Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Vets

amber416
February 1st, 2006, 05:50 PM
Today we tried a new vet for Cami, as we have not been completely satisfied with our current vet due to the care (or lack thereof) she has given our cat, Penny. This vet we tried today came highly recommended, and we liked her, although she was insanely expensive, but she really got on our case about the food we feed our pets. I know some vets tend to push food like Science Diet because they sell it in their office, but I thought this was perhaps unusually pushy.

I feed Cami Solid Gold, which she LOVES. We love what it has done for her coat, and actually our only complaint about the solid gold is that it seems to make her a bit gassy. We feed the cats Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, which I thought was fairly top of the line, as the ingredients are really good. The vet really laid into us about both food choices. She said that foods like Solid Gold were only so-so, "middle of the road food", she called it. She said Chicken Soup was probably not going to be made much longer it was so bad, and said that people only buy it because the name is "gimicky". She went on to say the premium, best foods you can feed are Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, or Nutro Max. She was not just pushy about these foods, she was downright offensive at times with the way she criticized us for feeding these other foods. She also said she thinks people buy Solid Gold because it is cheaper , but you have to feed more (???).

The whole food thing left me feeling really bad about an otherwise decent vet experience. Why would I want to leave my pets care in the hands of someone who is saying things that seem so uneducated?

Which leads me to a question... is it okay to sort of "try out" different vets? I mean, i feel weird going through three different vets when Cami is not even six months old. I would think the next vet I go to might kind of look down on me for it. Maybe that's a completely stupid concern, but I just feel weird about it, I guess. Anyway, anyone had any simillar experiences with vets and food? Is this fairly normal or does it seem kind of excessive in the food lecturing?

Bushfire2000
February 1st, 2006, 05:57 PM
It is absolutly alright to try on Vets. It's like your family doctor, you wouldn't go to one that made you uncomfortable. Your Vet should be a partner in your animals care. As for the food issue I've NEVER had a Vet promote a particular food to me.

phoenix
February 1st, 2006, 07:19 PM
Hi! This is interesting... I have had the same experience that you have had with regards to food and vets. I feed Canidae, and am very happy with it. Chicken soup and solid gold are excellent choices too IMO. But almost every vet I've seen with my 2 and my parents' dogs have recommended the VERY SAME brands that you are saying that your vet praised. And those are not top of the line foods by any means.
Meanwhile, my cousin who is in veterinary college, just gave my dad a bag of eukanuba, and said, this is worth 50 bucks but they give them to us for free. In fact, vets don't learn much about nutrition, and they are 'pushed' to recommend certain foods. Kind of like how pharmaceutical companies cajole doctors into prescribing their brand of drug.
Don't ever trust what a vet says about food, IMO. I do have a great vet now who seems to know more than most; she has her own dogs and I think researched for herself. She has never pushed a food type on me.
When you are shopping for a new vet, I'd go before there's a need, and 'interview' him/her with your dog or cat.
good luck!

Lucky Rescue
February 1st, 2006, 08:45 PM
I love my vet. She adores Chloe and is an excellent doctor and surgeon. She is not a nutritionist, so when she said Chloe was a bit chubby and that I should feed her that Hill's prescription crap I wasn't offended and just told her I thought a little more exercise would do the trick.;)

She is not pushy or offensive in any way. I told her I fed Wellness and she had never heard of it.

Really, vets are medical doctors, and since I wouldn't ask my plastic surgeon to psychoanalyze me or prescribe a proper diet, I don't ask my vet for feeding or behavioral advice.

mummummum
February 1st, 2006, 08:53 PM
When the Grrrl's came along I decided to take a much more holistic approach to their health than I had with my last dawgie. We went to the same clinic as I had no particular complaints about the care we had received. A new Vet had taken over the practice and we pretty much were at loggerheads from the get-go over the approach I wanted to try to the point where he wouldn't even answer any questions I had about diet, herbs, vaccinations etc. I saw another Vet at the same clinic and determined that they were coming from a very traditional approach to medicine that simply didn't permit other ways of thinking about health. In other words, I discovered that Vet's can be just as condescending and dismissive as human surgeons! So, I did exactly what you are setting off to do: I asked other dawg-lovers about their Vet's and literally interviewed a bunch of Vet's in their office, without the dawgs in attendance, notepad full of interview questions in hand until I found one who met all my what-I-want-in-a-Vet criteria (listens to the dawg and to me, is open to "other medicines", is willing to do research or accept mine to fill in the gaps in her knowledge, hours open, billing costs etc.). That's not to say we always agree - we don't. But, we do agree that the Grrrl's health is the priority and if one approach doesn't work we're willing to compromise our respective positions and try another. We respect each other's intelligence and agree that there are times when adhering to a western medical model is wisest but that there is more to healthcare than western medicine permits. Every year the Grrrl's have a complete blood count and full workup so we can monitor how well their diet is working and their general health. Please note the ongoing use of the word "we" - my relationship with my Vet must be one of real partnership in the Grrrl's healthcare or it doesn't work for me or for the Grrrl's - I am not only their caregiver, I am their advocate. I am also a consumer of a service provided by my Vet. As a consumer, I have a right to express an opinion, ask lots of questions, share information and to do so in a climate of mutual respect and concern. Good luck!:pawprint:

BMDLuver
February 1st, 2006, 08:56 PM
I would find a different vet personally. Our vet loves new things and we are constantly making recommendations to him. He now has missing link in stock for his cat patients who need glucosamine supplementation as it's the only good one he has found in powder form. He also always wants to know about food differences and why we feed what we do. He's open, he's interested in Homeopathic alternatives for pets.. ie. Biocalm instead of Clomacalm which he now religiously stocks. I think it's important to have a good working relationship with your vet and to have one where both of you learn something but that is not always easy to find. So if you find it, it's well worth the time spent trying some out.

