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VikkiVet
04-04-2010, 09:58 AM
I'm not one for posting woe-is-me threads, and i hope no-one takes this personally, but i have really noticed in the last few months how often and how harshly some people on RU criticise their vets.

I'm not saying that some complaints aren't justified, and everyone is entitled to hold an opinion and let off steam, but the venom with which some people express it really shocks me. Also, the generalised judgement people make upon a vet or a practice based on one incident or one thing a vet said or did.

I know lots of you have wonderful vets who you do praise and appreciate greatly, but please think carefully and use some compassion when dealing with your vet. We're only human, we make mistakes. Sadly many cases, regardless of illness or animal, dont come in with textbook signs and symptoms, causes are not clear on x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds etc and medical and surgical therapies are not flawless. This frustrates the vet as much as the owner, trust me.

As has been discussed before, vets dont really get enough training in rabbits and rodents, although it is increasing. This is mainly because rabbit medicine doesnt make any money, unless you are a rabbit specialist. We'd all like to be vets because we want to treat animals, and make the money irrelevant, but you can't run a practice on nothing so most vets actually treat rabbits because they care and not for business/financial reasons. But if your vet isnt sure what is going on, consider how frustrated they feel inside, even if they're not showing it, rather than assuming they dont care or are being arrogant or ignorant. Most would welcome information and advice, and i apologise for those that don't. If you want something done about it, complain to the RCVS or the vet colleges, not the vet.

I started the "ask the vet student" thread as an outlet for people's questions and frustrations, so there could be a reasonable non-personal debate and i could learn about what frustrates or distresses owners most. But sometimes i read threads and comments about vets and it makes me not want to come on RU anymore. I don't dare post what i think on some such threads for fear of being flamed and inciting a greater argument, as thats just not constructive.

I just wanted to post this so people can understand what its like from the other side of the argument.

donnamt
04-04-2010, 10:22 AM
well i think if you claim to be an exotics vet you should be able to notice an hugely enlarged rabbit heart OR dont claim to be an exotics vet and waste everyone time :roll::roll:

no space for egos in animal medicine in my opinion

Jack's-Jane
04-04-2010, 10:31 AM
well i think if you claim to be an exotics vet you should be able to notice an hugely enlarged rabbit heart OR dont claim to be an exotics vet and waste everyone time :roll::roll:

no space for egos in animal medicine in my opinion

I totally agree Donna

Hugo's There
04-04-2010, 10:34 AM
I don't like the amount of vet bashing on here either. I know I complain about mine, but that is more about the way the practice is run and how they treat us as a person rather than the way the vets treat our bunnies :)

as we all know rabbits are notoriously difficult when it comes to illness as they hide their symptoms so well, add to that the fact that virtually no training is given to vets regarding rabbit health and the vast majority of rabbit owners doen't want to spend money on their rabbits when they are sick and opt for pts, it is very difficult for vets to actually get the experience they need to become a good rabbit vets :(

It greatly concerns me when vets are constantly ripped apart on here, as I have seen many cases of newer or less experienced members turning to the forum in the first instance when their rabbit is sick rather than get straight to a vet, because from what they have read on here they think there vet will know nothing. And it is so important for a rabbit to see a vet asap when they start to show symptoms of illness.

ETA Vikki don't leave the forum, your posts make me laugh :) Although I can fully understand why you might feel that way

Jack's-Jane
04-04-2010, 10:43 AM
I agree that no-one should not consult a Vet. My problem is that *some* Vets will not admit that they have little knowledge about Rabbits and will continue to 'treat' when frankly they are clueless.

I am affraid I have had too many Rabbits DIE as a direct result of Veterinary incompetence. To attribute all of it to 'lack of training' begs the question why not address that issue :?

If you set yourself up in a Practice treating Domestic Pets is it that unreasonable for clients to expect a reasonable knowledge base of the third most popular domestic Pet ?

If I appear to be the main 'Vet basher' on here then so-be-it. I think there are MANY BRILLIANT Rabbit Vets out there, mine being one of them. But they are still in the minority and I am not ashamed to state my lack of respect for any professional not up to the job.

*Spider*
04-04-2010, 10:45 AM
I don't trust a lot of vets.
I trusted Damian, but he's left and I'm still trying to find where he's gone so I can follow him. Fortunately nothing has happened to any of mine, only needed their vaccs.

donnamt
04-04-2010, 10:52 AM
I agree that no-one should not consult a Vet. My problem is that *some* Vets will not admit that they have little knowledge about Rabbits and will continue to 'treat' when frankly they are clueless.

I am affraid I have had too many Rabbits DIE as a direct result of Veterinary incompetence. To attribute all of it to 'lack of training' begs the question why not address that issue :?

If you set yourself up in a Practice treating Domestic Pets is it that unreasonable for clients to expect a reasonable knowledge base of the third most popular domestic Pet ?

If I appear to be the main 'Vet basher' on here then so-be-it. I think there are MANY BRILLIANT Rabbit Vets out there, mine being one of them. But they are still in the minority and I am not ashamed to state my lack of respect for any professional not up to the job.

:thumb:

i dont bash vets at all.. just that one who's ego caused two months of wrong treatment. if my new vet hadnt come Pearl would be dead already, i dont see why i should repect that bloke :evil::evil::evil::evil:

did he once think to himself omg what if im missing something?? no he said to me i will have to accept she just breathes bad naturally :evil::evil:
im very very bitter and i wont be getting over it anytime soon.

I would happily forgive and respect a vet that says oh im sorry i really dont know but ill ask another vet to take a look at the xrays you paid a fortune for just to make sure <<< that never happened :evil:

sdf76
04-04-2010, 10:55 AM
Definitely don't leave the Forum!

I think perhaps the key is for vets to be honest and say-

I'm not sure what this is as rabbits are exotics and I am not an exotic specialist
and

(a)As the situation is life-threatening I propose this treatment...etc (assuming a decision has to be made that instant with no time for referral)

or

(b) and as I think its .....condition, so I suggest the following treatment.....etc
and
(i)if the rabbit does not improve in the next...hrs/days...please ring me on this number

or (ii) and I will contact an exotics specialist and let you know what they say as soon as I can/when you ring back on.......day.

No-one would mind if they saw a doctor and he said I'm not a gynocologist but I can give you antibiotics etc then if it doesn't clear up in 5 days ...etc
so why should a vet mind saying that?

I have a brilliant rabbit savvy vet. I think perhaps the reason that some get slated is either for not being gentle or for not admitting they're not exotic specialists?

You have n excellent attitude and you really should stay on here. You can do so much to forge better links between customers and vets and for ves to learn more about rabbits.
I have no doubt you will be an excellent Exotics vet. -sue:wave:

Crystal butterfly
04-04-2010, 10:57 AM
I trust my vet with my buns when i first started taking my buns il be honest they werent totally clued up but because of the various illnesses my rabbits have had they have learnt and will be able to treat other rabbits correctly when they come in with similar symptoms etc.

my vets also listen to me which i feel is important when ever my buns are ill i research deeply first and what it could be and suggest what it could be to my vets. for example rabbit lost weight vet couldnt see or feel anything wrong i demanded a blood test which showed a problem (it was her kidneys) also when my bun had Mucoid enteropathies my vet was clueless but i did my research first and suggested this to them they researched it agreed and treated it perfectly and he survived.

although i dont trust them with my chinchilla so i suppose all vets varie with different types of animals.

Hunnybunny2007
04-04-2010, 10:59 AM
I changed vets 3 times before I found one that I felt I could completely trust.

Exotics does not just include rabbits so that vets specialist field may be with some other animal, also a lot of vets still don't class rabbits as exotics.

I also agree that the amount of people that use the forum to get their rabbit diagnosed with an ailment really worries me, no one, not even a qualified vet can judge from a photograph what is wrong with the rabbit and by wasting time waiting for replies on here they should be heading towards their vets.

However, I think the forum is a good place to get advice, especially when someone has had a similar experience with their rabbit, they might know of a drug that has worked and this information can be passed onto their vet, sharing knowledge is a wonderful thing;)

Bottom line: if your rabbit is unwell take it to the vet, if you are not happy with your vet then find another one, preferably one that's been recommended by someone else:D


ETA Please don't leave the forum - like I said share your knowledge;)

Hugo's There
04-04-2010, 11:00 AM
If I appear to be the main 'Vet basher' on here then so-be-it. I think there are MANY BRILLIANT Rabbit Vets out there, mine being one of them. But they are still in the minority and I am not ashamed to state my lack of respect for any professional not up to the job.

If that is aimed at my post then, no I wasn't thinking of you specifically.

We used to be lucky enough to have two very good vets posting on here, but now we only have one. The other one appeared to stop posting after he was treated in the most disrespectful manner in one thread, where it was basically implied he didn;t know what he was talking about.

Now Vikki, who I have met many times and I know will be a fantastic vet, feels like leaving because of the way vets are spoken about on here.

So how is alienating the vets by constantly putting their profession down going to help improve rabbit medicine?

