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Hi everyone! This is my first post on this forum... only foudn this wonderful place yesterday. I just adopted "another" puppy - an Aussie "Wolfie" - from Houston SPCA last month (adopted a retriver mix "Blonde" from CAP last year). I start to worry about getting them a real good vet. My own experience when brought them to two "brand-name" pet hospitals in Houston was not excellent.:roll: They were brought to the hospital just for annual vaccinations and check. But, the two hospitals gave me a "chain restaurant" type of feeling. You know, when you get to McDonald or Wendy's, you will get what you ask for... nothing more nothing less. [b]PLAIN[/b] business transactions. I was hoping to have a family doctor type vet for them. So, what's your experience when visit a vet? Or, if your are in west Houston, can you recommend me a good pet hospital?

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Guest Anonymous

Well, I know what you mean about that chain vet clinic feeling. I don't live in Houston, but I used to work for a large chain pet store and so I can relate to the whole scenario you described, because it was my experience there as well.

I had the same vet for years, and had the good fortune of working with him (as a vet tech) before he went out on his own and opened his own practice and I moved on to another hospital. But I kept him for years because of his attentiveness and kindness and knowledge of my breed(s)

I teach my pups to "stand for examination" at an early age so that when they are at the vet, it is all over with as quickly as possible and the vet and two or three techs do not have to wrestle my doggies to give them their vaccines!

I also take them to the vet a few times in the month so that they get accustomed to going there and getting love, attention and cookies and not just things that they view as unpleasant. :)

Hope this helps ya! Good luck in your search! Call up and ask some of the techs working at these hospitals their opinions of the vets there. You never know what you might hear...

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Guest Anonymous

Congrats on rescuing a doggy that needed you!!! I also rescued my Aussie Cody from a resuce group after the breeder wanted to have him put to sleep becuase he is deaf. And we also adopted out Rottie from the pound.!! I would just ask around to your freinds who they use for a vet and ask them questions about their expericence with them.. I'm sorry i dont have anymore information. i go to the vet we have here on Post ( we are a army family ) and i dont have problems with them..

GOOD LUCK and congrats! we would love to see some picutres!! :fadein:

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I really like my vet, she's young and I think she's fresh out of school. SHe is great with Colby. There are 6 other vets in the office too that could help her if she needed it but so far she's been the best one.
I am in school taking Animal Science and she sometimes helps me with my homework questions :D

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I also have had some problems finding a vet that I'm happy with. The first vet I took my little one to was very kind but his office wasn't clean and he didn't appear to have up to date equipment. He also kept me waiting in the waiting room for 15 minutes while he chatted on the phone and his office staff wasn't friendly. The second vet I have tried was efficient and the office was state of the art and squeaky clean which is important to me. His staff was pleasant and he had a wonderful boarding area. But he wasn't personable and he has now moved. So I'm trying my third vet. She was ok but again this office wasn't as clean as I would like. When I took Bentley in I noticed that the exam table matt looked kind of dirty with dog hair and such. I know I'm picky and maybe I shouldn't let cleanliness be such an issue with me but I want a great vet with a clean office, I feel that they are perfoming medical procedures and I don't want my little subjected to infection because of poor sanitation. I wouldn't want to be neutered in a yucky doctors office and I didn't want my pupster to either. So I'm still searching. I'm from the DFW area so maybe it's a Texas thing.

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I really miss our last vet, Dr. Wendy. She's on the board of my animal rescue group and just adores all animals...she baby-talks to them and gives them kisses! She decided to buy her own clinic, though, and it's just too far for us to go (especially with the kitties). I like our new vet, but he doesn't give them kisses!

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I work for my Vet... :lol: therefore I am very happy. At the Vet clinic I work at I get to see first hand how the Vets treat their Customers and Patients...they are very freindly and explain treatments and disorders of the patient in language an average person can understand...they don't try to talk in technical terms and then get annoyed when a Customer doesnt understand (we non Vets are not all rocket sciencetists!) I used to have a Vet before I worked at this clinic who only talked in technical terms to me...I'd make a mental note then look it up in my Vet handbook to make sure I knew what was going on! :o
We also have a very clean modern clinic which we are very proud to take customers for tours aroung...we also make sure our customers feel very welcome to come in and see their pet if they are in for an extended period of time due to surgery etc. we have a very nice boarding facility and we also work side by side with the local SPCA...the Vet who owns the facility does alot of charity work for animals in need and has saved many dogs, cats, birds, raccoons etc and she keeps them until they have found a good home (which she interviews personally) or she sets the wild animals free..we have a pigeon who still comes back for visits...she will not put any animals to sleep which she rescues and if a customer wants their animal PTS without there being a very big medical reason or bite reason she will not euthanize a healthy animal -which is her policy.

