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Seeking opinions

February 3rd, 2006, 07:18 AM
My two-year-old German shepherd has been diagnosed with elbow dysphasia and I'm scheduled to have a consultation at the small animal clinic at the University of Guelph on Feb. 14th prior to having anthroscopic surgery done. I would like some feed back from people who have had dealings with the clinic (good or bad) so that Iím not going into this blind. Iíve had one person tell me that they may try to get me to have things done that arenít necessary just to increase costs, but otherwise everything else Iíve heard has been favorable. Iím looking forward to reading about your experiences. Thank you in advance for your anticipated responses.

February 3rd, 2006, 11:55 AM
My experience has been "limited" to 2 middle of the night full body mini Dachshund surgeries performed by neurologists who were called in on an emergency basis. We had to drive our dogs from Toronto. There is an emergency facility in Toronto with on-call specialists but they absolutely require a 24 hour work-up to do the special X-Rays required - no ifs, ands or buts. Happened to my personal vet as well - she also had to hit the road to Guelph at midnight. Guelph did the same X-Rays but they are read immediately. 2 hours after our arrival our dogs were in surgery - 7 hours for one and 5 for the other. The neuros are absolutely first rate. We had to go back for follow-ups of course - a pain driving from Toronto - but both our dogs loved all of the doctors and the staff - not the norm for super Alpha mini Dachshunds. One even ate a roll on the exam table. The neuro personally performed our last little guy's physio (he had 2 of his own little dolls recovering at home from same surgery). If you sit in the waiting room you will see many of the regulars on very friendly terms with the doctors as they personally come out to greet their patients - our neuro was very popular with all. All of the vibes were right. I firmly believe they will not do unnecessary tests just to make a buck. Certainly middle of the night emergency surgery costs - and you have to pay 50% in cash/cash equivalent up front with balance due on release from hospital (this also included the follow-up visit). Personally I hope NEVER to see Guelph again, but not because of the doctors, but because it would be a major emergency again. My dogs would have died within 12 hours had surgery not been performed within that time period. My vet also thinks very, very highly of their specialists. Actually I think my last guy must have been sitting on a little throne back there. At our follow-up they had to keep him for 3 hours to do further testing so gave us a pager to let us know when to go and pick him up. He was in such good humour, kissed everyone goodbye - heck, made you almost want to move to Guelph - no doubt many people did when hourse prices were lower. So long and short of it is - don't worry. First place I tell people to go when general vet cannot determine the problem. Many illnesses are hard to diagnose - pancreatitis can be diagnosed but in fact pup might have Addison's - and can be early onset. Cushings as well since so many symptoms mimic middle age. Sadly, our little guy died 10 months to the day of his surgery - but our neuro had warned us this would most likely happen - but I treasure every minute of those 10 minutes. But I couldn't go through it again - so now we have an Eskimo - a breed prone to Luxating Patella and Cruciate Ligament. Orthos take care of that problem - was sort of hoping that it would be neuros since I know just who I would want to operate - hopefully it won't happen. Best of luck with your pup. Glad you live a lot closer than we do.

February 4th, 2006, 01:30 PM
Thanks for the encouragement and information. I'm glad to hear your experience at Guelph was a good one. Hopefully mine will be as well. My dog absolutely hates going to the vet. There haven't been many pleasant experiences for her there as she's had alot of issues in her short two years. I'm hoping that after this elbow dysplasia is taken care of she'll be free of vet visits for awhile, except for the regular stuff of course. Thanks again.

February 4th, 2006, 04:05 PM
Sgiles,I have never as of yet,had to go to Guelph,but have heard only good things from there,so I think you can rest assured.

February 4th, 2006, 10:54 PM
You are in VERY good hands there....:thumbs up