That is why the RWA are such a fantastic organisation, they realise the need for more vet training in the rabbit area and have funded and supported an amazing amount of work to improve the situation. Maybe providing more support to organisations like this is the way to forward rabbit medicine, rather than personal attacks on individual vets :)

Sky-O
04-04-2010, 11:01 AM
Personally I think I have only made negative comments about the vets who led to the premature deaths of 4 of my bunnies (including two of the most very special rabbits ever to pass through my life). If I had had the vast knowledge I have now then probably none of those would have been dead (which gives an indication that it wasn't that they were hiding signs, just that they were not clued up on the very basic things to do for animals). I too hold my hand up though and say that if I had had more knowledge then it wouldn't have happened and that I SHOULD have known more. This is why I always research myself, I always suggest others do the same, why I don't have trust vets generally.

My current vet practice is fantastic. They are not the most savvy, but they are willing to learn and work with me, and whilst that's not ideal, its far superior to what I am used to and they have never been anything other than great to me and my animals. They do genuinely care about them all. You wouldn't hear my slagging them off at all.

The first practice (and the RSPCA practice), yes, but that is based purely on personal experience of what I have seen and learnt from my bunnies.

I do hear what you are saying, but remember that when you have a lot of people who have had bad experiences, things are going to be negative sometimes (and you will also find the positive too and there are plenty of those around). These people are the people who should know more of us and who should be there to help, when that doesn't happen, its natural for people to feel let down, or angry, or upset or anything else like that.

Hugo's There
04-04-2010, 11:05 AM
Another quick question, those bunnies that appeared to die of vet incompetence, did you get PM's done?

We have had so many rabbits have x-rays, bloods etc taken and been given a diagnosis based on that info, only to find that during PM that info was completely wrong and the problem was not what it apeared to be from the diagnositc tests. But there was absolutely no way of knowing this.

I am not saying there is no such thing as incompetent vets, there are incompetent people in every profession :( But there is only a limited amount of diagnostic that can be carried out on rabbits, which does make diagnosis so much more complicated

louise and Gus
04-04-2010, 11:07 AM
People probably get sick of me going on about how great my vet is :lol::lol: he lectures on rabbits and is often frustrated by the short amount of time he gets and the lack of interest students show..

There is a vet I have dealt with who is awful and has caused the death of at least two bunnies very recently but I haven't posted details or the practice as obviously that isn't fair. I am going about complaining in the correct way. I wonder how many people actually approach and complain to the vets when they do have a problem rather that just change practice so the vet never know what they have done "wrong"

SarahP
04-04-2010, 11:08 AM
All I can say is, you should always say what you think on a thread - this place benefits most from balanced discussions, in my view. I'm always interested to hear the other side.

*Spider*
04-04-2010, 11:09 AM
CRINGE... I've just found my vet and messaged him through Facebook, asking what practice he's moved to! Hahah

louise and Gus
04-04-2010, 11:10 AM
CRINGE... I've just found my vet and messaged him through Facebook, asking what practice he's moved to! Hahah

Oh Hetty :roll: :lol:

SarahP
04-04-2010, 11:11 AM
People probably get sick of me going on about how great my vet is :lol::lol: he lectures on rabbits and is often frustrated by the short amount of time he gets and the lack of interest students show..

Nah, I'm just jealous that I don't live closer! :lol:


There is a vet I have dealt with who is awful and has caused the death of at least two bunnies very recently but I haven't posted details or the practice as obviously that isn't fair. I am going about complaining in the correct way. I wonder how many people actually approach and complain to the vets when they do have a problem rather that just change practice so the vet never know what they have done "wrong"

That's a very good point, and one I've been guilty of not doing lots of times. I'm a serial vet changer. :oops:

donnamt
04-04-2010, 11:11 AM
CRINGE... I've just found my vet and messaged him through Facebook, asking what practice he's moved to! Hahah

:shock::shock::shock:

SarahP
04-04-2010, 11:11 AM
CRINGE... I've just found my vet and messaged him through Facebook, asking what practice he's moved to! Hahah

Let us know when you find out! ;)

Bunny Buddy
04-04-2010, 11:11 AM
If you set yourself up in a Practice treating Domestic Pets is it that unreasonable for clients to expect a reasonable knowledge base of the third most popular domestic Pet ?


I so agree with this. The problem seems to be the training and the whole set up historically. That said each vet seeing a patient has the responsibility to
know how to treat that patient, see the signs, make the diagnosis etc - you pay money for a service and should get what you are paying for. If they don't feel competent with that species they should say so and point you in the direction of a competent practitioner.

I've seen basic things that are across species being neglected, you don't have to be a rabbit expert to know these things- no health check before vaccination being a prime example.

I've been talked out of having a rabbit spayed when the consultation was set up to discuss the matter - it wasn't something I threw into the conversation. I was told VHD vaccination was not neccessary... the list goes on. These are also very basic things that a 'small animals' vet should be competent in.

abbymarysmokey
04-04-2010, 11:12 AM
I think sometimes people need to vent if they feel they haven't received proper treatment from their vet...RU is the perfect place to let off steam.

IMO vets shouldn't be put on a pedestal and treated like gods, just because they've passed a few exams.

Everyone should be able to question their vet if they disagree with their rabbit's treatment, etc.

Sky-O
04-04-2010, 11:13 AM
Another quick question, those bunnies that appeared to die of vet incompetence, did you get PM's done?

No PMs here, just common sense.

Flash- no. He had a cat incident. He wasn't ill. I didn't know about snuggle safes, or fluid, or pain relief or anything, and neither did they. He was very healthy and died due to the shock of it the next day. I could have turned that around had I know.

Moon- They weighed her wrong and gave her a larger dose of medication than she should have had. Prior to that they gave inaccurate and wrong diet advice (advice I would NEVER follow now), which indluced removing the hay to get her weight down. Moon died the day after the large dose of medication.

Sunshine- They did a dental on him and one of his teeth came out- they knew and were aware. I didn't know that the opposing one can cause problems, and he died a year later due to the abscess going into the bone and ravaging his body where the opposing tooth had grown up and through where the other one had previously been.

Boofa- She had problems kindling (and yes, I hate myself for this), and they dosed her up with Metachlopromide and sent her home. No emergency spay, no investigation to see why she was still bleeding, just gave the gut stimulant, told me she would be fine and sent us home. Boofa died that night.

At the time I didn't know any of those were wrong, it was only as I went on a crusade to learn as much as possible that I knew things had gone wrong. There is no point complaining eons after the event. Had I known at the time, I would have complained.

Rachel89
04-04-2010, 11:14 AM
Iv'e complained about vets before, its incredibly fustrating takeing Honey to be told nothings wrong, its only a rabbit, too much hassle and pts. We had so much rudeness from them, they couldn't care. But I moved now I love my new vets, couldn't be happier.

We have two different horse vets and there amazing. Christmas day at 3am for emergency visit, no moaning or anything they were lovely, there so quickly even though I'm sure many would have a grumble.

I wouldn't knock any vet unless I peronally had had a bad experience with them, everyone gets a chance, someone I hadn't met say on here who was a vet I wouldn't tarnish at all.

donnamt
04-04-2010, 11:14 AM
I wonder how many people actually approach and complain to the vets when they do have a problem rather that just change practice so the vet never know what they have done "wrong"

thankfully the vet i have issues with moved to dubai so i will never have to see him again and i didnt know he was a fraud until after he had gone so no point complaining now, altho i did put one vet right when he commented on not going against what had been said about a myxi jab. so i think they know how unimpressed i am with thier X exotics vet

Sky-O
04-04-2010, 11:16 AM
That said each vet seeing a patient has the responsibility to know how to treat that patient, see the signs, make the diagnosis etc - you pay money for a service and should get what you are paying for. If they don't feel competent with that species they should say so and point you in the direction of a competent practitioner.

I think this is so true and very important.

SuzieBlue
04-04-2010, 11:22 AM
Maybe it would be worth the people who have good vets posting about the kinds of things their vets do during a routine check up, to help people who aren't sure about their vet's competency? I know that in the practice I go to, there are one or two vets who are very competent when it comes to exotics, and some who are not so good, and you can tell the difference, as the exotics vets look for different things and are more thorough during a check-up.

This might help people make a decision about letting a particular vet treat their rabbit, and might stop the potential for misdiagnosis/treatment etc. It might also make people feel a bit more in control. I know I certainly don't have enough knowledge yet about bunny health to be able to challenge a vet if I felt they had missed something, so I need to be able to trust my vet completely.

I think it's a shame if someone who uses this forum is made to feel unwelcome or awkward, when they are trying to help. I also understand the frustration of some who have lost bunnies or whose bunnies are ill, and have unsympathetic or incompetent vets, so there must be a way via this forum for people to help one another? :)

Sky-O
04-04-2010, 11:26 AM
I like that idea. Maybe we could also come up with a list of questions to ask your vet to check they know at least basic knowledge?

Rachel89
04-04-2010, 11:35 AM
Thats a really good idea.
I guess I'm quite lucky in haveing a "complicated" rabbit as afterthe first 2mis of seeing them with Honey you can tell quite quickly if there any good :lol:

Also maybe a sticky or thread of vets people have had good experience in as lots of threads are posted asking about vets in areas.

Jack's-Jane
04-04-2010, 11:42 AM
Another quick question, those bunnies that appeared to die of vet incompetence, did you get PM's done?



