If you love your pet, go to the Hope Vet Clinic! My English Bulldog suddenly went lame in back leg. I took her to my normal vet in East Columbus who performed X-ray, found nothing wrong with the bones, gave me pain medication & an anti-inflammatory, charged me $250 & referred me to animal hospital in Indy. No instructions for care whatsoever. I took her to Hope Vet Clinic & they diagnosed FCE injury, taught me how to perform physical therapy & treated her for all of her physical ailments my original vet left untreated... such as ear & yeast infections, dry eye & morbid obesity. Four weeks later she's walking again, has lost ten pounds on new food diet, no body odor, no itching & no more PAIN from bleeding tail, swollen ears or staph infection! I didn't have to tell Dr. Dimple Hall what was 'wrong' with her, she told me! My original vet led me to believe there was no cure for her allergy-related issues! My only regret is that I didn't take her to the Hope Veterinary Clinic sooner!
I went to Athens Animal Clinic on the recommendation of a friend; her cats go there, and my cat had what appeared to be a large zit (it turned out to be a rodent ulcer) on his lower lip. I first went to the clinic in Sept. 1, 2015. It seemed OK -- front desk people not super chipper, weird smell and TONS of fur on the floor. The vet techs were nice enough. But, OK. The vet, Dr. Janelle, has a tone I can only describe as condescending. It was like a sales pitch for more services delivered by the most awkward 4-H presenter ever. Everything was followed with a rude giggle. My cat is VERY overweight, I feed him HORRIBLE food (Whiskas wet food, Purina Beyond dry food). At the end of her spiel, I felt like the worst cat owner ever -- never mind that I brought my cat in for a zit on his lip. OK, I said, maybe I am too sensitive. She seemed to handle my cat OK and we all have our idiosyncrasies. I'll have his teeth cleaned here; if it doesn't go well, we'll look for another vet. The cat went in for his teeth cleaning in late September. Before going over ANYTHING with me -- procedure, pain meds, etc. -- they made sure they charged my credit card. The vet tech, who had an attitude that could only be described as stank, explained to me about giving the cat his pain medication and feeding him. The vet tech put him in a carrier, so I did not notice that he still had a bandage on his paw when I picked him up. When he got home, I found the bandage -- surgical tape -- and thought it was odd. About an hour later, I saw that there was something underneath the bandage. It was a needle/port for an IV. My father helped me remove the bandage and the IV port. I called the vet's office and they are aware/have apologized. The vet tech apologized in a separate call. That is all that I was offered. Apologies do not help much. I would also note that the vet, once I got her on the phone, almost gleefully corrected me when I called the needle left in my cat's arm and IV. It is, she said, a catheter. I said, I don't care what it is, I had to pull it out of my cat's arm.I am always hesitant to criticize local businesses. In this case it is truly merited. Based on my first visit to this vet's office, I was hesitant to return based on the vet's condescending tone and general lack of bedside manner. But, I said, maybe I should be less sensitive. She seemed OK with my cat. I know now that I should have gone with my gut. This is a very ugly thing to do to a pet owner.
This clinic saved my chihuaua's life when she got really sick. I had been to a different vet and he could not figure out what was wrong with her. I will always be grateful to these docs! Cindy Reed
How to Find the Right Vet or Clinic for Your Animal
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.
- Look for a vet who's close to your house, as many animals don't like being in the car for a long time. If there's an emergency, you want to make sure you can get your pet to the vet as quickly as possible.
- Though all veterinary clinics must be able to make arrangements to see their clients' pets outside of office hours if there's an emergency, these arrangements may not always be at the facility you're used to. Double check with the office to see where the emergency facility is.
- Some clinics have longer hours than others. If you work a 9-5 schedule, make sure the office is open on nights and weekends.
- Whether you have pet health insurance or not, it's still worth checking what the regular costs for typical procedures are at the vet's office. There isn't a set standard when it comes to price, so it's good to know that you're not looking into a clinic that's beyond your means.
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.
Types of Vets
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:
- Private practice veterinarians: This is the most popular type of veterinarian, and many of these professionals work at clinics. They may also go to farms to care for livestock that can't be transported to the clinic.
- Teaching and research: These vets work at veterinary schools, training students who are planning on joining the veterinary field. They may also work in college labs conducting research pertaining to animal health.
- Regulatory medicine: These vets work closely with diseases rather than animals themselves. Their responsibilities include controlling or eliminating illnesses, and protecting the public from diseases in animals. They may also work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Services.
- Public health: These vets are also known as epidemiologists. They work for cities, counties, states or federal agencies to help control and prevent animal and human disease. Public health vets may work for the FDA to determine the safety of medicines and food additives.
- Uniformed services: The U.S. Army Veterinary Corps employ these vets. They're responsible for biomedical research and development.
- Private industry: These vets go to school solely for positions in pharmaceutical and biomedical research. They work in labs that produce chemicals, drugs and vaccines for both humans and animals.
What Do Veterinary Assistants Do?
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.
What to Expect at the Vet's Office
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.
Cost and Insurance
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.