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A very bad day at the vet's

July 18th, 2005, 05:30 PM
It was a terrible day at the vet's today. I took Leon to have his ears checked and his nails cut. He has been shaking his head and scratching his ears very hard, so I thought it could be an infection.

The vet put an ottoscope in his ear and was hurting him. Leon yelped and kept moving his head. The vet, who seemed to be in a rush, became annoyed with this; he started pulling Leon's ear and talking stressfuly. I squeezed Leon to keep him still but the more I squeezed and the more the doctor pulled, the more Leon yelped and fought back. It's a miracle I didn't crush his ribs and that the doctor didn't puncture his ear drum! :sad: :sad:

Then came the nail ordeal. The doctor raised and stretched Leon's leg to cut the nails, but Leon kept yanking it back. Well again, the harder the doctor pulled, the more Leon tried to escape and in the end snapped at his hand. The vet took out a muzzle and put it on Leon. The muzzle was very tight around his neck, plus the vet's office was very hot, plus Leon had never had a muzzle put on him... He panicked and started banging his head left and right. :(

We left the doctor with a very annoyed expression on his face and with only two nails cut.

I regreted taking him there in the first place. :(

Lucky Rescue
July 18th, 2005, 05:39 PM
OH that's awful! Poor Leon.:( Please find a new vet, who actually likes and understands animals, has some compassion and can take a moment to win some trust from your dog and one who is not in such a rush.

You'll have to start over getting your dog to like the vet. Take him there when he has no appointment, and once inside just give him treats, sit for a moment and then leave. Ask the receptionist and techs to toss treats to him as well. You want him to learn that the vet's office can be a good place.

I did this with my dog after I got her, and now she actually drags me down the driveway and is very anxious to see the doctors!:)

July 18th, 2005, 06:04 PM
Sound like the vet was either having a bad day or just very poor bedside manners.

There are plenty of vets who are gentler and more understanding.

July 18th, 2005, 06:04 PM
Also, you should get a muzzle and train him to wear it in comfortable surroundings. Otherwise he will fight you everytime he sees it if he only sees it at the vet.

July 18th, 2005, 06:58 PM
What a horrible day! I bet they made you pay for an ear exam and nail trim anyways!!

Did the vet actually get his ear problem diagnosed? Did he get his ears cleaned?

Dogs can get very upset when you try to clean their ears and they are inflamed. He should have had a vet tech assist in the appointment! He sounds very unprofessional - esp. with his "bedside manner"!

On the other hand it will help Leon A LOT if you constantly play with his feet, and hold them. If he tries to pull away keep holding his foot and teach him he can't always get away. Your vet was correct to use the muzzle though. It helps to protect your pup as well as himself - what if Leon got his tounge into the clippers or bit the metal!!! THAT would have been traumatic!

Good luck finding a new, more loving vet!!

July 18th, 2005, 07:07 PM
Aww poor leon! :( It's no fun having those things done as it is, and adding in the manner of the vet. My goodness, what a stressful visit! Hope you have better luck in the future.

July 18th, 2005, 07:16 PM
Yeap, you're right in everything you say. There was no excuse for him being so hasty and intolerant when I was the only client at the office. He was just bored, and didn't care, and wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. I understand Leon was giving him a hard time, but who can seriously blame the dog? A vet's job is to treat animals with patience and gentleness, not sloppiness and dislike.

This was our last visit to that doctor.

Lora, he said there was some wax in the ears but no infection and that he shakes them because of "nervousness", but I suspect it could be an allergy of some sort. He didn't mention anything about cleaning them. And he doesn't have any assistants.

It's a good idea to have Leon accustomed to someone holding his feet (he's very touchy after I cut the quick last time) and train him to wear a muzzle. I never thought the latter could come in handy.

Thanks to everyone for responding! It makes me feel better, after being so worried about my doggie. :)

July 18th, 2005, 07:21 PM
Definitely get a new vet. I would suggest getting an ear cleaner solution and slowly accustom him to having his ears cleaned. That way, when he does have a problem, he won't be so nervous about his ear as he'll know to trust you. It will also help to break down any buildup and reduce the chance of an ear infection.