Laura- Botched spay, seen by second Vet at another practice but could not be saved

Georgia- GI stasis, I was ignorant of Rabbit health issues and assumed that when told by a VET that 'a Rabbit will eat when they are hungry' she would.
She didn't and she died in agony. I took the matter to the Cheif Vet and obtained a written apology from the Vet who failed Georgia aswell as a full refund of my costs (Not that the money was the issue)

Anna- PTS because 'Rabbits with Dental problems cannot be treated'. Anna was 18 months old and her problem was just molar spurs.........

Robbie- PTS again as Vet said 'Dental problems in Rabbits cannot be treated'

Huckle Bunny Finn- Like Donna's Pearl Finn had severe Respiratory symptoms. Vet prescribed 7 days Baytril- no improvement- PTS 'offered'. I requested chest Xray, Vet refused. I continued to plead for Xray-Finn had his Xray, Thymoma diagnosed-Finn died.

David- Again presented with respiratory symptoms, lethargy, weightloss. Again Vet refused any treatment other than Baytril and refused my request for a Chest Xray. More insisting on my part. After several weeks Xray RELUCTANTLY done-enlarged heart and a chest/abdomen full of fluid- Heart failure. Told that PTS 'only option'.

Becks- Same as David. I finally realised this Vet was clueless, moved to my current Vet and she saved Beck's life.

My origional Vet also stated that VHD Vaccinations were unnecessary as the virus was 'near on impossible to transmit'............

The Vet also did something else highly illegal which I am not going to post on here but which Tamsin is aware of as at the time I did post it on here not realising the grave implications FOR ME aswell as for the Vet.

Camp Nibble
04-04-2010, 12:10 PM
I'd just like to say how highly I rate the vets that we use for our own variety of pets and the different species of animals at Camp Nibble.

Thank you for all of your help guys :wave:

We are completely aware that it is not possible for vets to be masters of all trades so we see it as our responsibility to do our research and register each species of animal with an appropriate specialist BEFORE they become ill.

We have been very surprised in the past that vets that we would trust completely with our dog's lives have looked at our guinea pigs as though they were aliens :lol:

It would be helpful for vets to be honest and not be ashamed to say when they are clueless in a particular type of animal, but I still think it is part of an owners responsibility to make an effort to find a recommended vet.

I would find the guilt very hard of knowing that I'd let an animal down by taking them to the wrong vet. I would take full responsibility for that decision.

Really sorry to hear that you have been so upset by people's comments vikkivet :(

georgie_f
04-04-2010, 12:15 PM
I'm guilty of complaining about my vet on RU. :oops:

There are no specialist vets here and it's very frustrating when you take your pet to the vets and all they do is perscribe Baytril and then offer to PTS. The vets themselves are all very pleasent and obviously care for animals very much but it bugs the hell out of me that they almost pretend to know what they're doing. :oops:

I very nearly had my conti PTS as the vet was insistant he had myxi. They sold me 80 worth of Baytril (nothing else) and sent me on my way with the warning that if it had no effect he'd have to be PTS. The Baytril didn't have any effect and that's when I joined RU to ask for advice, as I love that rabbit more than anything and I'd be damned if I was going to give up on him. After posting just one picture of Thistle's scabby nose, half a dozen people told me to take him back and get him put on Penicillin for syphallis. Thistle had this and is now 100% fine. I find it quite worrying that my rabbit could be diagnosed over the internet from one photograph by people who had no vetinary training at all when didn't my vet didn't have a clue. It makes me wonder if my bunnies from the past have been PTS or died from incorrect treatment too. When my vet realised the error, I had no appology. I'd been so close to having Thistle PTS for something so easily treated.

Another time, just before I joined RU, I had a tan bunny with EC. The vet would tell me to give him Panacur and Baytril for a week, he'd get a bit better, the vet would take him off it, he'd get worse again, get put back on it... this continued for three months until Diego got to the point where he was unable to stand and the vet told me he had to be PTS. I was beside myself earlier this year when Jess developed EC too (the vet had failed to inform me that Diego could have left spores behind in the shed). With a little research and a lot of advice from RU, I learnt the proper way to treat EC and Jess is now fighting fit. It even says on the Panacur website that it should be used for at least 28 days to treat EC. I feel I lost Diego for no reason now. :(

Anyway, getting to the point, I think sometimes the complaints are justified. I take my pets to the vet as I believe it's in their best interests and assume that the vet will know what they are doing and will tell me if they're unsure of the treatment they perscribe. Obviously, they don't. I will always research before a vet visit now. Always.

I would absolutely die of excitement if a rabbit savvy vet moved down here! :lol: I hear stories of the briliant vets some of the members of RU have and get a real case of vet envy!

Vikki.... come and live in my shed??! :angel:

yoshi&gizmo
04-04-2010, 12:30 PM
:oops: i too have complained about my *old vets* on here but i feel with good cause.

They too were guilty of not admitting they were not rabbit savy and instead charged me a fair bit of money while they experimented on my bunny to try and work out what was wrong.

Now the positive bit my new vet who is a bunny mummy herself has alot of experience with rabbits and is a very loving and caring vet. [she even did a free home visit to check on my bunny when i was too ill to get to her....my OH was going to ride up to her but she said she wanted to see the bunny herself :love:]

She has also advised of a new vet who has come down to the area who is an exotic vet and basically admitted she is not an exotic vet herself but has done additional research etc into rabbits and works alot with rabbits that come into the surgery.... she also assures me if there is ever a problem she doesn't know she would contact her collegue who hopefully would be able to help.

So my point is this.... there are *some* good vets out there and there are some bad vets. I guess it is a case of doing research and word of mouth.... I know this site saved gizmo's life as if wasn't for on here we would never have found out about allen & page and gizmo wouldn't be here now.....

Thanks to ALL RU members :love::love::love:

Candiflare
04-04-2010, 12:58 PM
I understand you wanting to defend vets, Vikki but I think that the people who have complained have always been very careful to say *some* vets rather than talk about vets in general. Like all professions, the individuals within them are a mixed bag and you can't cast them all as positive or negative.

I think everyone here loves and values your interest and knowledge about rabbits and are so thankful that there's a great vet out there, but unfortunately all vets aren't like you. I feel like veterinary science should be much more divided into species and systems within the body like the medical profession is: gastroenterologist, cardiologist etc.

I understand that it's a really stressful and complicated profession with often very little reward. I proposed and founded Vets TV which is the tv station off the BVA website. At the time, I interviewed about 50 vets for features on the channel and I know that they all went into it for love and care of animals, so there's no question that all vet's intentions are good.

It's just that when i take my rabbit to the vet, when I don't know my good rabbit vet is there, I get the man who medicates the lions at the Cotswold Wildlife Park who has little to no interest in rabbit physiology at all.

sillyrabbit
04-04-2010, 01:04 PM
Nobody is criticizing you personally though so I am not sure why it would upset you? :?

Its important for people to be aware that not all vets get it right or nobody would question anything or get second opinions. I feel I have had good reason to complain about the way some of my animals have been treated. How would you feel if it was your own animals? Its not a very nice feeling knowing a vet doesn't think your animal is important enough to bother finding out what's wrong so of course people are going to complain about it when it happens

There is also constant praise for vets on here, I see lots of posts where people say they are thankful for their vets and lots of recommendations to other members for good vets

Gemmapookie
04-04-2010, 01:04 PM
I see your point that its a horrible thing when vets get slated on here, but you have to see it from our point of view. We are all on here because we adore our rabbits, they're our babies. When they get ill, which is a horrific time anyway, we want to feel like we can take them to a vet who is going to know what they're doing and treat them appropriately. Its horrible to not beable to trust that your vet is doing the right thing.
The vet i first went to with my buns to get them spayed, told me to fast them the night beofre the op. I was a new bunny owner back then but even I knew this wasnt good advise for buns! I didnt fast them and fortunatly the ops went well. But then Timmy got stasis, I called her straight away and told her he needed to be seen immediately, and she told me that if he still wasnt eating the next day to call again :censored: I switched vets immediately to a wonderful man, who got him in straight away and saved Timmys life. I cant understand why my original vet didnt just tell me that she was more informed about dogs and cats, and send me to the other vet instead. I would have much more respect for her if she had.
Its such a shame that people have such problems with their vets. Doctors have to go to seminars frequently all through their careers to learn about the latest diagnoses and treatments, and I feel that vets should do that aswell. With all the new rabbit info in recent years, it could have saved alot of bunnys lives.
Having said that i now have an amazing vet who i couldnt trust more. of course there are many out there like that and they should all be praised :love:

Jack's-Jane
04-04-2010, 01:05 PM
I understand you wanting to defend vets, Vikki but I think that the people who have complained have always been very careful to say *some* vets rather than talk about vets in general. Like all professions, the individuals within them are a mixed bag and you can't cast them all as positive or negative.

I think everyone here loves and values your interest and knowledge about rabbits and are so thankful that there's a great vet out there, but unfortunately all vets aren't like you. I feel like veterinary science should be much more divided into species and systems within the body like the medical profession is: gastroenterologist, cardiologist etc.

I understand that it's a really stressful and complicated profession with often very little reward. I proposed and founded Vets TV which is the tv station off the BVA website. At the time, I interviewed about 50 vets for features on the channel and I know that they all went into it for love and care of animals, so there's no question that all vet's intentions are good.

It's just that when i take my rabbit to the vet, when I don't know my good rabbit vet is there, I get the man who medicates the lions at the Cotswold Wildlife Park who has little to no interest in rabbit physiology at all.


