Can I help during the appointment?
This really depends on your pet.
Whenever possible, we like you to be present and fully involved as most animals are most comfortable having someone they know and love nearby. Occasionally, animals actually act worse when they sense or pick up on their owner's stress and worry. Some take on that stress as their own, and some pet's become very fixated on simply doing their job and protecting their human. In these cases, simply shifting the pet's focus and relaxing the stimulus by going to a different room or having you step out can make a big difference in what we can get accomplished.
Also, many people are not comfortable around certain injuries (e.g. working with eyes, open wounds), blood, needles, etc. We will ALWAYS let you know what we are doing and when. No explanations on your part are necessary, but we do understand if you do not wish to participate in everything; this is why you called us in the first place and why we come with appropriate support staff and equipment.
My pet is super nice and would never hurt anyone! Do you have to use a muzzle? That seems so mean.
Again, this depends on your pet. The patient dictates what kind (if any) of restraint is necessary. Anyone (including us) who is sick/hurt or scared can and will bite. This is completely understandable and certainly doesn't make them a bad or mean pet. It just necessitates that we have to respect and work with how they are feeling.
Muzzles, towels, Elizabethan collars ("cone of shame"), mama clips, etc. are all helpful tools that keep everyone (most importantly your pet) safe and often enable us to do what we need to do in a much calmer and more efficient way.
What Should I do To Prepare For an Appointment?
Part of our mission is to prevent disease in our patients by taking the time to educate our clients on correct animal husbandry. When we begin a relationship with a patient, we take our time in fully understanding or patient’s and client’s needs and perform the most complete assessment possible. Then we will provide a detailed plan for continued care. This may include treatment or prevention of disease, addressing congenital problems, protection against parasites, recommendations on nutrition, or certification of health for travel.
When preparing for an initial exam, expect to spend about an hour with the veterinarian in order to collect a detailed history, perform a physical exam, and discuss a viable health care plan. Pets should be contained in a room or area where they cannot hide and prevent examination (a bathroom without heavy furniture is usually an ideal containment area). When you schedule an appointment, be sure to mention any challenges that may be encountered or behavioral issues that exist. Also, if previously known medical problems or prior records are available, be sure to provide them in advance so that we are best prepared.|
To get the most from your visit with the doctor, avoid distractions during the appointment. If possible, silence phones and minimize distractions. Try not to stimulate your pet unnecessarily prior to arrival. Dogs can be taken for a walk or play prior to the visit to help them be in a more relaxed state to receive visitors. A calm patient is easier to assess than one that is excited. If available, collect a fresh urine and feces sample for the doctor and keep cool until the examination. If lab work or sedation is needed, an animal may need food and water withheld. This is usually discussed at the time an appointment is being scheduled.