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Hi everyone, Koa went to the vet for the first time yesterday with us.  I left the vet's office a little bit uncomfortable.  The staff was WONDERFUL but the vet said made some comments that I was uncomfortable with.  He asked me if Koa was a "mini" boxer or a full size boxer - there is no such thing as a mini boxer, right?  He didn't know anything about Chicken Soup (food) and started bashing it before he knew any info (at the end, he asked me to bring in an ingredient list to check out the food).  I had read somewhere that corn-based foods weren't too good for boxers and he said he didn't know anything about that.  They put down a towel for Koa that had other dog hair on it (my concern is at a vet's office, I have no idea if it was used on a sick dog or not).  He said his daughter has a boxer and his staff said they see a lot of boxers.  Am I being too anal?  Am I off base for feeling uncomfortable?  

I'm debating on switching to a different vet but what are some good questions I can ask to find a knowledgeable boxer vet?
 

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I remember reading that there really is no such thing as a mini-boxer, but there is some sort of pug/terrier mix that some people call "mini boxer."  But the AKC doesn't recognize it and if a vet asked me that, I'd be very freaked out.  Hell, I was freaked out enough for my first visit....you're worried your pup isn't going to behave, or will have health issues, etc etc.   If they make that experience anything short of calming and comfortable, you have a right to be concerned. Nothing from that experience sounds very reassuring.  It's not uncommon for vets to bash the higher end foods but being so closed minded about something you don't even know about is a red flag.  A responsible vet would be interested to hear about it so they could check it out and expand their horizons.  The best doctors are always looking to get better.  Throw in the dirty used blanket (which is downright shady and unprofessional) and I would find another vet.
 

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See, that's what both my wife and I were thinking.  I just didn't know if I was off-base on my judgement.  I figured, if you didn't know about something... you'd go back and research it first before you go bashing something.  Like I said, his staff was GREAT!  They loved Koa and gave him treats and made it a really good experience for him but some of the things the actual vet said bothered me.
 

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I would be looking for a new Vet.  The food thing is not that bad because for some reason they all like to sell purina or science diet.  Maybe a Vet could chime in and tell us why they like those foods.
 

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I liked my vet, but yeah, she mentioned she liked Science Diet and right then I knew it wasn't worth telling her I'm already transitioning Oggie to Canidae.  They must all be on Science Diet's payroll or something.
 

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This is going to be Long and I apologize:

I feel you choose a vet like you would choose a doctor for yourself.....Here are a list of potential questions that you might consider asking: (Dr. X refers to the doctor or doctors in question and the pet refers to the specific species about which you are asking)

What species of animals does your practice see?
How long has Dr. X been in practice?
Does Dr. X have any specialty training?
What veterinary or pet organizations does Dr. X or the hospital belong to?
To what veterinary or trade publications does Dr. X or the hospital subscribe?
Does Dr. X or the hospital have access to the Internet?
How many hours of veterinary continuing education pertaining to the type of pet in question does Dr. X receive a year?
How do you handle after-hours emergencies? (You don't want to find out later that the hospital you selected is completely unavailable after-hours)
Are there other veterinarians in the practice that can treat the pet in case Dr. X is not available? (Some doctors in a practice only treat certain species). And if not, then to whom do you refer these cases?
Does Dr. X refer difficult cases to anyone else? (There may be no one else, or Dr. X may actually be the referral clinic for the area)
Does Dr. X or the hospital work with any pet groups or shelters? (Not a requirement, but if they do work with these groups you have a source of opinion on this veterinary clinic)
Do you have any printed material on your practice and/or on the type of pet I have? (If they do, you might want to stop by and pick it up)
Can I briefly meet with Dr. X prior to my first pet visit and/or have a brief tour of the hospital? (This is good idea if you still have any questions in your mind about your choice.)

VISITING THE VETERINARY HOSPITAL (* a good hospital will not mind you visiting before bringing your pet)

Once you have made your selection you might want to visit the practice and make some observations. This could be on a pre-pet visit..... There are a few things that you should observe to determine if this veterinarian is right for your pet.

Cleanliness of the reception area, exam rooms and staff - If these areas/staff members are reasonably tidy, then it is more likely that attention is also paid to disease control and to clean medical and surgical habits.
Ability and willingness of staff to answer your questions
Printed material available on your pet species
Skill with which the pet is handled

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VETERINARIAN AND STAFF MEMBERS

Your veterinarian's personality should be one with which you are comfortable. Fortunately humans come with all different types of personalities from talkative and amusing to quiet and serious and all varieties in between! However, there are some common characteristics of a health professional that are universally important (And this goes for human doctors as well!) These characteristics are also important in the veterinary staff members that you deal with on your visits to the hospital as well.

Compassionate
Handles your pet with respect and care
Interested and knowledgeable about your species of pet and breed
Is a good listener
Is willing to answer your questions
Is interested in client education and encourages it
Is willing to accept/review information you may have collected on your own
Is willing to admit when they don't know the answer
Is flexible with developing plans for treatment based on medical and financial constraints for each individual pet
Is not offended when a second opinion is sought

When it is time to make the final decision on a veterinarian use your observations and intuition. It sounds like you already have questions.....In the place that you went was there more then one doctor to see since you liked the staff?
The towel thing to me would be a big no-no!!!! The food thing also....If you dont know a food you should not bash it.  There is one thing for sure.  If you tell what name of food you feed...there will ALWAYS be someone to tell you why you should not or what is better.....They should thrive on food, have good stools, have them less often, have a good hair coat.....You must feed what works for your dog! There is no single universal answer to the right food and a good vet knows that!!!!!!
 

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Woot woot Sharon!!! I totally agree and the only thing I would add is go with your gut.  If you felt uncomfortable with the vet or his knowledge of your breed, food, cleanliness, etc., then find someone else.  I totally agree with going to the animal hospital and visiting before you make your appointment.  A good vet will welcome your interest.  Just like human doctors there are good ones and bad.  Good luck in finding a good one.  Look for referrals from breed clubs in your area as those people will know who is good and will often drive a good distance to find the right vet for their babies.
 
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