Vet Attempt the Second (or twenty second...)
#1
I just got back with Ember from trying another vet. And let me tell you, what a world of difference!

At first I was put off yet again - after all I told them, they put us with a male technician. But this man was amazing - Ember was loving on him and asking for pets before ever getting back to the room. I've never seen her take to a man that quickly. Maybe she was just looking for someone - ANYONE - who might take her back home lol.

Then, they were very direct with her. It startled me at first - one minute we were talking and petting Ember, next they are picking her up. It took me a minute to realize what happened. However, they were NOT rough, just trying to not give her time to over think things. It ended up not working, so I ended up picking her up myself, which she was no less impressed with.

I realized, though, after about half an hour, that I can actually work with this vet. Not only was I allowed to pick her up myself the second time, but I was also allowed to hold her while blood was drawn instead of bringing in another technician. The gentleman we had was absolutely amazed and rather giddy to be working WITH the owner, and one that actually brings comfort to the dog and really makes a world of difference. They saw it, and they allowed it. So yes, we had a very rocky start that unnerved both me and my dog, but it all righted itself by the end.

And while that blood was being drawn, our actual vet (lady) disappeared. This was after a long talk about my worries and me stating that I had 0 clue what could be wrong, if anything, and that I would accept "healthy" very readily, but I had to know. And then we got on the topic of food, I mentioned raw and Darwins, and got the same kind of face the first vet gave me (albeit without the tirade this time).

She came back after the blood was drawn with sheets of paper - and was downright giggling.

"While you guys did the dirty work, I went and pulled up the Darwins website. Let me tell you this stuff looks good enough to eat!"

That won me right then and there. This vet was willing to stop what she was doing mid examination to go research the food I was feeding my dog. And she is very very happy with it, though is suggesting I maybe cut back on the poultry in case reflux is really a thing (we still don't know but I have a Pepcid regiment to try and see if it makes a difference). Darwins has a Lamb that this vet really wants me to get into the rotation, so I'm trading it out for chicken. Our current order is beef, chicken, turkey, and duck, so I have a lot of room for play if I want the poultry out.

We still couldn't discuss allergies - she obviously has them, but there was no discussion on what could be done. I think the idea is to change the diet a little more before going with airborne issues, just in case it's all diet to begin with.

All that being said, I witnessed my dog's reaction to having her nails cut. We have a LOT of cooperative care work to do there. She cried so hard during it - I've never seen that level of meltdown before. And I was there helping.

So yea, I'm generally happy with this vet. They have assured me that there is NO "backroom" where owners are not allowed, and after witnessing what I was able to bring to the table with Ember, they let me be hands on with everything. They aren't perfect behaviorially but this vet had a good grasp on overarousal and anxiety (even if her direct, over the head approach to Ember says she probably doesn't practice that knowledge much).

We are having thyroid tests done. I will hear back from that in a day or 3.

Everything else, as I have been told, is absolutely 100% solid in her. Joints, muscles, tendons, organs, heart. Everything felt and sounded awesome to the vet. They do think that some of her issues walking could be the last of heartworm being dealt with - IE a male could still be in there but dying out. I'm to wait a good sixth months before I should start worrying about anything outside of what tests reveal.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#2
Overall it sounds like the new vet has answered some questions. Now to wait on the tests. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#3
Oh Ember, this was such an awesome thread to read and I feel so happy for you. There is bound to be a few bumps in the road at the start of a new relationship but the important thing is that this all sounds very much like a good relationship can be formed. I am so impressed at the vet researching the food, right there and then and everything you describe say's they are really listening to you. I would be very happy with this as a first consult. It sounds so much like the way things happen at our small town vet.
There is no vet tech during regular consultation so you assist with everything. The receptionist is also a vet tech and may be called in if needed but it never seems to be needed. On surgery days they employ a vet nurse. There is no part of the clinic I haven't been in. In the after-hours  when Max has needed an X-ray, (always gotta swallow a rock on the weekend) I don the protective gear and assist.
I didn't know Ember had been treated for heart worm, poor sweetie ! I have never experienced it but have heard it is a very lengthy process. This part of your consult must have been a great comfort to you, it all makes so much sense doesn't it.

You are such an awesome doggy momma    Rainbow-smiley-emoticon



EDIT Lamb is a big part of the boys diet. If using a kibble I use lamb based. Barf if home made is lamb, roo and beef based. If pre-made like Darwins I rotate their, lamb, beef and roo. They only really get chicken in the form of chicken frames and that's not everyday of course. They love "frames"
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#4
Yes it's a great great feeling! And yes Ember had heartworm when I got her, took a year and a half of "slow kill" to get a negative test. I feel much better and more informed, and ready for whatever tests may find.

I was wondering how many different proteins is necessary for "balanced" in something like Darwins. I called and traded Lamb for Chicken (so no chicken at all) and one sleeve of turkey for duck. so that puts us on about 30% beef, 30% lamb, 20% duck and 10% turkey for a month's worth of food.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#5
Please you have found a vet that you can work with. It is always worth shopping around to find one.
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#6
Well, all blood checks came back "excellent" My dog is completely healthy.

And refusing to eat today, even treats.

So I guess she has days where food is just "meh"? Or maybe she is really that picky? (letting food thaw for 2 days instead of 1 because it still had huge chunks of ice in it, maybe it's "too thawed").

I don't even know anymore LOL.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#7
That's great news ! Knowing that there are no underlying health issues enables you to look at it all a bit differently. Personally at this point I would probably just let he physical appearance/touch dictate whether I worried too much about her appetite. Maybe that's just how she is, she is a solid(stocky) little girl, maybe has a slower metabolism, maybe genetically lower energy & drive, there is such huge variation.
If there is any likelihood that others might give treats etc it might not take much for her to gain weight as you mentioned. It will be interesting to see what happens when you two get back to your normal routine. There's been a lot
Yes the food defrosting, I have found the same, 24hrs in fridge doesn't quite cut it so we also do 48hrs. Always 2 (per dog) in the fridge, as two get fed two come from freezer to the back of the row.
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#8
I'm glad all the blood work came out well.  Ember might just be one of those dogs that isn't thrilled about food.  When I had my Miniature Schnauzers I free fed them.  I grew up with cats and that is the way we fed them so I didn't know any better.  The only time one got overweight was when we left her with family while on vacation and they fed her too many treats.  Neither dog ever overate when it came to dog food.  

Mattie can be really finicky when it comes to food and treats.  She will only take her pill with a soft treat and sometimes she will decide she doesn't want a meal. Monday was my daughter's first day of school and she got up really late and rushed to get out of the house on time.  I though she didn't have time to feed the dogs so I fed them. Tasha gobbled down her breakfast and Mattie ignored hers, there was no way I was going to convince her to eat.  When my daughter came home she asked about Mattie's bowl on the counter and I said Mattie wouldn't eat her breakfast.  "Mom, I fed them before I left", she said. I told her it was official....  Tasha loves second breakfast, she is a Hobbit.
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#9
Mine like to eat their raw half frozen. Go figure.

I'm glad her blood work came back perfect.
Gotta love 'em.
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#10
That's great news that she is as healthy as can be. Just knowing that must have helped you feel better. Now you only have to get through the weekend and hopefully the two of you can get back on track. 

Happy she is a healthy girl.  Smile
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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