Visiting The Veterinarian

Taking your furry friend to the vet can be a relaxed event – or it can be a nightmare. At Licking Valley Veterinary Services we want it to be a relaxed event. Helping your pet be prepared for a vet visit is important.

This article will walk you through the steps to get ready for your next veterinary checkup. Whether it is for a routine annual exam, a check-up to get heartworm medicine,  or for a sick animal visit.
Dr. Glaza of Licking Valley Vet

Get Ready

Before you even go to the vet it’s important to get your pet used to traveling. Don’t make the only time your dog or cat gets into the car be all about going in for their annual checkup.

With dogs, this can be easy. Take your pooch for a fun ride in the car. Even just around the block. They will probably enjoy going with you to pick up the kids at school or to check on the cows in the backfield.

Cats can be a bit harder since they are typically not all about car rides for fun. However, you can make their cat carrier a less scary place. Occasionally put the cat in their carrier with a special treat. Leave them in for twenty minutes then let them out to go about their business.

Puppy in for an exam

Horses and trailers

Getting an unschooled horse in the trailer is not a fun adventure. Begin teaching your horse as a weanling or as soon as you get them. Start by having them walk up to the ramp and next to the trailer. This may take several tries.

The first day just let them walk around and smell the trailer. Give them a treat for being good. The next time work on getting there hooves on the ramp. Hopefully, on the next encounter, they will walk up the ramp to get a treat.

Horses should, of course, be halter and lead line broke. If your horse needs to be sedated plan on waiting with them a bit. It is unwise to trailer a horse under sedation as they can easily fall and injure themselves. We do have a nice grassy yard for you to hang out in.

Equine dental can be performed at the clinic.

Get Set

Whenever you get a new animal it is important to call your vet and make a plan of action. Just like humans your pet needs an annual physical and recommended vaccines for their species. Your dog or horse may need a dental cleaning.

Make sure you get any vet paperwork from the previous owner or the rescue. If you have rescued a stray (bless you) make sure to let your vet know that as well.  

You most likely have a number of questions you want to ask your vet. This is good. Questions show the vet that you are a caring pet owner and want to do what’s best for your pet. Remember that you and your vet are partners. You both want a healthy, well-adjusted fur baby that will live a long life.

In addition, be prepared for your vet to ask you questions. That is how the vet finds out if there are any problems.  

Be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • When did the problem behavior start?
  • Have you made any diet changes?
  • Have there been any changes in the household such as a new baby or someone moving out?
  • Have there been any changes in how the pet interacts with other people or animals in the house?
  • Does the pet have a normal routine?
Cats should come to the clinic in a cat carrier

Go To The Vet

Try to arrive at your vet’s office on time. Your pet must be leashed or in a carrier. There may be other animals in the lobby and your animal should be restrained. If you are bringing a horse or small livestock, leave them safely in the trailer and come inside and check-in with the receptionist.

Special Circumstances

Fearful or Aggressive Animals

Does your dog get snappy when they are afraid or your cat starts hissing and scratching? We need to know before you arrive.

When you call for your appointment let the receptionist know if your animal has fear or aggression issues. We will advise you of some extra precautions to take. Also, we will schedule you a time that is not high traffic, and possibly have you come to the back door.

Please note that if your dog or cat is difficult for our trained staff to handle they may need to wear a muzzle or have a shot to calm them down. This is the decision of Dr. Glaza as he is responsible for the safety of everyone at the clinic.

For horses who may be scared or head shy you can leave in the trailer until Dr. Glaza or the vet tech has had time to ascertain what they need. We do have stocks at the clinic to safely hold your horse or other livestock.

Our vet tech will take time to answer your questions

Exotic Livestock or Pets

We see a number of exotic pets including pigs, rabbits, hedgehogs, and birds. If an exotic pet is part of your family please let us know when you call for an appointment. We may ask you to take a few extra precautions when bringing them into the clinic.

Also, our clinic does provide services for several wildlife rehabilitators. Please give wildlife plenty of space as they are already traumatized and can actually die from stress.

When You Arrive

Please keep your animal in control, step up to the counter and check-in. We ask that you don’t allow your pet to mingle with other animals. Other animals may not be feeling well or they may feel protective of their owner in a strange place.

We know that in a rural county you may often see someone you know or your neighbor. The people can greet each other but let the animals wait till they are back on their own turf.

Please understand that the receptionist is not a trained vet tech. She will certainly do her best to answer your questions, however, she may often tell you to ask the veterinarian or the vet tech as she does not know the answer. Or in some cases can not legally answer the question.

Your Appointment

When you arrive we will typically get a weight on your animal. The weight is an important indicator of growth and is needed to properly administer medicine. Other things may be to take the animal’s temperature and listen to their heart and lungs.

We may ask you questions about your pets physical habits and behavior. This also helps us to understand your pet’s health. Some preventative treatments such as heartworms require a sample of blood to be drawn for testing.

You may see us making notes on the computer. We record the data about your pet’s visit just like your doctor so we can build a comprehensive health outlook. If you have an issue down the road this information may be valuable.

Small livestock such as calves, goats, and sheep can come to the clinic

Farm Calls

We do make farm calls and they have an additional charge. Farm calls are typically reserved for herd work and multiple animals who can’t be brought into the clinic.

We do ask that you have animals contained and ready to be seen. That may be a stall or small paddock with a livestock chute. We do not see animals in the field unless the animal is lying unconscious and can’t be moved.

Treating a horse for colic

Take Away

Having a good relationship with your vet is important for your animals well being and your peace of mind. We want you to feel comfortable and accepted. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or discuss new therapies.

We appreciate your business and your patience!

Author, Ame Vanorio, is the director of Fox Run Environmental Education Center and a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. She teaches onsite and online classes in organic gardening, solar power, and wildlife rehabilitation. She lives on her farm in Falmouth, Kentucky with too many animals to count! 

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