I relocated a few years ago, I've found nothing but very
high-priced, ineffective vets (so far). I've turned to the library and
the Internet to read and learn what I can, because for my dog's
situation, the advice and techniques that I've found on the 'net are
light years' better than any result of a test I've subjected him to, or
the diet.

I recently posted about my neighbor's experience with their cat...the
vet did not do fundamental analysis that led to a horrific result for
their family.

Topaz
September 18th 05, 08:38 PM
> wrote in message
ups.com...
> In my personal experience, the few who know what they're doing seemed
> to gravitate toward product promotions, increased fees while degrading
> their customer service, less face time and a more "test" environment
> than a "solution" environment.

Although this has not been a part of my experience, if it has been
part of yours I think part of shopping for a vet should be looking
at the "compassion" factor. How much do they do for local
rescue/shelter groups? Do they participate in TNR programs,
give discounts to those in need, that sort of thing.

September 20th 05, 02:34 AM
Topaz wrote:
> Although this has not been a part of my experience, if it has been
> part of yours I think part of shopping for a vet should be looking
> at the "compassion" factor. How much do they do for local
> rescue/shelter groups? Do they participate in TNR programs,
> give discounts to those in need, that sort of thing.

I appreciate your post. I am going to revisit our veterinarian
decisions with a new perspective after seeing what I have the past few
days (and reading more on the discussion boards).

Thank you,
Dave

Topaz
September 20th 05, 06:49 PM
> wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> Topaz wrote:
> > Although this has not been a part of my experience, if it has been
> > part of yours I think part of shopping for a vet should be looking
> > at the "compassion" factor. How much do they do for local
> > rescue/shelter groups? Do they participate in TNR programs,
> > give discounts to those in need, that sort of thing.
>
> I appreciate your post. I am going to revisit our veterinarian
> decisions with a new perspective after seeing what I have the past few
> days (and reading more on the discussion boards).
>
> Thank you,
> Dave
>

I really hope you find a good vet. Please keep sharing your
experiences here, they are helpful to everyone.