View Full Version : Looking for a new vet

11-06-2010, 09:01 AM
Over the last few months I have become increasingly disappointed in the "service" from my vets. Ranging from taking 8hours to do a urine analysis and get back to me about it to the general attitude from the receptionist. I called this morning at 9am to see about getting some different meds for Skye as she had such a difficult night last night with the fireworks and the ACP they gave me did nothing to help her. I was told it was emergencies only on a sat and told me to phone back on monday. After explaining why I was calling she reluctantly said she would speak to the vet and phone me back. 2 1/2 hours later she said the vet had prescribed stuff for Skye I could pick up but then went on to tell me they shut at 12pm so I had 30mins to get myself and 2 dogs organised and drive out to the vets. Maybe I am being overly harsh and while I dont expect them to drop everything the second I phone giving me 30mins to pick up meds its not nearly enough! Also when I asked for an appointment with the vet who owns the surgery for next week it took 15mins for her to actually give me an appointment after trying to put me off with he is very busy, he needs to go out on emergencies so cant always be here for appointments and so on. He is the only vet I will see as I have very little trust in any of the other vets.
So I am going to look for a new vet and I have a few in mind that I am going to pop in to see during the week.
Part of me thinks better the devil you know that the devil you dont and maybe I should stay where I am.
Anyway in a round about way any advice on things I should be asking a potential new vet when I see them??

11-06-2010, 09:34 AM
That's very frustrating Allison. Finding a new vet is no picnic but you need an office that communicates with you. Sounds like your current vet office is swamped. You can have the best vet but if you can't gain access to them it doesn't do you much good.

I'd ask for a good time to talk to the vet when you go looking and tell him/her your concerns, see what kind of communication it brings and how friendly the staff are. How clean the office is and if they can run general diagnostics in office. What is the vet's schedule (part-time, full-time) and how long does it typically take to get an appointment.

Good luck with your search :)

11-06-2010, 09:43 AM
Thanks Patty!

Its been a nightmare the last few weeks. All I seem to say to people is I am waiting on the vet to phone or I am trying to get hold of my vet. Or the reception doesn't pass on the message that he has to call my cell phone and not my home number so I end up missing the call. I ended up crying today through sheer frustration at the situation. Seriously my vet has 6days worth of appointments and I only wanted one 10min appointment - how freaking hard is that!
Its a scary thought changing vets tho as I have been through a lot with Alfie and now Skye with her urine crystals I dont want to end up in a worse situation than I am now. Its all very depressing :(

11-06-2010, 10:50 PM
I think finding a new vet is my least favorite task in the whole world. But... last time I switched, I found the best vet and staff I've ever worked with and then wished I had started the search a lot sooner than I did. It's so worth it.

One of the reasons I went looking for a new vet the last time wasn't even the vet so much but the front office staff. As I told the vet at the time, I spend more time interacting with them than I do the vet so they are a huge part of my experience at the clinic.

For an incredible vet, I might tolerate some crap from the staff. For a just average vet, NO.

Good Luck in Your Search!! :)


11-06-2010, 10:51 PM
I liked our old vet but I was constantly frustrated with the rest of the staff, so I sympathize with your frustration. I also did not want to deal with the other 2 doctors in the office, who appeared to have a much more rigid and out of date way of dealing with diabetes. After one particularly head banging week of screw ups and miscommunications, I'd had enough and started searching.

One question I would add is to ask if they use any other forms of contact, like email. Frankly, that sealed the deal for me with our new vet. She utilizes email and actually prefers it for certain questions that she likes time to research. I love it because I can take my time formulating my questions and then have a record of the answer without having to rely on notes. Our new vet also gives out her cell phone number as the emergency number, which kind of blew me away. She said she would much rather get a 2am call then deal with a potential tragedy Monday morning. I imagine giving out personal cell phone numbers is probably rare, but email would have helped me a lot in those early weeks of Noodle's diabetes diagnosis.

Once you have a list of names, you might want to see if any of them have websites. I used the contact us link on our current vet's site to make initial contact. I wanted to make it clear how we chose to manage the diabetes (like home testing) and that I was seeking a vet who supported that and would see me as a partner in Noodle's care.

