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Changing vets

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Tigermoon, Sep 10, 2018.


  1. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    This has to be one of the scariest things to do! I'm currently looking for a new veterinary practice after 25 years with my previous one.

    My biggest fear is having to build the relationship and them realising that yes, I do know when something is wrong, I'm not just flapping etc.

    There are three practices near me who do their own OOH. Two are 30 mins away the other 40mins. How to choose?!?! The one that is the furthest is probably too far. The closer two have cat only clinics.

    How did you pick your vet?
     
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  2. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum PetForums VIP

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    Whenever I've moved to a new area I've always asked my new neighbours (especially those with cats) for recommendations - I've only had one 'failure' using this method when we ended up with a vet who didn't really like cats and we moved on from him pretty sharpish ! Our current veterinary practice is all lady vets so Bertie is very relaxed when we've had to pay them a visit (he doesn't like men very much probably as a result of some long ago run-in with a man).
     
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  3. Whompingwillow

    Whompingwillow PetForums VIP

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    When I had foster kittens and they all had ‘flu’ the vet that cared for them was just brilliant, with them and me. I was really grateful, she also called on her own accord to check how they were etc. My loyalty took me back there when saffi came along, even though its slightly further then my walking distance local one. We ended up seeing a different vet at the same practice, but she is very good and extremely dedicated, she was also amazing with saffi,and with me the overworrying neurotic mum, when saffi had her health issues too soon after the whole Bella incident. The only issue I had was the constant ‘encouraging’ of dry food and swearing by it being the best thing, we have come to a better agreement on that as she now knows it makes saffi worse. Another reason I chose that vet is because they had an amazing resident cat (who has now sadly been put to sleep :( ) also they are very cat friendly, and have all the plug ins for cats fitted in, and have cats themselves, whereas my local doesnt - it seems to be more dog friendly. Now that the food issues with saffi are sorted, and I am generally better informed on her health issues to be able to trust my own decision making etc, I am really happy with our vet. They have a 24 hours branch (which actually is another reason I chose their chain, I took Bella there in the mile of the night, and out of all the vets I saw that week, they were they only ones who treated her, saw what was wrong, made her feel better and were also so informative with me, I was extremely grateful), and generally a few different branches scattered around, so I can always shop around if I want to, they also have all the facilities, like X-ray etc, whereas I found my more local one did not. I dont know/think any of this is helpful to you though! But thats my vet choosing story :p

    Brave move, moving vets after so long. Hope you find one you are really happy with
     
    #3 Whompingwillow, Sep 10, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  4. Pixie_Tinker_Bell

    Pixie_Tinker_Bell PetForums Senior

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    I'll be honest and say I went with our vet because when we adopted Tinker Bell she had started her vaccines at the chain and we got the follow up for free so just went with them.

    It is a chain of vets that covers many of the towns in the local area, each practice runs its own out of hours service and our local practice is one of their hospital branches which I find reassuring if we ever need it. So far I have no complaints but then we've not had any very serious health concerns (touch wood) to truly test them out. I like the fact that because it's such a large chain with lots of vets who have specialist areas we have more chance/easier access to someone with more expertise if we have a specific health concern.

    I'll be honest and say I wouldn't really know what else to look for in a vet, I think you never really know how good they are until you have to use them for treatment.
     
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  5. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    I just use a vet for something mundane to see if I like them. If I do then I start to use them instead of the old vet as needed. It was actually easier when I was breeding - I could try out a new vet for kitten vacs.
     
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  6. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    I went by recommendation! My Vet is a feline specialist so was happy to go to her after being unhappy with the vet that was the closest and liked her on first meeting.
    Could you google your choices and see what you can find out about each practice.
    I don’t know about you but I don’t like seeing different vets in a practice unless I want a second opinion.
     
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  7. Minuscule

    Minuscule PetForums Senior

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    I changed vet as well because my old one didn't really do much for helping Ren. At least that's the feeling I had. I had the feeling he didn't care about the pets, all he was interested in was money and adding useless medicines and endless visits to always make more money.

    I need a vet I can trust and who can reassure me.

    When I moved house, I looked at the surgery which was often recommended (but so was my old vet) on Facebook by people living in the area. I also noticed the EU passport cost £63 instead of £99 at the old vet.
    The first appointment I had with a vet at the new surgery, I didn't like too much. It was ok and they definitely didn't look like they were trying to make as much money as they could but I still felt a bit rushed and didn't find the vet that reassuring.
    However, I could call them anytime and a vet would always call back and spend some time on the phone answering my questions. I found that very good (my old vet wanted to charge me a consultation just to update the insurance and remove an exclusion, let alone giving me a free 10 min chat on the phone).
    I then took Ren for his scan and it was the vet I had on the phone. I met him face to face on Friday and the way he talked to Ren really made me think he can't be a bad vet. He talked to him, he didn't bother him too much because after his scan, I think Ren can't stand vets anymore. It felt like the vet thought of my cat first, as I was asking questions he said "let's finish with Ren first so he can be safe in his carrier when we talk" (pretty sure my old vet wouldn't have cared how Ren would feel).