* Gulps *......................

Santa
04-04-2010, 01:31 PM
I'm going to sit on the fence as I have sympathy with both "sides"...

I do know of some vets who I think are a disgrace to the profession and I would happily see struck off; I think there are some who would do well to recognise their weaknesses and either take steps to address them or admit that they don't know and allow owners to make an informed choice based on species specific knowledge. Some vets, like my own, are pretty good all rounders but are by no means experts, and will happily admit that they don't know...but will take sensible steps to find out. And of course then there are the wonderful vets like Marie, Rodneyvet, William and soon-to-be-Vikkivet who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and happy to share their knowledge.

I also think that veterinary training on the country's third most popular pet is woefully inadequate - an issue I have previously taken up with the RCVS. They said they would discuss it at their next education committee, but whether anything came of it I know not and I don't have the time or energy to follow it up at the moment.

I also agree with Liz that many vets do get frustrated by the fact that many of their clients aren't like most of us here and won't pay for detailed or different treatments, so general practice vets don't get the chance to learn either. My vet has said to me before that she finds it frustrating that for most people, the rabbit is their child's pet and they don't want to try much, and certainly wouldn't cope with injecting/working out how to give tablets/nebulising etc (or paying to leave their pet at the clinic so it can be done there).

Vikki - you're obviously more enlightened on rabbits than many of your peers: do they realise that their rabbit training is inadequate or do they just assume that it reflects the difficulty of treating rabbits and that there isn't much you can do?

weeble
04-04-2010, 01:31 PM
I think the problem with *some* vets is that they dont like to admit that they dont know. I can understand this is it might make you question their ability.

To cheer you up my vets are fab and also very honest. I took my cat to see Mel and she said he had an ulcer in his eye. She was really honest and said it was different to any she had seen before and consulted colleagues and also an eye specialist. Luckily it turned out to be fairly minor but she was great and told me what she thought could be best and worse case scenario

coco1200
04-04-2010, 01:44 PM
well, I adore the two vets who share the care for Noisette... they are both always in discussion about animals and show true compassion for rabbits. They are both so lovely and so caring, and will do everything possible. Paula is adamant that PTS is always a last route and we do EVERYTHING possible to get the bun better before we even consider going down there.

My vet surgery did a PM free for Hermione when she passed because they wanted to learn more about the condition and to up their knowledge on it! They even wiped all my outstanding bills (300+) and paid for Hermiones cremation. I don't think I will ever want to change vets. If this isn't true compassion, then what is it? I am glad to know my vet surgery is willing to learn more about bunnies and to increase their capacity for it.

XMissySJx
04-04-2010, 01:46 PM
I think if you come on here complaining about a vet surgery then you should also complain directly to them, as venting doesnt help longterm. My old vet was horrible to pebbles and yanked her head back to look at her teeth whils t saying "i really dont like rabbits". I complained, and moved vets.

However, I have switched to a vets that is very expensive compared to my last vet, but they are MUCH better, there brilliant. I think yes in an ideal world all vets would be great but face it - some arent. If you have a bad experience - switch vets. Because while you expect a vet to know whats up with your pet, if they fail the first time why give another chance? Then in my opinion its just as much your responsibility too, if you were aware. If that makes sense without offending anybody.

Mackers
04-04-2010, 01:47 PM
I :love: my bunny vet(s) in Northampton. I felt my dog vet didn't know enough about bunnies so I went elsewhere. I curse myself for not doing this sooner but I can't blame the vet - only myself.

Simon and Kim rock!!!!!!

georgie_f
04-04-2010, 01:56 PM
I think if you come on here complaining about a vet surgery then you should also complain directly to them, as venting doesnt help longterm. My old vet was horrible to pebbles and yanked her head back to look at her teeth whils t saying "i really dont like rabbits". I complained, and moved vets.

However, I have switched to a vets that is very expensive compared to my last vet, but they are MUCH better, there brilliant. I think yes in an ideal world all vets would be great but face it - some arent. If you have a bad experience - switch vets. Because while you expect a vet to know whats up with your pet, if they fail the first time why give another chance? Then in my opinion its just as much your responsibility too, if you were aware. If that makes sense without offending anybody.

Whilst I agree with what you've said completely, I just can't do it. :( Complaints go to the head vet at my surgery and it just so happens that it was the head vet that PTS Diego and the head vet that suggested I get Thistle PTS. I can't see what complaining about the head vet to the head vet would do, but I imagine it would put me in bad favour.

I'd love to switch vets but on an island I'm incredibly limited. The vets I use is the biggest on the island and is often the most recommended. I just have to try to make sure I don't get that particular vet anymore.

The other thing I have found over here is that the vets only stay for a few weeks before moving on elsewhere. Whilst Thistle was being treated, I saw a total of four different vets in three weeks because they all kept leaving. I wasn't told it would be a different vet at the times when I booked the appointments. It's really frustrating because I have to explain the problems over and over again.

I've thought about coming over to the mainland if I could find a good bunny vet, say in southampton/portsmouth etc but I don't think it'd be fair to make an already ill bunny do the ferry journey.

Ohhhhhh, I wish someone would hurry up and build a bridge!! :roll::lol:

XMissySJx
04-04-2010, 01:59 PM
Whilst I agree with what you've said completely, I just can't do it. :( Complaints go to the head vet at my surgery and it just so happens that it was the head vet that PTS Diego and the head vet that suggested I get Thistle PTS. I can't see what complaining about the head vet to the head vet would do, but I imagine it would put me in bad favour.

I'd love to switch vets but on an island I'm incredibly limited. The vets I use is the biggest on the island and is often the most recommended. I just have to try to make sure I don't get that particular vet anymore.

The other thing I have found over here is that the vets only stay for a few weeks before moving on elsewhere. Whilst Thistle was being treated, I saw a total of four different vets in three weeks because they all kept leaving. I wasn't told it would be a different vet at the times when I booked the appointments. It's really frustrating because I have to explain the problems over and over again.

I've thought about coming over to the mainland if I could find a good bunny vet, say in southampton/portsmouth etc but I don't think it'd be fair to make an already ill bunny do the ferry journey.

Ohhhhhh, I wish someone would hurry up and build a bridge!! :roll::lol:

what i said is in an ideal world, obviously you have limited access to a vet and cant switch, then theres not alot you can do, and i get that completly.

Within half hr of me theres probably about 12 vets so the idea of not having a choice didnt occur to me! :)

coco1200
04-04-2010, 02:34 PM
Whilst I agree with what you've said completely, I just can't do it. :( Complaints go to the head vet at my surgery and it just so happens that it was the head vet that PTS Diego and the head vet that suggested I get Thistle PTS. I can't see what complaining about the head vet to the head vet would do, but I imagine it would put me in bad favour.

I'd love to switch vets but on an island I'm incredibly limited. The vets I use is the biggest on the island and is often the most recommended. I just have to try to make sure I don't get that particular vet anymore.

The other thing I have found over here is that the vets only stay for a few weeks before moving on elsewhere. Whilst Thistle was being treated, I saw a total of four different vets in three weeks because they all kept leaving. I wasn't told it would be a different vet at the times when I booked the appointments. It's really frustrating because I have to explain the problems over and over again.

I've thought about coming over to the mainland if I could find a good bunny vet, say in southampton/portsmouth etc but I don't think it'd be fair to make an already ill bunny do the ferry journey.

Ohhhhhh, I wish someone would hurry up and build a bridge!! :roll::lol:

If you do decide to go mainland, there is a vet who is apparently amazing - John Chitty! He's in Andover and I have heard he is blimmin amazing when it comes to bunnies. Was considering taking Noisette down to see him as a referral, but i'm in the same boat as you that probably a 8 hour round trip would be the end of my bun :(

sillyrabbit
04-04-2010, 02:36 PM
Venting doesn't help the situation but this is the only place many of us are able to talk about our animals, if people are upset about their animals they are likely to come on here for support from people who understand. I have always made proper complaints when I am not happy about something but didn't know it would cause a problem to say anything on here and I didn't think it would be vet bashing because people are talking about personal experiences with certain vets not talking about every single vet in the world

I have apologised to Vikki anyways because I have complained about vets on here before and in future I won't mention vets at all

raine
04-04-2010, 02:38 PM
Vicki, your input is valued on the forum.

I do, however, think its vital for members to air their feelings over the treatment of their bunny. Its the only way to effect change and too often we do hold vets and doctors in revered positions that are not to be questioned. That is not to say that any of us think we are vets but, equally, we are responsible for the care of our rabbits and the treatment has to be correct. Too often, pain relief is not given as rabbits don't feel pain, rabbits are told to be starved before surgery, pts is recommended for head tilt and disabled bunnies. I had a vet ask me what I thought was wrong with my rabbit and when I asked if it could be EC, she asked me what this was. What I hope this forum does is show that owners do have choices and there are treatments that not all vets know about or are open too. It also shows just how many good vets there are out there too and, hopefully, this gives owners the opportunity to move to them.

