Last week I got my vaccination boosters for all of the nasties a hound in this part of the world could succumb to – canine cough (it’s all very well making friends but what exactly are you sharing with your playmates ae?), distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza (sounds like a South American city doesn’t it). I also noticed a worm tablet in my dinner bowl so I think it’s safe to say that I am
well and truly covered for a while. This post is not about the importance of vaccinations because hopefully that is not under question. Today while helping a young labrador at his first ever rest home visit Mum was talking to a retired farmer that lives there about an outbreak of distemper that claimed the lives of 6 of his 8 working dogs. He still looks
distraught about it. Don’t even question the importance of vaccinations! Just because you haven’t seen a disease doesn’t mean it can’t get you.
Anyway, today’s post is about vet clinic visit preparedness. I say this because the lovely vet lady that did my vaccinations commented on how easy it was to do my canine cough vaccine. I am blessed with a long nasal passage which goes some way to helping here as you can easily hold my snout and squirt at your leisure. I also didn’t squeal when I was jabbed – much to the surprise of onlookers and the relief of Mum. I can be brave when there are people watching!
Vet preparedness … there are certain procedures that are a whole lot easier with cooperation instead of coercion or down right man handling.
Ok well all procedures are easier. When you get a puppy or even if you have an adult dog, there are things
you can do to make it all go much more smoothly.
Practice bending over your pooch while running a hand under their elbow on both sides – we call this listening to the heart! Give a treat afterwards so this becomes a training session.
Practice gently but firmly taking hold of the snout (if you have a breed that actually has one of these), tipping the head up slightly and keeping this position for 3 seconds. Give a treat afterwards so this becomes a training session. This is the canine cough delivery position.
Pick up each foot, with a cue word if you like, wiggle the toes/nails, then put the foot down again. This is preparation for manicure time.
Lift up the tail while holding your dog still at the front end. You don’t have to poke them in the bum but that would be even more realistic wouldn’t it. Yup, temperature taking time.
Hold your dog’s head gently but firmly and bring your face down to their lifted ear flap … please don’t do this is you know your dog is likely to bite you. There is no point getting bitten … but if this is the situation with you please remember that there is also
no point a vet being bitten in the face either so take steps to sort this issue out. Contrary to some people’s belief vets aren’t actually meant to be bitten and should not be expected to take the risk of losing a nose or ear. Sedation for examination is costly but vets want to stay safe and don’t want to miss anything.
Do the same with the eyes…
Practice gently opening the mouth, with or without a lift of
the lip. Give treats. Do the other side. This is a mouth/dental/stick removal exam.
There are lots more things you can do but if you dog/puppy and even cat is used to some of the weird things Mum or Dad does, the vet clinic will not be as difficult or scary a place. Happy vets mean happy clients and happy pets and vets are also happy when they can detect problems instead of being grateful that they got out alive and feel like charging you danger money.
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