Alex’s Visit to The Vet And Dealing With Stress

Last week, I took Alex to the vet so she can get some vaccines and since I know my girl gets very stressed out every time we go I decided to approach this visit a little different than usual.

This is how Alex and I approached this vet’s visit:

  • I asked for the first appointment at 9am as to minimize the amount of barking dogs Alex would be able to hear
  • I gave her breakfast after the vet visit was done.  Some dogs toss their cookies when they are fed and not long after that are exposed to too much excitement, stimulus, people, etc.
  • Once we got to the vet’s office, I parked my clunker and took her for a 1/2 hr. walk.  This helped decrease some of her anxiety
  • Before the vet saw Alex, she got on a scale to get her weight.  I used treats and training commands such as, sit, stay, wait to get her to stay on the scale
  • Once the vet and vet tech came in, I saw that Alex was anxious so I started by getting her attention by calling her name and giving her treats

vetvisit1I was really surprised and quite pleased with our last vet visit because although she showed signs of being stressed, they were on a lower scale, and it was easier for the vet and her vet tech to do their job.

Once we got home, I took her to the back, our deck, brushed and wiped her, and after that she went straight to her bed while I was making breakfast.  Cynthia took the above and below pictures a couple of minutes after Alex went to bed.

So tired
So tired

Something else that surprised me was that she ate a big breakfast: chicken soup, 1/2 cup, and kibble, 1 cup.  For Alex, my picky girl, that is a lot, but she ate everything.  All our previous visits to the vet were followed by Alex eating very little if nothing at all.  What did my girl do after having such a big breakfast?  She went back to bed.  Lights out moms.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. As we had to visit the emergency doc once, this vet did a very uncommon thing: she removed Easy’s leash and let him discover the vet office. We expected the worst, but after some minutes he was totally relaxed and there was no wrestling with the vet, no barking, no breathing trouble. Since we do this, it’s much better for Easy and for the vet :o)

    1. Marcela says:

      Excellent. Kudos to the vet for doing that and thanks for the info. Your vet did the right thing, but that is because he must be extremely comfortable with dogs. My girl, Alex, is a pit bull/dogo argentino mix and although she does not look scary, at least I don’t think so, I’ve realized some people are hesitant around her because of the bad rep pit bulls have. Alex’s vet is pretty good and I’ll ask her next time if she minds Alex being off leash. You have a great vet:)

      1. Maybe it is worth a try (if the vet office is safe and there is nothing what could hurt Alex). We once only had a misadventure as Easy entered the Greenie-display .o)
        It works surely not for all dogs but he is much better without the leash.

      2. Marcela says:

        You are right, it depends on the dog, but I will ask my vet about it since a lot of dogs react very different when they are on leash opposed to when they are not:)

  2. Jean says:

    My Sabbath gets so terribly stressed out. I’m changing vets because the vet we use now requires us to leave her in the morning and pick her up later. That is excessive considering she is only there for a 15 minute appointment. I learned she pees whenever they touch her. I was mortified. My poor baby is scared to death. So she doesn’t have to go back there.

    These are great tips. I think this should help as well.

    1. Marcela says:

      Poor Sabbath, and good pet parent:) I don’t know why would she need to be dropped off in the morning and picked up later when her appt. is only 15 mins. long. You did the right thing by going somewhere else. Always remember that you are your dog’s advocate and voice. If she did pee she must have been extremely scared and stressed out. One thing I am going to start doing with Alex this week is going to the vet’s office even though she does not have an appt. and get her to get on the scale and enter one of the examining rooms. After that, she’ll get treats gallore. I always try to find ways for her, Alex, and the dogs that stay with me to be calm and relaxed. You could try taking Sabbath to the vet when she has no appts. and give her treats to desensitize her. Just remember that this could take days, weeks, months, etc. Have a lot of patience and good luck:)

      1. Jean says:

        More good advice! And thank you for agreeing with me. It’s always good to feel validated.

      2. Marcela says:

        Your welcome:)

      3. Jean says:

        Oh, and to answer that question, that is purely for the convenience of the vets, and not for the comfort of the pets. I’m sure many owners find it convenient as well, but there is no negotiation, so I know it is only for them on their end.

      4. Marcela says:

        Oh ok. Well, I, just like you, have to watch out for what is best for my dog, and you are right I would not negotiate that either:) This is what vets like the one you had failed to understand: by dropping off a dog so early when there is no need to do so, this dog’s anxiety, stress, and fear increases which in turn makes their job a lot harder to do. That, I see they don’t take into account.

      5. Jean says:

        Good point! I hadn’t thought of that at all. Pfffftttt…. That’s a silly good-for-nothing policy. Isn’t it?

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