The top 10 things you want to know but won't ask your vet!

Hi Guys! Today I want to dip into something that makes everyone a little uncomfortable on both sides of the table. As someone who has been a client of a vet clinic for 5 years before going into the field, there were a lot of questions I had that I didn’t really want to ask, but felt the answers would be important. Now that I am also on the other side of this equation, I say to you all: if you have a question… ASK US! There are no stupid questions, there are no offensive questions, and we are more than happy to answer any question you may have! (About your animal that is 😉 )

All that being said, send us a message or leave a comment on our Facebook post on this page letting us know if you have any other questions 😊

Without any more rambling: The top 10 questions I feel need to be answered!

 Q: Why did you muzzle my dog?

 A: This question, like many I will list, has many answers. If I were to sum it up, it is because chances are your dog is scared and we want to minimize (at least) 3 things: 1. The chances of them hurting themselves 2. The chances of them reacting and hurting us or, god forbid, you, and 3. The handling time.

Chances are, if your dog is reactive, a muzzle may be put on from the very start to make the entire process faster and more efficient. Putting a muzzle on your dog is actually more likely to make them less stressed, since the amount of time they will have to be restrained will be lessened. The most important thing to remember is that we don’t think that your dog is mean. We just want the best possible outcome from a situation. When people are scared they can communicate this through speaking to one another. We will employ fight or flight in a situation where we are afraid. You have to think of your dog in the same way… some will run away when facing what they perceive as a threat, and some will fight. It is nothing more than a defence mechanism! A muzzle can help prevent accidents from happening! 😊

*If you have a particularly fractious dog, please let your vet know beforehand to minimize restraint time 😊

Q: Why did you take my pet out of the exam room?

A: If the vet or tech takes your animal out of the exam room, they usually do it either because they require assistance, or the procedure is more efficiently performed in a specific setting (ie. Bloodwork, urine collection, x-rays, anal gland expression). Sometimes a pet may feel calmed by the presence of their owner, but occasionally if their owner is nervous they may feed on this anxiety and feel more nervous themselves, and this is another reason being in a different room can sometimes reduce stress for your pet. Always ask your vet or tech, and they will happily fill you in on anything you miss while in the exam room.

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Q: Why did you get the tech to hold my pet?

A: Once again, a couple of reasons. The top reason being that techs and assistants are trained to restrain your pet properly, ensuring once again that any procedure is done safely (for your pet and for us) and in a timely fashion! On occasion there are pets who are better being held by their owners, but usually having the trained professional do the holding is the best idea to keep everyone safe and to keep handling and restraint to a minimum. 😊


Q: My pet cries when they get their vaccines, are they in pain?

A: About as much pain as you would be in if you were being vaccinated, but weren’t aware of the situation. If I’m being honest, there is the small pin-prick you would feel, but very, very few pets actually react to being “poked”! Most of the complaining your pet does when getting vaccinated or having anything done for that matter is because of being restrained. Animals like to be in control, so when that is taken away from them in the form of restraint… they are primarily reacting to that!

Q: Is the restraint painful?

A: No! Definitely not, although the way some animals (BOTH of my cats included) react to restraint makes it look like torture for some of them. As previously mentioned, we are trained to hold them in a comfortable yet immobilizing position. We are definitely not hurting your pet no matter what they try to tell you! 😉

Q: When I call in, why do I have to request a callback to speak to a doctor?

A: I know this is common practice at most clinics, and as a cat mom for 5 years before being in this field I could NEVER understand why I had to wait to talk to my kitty’s doctor! Now that I am in the field, I see why other people answer the phone haha! At any given moment your vet is taking care of another animal. They may be in appointments or surgery, corresponding with another client, filling out paperwork for another patient, doing research on a difficult case (the list goes on) but either way, if they dropped everything every time someone wanted to talk to them, they wouldn’t get anything done! This is in no way to say that your call is not of importance to them. On the contrary! They want to be able to focus properly when they speak with you and give you the same attention they are giving to those other things keeping them busy! But chances are, if your situation is controlled enough to be handled in a phone call, someone else’s problem in the clinic may be more time sensitive. Please try to bear with the veterinarians, they will get back to you. 😊

Q: Can I trust the advice of people at the front desk?

A: Absolutely.

I was just going to leave it at that, but I will elaborate. Anyone in this field is educated enough and understands the medicine enough that if they don’t know the answer to something, they will find someone that does. They will never give you a guess, they will ensure that you are comfortable with the information you are given. Always trust those who man the front desk!

Q: My friend said to try _____, should I?

A: Not to discredit your friend, because most people who own pets are very knowledgeable of their requirements, but you should always contact your vet before trying anything your friend recommends or you find on the internet. ESPECIALLY in regards to medications! There are so many differences between people and animals! Make sure to consult the right doctors!


Q: Why did you scruff/use gloves while handling my cat?

A: In most cases, not all, cats can have a pretty big opinion when it comes to being handled at the vet. If your kitty is particularly fractious, gloves may be used to prevent those little kitty claws from making purchase in a lovely tech’s arms or legs, and to help prevent kitty from making the great escape! Cats are more likely to lash out when not in their own environment than dogs, and being much smaller and squirmier, they are better at escaping! Gloves make sure they stay still by preventing the knee jerk reaction to let go when you get a bit of a clip with a claw! A scruff is rarely used, but it is just a tactic to immobilize your kitty (often to just safely reposition them) and make the handling time minimal! It is not done in a way that is painful or harmful to them at all, and only when necessary. We cannot stress enough how much of a difference it makes to cats for handling time to be as short as possible (in most cases).

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*If you have a particularly fractious cat, please let your vet know beforehand to minimize restraint time and so they can be prepared beforehand

Q: Are there natural alternatives to vet grade flea prevention?

A: Ah, I am really sorry guys but no, there are not. It has been researched extensively, and there is no natural alternative that is guaranteed to be effective. The flea and tick preventatives we have are tried and tested and the companies guarantee their effectiveness. You have to be careful buying preventatives from a pet store or Walmart, as they are not regulated and many can be toxic to cats and children. Please seek veterinary help for flea and tick prevention!

Okay that is all for today guys! Like I said, let me know if you have any questions of your own! I would love to do a little Q&A on here or maybe live on the road some day! Stay tuned! As always, have a wonderful day!

- Megan