Return to the Pets Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Would you have changed also?

Posted by cindy_lou_who (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 24, 10 at 12:46

My dog has recently had a clear runny nose. Last night it changed to a green discharge. I called the vet this morning 4 minutes after they opened so I could get him in today. The girl I spoke to said they were booked solid for the day.

I asked if they leave a few slots open for illness or emergency & she said they do, but they're booked. I asked how those slots were already booked since they'd just opened and she said "It's just been really hectic." She said I could try calling tomorrow in case there was a cancellation, so I asked if she could take my name and call me.

Through the entire call she kept suggesting that I take him to the emergency hospital instead of bringing him in. He's drinking water, running all around, just as happy as can be.

I called a new vet and they will see him first thing Monday morning. The new place asked a ton of questions about him, his health history, symptoms, and just seemed so much nicer overall. They think he'll be fine to wait until Monday since there is no cough/wheezing/snorting along with the runny nose.

So was that jumping the gun or would you have switched vets too? There were other reasons also, building up over past visits. I guess this was the final straw.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

If a veterinary office is unresponsive to my concerns and essentially sends me packing, I take the hint. But, you don't have to immediately cut ties with your current vet. Just make the appt with the new, responsive vet and see how you like him on Monday. If all goes well and you like the new vet, then you can make a decision about whether you want to switch to him permanently. If you do, call your old vet and have your pets' medical records transferred to the new vet.

Laurie


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

what laurie said, plus this:

when someone says he/she doesn't have time for your business, you *know* you'd better start interviewing to find someone who does.

Luckily your dog seems to be okay to wait until Monday, but what if it had been an emergency?

I would be boiling over if the vet to whom I gave my business told me that he/she didn't have time for my dog's emergency & told me to call an emergency clinic rather than making time for him.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

Well, actually - it sounds like you spoke only to the receptionist and not to the vet. If it was my vet I know she would be furious if her receptionist had treated me that way and had let a potentially serious situation go unattended. Therefore, I would be sure to find a way to let my vet know.

OTOH, if you were already considering switching vets, perhaps it is best to check out a new one.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

I am lucky I guess. There haven't been too many times I didn't get in fairly quickly when I thought an animal's concern shouldn't/couldn't be put off. A lot of it has to do with how you describe your situation and whether it really is urgent. It helps I have been with my present vet for two decades, because they know me well enough that if I tell them it's urgent, it is urgent.

Like said, you have to go through a receptionist to get to your vet, so it's very important the person at the phone has adequate qualification to in fact triage a pet, because that's what they actually are doing. It's also important that your vet has sufficient personnel to handle runs of busy days. They happen. No, no, no I would not stay with a vet who brushes me off to ER services during regular business hours, because those services are meant to be what the word says. Emergency. I was a human nurse and have seen too many patients show up in ER who should have been seen by their regular practitioner and it's not only an insult to your pocketbook, it does not give your animal continuity of care, tends to repeat labwork your regular vet may already have, and clogs up the system so that those who really need emergency services have to wait to receive them.

That being said, if I question the receptionist's interpretation of my problem, and I really need an answer, then I can usually get them to go give a message to my vets and if it really is important and the vets are not tied up in surgery or an emergency, I either get an answer by message, the vet comes to the phone, or they say they'll call me when they can get free. Sometimes just a reassurance from them is enough to hold me over until an appointment can be made the next day. That's fine.

I guess I am just very happy with the practise I use now. One of the docs is just an excellent diagnostician and the other an excellent surgeon and I've heard they added a third. They all go out of their way to make sure you can reach them if needed, day or night. You might pay for that priveledge, but that's ok too. And they're both interested in the whole aspect of each animal patient and will work with you so that you can contribute, can take over things you feel comfortable with, and they know their own patients well.

I suspect that if you were constantly having difficulties getting appointments it would be an issue and you should either confront them or look elsewhere. But, if it goes further than that, somewhere out there is a vet you can connect with at all levels. Hope your little fellow is back up to snuff soon.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

This is a vet my boyfriend used with his previous dog. He went to him for about 12 yrs with his previous lab. When his dog became sick, he was referred to the emergency hospital who put him in a room and guilted him into spending thousands in an attempt to save his dog who they ended up putting to sleep.

