When Woody (my three-year-old pit bull-mix) was a tiny pet, simply one other one in a litter of 9 that I used to be fostering for my native shelter, he was at all times completely happy to obtain medical consideration (vaccines, deworming, and even neuter surgical procedure!), because it got here layered with completely happy consideration from the shelter veterinary employees. He loves folks, so it was all good.
Woody’s pleasant, completely happy perspective about having a stranger greet and deal with him in an intimate approach survived all these visits, in addition to many extra visits to a daily veterinary hospital. Let’s see… there have been no less than one or two vaccine visits; one “dietary indiscretion” incident (he ate all of the meals I had set out for the 11 Great Dane foster puppies, after I had already fed him his dinner); the time he swallowed a pal’s dog’s mini-tennis ball; the staples he wanted on his rear legs (slashed his wrists on one thing sharp within the grass, sliding for a ball); the time he tore a toenail (largely) off; a foxtail go to or two; a bizarre bump on his face that required minor surgical procedure to take away it… He’s been to the vet so much! And till final yr, he was at all times completely happy to trot into the hospital, hop onto the dimensions, be examined by anybody, and even go “into the back” for his staples or bandages or injection of “Let’s make you vomit!” treatment.
And then he bought sick with a gastrointestinal bug that left him critically dehydrated, and I left him to be hospitalized in a single day. I’m sure they didn’t mistreat him in any approach! But ever since I left him there that night time, after I take him again to the vet now – most not too long ago for a canine influenza vaccine – he’s reluctant to enter the hospital, and he shivers and shakes within the ready and examination rooms.
I’ve began making an attempt to remediate this anxious response, stopping by the observe to only weigh him and feeding him tons of high-value treats within the minute or two that we’re there. And, as a result of scared and/or anxious dogs have the potential to chunk, and I wouldn’t blame any veterinarian or veterinary employees member in the event that they felt safer engaged on my large, muscular dog if he had been carrying a muzzle, I additionally am going to start out acclimating Woody to carrying one. I would like it to be a well-known, reinforcing expertise in case we ever want it, moderately than an extremely scary factor out of the blue strapped to his face in a medical emergency.
But after engaged on the article on this problem about Fear Free veterinary practices (see web page 6), I’m additionally going to encourage my vets to hunt out Fear Free certification – and hold my eyes peeled for a Fear Free licensed veterinary observe to modify to if want be. Because I believe I’m going to wish an entire crew of individuals to get Woody previous his newfound apprehension about receiving medical care. And that’s simply no approach to undergo life – significantly in case you are as accident-prone as my goofy Woody.