By its nature, a rabbit forum will focus more intensely on vet treatment than in the general public, as its members will be seeking solutions to an emergency or are more proactively involved in their pet care.

ecudc
04-04-2010, 02:55 PM
we are lucky as a rescue to have access to a very large vet practice that is very experienced in neutering/dentals but also has a vet that is very good with bunnies. The see so many people each day that they can afford to have specialists. This i think is a good thing, although unless you take rabbits in each week like chloe does it is true that you might get a less intimate service as it is more like a animal hospital rather than a gp. My local vet practice is similar as well although I have to say they are not as good as the one that the rescue uses. However they are much better than some that we have experienced with foster/adopters who my main beef is with over medicating including one poor 14 week old bun bun adopted from us being treated for coccidiosis 3 times in almost as many months when he was blatently not suffering from it. he was taken to our vet who said he was perfectly normal, happy and healthy bunny, increase the fibre etc etc.

The one thing I do like about by nearest surgery is that if they don't know what's going on then they are very happy to get out the textbook infront of me to work out dosage etc. Sooty was rushed in to the emergency vet choking and had to have steroids administered. The vet got out the textbook to find out which steroid was best, the dosage etc. I would rather they did this than pretend to know everything and make a guess.

holidayhutch
04-04-2010, 02:55 PM
Our vets are fantastic and I would never use anyone else. We have been with them for 20 years and their expertise is second to none. We use them for all our own pets as well as them providing 24 hour cover for the business. They have helped to save many a poorly bun who have arrived here after having so called 'treatment' by their own vets.

We have one here at the moment whose owners have been told by their own vet that rabbits should never be neutuered as ALL rabbits die that way and if they do get pregnant they can provide a rescues number to take the babies:censored:

On the other end of the scale is a gorgeous little 3 legged bun whose 1st vet was ready to pts rather than amputate, having spoken to the owners and them registering with our vet, this little fella has had an extra 2 years so far and is living life to the full.

It is the same with any profession there are good and bad, but we should never not feel we cant complain or vent our anger for fear of upsetting those that have caused it in the first place.

Lobo
04-04-2010, 02:59 PM
Finding a good rabbit vet in Australia in a much more daunting task than I think is the case in the UK. I had three rabbits in a period of nine years that all died from probably treatable causes. In all cases I had many visits to a vet who, in all honesty, didn't have a clue. After the last rabbit died I would not have any more as I thought I could never get them treated when something went wrong.

However, I then connected to the internet and found I could do a lot of my own research so adopted 2 more. Also during this time I found a vet 30kms away who had a pet rabbit of his own. Although that practice has now been sold, the new owner is even more rabbit savvy than the original vet (and also has his own mini Rex). What he doesn't know he will admit and consult with the best rabbit vet in this country.

We had a dwarf lop who had chronic dental problems for 7 years, with multiple bouts of stasis, abscesses and ulcers. In early 2007 he had a complete blockage which had to be surgically removed at the pylorus. Our vet not only got him through the surgery but also the 8 days of stasis that followed. Keep in mind that at that time we had no recovery food, no bio lapis, no fibreplex, or many of the other aids that are common place in the UK. Our vet took Liam into his own home so he could monitor him 24/7. It was only the total care this vet afforded him that granted him another 3 years of life.

Finding the right vet is not really much different to finding a doctor for ourselves or even a competent mechanic to repair our vehicles. It really comes down to the fact that sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.

Personally I hope Vikki Vet stays as part of the forum. I read her posts and appreciate the effort and thought that goes into them. I feel the same towards Marie when she posts.

thumps_
04-04-2010, 03:12 PM
Vickivet, I have the highest regard for vets, and value your input to this forum very highly.
I only worked with 1 species, humans, and in limited fields.
I have experienced all the points that you have made, in human medicine.
Doctors no longer do the "on call hours" you still do.
No human being can solve problems as quickly & accurately when sleep deprived.
I am amazed by the dedication shown by all the vets I have encountered.

During my working life, I saw the hospital treatment of adults, change from a broad category of general medicine & general surgery, to multiple specialities in both fields eg. cardiology, geriatrics, respiratory medicine, accident & emergency etc.etc. because no consultant could be up to date with the advances in all fields. That excludes all the surgical specialities & is just 1 species.
GP's are generally held in low regard, because there is no concept of the vast amount of knowledge & proficiency we are expected to have in so many fields. A hospital consultant couldn't take a GP surgery. Just 1 species.

With 33,000 rabbits ending up in rescues per annum. I question how many rabbit owners bother with veterinary care for their bunnies, & suspect a very tiny minority. I am also aware that rabbit treatment has advanced incredibly rapidly to become a completely new speciality within the last 10 years. We cannot expect a "GP" vet to become proficient in these advances, especially for what I suspect are small but, increasingly growing numbers of patients.

I sincerely hope that you are not offended by my repeated posts to advise owners find an exotics trained vet for their bunnies. I also recommend that they ask their own GP vet to consult with the top rabbit vets (super specialists) I know of via telephone, when treatment isn't working. It would be nice if the vets did this of their own accord.

Perhaps the time is approaching when veterinary practice has to split into small animals (pets) & large animals (farm) work. Perhaps we need highly experienced exotics vets placed to cover different regions of the country.

I cannot commend your "too small" poster highly enough as aimed to improve the lot of thousands of bunnies.
I think that those of us who care deeply for bunnies have a responsibility to get off our backsides and do our bit to improve the lot of rabbits under such excellent guidance as you have given.

I ask you to forgive us for our failures to understand, especially when desperately worried about our much loved pets, or having had bad experiences ourselves, which can be difficult to resolve when compounded by loss & grief.

I have had a bad experience myself. Thumps is only alive today because there is an exotics center in my town. However I can see the difficulty of the underlying diagnosis in his case.

Please stay with us, we need you.

happybun
04-04-2010, 03:19 PM
i think 'venting' can help - helps us to cope with our frustrations and worries. forums are good places to vent.

complaining to the vet practice, like complaining to your dentist or doctor, will only get you removed from their list and you'll be scratching around to find the services you need. sad, but true.

i quite like my vets. they clearly think i'm insane, but they make positive comments about how well-cared for the bunnies are.

Sooz
04-04-2010, 03:57 PM
Whilst I agree with what you've said completely, I just can't do it. :( Complaints go to the head vet at my surgery and it just so happens that it was the head vet that PTS Diego and the head vet that suggested I get Thistle PTS. I can't see what complaining about the head vet to the head vet would do, but I imagine it would put me in bad favour.


Please don't think that.

I put in a formal complaint against the head vet at one of my surgeries after an awful PTS experience for one of my rabbits and it was taken very seriously. I lodged it through the original consulting vet. There was a staff meeting and they re-evaluated their procedures as a result. I was also allowed to decide how I wanted to see my PTS carried out in future and when, unfortunately, I had to have Mack euthanised in June last year my wishes were carried out to the letter and he left us very peacefully.

It is always worth making your point, it's the only way to ensure things improve.

Incidently, I assume it was Rodneyvet who hasn't been seen for a while, which is a massive shame as he gave me such good advice regarding Mack's treatment....which I was able to pass to my vets and which I know they have now tried with other rabbits.

Hugo's There
04-04-2010, 04:09 PM
With 33,000 rabbits ending up in rescues per annum. I question how many rabbit owners bother with veterinary care for their bunnies, & suspect a very tiny minority. I am also aware that rabbit treatment has advanced incredibly rapidly to become a completely new speciality within the last 10 years. We cannot expect a "GP" vet to become proficient in these advances, especially for what I suspect are small but, increasingly growing numbers of patients.
.

This was the point I was trying to make :)

It is fantastic that so many advances have been made in rabbit veterinary medicine in recent years. But it seems like the way vets are taught rabbit medicine hasn't changed that much, so many of these new techniques are wasted as the vets are not taught how to use them, or what new medicines are available for rabbit use :(

It is great that there are people like Vikki on the forum who are passionate about bunnies, and will hoperfully go on to do great work in rabbit medicine. It would be great if there were more people like her on here. So to me it seems couterproductive to make such people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome here. :?

areia
04-04-2010, 04:25 PM
im not ashamed of vet bashing at all, some are a load of rubbish are just in for the money, But its not aimed at all at vivki, and so shouldnt feel to be useless, when you do pass and go into it full time you yourself MAY see the idiots of practises.

the bad is always highlighted as its a form of venting and frustrastion you yourself have done so many times on here,

I'm sure you will be a good vet as you will be aware of the rants and raves you see on here. If it was me it would make me more determined to make a differance and learn, your too small poster was fab, You should not let it put you off just on vet principle.

I understand alot of vets are excellant, its just finding the right one for the individual,
one excellant one for my buns in london, 2 here ( my home town )who had no clue what so ever, one whos excellant with cats, confessed rabbits were not her expertise but listened and looked stuff up. one i have now admit hes not an expert ( but is the only rabbit vet in town IMO) it would seem there is only one rabbit specialist in the lower south east of kent,

Their is a need for more our rants and raves suggest this, so you cant leave really :D

sillyrabbit
04-04-2010, 04:38 PM
This was the point I was trying to make :)

It is fantastic that so many advances have been made in rabbit veterinary medicine in recent years. But it seems like the way vets are taught rabbit medicine hasn't changed that much, so many of these new techniques are wasted as the vets are not taught how to use them, or what new medicines are available for rabbit use :(

It is great that there are people like Vikki on the forum who are passionate about bunnies, and will hoperfully go on to do great work in rabbit medicine. It would be great if there were more people like her on here. So to me it seems couterproductive to make such people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome here. :?

