BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Trying to decide about a vet
Last Post by LBJ10 at 8/07/2012 1:02 PM (9 Replies)
|
Author Messages

User is Offline bunnyfriend
Wisconsin
2343 posts Send Private Message
8/06/2012 9:55 PM

Hi everyone It's about time for Wilbur and Totoro's yearly vet check ups and I'm trying to decide between two different vets. Sorry this might be long. 

The current vet I have been going to does neuters and spays for the humane society I go to. I took Wilbur to her to be spayed and I found out that she neutered Totoro and took care of his health problems when he was at the humane society. I think she did an excellent job with Wilbur's spay and it really seems like a nice place. But I also took Totoro there when I was concerned he had a UTI and his poops were really offensive smelling, she said he was adjusting to his new diet but it's 6 months later and he still has the same "issue". My concern with her is that even though she did a great job with the spay, she doesn't really show much knowledge about rabbits outside of spaying. She knew the proper anesthesia, to not feed rabbits ahead of time, to bring tempting food in, to remove both ovaries and uterus and was very thorough but during check ups she doesn't really seem to check over everything enough; she doesn't ever check the back teeth and doesn't really give much info. It just seems for some reason that she doesn't really know that much. 

The vet I took my previous rabbit to seemed to have an abundance of knowledge about rabbits. He really made sure to check everything, even explaining to me bout anal glands (ew) and used a special tool to look at Tigger's back teeth. The reason why I didn't go back to him is because a couple weeks later Tigger died. I can really only explain my concerns by giving a little info on how Tigger died and maybe someone can shed light on what I should do (and maybe help me figure out exactly what happened). I went away on vacation for a week and I had a family friend take care of him who also has a rabbit. On the day I returned I found Tigger underneath the bed covered in diarrhea so I immediately took him to an emergency vet that was listed on my vet's website. Tigger had weight loss and through an x-ray they found liquid in his abdomen, which the emergency vet said was usually a sign of cancer, he suggested putting Tigger down or trying to feed him Critical Care. It was all so sudden I didn't want to give up yet so I brought him home and a couple hours later Tigger died. The emergency vet said he had obvious muscle loss that had to have happened over time. Now the emergency vet could have been completely wrong and I often think back worrying that Tigger could have been saved somehow, it just happened so fast. Thinking about it makes me feel sick and cry. It's been a year and it still upsets me. I didn't go back to the regular vet because I was worried that he missed something obvious. The vet also had said that raisins are poisonous to rabbits which I later found out wasn't true. Am I wrong in thinking that this vet isn't good? He really seemed to know a lot.

Thank you so much to anyone who can give some insight.



Photobucket
RIP Tigger          Wilbur             Totoro

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11833 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 2:03 AM
That is very sad about Tigger. Although, there is no way now to know what happened, if he was in such a bad state when you brought him to the vet, it's quite likely there was something serious going on and the vet probably couldn't have done much. I wouldn't hold that against your first vet.

I think a lot of vets do routine rabbit speuters but there are few rabbit vets who really know about rabbit health issues because there are not a whole lot of owners like us who take our buns to the vet when they arise. Rabbits are so very unique and are so complicated, if you find a vet that knows about their delicate digestive system, teeth and other health issues, hold onto that vet with all your might!

My rabbit vet is wonderful and I trust her 100%. She's the rabbit owner go-to vet in my area. She's actually in the next town over from me but it's worth the drive. But even she doesn't know everything there is to know.

If it were me, I'd give the first vet a second chance. Tell him you really want to get to the bottom of Totoro's digestive issue and see what he suggests.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
18052 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 3:21 AM
Oh, I'm sorry about Tigger.

I have to be honest I don't believe the vet missed anything. Honestly the only possible way to MAYBE know what happened with Tigger was to do a necropsy at the time of death. It sounds as if the issues he had when you took him in where not present when you found him in the sad condition you did and you stated you had gone away for a week and it's just impossible to know what occurred when you were gone - that is not to make you feel guilty by any means but rabbits can go so fast.

I think the first vet sounds very good and I would give him a second chance. Many times vets can only go by what owners tell them about their pets and their pets behaviors, diet, etc...

