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  #381  
Old 03-06-2011, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

It's tricky with Jack - he is afraid of so many things. I think we would need a flat, mattress sort of platform if we were to have any hope of him accepting it, let alone lying on it.

For example, though he loves his car, he refuses to go in through the narrow passenger doors on the side. Those freak him out. He will only go in through the back tail gate. So he would freak if we tried to limit him to the back seat only.

He has paid for his fun trip with an increase in pain and limping this week so we are starting to move the process along to the MRI.

First, he needs his blood panel repeated and I have been procrastinating on that... hard as I've tried, I don't feel comfortable with the new vet practice. She seems like a very very nice person and she was incredibly open to the website and forum and has already sent one of her patients to the website for help and considered Chris' case study in working out a different regimen for a dog who wasn't getting good duration from NPH. She has from the beginning just expected that I would accompany Jack to the back for all procedures and been open to discussing options. Which is why I feel badly that I don't want to continue there... but there are some overriding issues with sensitivity to Jack's anxiety problem that haven't been handled as well as I would like and there just isn't the kind of rapport that I'm looking for.

For now, I may ask the old practice to do the bloodwork and I'll keep working on figuring out a vet plan for the future. I don't want to use the vet we were seeing there as there are definitely some issues in terms of her approach to medicine. There is one more woman vet in the practice who is also a behaviorist. So potentially a good candidate for Jack. But I don't know about her vet skill as she has mainly focused on behavior in recent years... I'm conficted obviously.

With Jack, I even feel like I have to consider the waiting area. Some of these practices have teeny tiny waiting areas that are a huge problem for a reactive dog. Jack has curled his lip at a couple of clients in waiting rooms at the vet's office so I prefer to have at least a little space.

It is excruciating to try to replace someone who was, for me, the perfect vet... he talked to me and with me at exactly the right level, treated me like someone with half a brain and something to contribute, AND in my experience was also an excellent doctor diagnostically (sometimes the harder task I think) and clinically. He totally understood my approach to healthcare with our animals... perfect. But he's retired and Jack's afraid of him even if he wasn't.

I'm still holding out for that same rapport AND a really good doctor. But in the meantime, I've just got to go get the bloodwork done.

Natalie
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  #382  
Old 03-06-2011, 08:37 PM
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CarolW CarolW is offline
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So sad to lose a great vet, Natalie. Mine should last at least as long as I do, I trust! - I'm considerably older than she is.

I REALLY understood about Jack not wanting to go through the narrow doors, and having to use the tailgate. Camellia has similar difficulties - not exactly, but the same kind.

We really have to respect these difficulties dogs have. Cats, too.

Wishing you well with Jack the project!

Sun, 6 Mar 2011 19:37:39 (PST)
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  #383  
Old 03-06-2011, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Zac can completely relate to the narrow car doors -v- tailgate problem. Zac and Jack have way too much in common! Unfortunately we don't have tailgate any more so he (and I) are going to have to tackle the narrow door issue. ASAP! I've been putting it off all summer which is really, really bad, I know (like what if we had to go to the vet?????)

I can see it is going to be a slow shaping exercise involving a lot of treats!

These "psychiatric" problems are definitely much harder to handle than any amount of endocrine stuff, aren't they? We changed vets because of Zac's temperament with travel time and the opportunity to accustom him to the place being the biggest consideration in our case.

Alison
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  #384  
Old 03-07-2011, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

I had a long talk with both a tech and the vet at the clinic today about how much of a fuss Jack has put up in the past. I asked them how much of a struggle it has been to get a blood draw from Jack and described ways that I think would make him more comfortable.

I truly love the staff at this clinic - by far the best of the any of the clinics I've used in the past 15 years. They were very receptive to my concerns. I'm going to have them - the old clinic - do his blood draw in the next week or so and then I will have some time to figure out what to do vet-wise long term.

They said they have never struggled to draw blood the way we did last time and I'm sure they would be more compassionate in doing a nail trim also.

It may help that they know me as well as they do. And they know a fair amount about what we've been going through with Jack. I can tell the new vet and new clinic but I'm still an unknown to them.

Natalie
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  #385  
Old 03-07-2011, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Luke is my impossible dog at the vets and the groomer. He is 8kg of
fllee/flight/fight responses.