I don't understand how she will feel unwelcome everyone has said nice things about her on this thread

Hugo's There
04-04-2010, 05:02 PM
I don't understand how she will feel unwelcome everyone has said nice things about her on this thread

I know they have now :D I was still responding to the her first post and also the fact that other rabbit savvy professionals no longer post on here :(

It must be very disheartening for Vikki to be studying so hard to become a vet only to see it constantly being criticised, but hopefully when she reads the replies from here and sees how much we value her as a member, she will feel more positive :D

sillyrabbit
04-04-2010, 05:05 PM
sorry I misunderstood your post

giantbunnymummy
04-04-2010, 05:15 PM
Vikki, I hope you won't leave the forum as your input is very valuable.

However, I think it is very important that people can be honest on the forum about their good and bad experiences with vets. While I sympathise with you if you feel unwelcome, I have to admit that I honestly don't understand why you feel that way. With any profession there will inevitably be good and bad practitioners, and it isn't incumbent on any individual in engaged in it to represent the whole.

I don't see any incompatibility with people on here respecting you and your opinions while not extending the same respect to all vets - when that lack of respect is directed not as a generalised dislike of the profession, but based on personal experience of poor treatement or incompetence.

I hope you stay as the forum would be a poorer place without your input.

Sky-O
04-04-2010, 05:18 PM
I know they have now :D I was still responding to the her first post and also the fact that other rabbit savvy professionals no longer post on here :(

It must be very disheartening for Vikki to be studying so hard to become a vet only to see it constantly being criticised, but hopefully when she reads the replies from here and sees how much we value her as a member, she will feel more positive :D

As twisted as this may sound, maybe seeing the bad examples of members of a profession might help Vikki to become a better vet than she would have been, which, from everything I've seen of her, would already have been far superior to many of the negative examples we here about.

Vikki try to remember that whilst people do say things about vets, none are personal to you (unless obviously someone is personally telling you something), so try not to take it personally, just try to be aware that there are awful examples of ANY profession, and on here you will see the awful examples of people who are vets. It could be an advantage because as well as you clearly having good people skills and lots of compassion, you may pick up other bits and bobs that you wouldn't otherwise pick up as a student (like with many jobs I am sure that an awful lot of the learning is done once you qualify).

If someone says 'all vets', then pull them up on it because saying that is ignorant in most situations, but for the rest, thank yourself that you are not one of the bad ones.

I used to teach and sporadically threads pop up about specific teachers people are struggling with, or other situations that could be taken personally. All those situations though are none specific and nothing to do with me so they are not something I take personally, unless someone comes back with 'all teachers', in which case I would try and pull that one up.

I am sorry you feel uncomfortable here but just keep reminding yourself that people here don't actually hate vets, they have just had bad experiences with specific vets. Its not personal to you, or the profession, but specific people w have come across. I do hope you stick about, you're actually someone whose posts I look for (in a non creepy, non stalkery way) becase I find them interesting, and the way you communicate to people is very articulate.

I also hope that you're ok.

Bunnyaddict
04-04-2010, 05:35 PM
I have to agree with Lynn (holidayhutch) - just like any profession there are good & bad vets. I can also see it from both sides, as vets who are passionate about all the animals in their care must find it so dis-heartening when there are poor vets that undo all the good that good vets are trying to do.

From our own experience I don't feel that all vets are actually in the right job - if you get what I mean. For example at our practice our normal vet Jane is outstanding & would always take on board not just our bunnies welfare, but also our own feelings as well. I trust her 150% & would not hesitate to recommend her to other people. She is very patient & owner focused, who is always willing to listen to the owners but give the right judgement & guidance when needed.

However there is one vet at our practice that I try to avoid where I possibly can - unfortunately she is one vet that does the profession no favours what so ever. She appears to have no compassion with the animals in her care or have any people skills when it actually comes to dealing with upset owners.

When we tried to talk to her about Wilson's headtilt & alternatives we wanted to try through the research & advice we'd recieved on RU - she dismissed us & would not even consider looking at what we wanted. We were appalled & I complained about her attitude - if we'd been convinced by her that nothing else could be done for Wilson, he would have been pts :cry: Looking at him now enjoying a normal life - makes me very angry that her attitude was simply to write him off as quick as possible.

Then sadly experiences we have had with our emergency vets who provide out of hours cover for our own vets is sadly appalling too :? Sadly I can't help but think they think they can just 'make do' when it comes to bunnies until they can send you on your way to your own vet - whilst charging you the earth for the priviledge. Each time we have used them we have felt let down - 3 of those times resulted in us losing bunnies :cry:

I too hope you won't leave the forum Vikki & will continue to come on to both share your own experiences & be able to continue to promote rabbit welfare & care in the way that you are. However, people will always see RU as a place where they need to let off steam about their own vets - but that does not mean they are necessarily tarring every vet with the same brush.

parsnipbun
04-04-2010, 06:20 PM
It is brilliant having vets/vet nurses/vet students on the forum as it gives one so much hope for the future of rabbit medicine! Just as seeing them all at the RWA conference does.

However we must be allowed to state when we feel that a vet has treated our bunnies wrongly. Or to suggest they try a different vet when a person comes on and says something like 'can you help me as my vet has said I have to starve my rabbit for 24 hours before spaying', (though that one does seem to have been less common recently thank goodness!).

Although my usual vets are excellent, I have officially complained to my vets about their emergency vet cover arrangements because their vets simply weren't up to dealing with rabbits ( I have endless examples of things missed/done wrongly) and if I have seen bad vets then surely others will have.

GPs are the same - some excellent, some specialist, some quite honestly shouldn't be in practice. Its the same with most professions (want a rubbish 'builders' thread anyone!!!).

Becky86
04-04-2010, 06:31 PM
Sorry if im one of those people Vikki *gets paranoid* I do get angry sometimes and its usually you who i PM :oops:

I know i sometimes moan about our vets, but really they are great. They dont always 'know' whats wrong with everybun, but then we mainly deal with straight foward cases of health checks, vaccs and neuters. We do have 1 good vet at the practice, but hes not there that often sadly. Saying that, he hates it when i suggest something to do with treatment etc.

I imagine its hard for you Vikki, being on the other side of the coin, but when you have a poorly bunny (Rocky for instance) you just want to know what the cause is :( Saying that, i totally trust them with all my foster buns and my own buns, and theyre definately the best vets in the area :)

Remember i have your bunnies Vikki ;) ;) Theyre still eating me out of house and home :lol: Theyre on the grass outside at the moment :love: I was getting worried when i saw this thread title! :lol: xXx

Rhian33
04-04-2010, 06:39 PM
I completely agree with not complaining publicly as my vets do a great job. They are interested and where they lack in knowlege they are willing to find out. I couldn't ask for better.

I moved to them from another practice who couldn't even get the dosage of Baytril right for my rats. The vet wouldn't admit her mistake even when I quoted at her what the correct dosage was for a rat per kilo of animal when using 2.5% Baytril. She got the hump with me and that's the last appointment I had with them.

The vet at the new practice prescribed perfectly and said to go back to try something else if Baytril alone didn't work and if I read about anything else in the meantime to let them know and they wouldn't rule out using something non-standard.

natandfluffs
04-04-2010, 07:00 PM
I have to agree with Lynn (holidayhutch) - just like any profession there are good & bad vets. I can also see it from both sides, as vets who are passionate about all the animals in their care must find it so dis-heartening when there are poor vets that undo all the good that good vets are trying to do.

Totally agree with that, I have similar frustrations when people tar everyone in my profession with the same brush.

I hope that the over expression of frustrations with vets on here is to do with it being a safe place to express frustrations, rather than it being that such a proportion of people in the 'real' world have these frustrations.

But just for the record, I love my vets. All of them. Including the receptionists.

bensonlola
04-04-2010, 10:27 PM
I love my vet - she is great with rabbits and my dog and she seems to know what she is doing!! I'm a rabbit rookie - I don't know anything about medication etc.... The only thing I will say is that I won't let a young/new vet near my animals. Which is very bad - If everyone thought like me...... never get any experience...... blah blah blah. Can't bring myself to let just anybody deal with my animals, especially when I haven't a clue what they're doing and I just have to trust them. Of course when I was a newly qualified teacher, I was let loose on 30 small children, not being entirlely sure what I was doing!! :lol:

Bunnytod
04-04-2010, 10:37 PM
I recently critised my vets, I moved vets early this year, i had a fantasic vets were i last lived,
But when a vet looks at you in disgust when you tell them your female bunny is neuterd and tells you you have risked your pets life is not good, I hate my new vets and have to look into a new one in a diffrent town, If my old one wasnt a hour away i would take them there still.

VickiP
04-04-2010, 10:44 PM
I'm not one for posting woe-is-me threads, and i hope no-one takes this personally, but i have really noticed in the last few months how often and how harshly some people on RU criticise their vets.

I'm not saying that some complaints aren't justified, and everyone is entitled to hold an opinion and let off steam, but the venom with which some people express it really shocks me. Also, the generalised judgement people make upon a vet or a practice based on one incident or one thing a vet said or did.

I know lots of you have wonderful vets who you do praise and appreciate greatly, but please think carefully and use some compassion when dealing with your vet. We're only human, we make mistakes. Sadly many cases, regardless of illness or animal, dont come in with textbook signs and symptoms, causes are not clear on x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds etc and medical and surgical therapies are not flawless. This frustrates the vet as much as the owner, trust me.