    Not saying they are perfect but I feel less like I'm just there to make them rich, I believe they care about the pets as well. Also the secretaries are lovely!
    Our family cats' vet is like this as well, talking to my cats and asking them how they are when he sees them etc. He also looks after some strays who live at his surgery. I really do think it says a lot. And he also answers the phone anytime, just for advice.

    Finding a good vet isn't easy and I think it's trial and error...
     
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  8. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    I think a vet who is caring and happy to listen is what I would look for take their time with examinations and soothing the stressed cat is so important. They do have a difficult job but all too often don’t realise that you know your cat better than anyone. A vet that just generalises is a no no for me. I feel the same about certain doctors some will listen carefully and take their time with you or they just want to look and hear a bunch of symptoms and make a diagnosis.
     
  9. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    Thanks all. I'm going to email a few of the local practices to get prices on the basic stuff (jabs and neutering) and get a bit more info about each. I'll have to make a decision soon though as I've got kittens due and don't want to be caught out with no vet!!
     
  10. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    I changed vets last year to a new practice which had set up some months before. I looked up customer review sites for two or three and chose the one which I felt would give the better service for the cats. They charge less than others I've been to plus they have a home visiting service if needed. Their hours aren't as good as my last vets which was seven days a week but that wasn't really the prime reason I changed. They are slightly further away than others I've used but, so far, they haven't disappointed and I've seen some really nice vets.
     
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  11. blkcat

    blkcat PetForums Member

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    I chose mine on the advice of staff at the Cat's Protection rehoming centre. They have dealt with every vet in our local area lots and regularly, so they seemed well placed to inform.

    I got slightly cold feet before Blk tooth operation, my vets had merged and got much, much bigger.

    I went back to Cats again and got the same answer years later which was reassuring.

    I also compared reviews online. The competior I was considering got one really shocking review in relation to cat care specifically. More reassurance I was in the right place.
     
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  12. HappyKitty

    HappyKitty PetForums Member

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    Ask local people and check reviews for local vets. Also, I'd walk in (while a surgery is in place, have a chat and ask for prices so you can initially gauge how helpful they are, premises etc.
     
  13. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    One of the reasons I liked using kitten vacs to try a new vet was to gauge their feelings to breeders. Reviews from pet owners don’t tell us half of what we need to know :)
     
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  14. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    I've got a litter about to start their jabs so I'm going to try this. :)
     
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  15. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    Tells you a LOT. If they start trying to tell you about worming etc. in any even faintly condescending manner you know you don't have the vet who will discuss things with you properly. You know the sort of health check kittens should get - rushed or anything missed and you know you don't have a vet who's thorough.
     
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  16. Ceiling Kitty

    Ceiling Kitty Not available for comment

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    Genuine question: how can we talk to breeders about worming etc, if at all? Sometimes I don't mention it because I figure it's all sorted, but then worry that comes across as not being thorough. Other times I say something vague like 'you're all sorted for worming, are you?'

    As we know, there are breeders and there are 'breeders' so if I'm meeting one for the first time I have to try and gauge which category they are without coming across as patronising on the one hand or unhelpful on the other. I'm sure I fail sometimes... :Nailbiting
     
  17. huckybuck

    huckybuck Feline Forum Fashionista

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    I've tended to drop in and chat to the receptionist - ask if I can be shown around - ask if any particular vet specialised in feline medicine - asked which vet they would ask to see if they were bringing their cat in and generally try to get a feeling about the practice. I do always try to do this at a quiet time - not a Mon or Fri or weekend, not 1st thing in the morning or in the evening...

    The I have asked neighbours who they go to and these days would post on next door or something too.
     
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  18. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    I’ve always chosen based on where other breeders go.
    We use one of the 2 breeding specialist clinics for our main vet, for a closer clinic I asked other local breeders who their ‘sometimes vet’ is for minor things.
     
  19. Psygon

    Psygon PetForums VIP

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    We picked our vet because it was the only one in walking distance (we didn't have a car at the time). But we've stayed with them now for 14 years.

    When we moved I asked a few questions from the new neighbours about the vet local to me and didn't get the greatest vibe so we stayed with the one that was a bit of a distance away. It doesn't seem any of the vets near me are truly cat specialists tho' - which I wish they were. I would definitely pick a vet that knew there were differences in cat breeds and not every cat should weigh 4kg.
     
  20. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    When I last took a litter for their jabs the vet casually asked "are you ok for flea and wormer?" This is fine as it reminds me if I need some but assures the vet that they've checked if I don't, without the full blown talk about the importance of worming and fleaing etc. For us breeders the most important thing is a vet we can talk with who listens and will happily discuss the possibilities without squashing us flat as if we're idiots. I have met a couple of vets like this, but fortunately most are much more approachable. But it's always a worry when meeting a new vet, plus your not sure what their stance on breeding is.
     
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