July 18th, 2005, 07:37 PM
... and mind the head shaking - especially if he has floppy ears! He may burst a small vessle and cause a blood clot in his ear tissue. You'll notice it because it looks like a lump, and feels mushy like a pillow. These usually need surgery to remove.

I've never heard of a dog being so constantly nervous that he keeps shaking his head... anyone else heard of this?

Good idea to get him used to the ear cleaning too :thumbs up

July 18th, 2005, 08:00 PM
I've never heard of a dog being so constantly nervous that he keeps shaking his head... anyone else heard of this?

I have definitely not every heard of it... I could understand if he said the dog chews it's leg because it's anxious... but not shakes it's head.

July 18th, 2005, 08:26 PM
Your pooch and you should not have been treated like that. I suspect I'd have walked out tho it is tough to do, I know. I never heard of a vet with no assistants - that's ridiculous!

July 18th, 2005, 08:42 PM
Too bad you are not in Sudbury. I have a great vet. He actually talks to my girls like they are kids. Plently of belly rubs and kisses also. My dogs like the vet. If my vet did what yours did, his testicals would be become earrings after I got done booting them up there. :p I agree get a new vet.

July 18th, 2005, 09:02 PM
I think a dog will only shake its head nervously if it has had ear infections often already. It becomes sort of a habit. I know Jemma does it because her ears get hot when she is nervous and they sweat a bit and get itchy...

As for the vet, I'd say get a new one. I agree with WW- the vet should always be patient. If he doesn't have time to be careful, you need a new vet.

July 19th, 2005, 08:32 AM
Certainly sounds like a good reason for the office to be empty - except for (unfortunately) you and Leon!

July 19th, 2005, 08:48 AM
OMG! I'm so sorry that you and Leon had to go through such an ordeal! I would definitely find a new vet!

My dog hates having her feet touched ever since she broke her toe. It is never an easy task cutting her nails and unfortunately our vet does have to muzzle her for it. She may snap and considering his face is usually close to her mouth, I don't want to take any chances. During the whole process, our vet talks to her and plays with her and most importantly, he takes his time and never struggles with her! He makes it as unstressful as possible for her and for myself!

I would definitely switch vets. Unfortunately, now poor Leon has been traumatized by this whole experience and you will have to work with him and help him get over this.

July 19th, 2005, 09:19 AM
That is ridiculous! Poor Leon is probably now traumatized from this experience! When you find another vet, explain to them what has happened so they can win his heart. It will definitely take some time for him to trust a vet again. Poor guy! :grouphug:

July 19th, 2005, 09:38 AM
:eek: I'm glad that my vet doesn't muzzle dogs unless they are trying to bite. Otherwise she just leaves the muzzles alone.

A vet that I went to muzzled a NICE Pitty because it was an "agressive breed". >_>

July 19th, 2005, 12:32 PM
I switched vets for exactly the same kind of thing. This guy had a terrible bedside manner and my corgi x bit him every time we went to him. She liked the new vet much better.

Have you tried the 'trust roll' with Leon? It teaches the dog to trust you implicitly and allows you to touch whatever part of their body that you need to. You sit on the floor with your legs out straight but kind of apart. Have Leon sit on the outside of one side of you or the other then roll him over your leg and into the space in between your legs so that he is laying on his back between your legs with his head toward your feet. Play with his ears, rub every part of his body, play with his feet, massaging each and every toe. Every time he tries to pull away or get up, stop him, put him back in the correct position and go back to what you were doing. It'll probably take a while, but in the end you'll be able to do whatever you need to his ears, or look in his mouth, or trim any or all of his nails. To start out, you'll need to do it at least once a day, everyday - but after he doesn't protest anymore, you can cut it down to every other day, or a few times a week but do it often enough that Leon doesn't forget and thinks he should start protesting again.