As has been discussed before, vets dont really get enough training in rabbits and rodents, although it is increasing. This is mainly because rabbit medicine doesnt make any money, unless you are a rabbit specialist. We'd all like to be vets because we want to treat animals, and make the money irrelevant, but you can't run a practice on nothing so most vets actually treat rabbits because they care and not for business/financial reasons. But if your vet isnt sure what is going on, consider how frustrated they feel inside, even if they're not showing it, rather than assuming they dont care or are being arrogant or ignorant. Most would welcome information and advice, and i apologise for those that don't. If you want something done about it, complain to the RCVS or the vet colleges, not the vet.

I started the "ask the vet student" thread as an outlet for people's questions and frustrations, so there could be a reasonable non-personal debate and i could learn about what frustrates or distresses owners most. But sometimes i read threads and comments about vets and it makes me not want to come on RU anymore. I don't dare post what i think on some such threads for fear of being flamed and inciting a greater argument, as thats just not constructive.

I just wanted to post this so people can understand what its like from the other side of the argument.

I agree with you Vikki but, I don't think you should leave the forum, it's not aimed at you I am sure. I guess I have been quite lucky with my vets in that they aren't exotics and I was understandably nervous after reading some of the threads on here about finding a good vet so I do think you are making a valid point about scaremongering. A lot of it is attitude aswell in terms of the person who is taking the animal to the vet, how they communicate and handle their animal. My vet's have been absolutely fine, despite not being 'exotics experts' I guess experience is also important and as I have said before, I don't think the majority of vets go into the profession because they don't care about animals, quite the opposite and any mistakes made are upsetting and embarrassing lesson's learned. No-one enters into the profession to harm animals I am sure. Please don't leave - your posts are always very fair and objective Vikki xx

susieb1
04-04-2010, 10:54 PM
Please don't leave the forum, it needs people like you on here!!!
I do think though that people should be more aware when they comment on here. A lot of people who come on here for advice, want that, constuctive advice not criticism and belittling ( hope that is spelt right). I had rabbits for many years and have only recently (last year) taken on two from babies. I have learned so much from this forum and had lots of worries put to rest. Without people like VikkiVet and Jack's Jane we would be less wise.
Yes, at times we are frustrated with our vets but we must then do something about that and probably use our feet and find a better rabbit savvy one. Vikkivet please don't take anyone's criticism of their vet personally. I work in the teaching profession and I know how frustrated I get when people slate us but I don't take it personally and you must try and do the same. After my Honey's spay ( 10 days ago ), I had concerns, rang my vet on a Saturday morning and was unable to see my usual rabbit vet. When given the name of the vet I could see, I immediately asked if she knew anything about rabbits and was told well as much as any other vet. I was apprehensive but this lady was wonderful with Honey, very personable and told me to ring her anytime before 6 that day of the following day (a Sunday) with concerns. I did have to ring her and she put my mind at rest and talked things through and even rang me the following day to see how she was doing. If I had been unhappy with her I would have gone elsewhere which is what others should do. I find it odd that people constantly moan about all the probs they've had with their vet but then continue to go back to them. HOWEVER, remember vets like us are only human. NOBODY is perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

VikkiVet do not go!!!!:wave:

stargrrlclaire
04-04-2010, 11:09 PM
I'm not one for posting woe-is-me threads, and i hope no-one takes this personally, but i have really noticed in the last few months how often and how harshly some people on RU criticise their vets.

I'm not saying that some complaints aren't justified, and everyone is entitled to hold an opinion and let off steam, but the venom with which some people express it really shocks me. Also, the generalised judgement people make upon a vet or a practice based on one incident or one thing a vet said or did.

I know lots of you have wonderful vets who you do praise and appreciate greatly, but please think carefully and use some compassion when dealing with your vet. We're only human, we make mistakes. Sadly many cases, regardless of illness or animal, dont come in with textbook signs and symptoms, causes are not clear on x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds etc and medical and surgical therapies are not flawless. This frustrates the vet as much as the owner, trust me.

As has been discussed before, vets dont really get enough training in rabbits and rodents, although it is increasing. This is mainly because rabbit medicine doesnt make any money, unless you are a rabbit specialist. We'd all like to be vets because we want to treat animals, and make the money irrelevant, but you can't run a practice on nothing so most vets actually treat rabbits because they care and not for business/financial reasons. But if your vet isnt sure what is going on, consider how frustrated they feel inside, even if they're not showing it, rather than assuming they dont care or are being arrogant or ignorant. Most would welcome information and advice, and i apologise for those that don't. If you want something done about it, complain to the RCVS or the vet colleges, not the vet.

I started the "ask the vet student" thread as an outlet for people's questions and frustrations, so there could be a reasonable non-personal debate and i could learn about what frustrates or distresses owners most. But sometimes i read threads and comments about vets and it makes me not want to come on RU anymore. I don't dare post what i think on some such threads for fear of being flamed and inciting a greater argument, as thats just not constructive.

I just wanted to post this so people can understand what its like from the other side of the argument.

Hello! I just wanted to say I agree with you completely about this. Vets' Surgeries have to be businesses, just like doctors' surgeries have to keep their appointment times to get as many appointments in a day as possible.

I'm really lucky with my vet, he discusses health issues with me and respects what I think it could be. He often gets the text books out and checks out that his opinion is correct before medicating. He is so thorough and I'm sure you're right that small animal appointments and medications don't get the money in. My surgery manages to fit in my animals the day I call, mostly within the hour. Noone can say that's bad service! They always know which animal I've got with me by name. I know as when my Pheobe (guinea pig) fell out of the hutch mid popcorn and acted dead (through shock), I went into shock and found myself within 15 minutes at the vets and they fit us straight in when they saw what a state we were both in and even the receptionist said she hoped Pheobe was ok. I hadn't called before hand, I just made a mad dash as I knew I had to get there! There aren't many doctors who know you on first name terms on sight is there?!

Sorry, I'm totally missing my point. I mean that vets do have a very good place in our pets' lives. They are important and help us hoomans as well as the animals themselves!

VikkiVet
04-04-2010, 11:53 PM
Crikey! Well thats what happens when you start a thread then dont check back for the rest of the day! :lol::lol::lol:

Firstly, THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive and positive, and for the encouraging PMs, they are all very much appreciated and valued. Also i dont mind people PMing me with questions - if i dont know i'll say so, or go get the books out!

Just to clear a few things up - i didn't mean to imply that i felt personally offended, or that anyone was attacking or criticising me, on the contrary, RU has taught me so much and i feel very encouraged generally because we do get so little support for wanting to be bunny savvy at uni. Also, i didnt mean to imply that people were slagging off ALL vets - thats clearly just nonsense and we can all appreciate that, as in all professions, some are great, some are average and sadly some are not so great.

What i really meant was that when one incident/illness occurs people come on RU and condemn that vet as useless/dangerous/ignorant etc, when we only have one persons highly-emotive POV on the issue. In most cases i have read on RU the issue is more about communication skills (which vets do definately need to improve on in many cases, and we have huge amounts of focal teaching on now) than veterinary knowledge.

What you also have to remember is RU people are generally an exception to the rule in terms of owners, especially rabbit owners. A question vets often ask when discussing a case (with owner not there) is "do they want to spend?" - we'd love to work cases up fully, do tests, run bloods, do diagnostic imaging, hospitalise and monitor etc - and if people are willing to spend the money they we will, but more often than not people DON'T want a full work up (this includes dogs and cats etc too) so we have to use the most basic diagnostics to come up with an answer. The same goes with drugs and therapies - if you have the time/money/knowledge/skills to really nurse an animal back to health, vets can often come up with a therapeutic plan but most owners are not like this, so you have to think of how the average Joe Bloggs can medicate their rabbit when they can't catch them, can barely handle them, are scared of being scratched etc. BUT they also dont want to pay for hospitalisation or a nurse to do it for them. My suggestion is to make clear how competant you feel you are - be honest - in nursing your animals.

The question of veterinary education in vet school is endlessly frustrating. I hate how rabbits are lumped in with 'exotics' - i dont want to do amphibian/reptile/spider/bird medicine any more than is currently in the curriculum, but i do want to do more rabbit and rodent medicine. There are elective sections in 4th and 5th year in these subjects, but more should be part of the core material. The only way to change this is to campaign to both the colleges and the RCVS. The industry is consumer driven so if the consumers make a noise they might just notice!!!

I agree that a vet SHOULD say when they are not sure what is going on, or what medication to prescribe, but actually doing it is a minefield. As i've said, you lot are exception in that you would probably respond positively to this and have a discussion, welcome getting the books out/ringing another vet/a referral but many people see this as incompetance. This can lead to losing customers, complaints and even law suits. Vets that have been in practice for a good few years are more likely to feel confident enough to say they don't know, because they know that they are generally competant, but as a new or recent graduate, admitting you dont know, when your confidence is already fairly shaky, is truly terrifying. Of course the animal's welfare has to come first, but its just not as easy as it may sound.