Good luck, Allison - I know it's frustrating and can feel a little overwhelming to start fresh with a new doctor...vet or human. But if you find that good fit, it makes life so much easier - or at least the doctor dealing part of life, lol. ;)

11-07-2010, 03:54 AM
I looked at vets in my area and sent off an email to 2 of them yesterday. Most vets here close a 12pm on a sat so I didn't expect to hear anything till mond. I got an email back last night for the vet I thought had the most potential asking me to pop in on mond to see them and have a tour and speak to the staff :eek: The main vet there has just completed an internal medicine qualification and is keen to talk to me about Alfie and is amazed I home test and wishes more people over here done it. While they prefer to either see me or talk on the phone they would be happy for me to email them and they would phone me back. He thinks at times email can come across a little impersonal.
I have pinched myself and its not a dream so we could be on to a winner with this vet. Fingers crossed meeting the staff on monday goes well!

11-07-2010, 04:49 AM
Oh wow...that's SO encouraging! Praying this will be the one :)

11-07-2010, 08:37 AM
Oh, Allison! Paws, toes, fingers, eyes, all crossed, hoping you have found THE RIGHT VET for you, Alfie, and Skye! Really, this vet does sound like a winner!

I'll be hanging in here watching, and so will Camellia, and, from above, Kwali and Kumbi will be, too, cheering you on!

Awaiting your Monday report!

Love, hugs, licks and wags!

Sun, 7 Nov 2010 08:37:31 (PST)

11-07-2010, 10:43 AM
Sounds great!!!!! good luck on monday and let us know how the visit goes!

Margaret Boyle
11-07-2010, 01:17 PM
Hi Allison,

Lots of luck with your new vet........this is best for Alfie and Skye and especially for you.:)

You want a vet who is going to listen to you and work along with you.:)

We are still having problems:(



11-08-2010, 10:16 AM
Well the visit today with the vets I mentioned was not as expected. They have a really nice, clean well equipped building. The staff were all really nice and I was so pleased with everything. Then I spoke to the vet :mad:
He wants Alfie in all day for a glucose curve - even tho they know I do it at home. I explained he gets stressed and it raises he bgs so the vet suggested putting a cover over the cage he would be in and keeping him in total darkness :eek:
After such a promising start with them I am really gutted its not turned out very well. They dont offer 24hour emergency cover either and said I would need to go 30miles in to Glasgow if I need to see some one out of hours.
Ah well on the search continues!

Margaret - Sorry your still having problems with wee lucy. I think about you both often. I will give you a call during the week and catch up on whats happening.

Hugs to you and Lucy

11-11-2010, 07:29 PM
I'm sorry this one didn't work out, Allison. It sounded so promising - how frustrating. Sticking Noodle in a cage, and covering it all day, would have pushed him right over the edge. He once tried to chew his way through a door when someone we had watching him locked him in a bedroom when they left...which they had promised not to do. Poor thing panicked. :(

Hoping the next one you try turns out to be the keeper. :)

11-12-2010, 05:48 AM
Ah well, glad you met with him ahead of time, but sorry it didn't work out. This is truly one of the reasons I hate moving often...finding all new services that are a fit to you and your dog. :o

11-12-2010, 07:54 AM
Yeah it was so promising but so glad I decided to visit first!
I am actually seeing my own vet today with Skye so I am going to discuss it with him when I am in. Its worth a try as so far I keep finding faults with every other vet in the area. I expect the best for Skye and Alfie and so far none measure up :o

11-12-2010, 03:45 PM
Well saw my vet today and I am really glad I have not gone for a new vet yet. I have always liked him even though we have had some issues in the past.
He read Alfie's thread a while ago when things were not good with him and even thought I said some not so nice things about him he still called me to talk about it and wanted to help when so many would have just told me to go else where with him and that really does say a lot about him.
So I did tell him all the things I was getting really frustrated about and the poor service I felt was being given.
I think for the time being we have come up with a good way of going forward and I hope that things improve as it really is the best vet practice in my area and they do offer all the things I am looking for in a vet. I guess only time will tell if things work out well but I know he did listen to what I had to say and how does know Alfie very well.
He did even ask about the magazine article I wrote so I am going to pop it in to him next week sometime as he was as shocked as I was about the original piece on diabetes and how outdated the advice was :D