You love your dog, we love your dog…we may even harbor warm feels for you. In efforts to take our relationship to the next level, we need to address some things we do not love–and we intend this with respect and love. Please remember when absorbing the following points that they come from honest concern, never animosity. We are veterinary professionals with huge hearts, often odiferous scrubs, nearly endless patience and very long shifts doing something we cannot possibly imagine ever stopping: providing the best quality care and advice for your fur baby for the duration of its life, if we are lucky.
Without further ado, here are the top 5 ways you probably do not even know that you may be annoying your favorite veterinarian and techs:
- Asking for water when Wally begins to pant.
- Avoiding certain vaccines because of a friend’s dog having a reaction.
- Over-correcting Sergeant Pickles at the vet.
- Bragging on that grain-free or raw diet.
- Asking for a pedicure during Becky’s sick visit.
Panting on the job:
Number one may seem positively absurd or even cruel–but we assure you it is not. Panting is a simple stress response for canines when they feel anxious or nervous…and for some reason they associate the vet team with needles and thermometers, often regardless of how many cookies and snuggles we provide. Crazy, right?
Many people do not realize that the vast majority of dogs arrive at the vet panting, leaving their owners to assume that they must certainly be super thirsty! This leads to techs being asked to water poor Wally, a request we will not refuse you, sending us scurrying on our sore feet across the hospital for a fresh bowl of water that we already know Wally is not going to touch. Unless it is a hot summer day, it is not necessary. To be clear, this is not something we want you to feel shame for not realizing, it is simply an opportunity to educate and to leave more free time during the appointment to discuss what is going on with Sir Wally and to catch up with you!
Vaccines do not cause autism in animals
Up next is the issue of vaccinations. Some dogs do have adverse reactions to specific vaccines, and that can be very traumatic and scary for owners. Just like humans, this type of thing is personal and is not the same for each and every dog. This means that when your pal Linda warns that a specific inoculation will result in the same fate for your family pet, it is simply not the case. While Angus may have suffered diarrhea and vomiting from receiving the Leptospirosis vaccine, Sir Noodles may benefit from the vaccine to prevent him from contracting the bacteria in a mud puddle or blade of wet grass coated with wild animal urine and then transmitting the deadly side effects to his family. That is right, Lepto can be transmitted to humans from animals. Also, please believe: vaccinations do not cause autism in pets. This is not a thing.
It is important to note that adverse vaccine reactions are not common and generally include lethargy, some diarrhea and/or vomiting, facial swelling and mild discomfort at the injection site, any of which require immediate physician assistance. If you are concerned that this may occur, ask your veterinarian for a dose or injection of diphenhydramine prior to vaccines to help prevent a reaction. In the end, trust your veterinarian to offer sound advice on recommended vaccines based on your lifestyle and region.
Act a fool
Just like in number one, over correcting is generally not the best method when visiting the vet. Pets are often quite nervous to see us at the vet, and they may not behave as well as they do at home. When they are in such a state, panting and jittery, scolding them every two seconds as loud as you can with all of the authority you can muster will not help– and they likely will not listen. It can also make an unflattering impression of you, so just reassure Sergeant Pickles and know that he will behave normally when the stress of the visit is over. We do our best to keep wellness visits short for this very purpose. And yes, we can hear you from the back.
The endless grain-free train wagon rubs us raw
We will always discuss nutrition at your wellness visits and inquire what diet Wiggles McFloof is currently enjoying. While the media has done a phenomenal job of both deciding grain-free is a thing and promoting it to the point that every human believes it—it is simply not a thing. In fact, recent studies are emerging linking heart disease to a grain free doggy diet. It is the same with the fad raw diet. The truth is that we do not know what it is doing to our domesticated friends, as they are not related to the wolves and their sensitive bodies are not able to digest this type of diet. The dangers may continue to unfold–so it is best to listen to the health and diet advice given by your veterinarian, never the media, groomer or breeder. *exhales slowly with relief at sharing this with you.
Sick at the spa
Last but not least, we never mind giving Becky her pedicure, but we do ask that you please let it go when she is very sick. While we are all about multitasking in the beauty and the health arenas, when pets are ill, the stress of a pedicure can add to the issue–especially if it is something rather serious. Keep in mind, even if it seems like a simple case of diarrhea or vomiting, stress can exacerbate the clinical symptoms and lead to dehydration and more.
It is best that Becky gets some TLC at the vet during a sick visit and not a paw d’cure. Jes sayin’.
Thank you for taking the time out to absorb a few of our daily grievances…we appreciate our relationship with both you and your pets, and the best part of our day is seeing regular clients whom we have forged a bond with over the years and seen all of their animals!
All my best,
Kristy Brock, Veterinary Technician