In terms of treatment options and 'bad advice' e.g. PTS sadly this is due to the common pattern. Yes we CAN work them up, go through the options, decide on a therapy, do check ups and tweak the therapy, etc etc, but if MOST people cant afford it, dont want to do it, arent capable of making the necessary contribution to the therapy, and/or the outcome is LIKELY to be PTS at some reasonably near stage, its often easier or even preferable to just say the main option is PTS. Remember if you suggest a detailed chronic therapy that people cannot fulfill, especially if its because of time or money, it makes owners feel very guilty when they say no. Again this comes back to communication from both sides into what is possible, what is feasible, what is affordable and what the possible outcomes are and how likely they are. Hopefully the new communication skills training will improve this over the next few years, but if in doubt, always state that you can inject, orally dose, regularly clean your animal for example.

I do however apologise for the vets that have given ignorant or dangerous basic advice. They should know better on the basics. But if this happens - DO COMPLAIN, for the vets sake as much as anyone elses, preferably in writing to the vet in question. Often vets have no idea of the owners POV or what happens beyond the consulting room. If you put it in writing vets can learn from it, digest and reflect on it, chose to invite you in to discuss it, rectify what they can where appropriate. If you dont complain, sometimes they will never know. Someone mentioned conferences for specialists in human medicine - we do do that. CPD is COMPULSORY but we can chose, to a certain extent, what we study. We are indeed animal GPs so you have to chose courses and seminars in areas that are of most value to your practice (as they often pay for it) or your skill area or your career progresion. There is CPD in rabbit medicine, and it is popular with vets graduated 1-5 years because they realise they lack knowledge in that area once they get into practice. But we cant learn everyhting, in every area, on every species, so we do out best.

I guess i am asking that if you have a bad experience with a vet, or have questions about treatment etc, by all means post on RU, and if you need to rant/vent then go ahead if it will make you feel better. But try to represent your vet reasonably and accurately, rather than making judgements about their entire abilities, opinions, interests or compassion etc based on one incident. And please do discuss it and follow it up with them, not just RU!!

Don't worry, i'm not leaving! I only really meant that i would avoid the vet-based threads because they upset me - as Liz said, its disheartening to study so hard to come on RU and see colleagues UNFAIRLY slagged off. Obviously vets are over-represented on RU because of the nature of the forum - there's not a lot of call to slag off shop keepers or telesales people etc :lol::lol: - just try to think and be honest and not misrepresent us!

Phew, ok, essay over! :lol::lol::lol:

antigone
05-04-2010, 12:07 AM
Great essay and I'm glad you're not leaving!:D
I am grateful to my vets for looking after my bunnies and for saving my cat's life twice; once by diagnosing and treating his hyperthyroidism and once by removing a sarcoma from his head. I don't think my poor old cat would still be around if it wasn't for my vets. Please, don't be discouraged by what is posted here. Get qualified and you will be able to save lots of lives, which is something that not many people do in their jobs.:)

Hugo's There
05-04-2010, 09:21 AM
What a brilliant reply :wave: I totally agree:thumb:

So basically we need to find a constructive way to change vet training and the average pet owners view of rabbits as not being disposable pets :?

thumps_
05-04-2010, 12:24 PM
What a brilliant reply :wave: I totally agree:thumb:

So basically we need to find a constructive way to change vet training and the average pet owners view of rabbits as not being disposable pets :?

Georgie f & Snouter have started to try to change attitudes of pet owners on their local free internet site. They've had success. see thread http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?t=218801
If only other people elsewhere would use their material across the country we'll start to make an impact, but only if it's country wide, & if we keep up the pressure changing the material every 2 - 3 months.

Add to that Vickyvet's poster, "make mine chocolate", the RWA campaign for hutch sizes, individual members contributing to media articles, & gradually people will start to listen. But we caan't leave it to a scattered few, we've all got to do a little.

Radish
05-04-2010, 12:45 PM
I'm not one for posting woe-is-me threads, and i hope no-one takes this personally, but i have really noticed in the last few months how often and how harshly some people on RU criticise their vets.

I'm not saying that some complaints aren't justified, and everyone is entitled to hold an opinion and let off steam, but the venom with which some people express it really shocks me. Also, the generalised judgement people make upon a vet or a practice based on one incident or one thing a vet said or did.

I know lots of you have wonderful vets who you do praise and appreciate greatly, but please think carefully and use some compassion when dealing with your vet. We're only human, we make mistakes. Sadly many cases, regardless of illness or animal, dont come in with textbook signs and symptoms, causes are not clear on x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds etc and medical and surgical therapies are not flawless. This frustrates the vet as much as the owner, trust me.

As has been discussed before, vets dont really get enough training in rabbits and rodents, although it is increasing. This is mainly because rabbit medicine doesnt make any money, unless you are a rabbit specialist. We'd all like to be vets because we want to treat animals, and make the money irrelevant, but you can't run a practice on nothing so most vets actually treat rabbits because they care and not for business/financial reasons. But if your vet isnt sure what is going on, consider how frustrated they feel inside, even if they're not showing it, rather than assuming they dont care or are being arrogant or ignorant. Most would welcome information and advice, and i apologise for those that don't. If you want something done about it, complain to the RCVS or the vet colleges, not the vet.

I started the "ask the vet student" thread as an outlet for people's questions and frustrations, so there could be a reasonable non-personal debate and i could learn about what frustrates or distresses owners most. But sometimes i read threads and comments about vets and it makes me not want to come on RU anymore. I don't dare post what i think on some such threads for fear of being flamed and inciting a greater argument, as thats just not constructive.

I just wanted to post this so people can understand what its like from the other side of the argument.

very well put..wholeheartedly agree with you.

yoshi&gizmo
05-04-2010, 01:02 PM
:thumb: Well put Vikkivet and continue with your training and advise on here . It is truely valued.

I know what you mean when you say about the people on here being a select few [ie willing to take bunnies to the vets etc]. Certain people i know family and friends alike [please don't slate me for this :cry:] have said surely it would be cheaper to just get a new bunny :shock: They don't understand that it doesn't matter to people like us the finanical value to a rabbit.... our rabbits our are family. :love:

I remember recently having a conversation with my vet [who is ace i might add;) ] about the fact that rabbits are apparently the third most popular pet and yet knowledge in vets seems limited :?She too explained the fact about the training etc and said she personaly had learnt more by experience and by being a bunny mummy herself. :love: She also goes to the RWF confrences and got me to join up to [what a great source of information and support that is :love:]

I know i used to rant about my old vet but with good cause i felt. However I do feel for vets as why would you train to be something that sadly a large majority of people just aren't willing to pay for. :?

Keep up the good work Vikki & others.... if there is things that can be done to help increase peoples knowledge i would happily help any way i could.

:love:

Hugo's There
05-04-2010, 01:04 PM
Georgie f & Snouter have started to try to change attitudes of pet owners on their local free internet site. They've had success. see thread http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?t=218801
If only other people elsewhere would use their material across the country we'll start to make an impact, but only if it's country wide, & if we keep up the pressure changing the material every 2 - 3 months.

Add to that Vickyvet's poster, "make mine chocolate", the RWA campaign for hutch sizes, individual members contributing to media articles, & gradually people will start to listen. But we caan't leave it to a scattered few, we've all got to do a little.

Exactly, I do think things are changing but far too slowly.

Some of the things members are actively doing is great. I also helped the RWA with info on P@H adoption centres a while back.

It is also why I suggested giving more support to the RWA, as they have worked miracles with changing the perception of rabbits as pets both in the pet shops and in the area of rabbit medicine. But they can't do it without our continuing support :) And in all honesty there has been the odd thread on here criticising the RWA :roll:

I think it is so important that we don't scare away new and inexperienced members from this forum. It happens all to often. How will they ever learn to fight for the best possible care for their rabbits if we don't show them in a constructive and friendly way what is available for bunnies if they just knew where to look? :):) And the more of us that demand better care for our bunnies the more likely things will change :)

Coineanach
05-04-2010, 11:57 PM
I haven't read the whole thread but I'd like to add that sometimes you just need to rant, and it's easier for some people to rant on an annonymous forum. And whilst some vets are great (mine, for example :lol:) there are others which are not.
Even considering that vets don't get a lot of exotics training, some are simply too pigheaded to listen to your ideas about your animal, and I think that annoys people more than anything.
I'm in no way defending vet bashing, more saying that I can see where people are coming from. :)

luvabun
06-04-2010, 06:52 AM
Looking at it from the other side, a little honesty from the Vets would be appreciated too. How many actually say "sorry I won't take your money and attempt to treat your animal because I don't know enough about rabbits".

Totti would be dead now if I hadn't changed Vets. He had a bout of stasis and was kept in for observation then allowed home as "he has eaten a dandelion leaf". I took him home and knew immediately that he was still poorly so phoned a rabbit savvy Vet that I knew from the Rescue scene and transferred to him. Totti needed further intenstive treatment for over a week.

I am very lucky to have 2 excellent rabbit savvy Vets in my area and the one who looks after my trio walks on water as far as I'm concerned.

kayj
10-05-2010, 12:30 PM
My vets Caroline & Lloyd are the best - I can phone them at anytime day or night even if not on duty. This week Blue my Springer as had to have an op my vets were on holiday but Caroline still took the time to ring to see which vet was dealing with him and to ask what was being done and was texting and phoning us to make sure we were both ok about him (Blue not the vet as he had an excellent vet looking after him).

A few others on here use my vets and they will tell you exactly the same about Caroline & lloyd. I think I and my animals are very lucky to have such dedicated people looking after us.