TLCs (Scattered) Thoughts

Location: Gilbert, AZ

I am a writer, a photographer, and a Dork Chop FO-tog. I can be found on FB at and also on Flickr at Mostly I capture what I see from my perspective.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Daily Dilemma: If a veterinarian is great with animals, but lousy with people, do they get a thumbs up or a thumbs down?

Something happened today that has bugged me all day.  I'd like some opinions....

My dog, who is typically in excellent health, needed to visit a vet today.  She has been having an allergic reaction to something (still not sure what) and I needed a vet to help care for her.

I went to a vet very near my home whom we have used on occasion - but who is not a vet we see "regularly" because, frankly, we do most routine "well pet" care ourselves.  I don't see the need to pay a vet to give vaccinations that can be done at home.

Today I needed a vet.  I called the one who is the closest to our home, whom we have dealt with in the past with favorable outcomes.  I loaded the dog in the car and realized I didn't have my wallet.  I looked in the usual places, and a few unusual places but was unable to find it.  Of course I was concerned, but figured I could worry about the wallet later.  I grabbed a checkbook instead and we set off.  When Ellie and I arrived at the Caring Hearts Animal Hospital, I was told that they would not take my check without an ID card.  The polite suggestion was made that I return after I found my wallet.

Fairly certain they could look up my past records to see that I had always paid my bills, I requested that they make an exception.  The office manager,  who looked to be around 12 years of age, said that they would be happy to see me as soon as I located the wallet, or if I could return with cash.

I smiled, thanked them, and said we would go to our other vet, and we left.  While putting Ellie into the back seat, my wallet fell from between the seats, where it had been "hiding".

There we were, still at the vet and with the missing wallet in hand.  Ellie still needed medical attention, but I felt reasonably mistreated...but Ellie still needed medical attention...what to do?  I decided to go back in and complete the visit.

Ellie was treated with kindness and affection, but I was not.

The vet condescendingly asked me what I was going to do with an unsprayed dog *when* (not if) she got uterine cancer, and needed treatment?

A bit taken aback, I explained that my last 3 dobie/rottie mix dogs who were spayed became incontinent requiring medication to prevent the leakage of pee after they were spayed.  I explained that in wanting to avoid this outcome, we decided to deal with an "unaltered dog" rather than "pee leakage".

The vet offhandedly told me that she would certainly die of uterine cancer unless she was spayed, and he told me that when her cycles became irregular, not to wait too long because by that time it is usually too late to save them anyway.

I have lost two dobie/rottie mix dogs to cancer (gum cancer, and bone cancer) and we lost one to Valley Fever.  What I didn't tell the vet was that cancer seems a likely cause of death when a dog has been perfectly cared for - with or without their uterus.

He was condescending and rude to me but Ellie loved him.  His treatment of her was swift, warmly delivered, and effective.

I'm torn.

Would I recommend him to a friend with a sick pet?

No... wait... well... yes... ?

Once the wallet issue was resolved, the 12 year old office manager was polite and friendly, but they *did* turn us away because I didn't have my picture ID - extreme dog hives and all.

The office was clean, and professional.

The doctor seems knowledgeable.  He's as *ass*...but he's an ass who seems to know what he is doing.

So, for spur of the moment - needed medical attention?  Sure.  Caring Hearts Animal Hospital in Gilbert is a decent place where your animal will be well cared for with affection and respect.

The question would have to be asked, "Who's "feelers" are most important?".  In my case, my dog's hives were more important that my need to be treated well.

You see, I can write this review and share my opinion with you all to make up for the fact that they treated me with less respect than I felt I should have been given, however, my dog might not have gotten such swift treatment if I'd had to make her an appointment with one of our other vets who are not as convenient, but whom we turn to for more complex medical care.

So, the question remains...under these circumstances, does this vet deserve a thumbs up or a thumbs down?  I'm still not sure....

Thoughts from the peanut gallery? 

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