I also wouldn't be terribly concerned about the raisin bit either - that's just really not a big enough deal in my opinion to rule him out as a good rabbit vet.

User is Offline TH004
261 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 6:41 AM
You are the rabbit parent. You need to feel 100% comfortable with your choice in vets and his/her decisions. I have switched SO many times, because it seemed like none were extremely knowledgeable or cared as much as I did (you want a vet who cares and is vested in how your pet does!). My vet now is amazing. We've been going there 3 years. You can tell she really loves rabbits. She owned one during vet school for 10+ yrs, so they have a special place in her heart. She teared up when my last one passed. Before she passed, it was obvious it was going to be at the best a rough night. She offered to take her home to give her free 24-7 care. She let me stay until closing to say goodbye, but my buns passed before then.

That being said, no one is perfect. My buns was sick for about 6 months. She identified the issue early (buns was peeing outside of the box), but we could never nail it down and fix it. We ran a ton of tests, xrays, gave meds, etc, and we never figured it out. Buns died of stasis, but that was caused by prolonged sickness. I believe she did everything she could and I fully trust her. You need to feel that trust with your vet too.

User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
1247 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 7:22 AM

I have cats & rabbits and actually go to 2 different practices for my pets.  I have my cat vet and then my bunny vet.  My cat vet did my rabbit speuters and I trust her completely w/ rabbit anesthesia.  She practiced w/ the humane society b/f going into private practice.  She's a great cat vet, but told me upfront that she has no rabbit experience except w/ sterilization.  I found my current rabbit vet after the initial one didn't seem to be treating my rabbit's skin & eye conditions as completely as I desired.  Though I greatly miss the vets I had in Philly, which were excellent w/ both species, I'm satisfied w/ my current vets.  My husband is not super happy w/ the rabbit vet b/c he admits when he needs to do further research on a particular topic.  DH feels like he should know everything off the top of his head. 

Anyway....I don't think the vet missed anything.  I'm always impressed when they actually check the rabbit teeth in the back during an exam and that's one of my personal tests for a vet.  Go w/ the knowledgable one, it sounds like the other is more a multi-species vet b/c they had to be w/ the shelter system.  All the best.  So sorry about Tigger. 

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi


User is Offline bunnyfriend
Wisconsin
2343 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 12:18 PM

Thank you everyone for your advice. I think I will give the vet another try, I will never be able to know what happened to Tigger but after this I don't think there was anything the vet could have done and I tried my best possible in the time frame I had. I think you're right Sarita, the vet I have been going to recently seems to only check things if I have a specific concern. The vet that I went to with Tigger wasn't recommended by the HRS whereas the vet I have been going to is, but I guess that doesn't mean that this other guy is a bad vet. Maybe this other vet can help figure out what happened to Wilbur's hearing, because the current one kind of shrugged it off. Thanks again!

Photobucket
RIP Tigger          Wilbur             Totoro

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
18052 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 12:27 PM
Skunklionshow, I actually prefer if a vet admits they don't have all the answers and is actually willing to do further research - many vets still check their reference books and stuff when they don't know because I just don't think they can know everything. I had a vet who called a specialist on one of my rabbits for advice and I so much appreciated the extra effort and his willingness to do this.

bunnyfriend, I think it's good you are willing to at least give him a second chance and hopefully he will figure out about Wilbur's hearing or if not, he may be willing to research like Skunklionshow's vet does.

User is Offline LBJ10
Forum Leader
6348 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 12:31 PM
I take my rabbits to the same vet that saw my chinchillas. My poor baby died from some sort of infection. The vet did everything possible, sometimes there just isn't anything that can be done. It came on very fast too. I don't think it was anything the vet could have foreseen. So I wouldn't blame the first vet. If they are knowledgeable, then that is what is important.

User is Offline bunnyfriend
Wisconsin
2343 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 12:55 PM
I agree, a vet shouldn't be expected to have all the answers right away.

Does anyone know of a good check up check list? Like everything that should be checked out?
Photobucket
RIP Tigger          Wilbur             Totoro

User is Offline LBJ10
Forum Leader
6348 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2012 1:02 PM
Like what they physically check? I don't know of a list. Mine will look at ears, eye, teeth, feel down their body, and listen to heart/lungs.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Trying to decide about a vet

---