New vet

Discussion in 'General Mastiff Discussion' started by Jarena, May 31, 2018.

  1. Jarena

    Jarena Well-Known Member

    I think we are going to start looking for a new vet soon. Our vet is good and I would recommend him in most cases. Our trainer suggested we look for a vet that has a bit more experience with giant breeds. He said most vets in our area do not have tables large enough to preform surgery on a mastiff. He said when a mastiff is in surgery, often the vet tech will hold the dogs head which can result in neck injury to the dog.

    I am a hermit crab with a lot of anxiety, especially when it comes to making phone calls. I know I’m going to have to just get over it and make some calls. It helps a lot when I have a “plan of action”, if I have an idea of what to ask before hand.

    Do any of you have advice on how to find a vet? One with experience with giant breed and the proper equipment to deal with mastiffs. What kind of questions should I be asking? How did you find your current vet?Is there even such a thing as a vet that specializes in larger dogs or am I being unrealistic? Any advice?
  2. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Well-Known Member

    I have found that quite a lot works through referrals. We moved recently and had to change vets, too. One of our neighbors has a great dane and another one has an EM. Both of them go to the same vet, which they highly recommended. At the same time, there don‘t seem to be a whole lot of large/giant breed specialists. In some cases, however, they do own large/giant breeds themselves, which would be a plus. Do you know anyone who might be able to refer you? Otherwise, I would do some research (based on reviews etc.), pick the top 5, and call them with very specific questions. It‘s not that easy, as some might claim to have large breed experience as a result of having treated one mastiff five years ago (the term experience is used losely). Having actual references (patients) has worked very well for us, but that was based on the coincidence of living next door to two giant breed owners.
    April Nicole likes this.
  3. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    i'd say look for one with the most cars in the parking lot , out of state plates is a pretty good sign that someone in that practice knows what they're doing ........ lots of vets at the practice is good , as long as you can figure out which ones you don't want ......... tell your current vet you have a friend whose mastiff needs knee replacements , ask him who they'd recommend nearby and check that practice out ....... after you find one with ability , then you need to find out if they actually care about your dog ........ lots of times large practices get new vets that actually turn out to be exceptional , if you find one of those stick with them .......
    April Nicole likes this.
  4. Zeela

    Zeela Well-Known Member

    Good question Jarena, I am having the same problem especially trying to figure out what is to be done for her cherry eyes. :(
    April Nicole likes this.
  5. Jakesmum

    Jakesmum Well-Known Member

    When I was looking for a new vet for Jake I started looking at the local towns. I found a vet about 20 minutes out of the city I live in that has experience dealing with animals from small pocket dogs and teeny kittys to large farm animals, they not only do farm calls, but have facilities for the livestock to be brought in and worked on. I asked a lot of questions when I went in to meet the vet to make sure I was confident they could deal with the problems that a mastiff can have, especially undergoing sedation and anesthesia. I lucked out as they also deal with breeders of giant breeds. Make sure you ask a lot of questions and a reputable vet will show you their facilities where they perform surgery and kennel the animals (I can't tell you how many times I've been taken to the back area so they can show me how to bandage a wound when Jake was really sick).
    April Nicole and Zeela like this.
  6. Zeela

    Zeela Well-Known Member

    The vet I have now, not happy with at all. I hope I don't snap! anyway, I think you live in Canada? Not sure what it is like there but here where I live in NJ it is hard to find one who specializes in Mastiffs unless I drive to Pennsylvania, too far. Frustrating it is, I feel a lot of them are just out to make as much $$$ as they can. I had one vet try to give her a ton of shots which she does not need. I've owned dogs all my life & I am not stupid. so, I am researching finding a new one. I reached out to an old friend who use to own Great Dane's, hopefully, I will hear back soon. thanks for your input.
    April Nicole likes this.
  7. Zeela

    Zeela Well-Known Member

    Also, can you give me some examples of some questions to ask? This is my 1st time owning a mastiff. thanks.
  8. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    When we found our vet at our old home it took quite a bit of work and some trial and error. The main thing I asked about was anesthesia for mastiffs (DDBs in particular) to see if they were aware of the issues and sensitivities that they have to anesthesia... Most aren't aware of the particular sensitivities of a DDB to anesthesia. The other thing was if they seemed to have no clue about the benefits of waiting for fixing the dog then I was wary of them. If the vet and their front staff and the technicians seem uncomfortable with a big scary looking dog that was another bad sign.

    But #1 on the list should be about the anesthesia because that is a mistake that can lead to death. Here is some information about the particularities of anesthesia for mastiffs:

    The article above mentions specific anesthesia drugs to avoid and why. It also mentions the protocol that is recommended.

    Drugs to avoid: acepromazine , Xylazine (Rompun) , Acepromazine and Xylazine. "If for some reason, your veterinarian must use these two drugs, I think it is mandatory that the dog be monitored by an EKG machine during surgery and immediately post-operatively. "
    April Nicole and Zeela like this.
  9. Jarena

    Jarena Well-Known Member

    Thank you all very much!! Nik, that’s something I forgot to mention in my original post. My current vet isn’t pressuring me into spaying but that’s because I put my foot down early. His staff does try to pressure us into spaying ASAP. I had Lettie in the car after an appointment and Matt came out with a little piece of paper with “pyometra” written on it. I crumpled it up and threw it away, they keep trying to scare us into spaying early and it’s annoying. I’ve done my research.

