A Community of Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Lovers

Some of you may recall our story about a trip to the vet and the shannanigancs caused by my boys that resulted in a needle in my foot and dog barf all over the vet's shoe. As funny as that was, I was concerned about the vet. He just didn't seem like he was banging on all cylinders. I wondered if he was showing signs of early dementia, but dismissed it because I'm hypersensitive to that sort of stuff because of my job.

So today we went to the vet for Spencer's vaccines, and we took Elliott with us because I wanted the vet to check the cyst that has been on Elliott's neck for about a year now. It has been growing, not quickly but steadily, and is now a bit smaller than the detergent tablets you use in the dishwasher. The vet had told me that they sometimes can grow "fairly large" but if it wasn't uncomfortable it could just be watched. He confirmed what I was thinking that it was painless, and free from any under attachments to muscles etc., just within the skin layers. I asked again about it a while ago and was told all was OK.

So today, we were put in the little room and in the door walks a vet I haven't seen before. He didn't really explain why he was there instead of our long-time vet. My hubby said, "I don't think we've met" and he introduced himself but still didn't say where our vet was. Finally I asked him directly and he said he was a classmate of our vet. But our vet wanted to retire and had, so this vet bought his practice.

He checked the lump and told me he would "definitely get that out of there" as "these" can suddenly grow quite big. The smaller it is, the easier the surgery. So I asked him if he makes sure he gets the little sack out that the cyst grows in. He told me he thinks it is a skin timor, not a cyst. He pointed out that there were some tiny bumps on the surface, not completely smooth like a cyst. Then he went on to explain the surgery and testing etc.

I should never ignore that little voice inside when it is bugging me. Now I don't know what to do. I've never met this guy. Seemed nice enough but I didn't like that I had to ask why he was there. I do believe my old vet may have been slipping cognitively (I say "old" but he was younger than me LOL). It was very subtle but I'm sure now I was probably right. 

Do I go ahead? Do I try another vet? I had that  vet for my last 4 dogs. Anyone else will also be a stranger. 

What would you guys do?

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Comment by Kathy, Elliott & Spencer on March 8, 2014 at 7:49pm
Thanks Beverly. It has been so much fun looking forward to it. They have never been on a plane! So many questions. I gave them each a little monogrammed suitcase for their birthday and they play pretend going to Disney whenever they are here. Their family is 5 kids so we can't take everybody at once. So it's just Grandma, Grandpa and the twins. We took their brother 2 years ago. He has advised the girls that there alligators in the swimming pool, lots of snakes, and little lizards that like to sneak into your room at night. Boys!!
Comment by Beverly and Eli on March 8, 2014 at 2:11pm

Kathy, have a wonderful trip with the twins!!

Comment by Kathy, Elliott & Spencer on March 8, 2014 at 11:55am
Thanks everyone for all the support and advice. Since everything the vet said basically agreed with my own thoughts, I do wonder if I am over-reacting because it was quite a shock, and the change was not handled as one would expect from a professional.
At work yesterday I put out a request for people to recommend a vet they love and I got over 20 replies, all different, except for 2 people who recommended a clinic 40 minutes away that has several different vets. Yes Jan, I was shocked at how many mentioned price as a criteria! We didn't even ask the vet we saw what the cost would be.
So we are still thinking it over. At the end if this week, we are taking our 7 year old twin granddaughter to Disney for a week, and the boys will be at doggie camp with their Auntie Dawn who they adore, so we have time to think and keep asking other folks. I don't want to do anything until we get back.
Thanks everybody. We will for sure let you know.
Comment by Grace and Pemon The Gentle Giant on March 8, 2014 at 11:10am

Kathy, since you are uncomfortable, I would get a 2nd opinion.  And Elliott is in our thoughts and prayers.  The new Vet should have told you exactly what was going on.  Maybe they sent letters out explaining the situation and you didn't get it?  That definitely should have been done.    We sent our love.  Grace & Pemon, The Gentle Giant.

Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on March 7, 2014 at 1:51pm

Hi Kathy, I agree that the attitude of this new vet and his lack of courtesy are not a good start to anything, regardless of the fact that it's not an unreasonable recommendation he's making I join the voices that say look for a second opinion. Pedro had a cyst on top of his head and they did the needle-aspirate thing, same as when he developed an overnight lump because of a vaccine just to know what exactly they're addressing and to explain it better to you, not just simply jump to the surgery suggestion and be done with it. 

When I was having concerns about my vet, I looked up reviews online and asked friends. I ended up staying with our vet because though deemed expensive and they tend to recommend profitable procedures (like the teeth cleaning) they are definitely well regarded in their profession which is the standard of care that I ultimately want for Pedro, but I found the online reviews and the recommendations for Friends very helpful in determining exactly what were our standards.

We'll be thinking of you and Cousin Elliott, hoping all goes well and gets resolved quickly and to your satisfaction and his good health.

Lots of loving paws. - Alessandra and Pedro

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on March 7, 2014 at 9:31am

If I didn't feel comfortable with the vet, I'd find someone else, which I have done in the past. Sounds like you regular vet is done anyway. Kinda strange that there wasn't an announcement about the switchover. When it comes to healthcare, for myself, family or my pets, I'm really picky! 

Comment by Administrator Jan on March 7, 2014 at 7:15am

One more thing - whenever Nessy has a lump we suspect is a cyst - the Vet takes a sample with a needle and examines it under a microscope.  He can tell pretty quickly if it is a cyst that way...  Very comforting to get instant feedback.  (If I recall, he does this only when we aren't already planning to do a dental within the next month or so).

Comment by Administrator Jan on March 7, 2014 at 6:59am

If you are uncomfortable with this new Vet, as you seem to be, it is time to ask friends & family who they use, and find a new Vet / Vet Group.

I have to admit that my friends and family all use Vets I wouldn't want to use though, as their expectations are lower than mine, but it is a place to start.  I talked with people, found out what they wanted/expected from their dog's Vet, and then found out who they went to.  Those that chose their Vet for the convenience, or cost, without seeming regard for expertise, basically told me that those were Vets I wouldn't use.  Helped eliminate some Vets right away, lol ;)   Around here, a lot of the Vet Groups expect you to see whichever doctor is available, and discourage building a rapport with any one Vet in the office - those were automatically off my list too.  Several of the Groups seem to have new Vets all the time (fresh out of school, 1st job), they don't stay long - off the list.

If you know someone who has a dog they went above & beyond for, and they love their Vet - see if that Vet is taking new patients!

PS - My dog Nessy gets cysts, and what I've done is have the Vet remove them while she's under for a dental procedure (something we do every 3 years or thereabouts).  One that I thought was a cyst, was extraordinarily fast growing (as in - it appeared out of nowhere in 3 months and was fairly large, nearly 1/2 inch diameter), was actual a Basal cell carcinoma.  Fortunately, even though the Vet could not get good margins, it has not returned or appeared elsewhere (it was low grade according to the pathology, so somewhat less likely to metastasize).  It has been 2 1/2 years since then.  I chose not to pursue thoughts of chemo, and so far, so good.  Nessy is 9 years old.

Comment by Dianne and Dulcie on March 7, 2014 at 1:25am

2nd opinion and then follow that "gut"!  It's the best diagnostician sometimes! 

Comment by Laura , Marley and Oliver on March 6, 2014 at 11:36pm
I would get a second opinion also, good luck

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