The September To-Do List »
From vacation ideas to gardening preparation, check out our September checklist to enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for fall.
From vacation ideas to gardening preparation, check out our September checklist to enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for fall.
From household hazards to insurance, here is a roundup of our best tips for ensuring your pet's safety.
Just like the planning that went into your vacation, there is prep work to do before boarding your pet. Here are some do's and don'ts to help make the process a little easier.
Low priced procedures are for a reason. Poor patient care and knowledge deficit. Our dog got his eye removed by Dr. Richardson, she then inserted a prosthetic globe - we have since learned from a specialist that this is never recommended as it very frequently leads to infection and rejection. This ended up being the case for our dog and we were very upset as we were never informed of this possibility. After a month filled with guess work and a few unreturned calls from Suburban Veterinary Clinic, they consulted a specialist and moved forward with removing the globe. The clinic was great and accepted culpability for the mistake and only charged us the price of anesthesia for the subsequent procedure, however, due to their eating the cost we believe they cut corners by not administering an antibiotic or pain injection post op or wrapping his wound. We received little to no discharge information and were concerned with the lack of antibiotics prescribed and his incision being slightly agape. When we called back and expressed to Rhonda, the front desk clerk, that we were uncomfortable with this and asked when the doctor was free if she could call us to give a more comprehensive care plan - she scoffed, cut us off, at one point told us to wait and see if he gets infected again and then proceeded to laugh us off the phone taking our number for the call back and dismissing us curtly - resulting in one of the worst patient interactions I've experienced via a health care "professional". Which once again resulted in no return phone call on their part. Due to our insistence he was put on a seven day course of antibiotics but still had a bit of infection and in the end Dr. Richardson admitted she was incapable of caring for our dog and finally suggested we take him to a specialist. Upon doing so our specialist was shocked by the treatment we were given as customers and by the surgeons overall lack of knowledge, especially in regards to the high likelihood of infection secondary to a prosthesis and the surgeons lack of ability to recognize this as the cause- made more shocking through Dr. Richardson's claims of doing "hundreds of these procedures." We would not recommend this clinic to others, especially those in need of enucleation. Just concerning that so much was not caught or known by the surgeon.
I took my almost 7 year old chocolate Lab to see Dr. Richardson because he seemed very ill. Dr.Richardson did x rays and blood work and could not tell me exactly what was wrong. I was told he may need to go to ER but it was not made to seem like a matter of life and death. He was given antibiotics and fluids. I was told someone would call to check his condition the next day. Never did Dr. Richardson make his condition seem like it was going to kill him in hours. I took him home and 7 hours later he was dead. He died of toxic shock from his stomach twisting and finally bursting. He suffered a tremendous amount before taking final breath. No one from Suburban Clinic ever called to check on him. After consulting with several Vets they concluded an experienced Vet should have noticed his symptoms along with the blood work and x rays was more than likely a severe/critical stomach disorder called "Bloat" or Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. My dog displayed nearly every symptom of bloat, which I had never heard of until after he died. Thanks to Google I did not have to wonder why my dog died so suddenly. I was glad to know how he died but not how I had to figure out on my own.This kills dogs within 2 or 3 days. I told her it had almost been 40 hours since I noticed his symptoms and told Dr. Richardson that it seemed like his chest was expanding. This disorder acts very rapidly. On Sunday I was playing with him and he was dead on Tuesday. 2 days. It would have been to late to save him at that point, but I should not have been given the advice to take him home. I should have taken him to be put down instead of witnessing his death and pain beyond anything I could imagine. "Poor guy." Dr. Richardson lives directly across the street from me and since she or none of her staff followed up with me I went to the clinic and realized it was closed on Thursday. I then went home and walked across street to speak with her regarding all that had transpired from his death to the fact no one cared enough to call to why she could not understand what was happening to my buddy from all the testing and the very obvious symptoms he displayed. She would not answer her door. If Dr. Richardson would treat her neighbor of 15-20 years in such a manner should make anyone weary of taking their beloved pet to see her. It has now been 3 months and Dr. Richardson nor her staff never contacted me. I am still not over how I was treated."No excuse"! She has seen him for heart worm test in the past and also outside and believed that my brown lab was a Rottweiler. Also, Dr. Richardson comes in the exam room with her dog and says: " I have something to cheer you up." She was talking about me seeing her dog. What would have cheered me up is if anyone from that place acted like they cared about my dog or me. If your pet becomes ill you should take them to a knowledgeable doctor or this could happen to you as well. If you have a large breed dog you should be aware of this disorder called Bloat, because it will take your dog in 2 or 3 days if not treated immediately. Web MD and ASPCA are the sites I used to educate myself on what killed my best friend. I walked out with absolutely no answers as to what was wrong and a false hope my dog would be may be okay. If I get another dog, It will go to a well educated vet.