    Also the anesthesia thing, I have a bunch of screen shots on my phone with info about mastiffs and anesthesia. Thank you for sharing that link. I’m going to feel like a real ass “interviewing” vets and showing them lists of drugs not to use. I would imagine they don’t like their expertise to be questioned. I’m seriously stressing about these phone calls. I know when I call I’ll get a receptionist that will have to call me back with answers. Ugh. I don’t like being “that person” who comes off like I know more than the vet.

    I don’t raw feed but I have thought a lot about it and done a bit of research on it as well. So I know the benefits. That’s another thing that’s a little annoying, all vets I’ve spoken to give me the most unhealthy recommendations on dog food. And get really freaked out with the mention of raw feeding. I’m happy with my dog food and don’t plan on changing it, but I just wish they wouldn’t suggest things like “Purina”.

    Marke- genius idea! Asking my vet for “a friends mastiff”!

    I don’t know how far our local news went.. but another thing that freaks me out is- abuse behind closed doors. I know that sounds over the top! There is a vet in my town, one with great reviews and lots of staff all with great reviews, the whole building was well loved and recommended by so many people. Well, here is the story, it includes a mastiff -

    If you feel like crying, being disgusted and being insanely mad- click on the link that takes you to the actual court document that was filed.
    April Nicole likes this.
  10. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Purina??? I can't imagine a vet recommending that garbage. That is awful.

    We actually had a scandal in a local vet when we were still in the bay area as well. One my dad used.
    Zeela likes this.
  11. Jarena

    Jarena Well-Known Member

    I know!! When I asked about raw, you should’ve seen the face she made! She also assured me that Lettie was at least 1/2 lab, since she had “floppy ears”:confused:.

    Did you read the court document from the link? It’s awful :(
  12. Zeela

    Zeela Well-Known Member

    I had put a call into my current vet just a few hours ago to refer me to someone who specializes in her cherry eye situation, this vet did surgery on her & as discussed it may not work & it has not. His follow-up has been disappointing plus his staff is dumb as door nails. Her eyes looks horrible, it's not so much the look anymore, I think they are starting to bother her. she has such cherry eye & no one can tell me what to do. she will probably have to get them removed, there is an animal eye center here, however, consultation alone is $300.00. alot of $$ just for a consultation only. I don't trust most vets so I am trying to do my homework before...
    April Nicole likes this.
  13. Zeela

    Zeela Well-Known Member

    So, I got a referral for an eye specialist. Made an appointment for June 25th, it's a consultation for her eyes. I want to do my homework so I walk in there with all the right ??? any input would be appreciated it.
  14. Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave Well-Known Member

    When I took young Mr. Chev to one vet's office, he ended up going pee on their weight scale. That was enough for me.
  15. Jakesmum

    Jakesmum Well-Known Member

    When I was talking to the Vet I asked what their experience was with the giant breeds, have they dealt with Mastiffs and their health problems in the past. Like Nik posted, make sure you ask them about their anesthesia practices as it's dangerous for these guys to be put under, we are lucky that most procedures a light sedation is enough for Jake. Make sure your dog is comfortable there, when we go in Jake literally owns the place, he knows where every cookie jar is and where to go to visit with all his friends. Also make sure that they are available if you just call and have a question, when Jake got sick and we were out of town (across the country with him) and didn't know what to do with him I called and they immediately put our vet on the phone with me, she calmed me down and told us that the hospital we had him at was good, but if they were recommending we take him to the University in another province to do it, she was always there for us when we had to call for anything or email and when we brought him home she and had to take him every other day for bandage changes she was always available and only would charge us for the supplies used, then she eventually showed me how to change the bandages and sold me the supplies at their cost. I think I really lucked out with my vet clinic, I have 3 vets in there that I'll deal with, two are a husband/wife team and the other is the owner of the clinic, they are the most amazing doctors and know when something is beyond them and allow for the owners to take a hand in the diagnosis and care of their dog. They didn't hesitate to contact the university we had Jake at throughout his care to make sure we were giving him the best care possible.
  16. Jarena

    Jarena Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the great advice! I may have just found at least a starting point tonight.
    I found a Facebook group for corsos in my area. I joined it a few days ago. Today a woman posted that she would be at the Lowe’s in my town to work on distractions and greeting people politely with her Corso. So I messaged her and asked if she wanted us to come be “greeters”. We met with her and her friend, who works at the local humane society. We met the Corso and stood there chatting for awhile. We asked what vet she uses. Her and her friend both STRONGLY recommended a local vet. They both love the vet they go to and he is experienced with mastiffs and guardian breeds! So now I know who to call and ask all my questions. :D

    The Corso we met was a gentleman and did very well with his training. He was such a handsome boy!
  17. Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave Well-Known Member

    Gee---Hey April---I am now WELL-KNOWN. Amazing !!! Best to you, Jarena, with the vet situation.

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