We have a one year old Chocolate Lab and two ten month old Olde English Bulldogges. The vet's response when we took the lab in for her very first visit was "now you know she is not a replacement for your previous dog, right?" and I thought that was a little odd. When I took one of the bullies in for a check up my bill seemed a little high. I questioned it and realized a box of heartworm medication was on the counter. He'd never mentioned this, never once asked if I wanted it, nothing. It was just on the counter and added to my bill. I already had it at home & didn't need it. The tech at the desk seemed to have an attitude when I wanted it removed from the bill. She kept insisting that I needed it for his health, and wanted to know where I'd gotten it since it required a prescription.

I tried to tell my boyfriend back then that I didn't like this place but he said he'd never had any issues all the yrs he'd been going there.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

Sounds to me if you and your BF are going to have pets in common, you need a vet you can both relate to, and this doesn't appear to be happening. He/she might be the most clinically skilled vet in the area (could explain why they're so busy you can't get appointments). But good communicating skills and empathy are also important to make it work. I'm not comfortable with doctors either animal or human who do tests and rx without even explaining what they are doing and RXing. Sounds like you and BF need to talk some more.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

After this, my bf is in agreement as far as changing to another vet.

When I called this morning it did not sound like the usual secretary that answers the phone, I am almost positive it was one of the techs. Either way, if you're going to put someone on phone duty, they should know how to handle making appointments.

This is a small, out of the way clinic in a private home. I've only ever seen 1-2 other customers during other visits, usually I'm the only one there. I just thought it was odd that they were booked solid today & tomorrow.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

I've come across this sort of thing too and I also changed vets. In my case my dog started going into kidney failure, she was in quite a bit of distress and when I rang the vet to bring her down straight away to be put to sleep they told me they didnt have any spots, but I could bring her late in the afternoon.

I was furious at the uncaring attitude they had and I was not going to let her suffer the entire day the way she was so I raced her off to an emergency vet clinic that would do it right away. I never went to back to that vet again and found a new one. It was a very distressing time, my dog was obviously suffering, I was upset, and the vet didnt give a hoot which just made it more difficult. with sick animals I think vets really need to be flexible at times but some just want a nice neat schedule to stick to


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

I'm in my 60's and have worked for a vet as well as used many. It seems to me there is a trend happening where vets use office help to run the business more and more.

The person to whom you speak may be a vet tech and not just a receptionist. That causes some folks to bow to the 'medical expertise' idea.

Vets often need someone else to actually run the business end of a clinic. Vets are vets because they like to heal/help animals, not run a business. Good vets often are overbooked. Reason? They spend more time per patient. I often wait an hour or more on my doctor---but I get the time/attention necessary.

Office staff often care more about running a business(that is what they were hired to do, after all) than customer service. They see the frazzled vet and want to reduce the work load.

So, there are many reason for getting the response you got.

And no reason to not look elsewhere. You are paying for a service. If you do not get that service, you should go elsewhere.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

You're right, and I know that's what's going on here. I've been noticing the receptionist is only there part of the day and the techs fill in when she's gone.

I've worked in an office before where there were more than 15 employees doing all the filing after they decided to get rid of the file clerk. Everyone felt their way of filing was the right way. There were actually 2 or 3 people who filed clients under first rather than last name, those were fun.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

I think you did the right thing, but you might want to tell your original vet what happened (the vet, not the receptionist). They may not be aware that their receptionist is turning away sick animals, and it may not be the actual clinic policy.


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

We went to the new vet today and he's totally different than the old one. The office is brighter, the staff is friendlier, and they have a dedicated receptionist who is always there. Also, the vet stays in the room and actually speaks to you instead of running in and out, leaving you with a tech.

My dog will be fine, he has a respiratory infection and is on antibiotics for 7 days. Thanks for all your help!


 o
RE: Would you have changed also?

Glad your dog is doing well.

When I am booked solid, clients can come in as a walk in and get seen as soon as I get a chance. Sometimes that is hours later but usually not. Receptionists know to offer that in any sick cases, but not for vaccines or other routine stuff since it would *really* screw the schedule to do that. But for sick animals, even if it *seems* minor, we ALWAYS have time that day.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Pets Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here