Prin
February 1st, 2006, 09:51 PM
I'd definitely shop around. If your vet pushes you to buy food that endorses her, you don't know if that will come in later on too, when you have to make another decision. You know? Like a "wait it out" or "go for expensive surgery", which one do you think the vet will push you toward?

Shamrock
February 1st, 2006, 10:16 PM
I'd definitely keep looking for another vet.
An insanely expensive pushy one who criticizes and lectures you on approriate diet doesnt sound like a good bet for the long term.:rolleyes:

techpuppy
February 1st, 2006, 11:44 PM
It pays to check out various vets for your family member. A vet should interact well with your pet. And that means physically examining the pet, not just interviewing you from across the room. You should also feel comfortable with the vet in regard to asking questions and for advice. Anyone who would lecture you about your choice of food like this vet seems more interested in selling more product than giving useful advice.

Don't feel bad about trying another vet. You don't need to make excuses to them for changing, nor do you need to tell a prospective vet how many others you have seen. Take Cami in to a vet, explain that you are looking for a vet that can provide regular care as well as emergency care, boarding, etc if it is needed. Do some snooping while you're waiting. Is the facility clean? Are they willing to give you a tour? Ask the veterinary assistants a few casual questions. We chose our vet because of his obvious concern and interaction with our pet. The office has kennels, isolation ward, X-ray equipment, operating room and a 24 hour contact number. It is spotless. The assistants called the pets by name. Of course the waiting room has lots of pet accessories for sale, but never once has anyone pushed any item. They also had some donation jars for local rescues.

chico2
February 2nd, 2006, 08:00 AM
I just went to my vet yesterday,she too made a face at Chicken-soup and Natural Balance I feed my cats,+1 tablespoon canned,twice a day.
She said NO canned food and to try Medi-Cal,their food,with garbage ingredients..
WE know our animals,the vet really does not,unless there is a medical reason for changing the diet,whatever my vet says about food,goes in one ear and out the other:D
As long as the vet seems knowledgable and a good medical doctor,I would not change because she suggests a different food,I feed my cats what I am comfortable with,which is good ingredients and a good mixture of dry/canned.
But to suggest IAMS and Eukanuba borders on absolute ignorance!

Rottielover
February 2nd, 2006, 08:40 AM
I have tried many different vets at the clinic I go to, but there are so far only 3 I would like to deal with, they are all open to new ideas, and are not pushy. Also very comfortable with rottweilers which is a bonus

Lucky Rescue
February 2nd, 2006, 08:45 AM
She said NO canned food

Isn't that amazing? I guess they haven't heard that cats are obligate carnivores for whom a diet of dry kibble is totally unnatural and unhealthy.:confused:

chico2
February 2nd, 2006, 09:01 AM
Lucky,she pointed out very clearly cats are carnivores,as if I did not know:confused:
This vet was one I never met before,she is one of three in the office and she also never met me before :D .
I do what I feel is best for my cats and that definetly includes canned food,they would move out would I feed them only dry food.
As much as I myself like a variety of foods,I think the cats do to..

Beaglemom
February 2nd, 2006, 11:47 AM
I'm a very strong believer that you and your pet must have a good relationship with your vet. This means that all of you have to feel comfortable with them. I also think that you should feel comfortable with their staff. It took me a long time before I found a vet that I trust completely. I even love his staff! They are all awesome. They have even called me after hours just to make sure that Misty is doing well after a surgery.

My vet is never pushy especially when it comes to food. Every time we go in to see him, he asks what Misty is being fed and I tell him. He says that she looks really good and never suggests that I switch her to one of his brands.

Your relationship with your vet is like a partnership. You are both there for the betterment of your pets health. You should be able to feel like you can openly discuss things just like with your family doctor.

A knowledgeable vet is good, but I believe that a knowledgeable vet with bedside manners is great!

CyberKitten
February 2nd, 2006, 12:04 PM
I really like "our" vet though she is not everyone's cup of tea so to speak. She can be very blunt and she says things the way she sees them. She respects my opinions about rabbits (a subject she is not an expert on )and was not offended when I took my rabbit to the vet college in PEI. She does sell all those foods mentioned (hills science and the types you find at vets' offices) but is open to new info if you find it. We did argue over a few things but that was OK - high praise from her is "You are doing well with YY" - I would not expect her to say anyone or anything was extraordinary - that is just who she is, no nosense, but very good at her profession and not afraid to seek a second opinion, give dioscounts to families, helps the SPCA and anyone else who finds a sick or injured animal at no cost if they have no money and will do it at any time of the day or night.

I know some ppl complain that she is not the "freindly" type who will chat about their pets and familes but I have not found her to be that way at all - yes, no nonsense and professional and IF anyone is neglecting their pet, even without realizing it, she wil tell them in no uncertain terms and I admittedly like that trait in her!!

She also keeps up with the latest developments - does not do pediatric spay or neuter yet because she has not mastered it yet - this is a small region after all and she has a large practice. She observes the standards and more in care and that is what I want. If I ever disagreed with food she advocated - tho she has never pushed me to buy anything - she would just take it in stride and agree with me that I know my pets. But she knows me and has been a vet for our family for many years. She also helps with raids on puppy mills (mostly in Quebec - Gaspe area) and has rescued many many dogs - and other animals from deplorable situations (I mean in the sense of coming out on -20 weather days to help groups or the police when they find animals in dire straits. She has persuded me on more than one occasion to take some bottle baby kittens - tho often she did not need to be THAT persuasive, lol - and she just does more than she needs to.

But she herself would admit she is not a nutritionist! If you are uncomfortable with your vet, you should find another if you live in area where that is possible.