[b]main concerns when looking for a vet are:[/b]
What types of services are available?
Medical exams?
Surgery, including orthopedic?
Radiology (x-rays)?
Nutrition counseling?
Behavior counseling?
Laboratory testing?
Are the veterinarians willing to refer pets to specialists? If so, whom?

[b]Do they have auxiliary services such as [/b]

Is the practice clean and neat?
Are there unpleasant odors?
Are the grounds well kept?
Is the facility in a good location and easy for you to get to?

[b]Professional affiliations:[/b]
Are the doctors members of professional associations?
Is the hospital an American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) associated hospital?
Do the veterinarians regularly attend conferences and other continuing education programs?

As part of your search, pay a visit to the facilities you are interested in and have a tour. Make appointments to meet the veterinarians. If your dog has ongoing medical or behavioral problems, find out if the veterinarian is comfortable in treating those problems.

Hopefully, your pet will have a healthy life and never need a specialist, but if a specialist is needed, they are available. Some veterinarians will have a special interest in certain areas of medicine or surgery and specialize in it. If they are board-certified, it means that they have studied and have passed board-certification exams in that specialty.

[b]Specialists [/b]

The following is a partial list of specialties that have board-certification:

Internal medicine: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that involve the internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

Surgery - orthopedic and soft tissue: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that need surgery to repair such as back surgery, complicated fractures, or abdominal surgery.

Dermatology: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders including allergies.

Behavior: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral problems such as aggression, spraying, or scratching.

Oncology: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers.

Radiology: Specializing in reading x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds.

Cardiology: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases.

Ophthalmology: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders.

If a referral to a specialist is recommended by your veterinarian or you would like a second opinion from a specialist, ask your veterinarian to tell you who in your region is board-certified in the necessary specialty. A listing of the various veterinary boards are included in our Directory Section under Specialty Boards.


The relationship between you, your dog, and your veterinarian will hopefully last many years, so take time to find the right 'fit.' Since you will need to be able to discuss your dog's symptoms, test results, and treatment options with your veterinarian, good communication is of utmost importance. Find a clinic with veterinarians who you feel comfortable with and have good 'bedside manners.' Once you have found that veterinarian, schedule regular veterinary visits, or at the very least, annual physical exams

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I like the vet I have - the lady there especially - she was the one who did all the work up's on Alex, and and is always pleasant and nice to the dogs.

But like everyone has said, your best bet is to talk to people who own dogs and see what they think.

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Guest Anonymous

I am very pleased with the vets office I use. My family has used the same vets office for my entire life. The original vet at the office is retired but still owns it. There are two vets in the office. A middle aged lady that has been there for years and a younger man. I like them both. I sort of prefer the guy because while he may not have quite the experience of the lady, he seems to have a greater knowledge when it comes to temperment and psychological aspects of different dog breeds. The lady vet seems to approach it from a purely medical standpoint. Not that its bad to be that way. But an example was when my current dog Bandit had what turned out to be a minor leg injury as a puppy I was told to keep him quiet and not allow any running or playing. I was told this by the lady vet and asked her how was I supposed to do that? She said just to keep him inside and on a leash. Does everyone remember the scene in Jaws when the shark was eating his way up the rope to the boat? Thats what I had on my hands. I had a miserable little terror on my hands for the first day. The next day I called back and spoke to the guy vet. He understood that I had a high drive breed from a working line on my hands. He prescribed a mild sedative and also made the suggestion that we go ahead and move up Bandit's scheduled neuter up a couple of weeks. That way while he could recover from both during his down time.
The entire staff is great there. They also have boarding. They have nice runs and the lady in charge of the boarding treats your dog like it was hers.
The last thing might not be a big deal to some but it is to me. When the time came to have my last dog, Doc put down I called the vet to let them know I was bringing him in. The guy vet and I had spoken a couple of weeks before and had agreed that time was near. Life and old age had caught up with Doc. After I called and before I could leave the house, the guy vet called me back and told me he was going to come to my house to take care of it. He came over and put Doc to sleep in my living room. Then he stayed and helped me bury him. When he was about to leave, I asked him how much I owed him for services. His reply was your getting another dog right? I said yes after a while. He said that we would just settle up when I brought the new dog in. So when I got Bandit and took him in for an initial check up, I told the receptionist that I still owed for having Doc put down. The guy vet over heard and said no I didn't. I said yes I did because I had not paid him. He came out from behind the counter and said, we have treated your animals for years and hopefully for years to come. We will never charge you for putting a pet down when its time.

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[quote name='JohnnyBandit']But an example was when my current dog Bandit had what turned out to be a minor leg injury as a puppy I was told to keep him quiet and not allow any running or playing. I was told this by the lady vet and asked her how was I supposed to do that?[/quote]

I had this same problem when our two kitty girls, Pawnee and Janie, were spayed. We were supposed to keep them from running and jumping for something like two weeks. How on EARTH are you supposed to keep two five-month-old kittens from doing that???

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