On Shopping for a New Vet

So we’ve moved to a new town, and it’s a two-hour drive to our old vet.

That means it’s time to shop for a new one.

And because Bubba gets monthly injections of Adequan for his arthritis, the shopping started soon after arrival.

Bubba is old and suffers from arthritis. But a regular regimen of Adequan, used off-label, helps tremendously.
Bubba is old and suffers from arthritis. But a regular regimen of Adequan, used off-label, helps tremendously.

Here’s a bit of advice to vet clinic administrators: make sure the person answering your phones know what the hell they’re talking about.

I first called the two clinics closest to home. Makes sense, right? No point in driving across town if I don’t have to.

Both clinics told me they’d be happy to order the medication for ME to administer to Bubba, but only after putting me on hold while they asked someone else what I meant.

Nope, I’m not giving an arthritic cat a shot. He’s old and I’m not trained. I want a vet tech to give the shot. So I kept calling around.

It's important to establish yourself with a local vet soon after a move. You never know when there will be an emergency. Better to have someone respond who knows your pet's history.
It’s important to establish yourself with a local vet soon after a move. You never know when there will be an emergency. Better to have someone respond who knows your pet’s history.

I did find a vet on the beach that could accommodate me. Bubba and I visited the clinic last Friday. The office had a nice feel. Dogs were behind the receptionist’s desk. The waiting area was clean and roomy. The vet examining Bubba seemed knowledgeable. And the clinic has hours that work well with my schedule.

It’s what I was looking for in a vet. But…..I don’t like the location. While it’s only a 15 minute drive when there’s no traffic, come summer there will be LOTS of traffic.

So I will keep searching here in town for a secondary vet.

In the meantime, I am established at a local vet clinic. Which is good, because I found out there’s no emergency clinic here in town, and most of the local vets only respond to emergencies for established clients.

That’s not a good sign in a vacation town, is it?

35 thoughts on “On Shopping for a New Vet

  1. Good Vets are hard to find.I have a great vet. He listens to me,Has a Caring Staff. He will come to the office 24/7. I know because I have had Emergencies in the middle of the Night, On Holidays, and Sundays. He takes Payments. He is not a know it all if he don’t know he finds out. I am thinking of moving and if We do he will be a 2 hour drive away. But unless it is life or death I will make the drive. I will get a vet near me if Life Treating Emergancy comes up.

  2. I understand totally..we moved 3 hours away and before we moved I was on the phone constantly..quizzing vets…hours emergency hours..etc etc etc..my old vet sent all our files prior to the move and we did introductions not long after as we had serious issues with Forrest..they make house calls ,offer their own healthy foods and vitamins,have well trained staff in ALL areas ,have a grief counselling room and services .do inhouse labs,xrays etc…we have been very lucky..they were patient and even let me discuss each animal over the phone..before we met. Maybe country towns are a bit different..i hope you can find a really good one that suits you well 🙂 Fozziemum

    1. I think the one i visited will be a primary vet. But a sick or injured animal, an upset human, and traffic are not a good combination. So i’m weighing my options.

      1. Totally agree…let’s face it humans have different drs for different things…so far we have had snake bite emergencies and pancreatitis..all treated quickly with only a 7 minute drive…phew..i was stressing before we moved ..over finding a great vet more than even selling the house! our old vet was a gem! keep on looking I am sure you will find a back up 🙂

  3. Oh that’s bad that you are in double trouble in an emergency case.
    Specially in a vacation town… We have to drive 45 minutes to Easy’s vet, that’s a little “hairy” too :o(

  4. At least they’ll respond to established clients… we don’t even get that here. In Charleston SC, there is ONE emergency Pet Hospital – ONE. For the entire tri-county area. Yuck. And it doesn’t stop there. We recently “captured” a wandering Husky… after attempts at finding its owner failed, we tried to take to to the local shelter… they were closed. No off-hours drop off place, and a big sign saying it’s ILLEGAL to leave animals at the gate, and there’s a surveillance camera capturing the whole thing. A call to the emergency number wasn’t any help – again, it’s after hours. A call to the county animal services was even less helpful. Apparently animals only go out running loose 8am-5pm… Monday -Friday. Ugh… triedt o call 911, their suggestion, take the dog home with us until the shelter opened the next day. WHAAAAT? What if it had been a dangerous animal, like a wolf or something? Sigh.

  5. In NYC we have a vet every five blocks. It doesn’t make choosing one easier it just gives more choices. I looked for a few most important when I chose a vet. Recommendations, his/her interaction with me and with BJ, the office’s cleanliness, available hours and backup, specialty services. location.

    I hope you find a good vet and one that you and Bubba like.

  6. It’s so important and is one of the things that worries me most about moving! No emergencies for non established clients is a worry. Imagine if that had happened when my two ended up cone heads last holidays? :/

  7. My Sunny gets Adequan every 3 weeks. As we have been doing this for years I did learn how to give them. But I did taking nursing years ago. Good vet you are comfortable with is hard to come by.

  8. I had a similar thing when I moved with a cat who was getting chemo. I was amazed at how insensitive and stupid some of the offices were when I called about transferring him and also ordering in his special food. That was to find a regular vet.

    The new veterinary oncologist was even worse. He was the only one in the region, so him I was stuck with him and I couldn’t stand the guy. I really think my cat died early because the guy was miffed that he didn’t do the original diagnosis from halfway across the country. The regular vet had to step in and take over the care because I hit a point where I wouldn’t go back and I didn’t trust anything the guy told me.

    More recently, we switched regular vets. We were having too much trouble getting stuck with the third vet in the office, who seemed to turn over every few months. Some of them we truly detested. The vet we liked was never available. And frequently they were recommending expensive things that were not necessary. The one we’re at now came as a recommendation from a co-worker and we’ve been happy so far.


  9. We finally found a new vet we like. BUT it’s a much longer drive than the previous vets. BUT she’s better, longer hours, better prices, much more sympathetic and willing to work with us. So ultimately, we decided that we’d have to cope with a longer drive to have a better vet. I had to make the same decision for a doctor for myself. I hate the longer drives, but I like the better care. I guess we can’t always have everything we want.

  10. Yes, it’s very hard to find a good vet….we not sure if ours are good ones…Tora and Hime go to the same vet and Shiro and Chibi go to the another one from Toras. We don’t know which is better though….we just think that we might want to have two alternative for our four kitties…..
    I hope that Bubba will have a nice one for his arthritis….

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