I have trusted and known Dr. Carrie for 10 years. When she moved from a previous practice I followed her exclusively because I trust her with my clan of animals. When I have an issue, she is the one I know will be honest, and treat my pet as her own. When Dr. Melissa joined the team I found these same qualities in her as well. She has performed surgeries on 2 of my pets within the past year, the most recent one being my 9 month old kitty with a large foreign body. Nine inches of her intestine had to be removed, and she was close to death, however, due to the skill and aptitude of Dr. Melissa, Dr. Carrie and the entire staff at Kennesaw Mountain she pulled through and is running around happily today. Whenever any of my friends have a pet that has any kind of medical issue, I always recommend Kennesaw Mountain. They take the time to get to know you, your precious pet, and go the extra mile to get them healthy!
Choosing the right vet for your pet can be tough. After all, your furry friend can't tell you how he or she feels about the doctor. Even though you're not the one treated by the vet, whoever your animal sees is obviously your decision. Since many veterinary diseases and injuries can turn into emergencies very quickly, it's important to have a go-to vet. This way, you can ensure you'll know whom to see when your animal needs care.
Speak to your friends and family about vets who've treated their pets. You can even talk to your groomer or an animal shelter worker for referrals. When you visit the clinics you've been referred to, check that the facility is clean, animals are separated and the staff is calm and courteous. Not all clinics are American Animal Hospital Association accredited. This accreditation isn't a legal necessity, though a clinic that's AAHA-accredited is guaranteed to offer high-quality medical care. To receive accreditation, the clinic has to meet the AAHA's standards in the areas of facility, equipment and quality care.
If you're looking for a specialist, you want to make sure he or she is board-certified to practice in that specific area of animal medicine. You'll want to make sure your vet is also convenient to visit, so there are factors to take into account.
The type of animal you own should play a part in which vet you choose as well. While your options are vast if you have a dog or cat, you may have to visit an avian clinic for your bird or an exotics clinic for your snake.
Just as there are many types of doctors, there are many types of vets. Some focus on livestock or house pets, while others may specialize in dentistry or surgery. They may work in a veterinary clinic or zoo, working specifically with the animals housed there, or travel to farms to work with livestock. Since horse racing and other equestrian activities are so popular, some vets are trained to work just with horses.
Diseases, like malaria and yellow fever are also transmitted through animals. Some vets have insight to diseases that affect both humans and animals. Vets have contributed to the treatment and cure of many diseases that plagued both humans and their furry friends.
Government agencies employ veterinarians as well. When an animal comes from a foreign land, these vets quarantine them and check for any diseases that may be present in an effort to control new diseases that can be brought into the country. Other Specific types of vets include:
A vet assistant works alongside the veterinarian and helps out around the clinic. In some cases, they may assist vets in surgery or restrain struggling animals during tests or lab work. The everyday duties of a veterinary assistant include; monitoring and caring for animals after surgery, keeping medical records, cleaning animals' teeth, feeding and bathing them, cleaning cages, sterilizing surgical equipment, giving animals medication, collecting samples for testing and performing laboratory tests, and offering grief counseling to pet owners.
It's a good idea to bring your pet to the vet regularly. This way, he or she becomes familiar and comfortable with the care providers, and you can stay on top of your pet's preventative care. If the animal is small enough, bring it to the office in a carrier. Just as you visit the doctor for a yearly check up, you should bring in your pet for regular check ups as well. During a routine veterinary visit, the vet will probably begin by asking you if there have been any changes in your pet's behavior or habits.
The vet will then take your pet's vitals, like weight, temperature, pulse and respiration rate, and perform a physical examination of the pet. During a physical exam, the vet checks the abdomen for swollen organs, and the legs, feet and joints for any potential problems. Depending on the age, breed or condition of your pet, your veterinarian may also check the eyes, ears and mouth.
When your vet conducts a full body examination, he or she will check out your pet's coat and skin, noting any hair loss, itchy spots or lumps. Keep note of your animal's shedding habits so you can let the vet know if anything seems abnormal. The vet will check for parasites, fleas, ticks, mites and heartworms as well.
Vaccinations are also important to your pet, especially if you have a cat or a dog, and your vet will suggest that you make sure they're current. Keeping up to date with vaccinations can prevent your furry friend from getting distemper, rabies, hepatitis and lyme disease. Some vaccinations last longer than others, so speak to your doctor about staying caught up with your animal's shots.
Just like your own health insurance, you want to make sure your animal is covered before he or she needs veterinary services. Some common animal surgeries can cost thousands of dollars, and you don't want to end up having to foot a surprise bill that costs more than your paycheck.
There's no set price for pet health insurance. Costs can depend on factors such as where you live, the age and breed of your pet, and how much coverage you want. Before you take out a pet insurance policy, you'll want to meet with your vet to go over what he or she thinks your animal should be covered for. Many vets believe that you should make sure cancer, chronic disease, hereditary and congenital disease, and common breed-related medical conditions are all addressed in your policy.
Some pet owners can't afford insurance for their pet, so there are other options to make paying for surprise pet visits as easy as possible. Some pet stores have wellness plans - which tend to be much cheaper than an insurance policy - that offer shots, check ups, screenings and discounts on various procedures your pet may need. A lot of veterinary offices offer payment plans for pricey procedures as well, as long as you have decent credit history. For a last-ditch option, there are even privately funded organizations that offer pet owners financial aid for their pet's treatments.