I really love my vet. I should clarify that I love my LARGE ANIMAL vet. I really hate to write anything negative, but to fully appreciate how much I love my large animal vet, you need something with which to compare.
Hubby and I have had dogs together for 15 years, two black labs. In all that time, and for him it was even BEFORE that time, we have used the same small animal vet. (I should quickly mention that she is NOT at Bakersfield Vet Hospital.) While the veterinarian herself is very knowledgeable and treats the dogs with the utmost compassion, her staff is ... not so accommodating.
Even after more than 15 years of regular visits and several emergency visits, the office staff at the small animal clinic where we take our dogs appears to not know who I am. A call for a prescription refill for a chronic, age-related illness requires at least a week to be written. A call to check on the status of blood-work, x-rays, or other tests often goes unreturned for several days. I could go on, but my point is not to bash my small animal vet, only to illustrate how COMPLETELY differently Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital treats it's customers.
It doesn't matter who answers the phone when I call BVH, I am quickly recognized and greeted warmly. My last call for a prescription refill went so smoothly that I considered getting all my own personal prescriptions filled there. So long Target Pharmacy! If I need an appointment, I only have to hint at the day and time I'd like, and poof! - it's done. And when I do pull in for the appointment, Dr. Blanton or Dr. Tolley always come out to the parking lot to greet Speedy and me and see how our drive over went.
When Speedy and I were in last month for regular medical care, Dr. Blanton took the time to answer EVERY question and concern, and there were quite a few. She even willing agreed, very good-naturedly, to let me video the visit in the name of entertaining, informing and maybe even educating the readers of this blog.
Here are a few things that Dr. Blanton would no doubt like you to know:
1. Don't wait until Sunday night to call with a concern. She can probably help you avoid a disaster if you'd just call the office during business hours and let her know that there is a problem brewing. And if you do, she'll be a lot less grumpy if you DO have to call at midnight. I once called Dr. Comeau at 4:45 p.m. about a chain that I thought Speedy had swallowed! I was genuinely worried, and in cace he had swallowed it, I wanted a coherent vet at 3:00 a.m. who was aware of the issue. And while the phone call was free, Dr. C still makes me "pay" for it with his teasing! The peace of mind and good medical advice were worth it though.
2. Call the vet before you administer any kind of drug or treatment without a prescription. So often problems get masked by Banamine or Bute until it's too late. Call first and ask what she thinks you ought to do. This way you'll avoid having to deal with #1 above. After a nasty cut to Speedy's jaw, I found out with a quick call to Dr. B that Corona is a no-no and Scarlet Oil gets a thumbs up!
3. Pay the vet and don't expect to get treatment for free, especially if it's an emergency visit. Her supplies and time cost money. If she brings the hospital to you, assume that it's going to be expensive. And unfortunately, I've been in that boat, too.
and that's why she'd really like you to know that ...
4. Preventative care is a lot cheaper than emergency care. Use the knowledgeable and caring doctors at the hospital to take care of routine stuff. If you do, your emergency calls will be a lot less frequent and probably even cheaper!
and finally ...
5. Treat your vet with courtesy and respect. If you "know" more than she does about what she's trained and studied for and been doing for a number of years, you should just do the job yourself, or get a new vet! (I know ... I said the same thing about farriers, but it's true about vets as well!)
I love visiting BVH because when I do, I know that I am going to be greeted with a joke or a smile, and my pony is going to be treated by competent, compassionate doctors who genuinely care about both of us. If you're a regular at BVH, you probably know just what I am talking about.
Big surprise here ... I love my vet!