Prepping for a vet trip

So today is a HUGE day for me…erm, for 2/3’s of my critters. It’s vet day. Shayne and Rio both need to have heartworm test done, I want to run a full blood panel for Shayne since she’s almost 7 I want a healthy blood sample we can compare to if needed years down the road, since Monty is new to the house I just want him getting a once over by the vet, and 16 year old Panther is going back for the second time this week for more tests. On Tuesday I had a bit of an emergency with her and had to rush to the vet. We left without a diagnosis but had ruled out kidney failure, liver disfunction, diabetes and a blockage which were the immediate threats but we don’t know the cause yet.

Going to the vet with any 4 animals is certainly a challenge but bringing Shayne is always extra difficult because she is extremely nervous at the vet’s office. It’s something that has certainly improved over the years but it’s still hard on her. She had a very traumatizing experience with two … insensitive (that’s the nicest word I can come up with)… vet techs who have really ruined it for Shayne (and in turn for me and every vet she’s ever been to) by making the vet a terrifying place.

After years of counter conditioning work, she is finally below threshold enough in the waiting room to sit/down/touch and respond to basic behaviors–even if she’s still stiff and uncomfortable. So it’s always a challenge with her at a vet office, let along at a vet office with Rio, Monty, and Panther. It’s even more of a challenge when I have to try to manage my 2 dogs and keep them away from other dogs because stressed out Shayne is ESPECIALLY uninterested in greeting other dogs.

When I prep for the vet, I pull together quite the bag of tricks (largely for the dogs since the cats will be safely contained in carriers). I will bring with me a mat for the dogs to lay on, stuffed kongs, and high level treats. The biggest challenge is always in the waiting area as not everyone else will take as much care to keep their dogs controlled. Fortunately my appointment is one of the first ones in the morning so hopefully we’ll be able to get in and out without too many other critters.

So we’ll see how everything goes but the best thing to do is go in super duper prepared and have lots of reinforcement at the ready. Hopefully all goes well with 16 year old Panther and we get a diagnosis of what her problem is and how to go about treating and resolving it.

Do you have any special things you bring to the vet to help your pup or cat?

  1. I’m lucky in some ways that my vet is a small, one doctor practice. This means that we rarely see more than one or two other patients in the waiting room when arriving for an appointment. Plus, the vet techs and receptionist are awesome in that they have been willing to have Pallo stop by randomly, walk in, get treats, and leave, whenever we happen to be driving by, with the result of him being way less nervous for going to the vet.

  2. My vet is also a small one doctor. Even so the waiting room would make a small bathroom look big. Because of that I usually wait in the car with my pups, or walk around in the grass to give them a chance to potty.
    Good luck with Panther.

  3. My dogs stay in the car. I check them in, then wait either with the car or in the waiting room, depending on weather. Once the exam room is ready, I go get one dog, bring them in, have the appointment, then switch (if more than one dog). Getting through the exam room isn’t bad, even if it’s crowded, with a GL and spoon of peanut butter. If my dog is NPO (no food for surgery or something), I’ll just carry them through.

  4. I’ve moved to a new town and will be trying to organise desensitising time at the vets with my 15mth old GSD. No one-doctor surgeries here, unfortunately. I took my cat to the vet the other day and while we were there 4 different dogs came into the waiting room at different times. That’s not what’s worrying me, it’s finding a vet who’s willing to take the time to meet my boy, let him into the exam room (with no treatment, this is just for desensitising), and make the experience an enjoyable one.
    There are 4 vet surgeries here, and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to find out which vet is willing to take the time to do that……
    Thanks for the post anyway, reminded me to take extra yummy treats/kongs with me when I do go.

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