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Old July 4th, 2005, 03:42 PM
auntiejennie auntiejennie is offline
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Dog is afraid of the vet - dog fears vet - Answered by Dr. Slome

I own a black lab/chow mix. I recently moved and took Dakota to a new vet.
dakota has had some very bad experiences at the vet and when Dakota would not let the vet muzzle him after 1/2 hour of tormenting Dakota, the vet threw his hands up in the air and told me to get a new vet and that he wouldn't have the dog around the place. My feelings were so hurt and my dog still doesn't have his shots. This dog is great with people and other dogs and now his experieinces at the vet have been worse than ever. Can anyone help me figure out a way to take the fear out of Dakota when going to the vet.
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Old July 4th, 2005, 03:48 PM
angie79 angie79 is offline
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did the vet try to sweet talk her, give her cookies.. my vet gives tons of cookies...

why does she need a mussle at the vet? does she wear a mussle often?
maybe if you mussle her before she goes into the office she will be ok
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Old July 4th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Can you try a different vet?
Sounds like this one was either having a bad day or really does have the patience needed to deal with animals .... especially for a first time meeting
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Old July 4th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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I think dogs have a sixth sense about people that is usually right on. I would try a new vet regardless. Did he ever have those kinds of problems with his previous vet? When making an appointment, let the new vet know what has happened over the phone and ask if there's anything you should do before you go in (muzzle?).
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Old July 4th, 2005, 08:37 PM
SnowDancer SnowDancer is offline
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My vet's practice has 4 vets, all with different personalities. Some dogs love one vet, but run when they see another. Occasionally, depending on the procedure to be performed and the dog's temperament, the vet is more comfortable if the dog is lightly muzzled - yes, even the sweetest dogs in the world! I suggest you try and find a new vet - your profile just reads Ontario. My primary vet is excellent - but located in Toronto.
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Old July 4th, 2005, 08:44 PM
auntiejennie auntiejennie is offline
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I do have plans to try a new vet. He has always been nervous at the vet but my last one new it so he just gave him a shot in the hip and let him go on his way. I think I'm just more concerned the vet hurt my feelings when he said he won't have the dog around the place. I should have known better when he never pet Dakota or talked to him.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 09:17 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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I should have known better when he never pet Dakota or talked to him.
Definitely! It only takes a few minutes to pet a dog, give him a little treat and get to know him a bit before doing anything. If the vet is in too much of a rush to do this, or appears to not like animals - time for a change!

To get your dog over his fear, this is what I suggest. Start taking him to the vet. The first time, just walk him to the door then turn around and leave immediately and give him a little treat.

The next time open the door and step inside, and before your dog has time to react, leave/give treat.

Keep doing this until you get further inside each time, always making sure to leave before any fear is apparent.

When you finally get inside, just sit in the waiting room for about 30 seconds before leaving, making sure to keep praising Dakota and giving him VERY special treats (ones he gets ONLY at the vet) for not showing fear.

If during any of these steps, Dakota shows great fear, then back up a step.

Hopefully by this time, he will enter the office with no problem, and you can give the receptionist and techs a treat to toss at Dakota.

The result should be a dog who is eager to go to the vet, since he knows it can mean fun and treats, and not just needles and fear.

Hope this helps!
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Old July 5th, 2005, 09:20 AM
Mockingcat Mockingcat is offline
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Just another suggestion, when you find your new vet, stop in with Dakota before your appointment (make sure they know you're coming and it's ok... ). Walk around a bit, and have the vet and the assistants give treats and pats. That way Dakota isn't only associating the vet with bad things.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Prin Prin is offline
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I'd go with a woman vet at first. If he's had a bad time with a male vet, maybe he will be nicer if it's a woman.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 11:39 AM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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if Dakota has a playmate, ask them if they'd join you at the vets.
Luckyrescues suggestions were right on, we watched a program two weeks ago on tv about dogs and their fear of vets office and he took them through the exact same steps as she mentioned, another trick of the trade is that dogs "smell" the office, they associate that smell with fear and pain, so just before you arrive there, take a bounce sheet, or papertowel/napkin with a scent on it from home and swipe their nose, as if you're playing "gotcha"....for just a bit, thats all they'll be able to smell and forget to be afraid.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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Bearsmom Bearsmom is offline
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Our adult mastiff mix drops HUGE farts as soon as we get near the vets office. That's his way of showing fear. Once we're inside the exam room, he stands with his head right against the door, it's almost like he's saying, "can we go? Can we go NOW? What about NOW?"

It sounds to me like your vet isn't willing or able to work with the dog. Tell him thanks but no thanks, and find another vet.

Ours has spent HOURS just trying to coax Bear in the door, and spends quite a bit of time with him before she does anything to him. Kaos doesn't care, but then again, he's only 5 months old.

If you're comfortable with it and you want to give your city out, a lot of board members are spread out across Ontario and may be able to help you locate a vet.
Whatever you are.....be a good one.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 02:33 PM
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CyberKitten CyberKitten is offline
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A good vet will spend time with the dog. If my cat did not like a vet, we would be out of there!! I would look for another vet and follow the great advice offered here, especially that provided by Lucky Rescue. And as Prin said, after a bad experience with a male vet, you might try a woman.
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Old July 6th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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doggy lover doggy lover is offline
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If you have to muzzle your dog do it yourself before you go in the office ask the receptionest for the muzzle, some dogs just don't like strange people around their face.
A man who looks into a collie's eye to receive an icy stare is but a fool. Be at one with man's best friend and through his eyes you will see his very soul.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 04:11 AM
auntiejennie auntiejennie is offline
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new vet

Thanks everyone, I got a new vet and got the job done. Ironically it was a female vet this time who spent a long time getting to know Dakota. She also mentioned his great condition and nice coat. It was a lovely experieince. Dakota was not entirely impressed but he certainly wasn't traumatized like last week. For anyone in my area Arnprior animal hospital treated Dakota and myself far better than Pinnacle Animal hospital in Renfrew.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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petdr petdr is offline
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Dog afraid of the veterinarian

Fear is often an underlying cause of aggression at the vet and it is very frustrating for all when a pet is unco-operative. I think we have a situation here of firstly the breed characteristics of a Chow, notoriously aggressive at the Vet, and secondly you need to get the fear somewhat controlled.

A very common solution is to sedate Dakota with tranquilizers prior to the vet's visit. Another option is to consider a mobile vet since it may just be a fear of the premises at the vet and if he is generally friendly to others, he may allow you or another vet to apply a muzzle at your home situation.

I would suggest you practice applying a muzzle at home without anything happening to him before you take it off so he doesn't associate the muzzle with something bad always.

Lastly, I would strongly suggest he get neutered if hasn't already been neutered as this will control male aggressive tendencies.

Good luck. I know it is frustrating.

Martin Slome DVM
Centre Street Animal Hospital
7700 Bathurst Street Units 40-42
Thornhill, Ont.
L4J 7Y3
Tel. (905) 771-9855
Fax (905) 771-7260
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