Why does my vet do that?

During the course of an appointment you may wonder why your veterinarian does certain things with your pet.  We can answer some of these queries here.

Why does my vet stop my dog from panting during our appointment when he is obviously hot?  Your vet will close your dog’s mouth for a breif period to stop him panting while listening to his heart and lungs so that the extra noises of the panting do not overshadow the heartbeat and lung sounds.

Why do I have to have an examination when all I want is the vaccine?  Veterinarians are obligated to administer medications, including vaccines, only to pets that are healthy enough to handle the product.  Your veterinarian will want to examine your dog or cat and collect some history from you to assure that your pet is healthy and immune competent to react properly to the vaccine.  If your pet is suffering from an undisclosed illness, then a vaccine may not be the best plan at that point in time.  An examination at the time of vaccines is a great opportunity to pick up on sublte changes in weight or examine lumps and bumps and make sure your pet is happy and healthy.

Why does my dog have to stand on the counter?  Smaller dogs and cats are placed on our examination tables so that we can more easily look at them without towering over them while they are on the floor.  Many dogs that can be very wiggly on the floor behave much more quietly while on the counter so that we can do a proper examination.

Why does my dog have to leave the examination room for things like anal expression or nail trims?  When we express anal glands, there can be a foul smell and sometimes a bit of contamination of anal contents onto the dog’s fur.  By doing this procedure in the treatment area, we limit the odours for the rest of our clients, and we are better able to clean up the dog’s fur so that they return to you clean and fresh.  Many dogs are protective of their owners and behave better for us when their owner is not present.  Some dogs feel their owner’s anxiety in the examination room and so are nervous of the veterinarian.  But once the vet and the pet leave the room together, the dog decides the vet is his new best friend as the owner is no longer present and the dog needs someone to lean on.  Simple procedures such as nail trims can then be done in a relaxed manner.

Why can’t I hold my dog instead of a technician holding my dog?  Sometimes a nervous pet reacts by biting.  We do not want anyone, including owners, to be bitten by any pet.  Our technicians are trained to hold animals in such a manner that it is comfortable for the pet while safe for the technician and the veterinarian so that the procedure can be accomplished, with minimum stress for all concerned.

Feel free to ask your veterinarian why things are done if you have any concerns.  If you would like a specific question answered, post it to our facebook page at millbayveterinaryhospital and we can supply you with the answer.