Care; real care

Today's blog is sort of a continuation of a previous blog, the one linked below.  So if you haven't read that one you might want to do that now before moving on.

Looking for a great vet

Tilley has not been herself since the visit to the facility in the above blog.  A couple of days after our visit we got a call from another vet from the same facility who gave us the blood work results.  Nothing out of the ordinary, WBC (white blood count) a bit high but nothing to be concerned about.  Great, Tilley's healthy, right?  Hmmmm.

So; three weeks after our visit I get an email from the original Veterinarian that I saw with Tilley asking me to not return, that's right.  Never in my life have I been asked not to return anywhere let alone a veterinarian facility.  The reason seemed to be the protocol; of course!!!! I'd asked too many questions, pushed the envelope by asking to hold my own dog and be present for a blood draw, what was I thinking?  (yes sarcasm)   What I was thinking was that this was a new vet; this was my dog and I was not about to hand her over to any strangers.  I've been through this many times; asking vets if I can stay, if I can hold etc etc.  But once they realized that I was more than capable and was not going to faint at the sight of blood or worse they obliged and even put it in my file.  "Owner stays with dogs."

Can you even imagine being asked not to return to a vet?  I'd not even been given a phone call; it was in the form of an email.  Ah yes a paper trail, more protocol.  I had not yelled, pulled a fit, nothing.  I had simply asked some in-depth questions about procedure and asked to be with my dog, not a great deal to ask.  So my insistence to be with my dog got me and my dogs ousted.  Protocol over care, not a warm and fuzzy caring feeling about a vet that makes this choice.  There was no care about my dog and her health; just that I had pushed their protocol buttons.    The only good thing about the email that came from Alicia Pet Care was that they had sent the blood and urine analysis results along with it.


Today Tilley was exhibiting very clear bladder infection symptoms.  She'd peed fifty times within and hour; so I had to find a vet.  I found one close to me and they squeezed me in after telling them that Tilley was panting in pain.  If you've ever had a bladder infection you undoubtedly understand.  I brought along her blood and urine analysis from the other vet just in case.  When we arrived we had a small wait and were seen.  Tilley was weighed and had her temperature taken which was 101.9, good.

As soon as the vet came in and met Tilley he got to the blood results of the panel.  He quickly circled the results which were marked (HIGH) and explained each one.  He said that this was definitely a worry and that something was going on with her.  The other vet had dismissed the results as a bit of stress and had only mentioned one of the FIVE (HIGH) results as being slightly elevated and nothing to worry about.  All I could think was thank goodness I was forced to go somewhere else.

Just as I am always explaining that each and every dog is an individual; so too are the owners attached to those dogs.  There are many people who walk into a vet and simply hand over their dog; they want nothing to do with maintenance or upkeep.  I understand that and it is wonderful that these people can just turn their dogs over to be cared for.  But that is not me; I am about as hands on as you get, I do everything and nothing makes me queezy  or grossed out.  I am very interested in it all and if I don't know something about an illness that one of my own dogs or a friends dog has, I dive into a ton of research to find out.

This whole experience has left me very bitter; mostly because there was a lack of caring for my dog, Tilley.  She doesn't deserve the whole "Corporate America" routine; no she deserves the care and concern from a veterinarian who became a vet to help animals.   Another life lesson I could have done without but each and everyone has had a part in making me who I am today and I am my dog's Mom.


  1. Sherri, I say again...thank GOD you had to switch vets, though you were already looking. Hugs and love to Ms. Tilley with best wishes for a speedy recovery. And KUDOS to a mom who cares!! Hugs YOUR way too!


  2. Hi Sherri,
    Please tell me it's not one of the VCA hospitals.
    We had a yorkie who was treated for the wrong diagnosis and died at one of VCA's hospital; "A Breed Apart" in Pasadena back in 1997.Malpractice. Do NOT go to the vet, A Breed Apart in Pasadena.
    They left her unattended after surgery and didn't follow our request to send her to the ER Vet for overnight care. The hospital, the owner and the vet were fined by the Board of California Veterinary Medicine. The record of Negligence stayed for 5 years. (something like the hospital was not fit to perform major surgery with no overnight attendant/technician etc.)

    yes, we were shocked. the receptionist called 7:30 in the morning saying she FOUND her dead. We were furious. We specifically told them to send her to the nearby vet ER for post surgery care. They didn't do it. I gave her one of my shirts so she could smell me. Anyway, they did all kinds of unnecessary tests, saying she had an enlarged heart and this and that. THEN found out she ate a 2" twig when they opened her up. NO enlarged heart and whatever other things they said before...(they had a surgeon come over to perform the surgery) and of course the bill was sky high. We had a necropsy done and showed she died of complaint filed to the CA Board of Veterinary Med. It took a whole year for them to investigate and make the decision. Yes, Emmy went in for diarrhea and vomiting, and never came back. I missed her.
    Should we be worry about our loved pets just like our families?!!!