Usually at nail trim time I have to warn the groomer (the vet refused to do them) so she can have extra hands standing by. He pees and poops all over himself and us. It was a nightmare.

The last time was so different, she wrapped him in a towel like a baby and put him on his side with me leaning my body on him gently and just pulled the foot out she was attending to at the time. All 4 feet took less than 5 minutes rather than the usual half hour where we all felt stressed and scratched.

Not sure if this has a name or how it could work for a larger dog but it was a dream come true for us. I will even try it next time at the vets for a blood draw.

Jenny
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  #386  
Old 03-08-2011, 07:22 AM
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bgdavis bgdavis is offline
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Natalie,

I certainly understand about the vet. I just can't replace Dr. Mayfield. The lady who took over his practice is also nice, but it's just not the same. She talks to me like I have no experience at all with animals, so I have only made 2 visits there in a year.

Bonnie and Angel Criss
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  #387  
Old 03-10-2011, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestBuddy View Post
Luke is my impossible dog at the vets and the groomer. He is 8kg of
fllee/flight/fight responses.

Usually at nail trim time I have to warn the groomer (the vet refused to do them) so she can have extra hands standing by. He pees and poops all over himself and us. It was a nightmare.

The last time was so different, she wrapped him in a towel like a baby and put him on his side with me leaning my body on him gently and just pulled the foot out she was attending to at the time. All 4 feet took less than 5 minutes rather than the usual half hour where we all felt stressed and scratched.

Not sure if this has a name or how it could work for a larger dog but it was a dream come true for us. I will even try it next time at the vets for a blood draw.

Jenny

Wow, Jenny! That's a whole new level of scared at the vet! I've had cats with that reaction but never a dog.

That's cool that the towel wrap worked. I think Sophia Yin described something along those lines recently for working with cats in a vet setting.

Natalie
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  #388  
Old 03-10-2011, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgdavis View Post
Natalie,

I certainly understand about the vet. I just can't replace Dr. Mayfield. The lady who took over his practice is also nice, but it's just not the same. She talks to me like I have no experience at all with animals, so I have only made 2 visits there in a year.

Bonnie and Angel Criss
It's a shame but it does impact how often you go and get care. I've been procrastinating dealing with Jack's blood draw while trying to decide what to do.

He had his blood draw today back at the original vet office and did okay. We kept him in an exam room and had him standing up instead of lying down. I was on one side of him and a tech on the other and they took blood from the vein in his right front leg. She seemed to have an easier time finding the vein than the last one who drew blood did.

His pupils were HUGE and he squirmed a bit, requiring a second needle puncture to get enough blood, but it was a quick procedure and there was no thrashing or head-banging.

Poor guy - after that last not-good nail trim experience, he was much more anxious at the vet's office prior to the appt. He whined and kept jumping up onto the bench. And he could not focus on any commands or be distracted by treats. But he wasn't Luke-hysterical either. And there was only one other patient, a cat in a carrier, there at the time.

So all in all, it went fine.

They will run the straight panel and are holding blood for a comprehensive thyroid panel if the regular T4 result is still low.

Next step is to get some details about the MRI process from the neurologist. I know that they transport their MRI patients to a human MRI facility. I want to find out how far apart they are, when the anesthesia is administered, whether we can be present at the MRI facility... logistical types of stuff.

For now, I guess his vet will be the original clinic - I need to remember to change that with the neurologist also.

Natalie
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  #389  
Old 03-12-2011, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Jack the project!

Jack had a reasonably tolerable blood draw and all came back normal, including the thyroid level.
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  #390  
Old 03-13-2011, 06:55 AM
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Great news on the bloodwork, Natalie! And pretty good on the blood draw process, too.

Jenny - I'd heard of this "swaddling" technique - with terrified animals, one wraps them in a blanket, effectively, confining them. They are still terrified, I expect, but it shortens the procedure, and allows the necessary work to be done.

And Natalie, I think having Jack stand was a great idea - in hindsight, because it worked! You and Jack got through it; that's what counts.

We can't prevent all fear.

So, awaiting your next report!

Hugs,
Sun, 13 Mar 2011 06:55:22 (PDT)
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