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I need to pick a Vet to examine a dog I just adopted. I want to avoid any that have been disiplined. I tried a search for those in Pennsylvania but all I got was Dover, Delaware. I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania if that helps.
 

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A lot of people that chose our practice called the local veterinary university to ask for recommendations, or checked sites like Angie's List for reviews!

They also come in (without an appointment) and look around, weigh the dog, introduce themselves, etc.
I think this is a great idea...you can 'feel it out' that way.
 
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When I pick a vet, I call them and ask if I can drop by and meet some of the staff, with at least one of my dogs.
When I'm there, I ask some questions about their practice, how long have the staff been practicing, etc.
What I look for even more, is how they interact with my dog. If I walk in the door, and no attention is paid to the dogs, then serious bonus points are out the window. I want a clinic that is all about my pets. In my experience, and I've used quite a few vets for quite a few things, the clinics that greet my dog first, have been the ones less likely to recommend the most invasive, expensive procedures right off the bat.
 

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If you have someone in your area with dogs you can ask then whom they have chosen for a vet. Ask them if the place is good or not. I think a neighbor is a good person to trust, well if they are a nice neighbor haha! If you find a place you can just go there and check out the facility. See if the staff is friendly, how clean the place is, have them show you around.Ask what the emergency hours are , see if they have convenient hours. Do they have a boarding area. ask to see it, make sure its clean and the dogs look happy. Ask if you can just bring the pup with you to see how you and the pup like the place. See how the staff is with you pup! Make sure they are a caring place and they really like the pup! This is always a good thing! I know the vets I see now really love my dogs and that really helps. There are 5 vets where I go. I se two of them. I like these two in particular because the one Loves Labs which I have two. and the one I go to is the oldest of the group and he is also the owner. He's wonderful with my other two dogs and I have been seeing him since they were puppies. So I tend to stick with the two.
 

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Vet

I would try to find a vet that is open to un-conventional treatments and uses the least invasive methods first. Antibiotics are greatly overused by many vets, that's something that needs to change.
 

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Are you on any local yahoo groups, doesn't necessarily have to be a dog group...but you could ask them. Word of mouth is the best way to find a good vet. If people will recommend a vet specifically, that means that they generally have a good reputation.

I always say go and "interview" the vet before going in...they are in fact working for you so you better approve of them. They should be happy to give you a tour and ten minutes of their time for no charge, if not...walk away. If at any time you feel any uneasiness around the vet or staff, find a new one. You should be able to feel comfortable no matter what, considering I think that it is important to have a good relationship with your vet.

There are plenty out there, and we all have differences in what we expect from them. I expect to be on a first name basis, and know their personal home phone number just in case. Others just want a vet close by in case of an emergency and that is it. So a lot of what to look for depends on what you want...

Make sure you know if they offer after hour care, not necessarily if they are emergency (unless that is a must) but if they are willing and ABLE/WILLING to stay after hours in case if needed.

Do they offer surgery, x-ray, ultrasound, internal medicine, acupuncture, raw friendly, holistic care, traditional medicine, etc. There are so many things to think about when picking a vet.

BUT most importantly, pick a vet that your DOG feels comfortable with. If your dog is scared of the vet (unless your dog is afraid of everyone) consider finding a new one. It is so much easier to work with animals that are comfortable and happy to be around us rather than a scared and anxious dog. Some dogs don't like men that much so a female vet would be best for example. I also think that the vet should be able to get down on the floor with them and even play if possible.

I could go on and on, but I hope this helps LOL! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
All good replys,
I'll ask for a tour of the vet's treatment area and kennels.
I suppose I could also ask to see if their license to practice is up to date and any other documents. Over 16 years ago, my last visit with a Vet did not go well as he told me my pet may be lacking a vitamin......?????
I left his office with no better knowledge then before I saw him. The whole point in taking a pet to the Vet is to properly diagnose and prescribed a treatment. So I don't know how that Vet stays in business.
While I have everybodys attention:
What tests are routinely performed in a yearly checkup and what specific tests should a dog owner insist on that is not routine?
I'll be taking my dog for his first checkup at the recommendation of the shelter from whom I recently adopted.
I hope he or she does not get their "Back Up" because some professionals do not like to be questioned. "Its like "How Dare You Question My Integrity".
 

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What tests are routinely performed in a yearly checkup and what specific tests should a dog owner insist on that is not routine?
I personally think that doing annual bloodwork can be a great thing, that way you can see how the organs are functioning and see if they change at all from year to year. This allows you to pick up on any particular issues that might arise before they become so bad that you are treating something like a kidney failure dog for example.

Annual physical exam is also good. Check up on the eyes, ears, mouth, heart, lungs, abdomen, etc should be done thoroughly. This covers all the physical parts of the check-up that blood work doesn't cover.

Vaccines on the other hand I think you should leave behind since you have adopted an adult dog. The only vaccines that I think are absolutely necessary are the puppy boosters (covers: distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, etc...last round given at 4 months and can be boostered once more one year later, but that is the extent) and rabies (given at 4 months, and then boostered once more a year later). "Puppy boosters" can be given at any point in life, ie adult dog. If the vaccine history is not known on an adult dog, you should always assume that they didn't have the vaccines to play on the safe side since there is no cure for things like distemper, parvo and rabies.

I'll be taking my dog for his first checkup at the recommendation of the shelter from whom I recently adopted.
I hope he or she does not get their "Back Up" because some professionals do not like to be questioned. "Its like "How Dare You Question My Integrity".
If they do, its a free exam and you are free to leave. Its just a recommendation to go to this vet. In any vet treats you like that, just simply tell them that you are no longer interested in being a client and walk away. Remember that a vet is working for you. They are the ones that must fit what you are looking for. There are a lot of vets out there that have that "don't question me" attitude, but they are usually the ones that don't stay up on the times and stay open minded. The healthcare system is an ever-changing one, so they must stay on their toes to provide the most current and up to date practices. For example, limiting vaccine schedules has been shown to drastically decrease many common issues in dogs...like cancer and allergies.
 
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