  3. Shocking behaviour from the first vet. It's hard to believe they can behave like that. So glad that you have found a good vet now.
    I really hope Tilley will feel better soon.

  4. I am VERY picky about vets, and I have changed many times over the years to find the right one for me and my dogs (my dogs have had their own different requirements and it has meant choosing a vet that is best for them and me). I am lucky to have found one that works well for both the dogs I have now, but if I get another one or the needs of one of my dogs changes, I will make future vet decisions based on that! I see those negatives as a good thing, because who can trust a vet like that when things get serious??

  5. sorry if my english isn't perfect, i'm french from canada.
    First, I hope that Tilly will be fine, I agree with you that's not all veterinarian are nice person and care for dogs and their owner emotions, I have to change the veterinarian too, because the first one was not gentel, no time to ask the questions, but the second one I choose, she's lovely, let my spoo feel comfortable and let me ask her, and answear all my questions, she's more expensive than other one but I prefer to pay plus and have a good service that pay less and leave nervous.
    second, I love my spoo like my own baby, he is my son, and i'm his mother, when I read your message, I want just to tell you, you're right and no one can change that, when you're baby is sick , you should be there with her , you should assist everything because you need to know what is matter with her, and the veterinanien that love dogs they try to do their best to let owner feel fine and their dogs too.
    I wich Tilly feel better very soon.

  6. Wow Sherri, we are a lot alike. I will not allow my dogs to be takn into another room for anything other than surgery itself. I am even present for x-rays. The vets in Canada were some of the best I have ever dealt with and I miss them terribly. I spent almost 13 years running an no-kill shelter and nothing is too gross for me. If one of my dogs is diagnosed with an illness I investigate it thoroughly including any alternative medicines. We have just moved to Arizona and I am very worried about finding a good vet. I am so glad that even though you were treated so badly by your last vet that this may have been a blessing in disguise. Do you feel good about this new vet? How is Tilley doing? Ive only had one bladder infection and I felt really sick. That sweet girl has had a bit of a rough time in the last little while. I hope she can now feel good and enjoy her wonderful life.

  7. Hi sherri, I work in a vets office and while being asked never to return is not only unprofessional but rude, our clinic doesn't allow owners to be present for many clinical procesures either, not because we are concerned for owners fainting, because it allows us as veterinary staff to focus on the dog, we have had some clients insist on staying with their pet and caudeling them, dog psychology is much dIfferent than human psychology, as a reader if your blogs I'm sure your well aware. The dogs I have seen having blood drawn with the owners present has been by far more difficult and stressful than it had to be dogs pick up on your urgency to be with them and that makes it more difficult for us to do our job and by more difficult that also means a higher chance of having to re poke, reposition, and at times reshave for a new vein. We, as a clinic have liability, if an owner gets hurt in the back that is major liability. In some cases with extremely Ill dogs blood must be drawn from the neck, squeamish or not, we dont want the dog to associate you with that. Speaking as San owner who watched her dog get neutered, in the room, with enthusiasm.. And will watch my standard poodle get spayed next month, I understand your hands on approach, but even when Mazie had her urine drawn I stepped out, not for my sake, for hers. As a certified vet hospital assistant I was fully qualified to assist but, I knew Mazie would do much better without me.

  8. Anonymous; I understand your take, every person and dog are different but if a vet and the staff cannot take the time to understand that I am a canine specialist then that is sad. My dogs do much better when I am in the room; they are not near as afraid as they have a "familiar" face in the room.

    I never give off a sense of urgency; only calm and reliable. And they always take blood from my guys necks, I'm well use to it now.

  9. Debbie & Zorro (a chihuahua)Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Sherri - I'm with you. I stay with Zorro for just about everything. My vet DOES show a note in his file "better with owner present". He's a rescue and I can't even imagine what has happened to him in his little life. Like you, I'm the familiar face in the room for him, he needs that for now at least. The good part is, he has a great vet AND the vet office has day care so he's there once a week and knows all the humans. Sometimes I have to convince him to come back home! ;)


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