Being a future doggy parent I began my research into the breed I had chosen, the beautiful full of awesome personality, Yorkshire Terrier. Looked at foods available and suggested and general health regarding that breed. And of course a vet with a good reputation in my neighbourhood.
The thing we think and assume, making an ass out of u and me (will never forget a visiting Police officer telling my law class that in high school) is vets must have a nutritional understanding and education when it comes to the animals they are treating and they keep up to date with veterinary practices, research and protocols. I mean they sell the foods in their practices, right, they must know all about it!
I was feeling really blessed to find a vet that was a 10 minute walk from my front door, had extended hours and was open seven days a week. I could email him questions, pop in and my new dog could become familiar with the smell of the place to reduce stress on annual visits. A few neighbours I spoke to seemed to really like him. This is all amazing.
Wonderful, right, well, you would think!
My initial issue with this vet was vaccinations. The parvo and distemper should according to vaccination protocol be given at least 4 weeks after the previous shots were administered, rabies 4 weeks after that.
I took Teegy, say hello to Teegy ,for his annual round of shots and he gave the rabies, parvo and distemper all at once. Of course I asked, “doesn’t protocol say that you should be giving them all 4 weeks apart?”. Don’t think you shouldn’t ask, lots of people think because the vet says or does it, then you just be happy with it and move on. This is your dog, this is your money, this is your right to ask.
His response was “Ya I guess I could give them at different times if that’s what you want?”. Wow, ***strike one***.
I wasn’t happy with the food, Royal Canin puppy, I had to feed as per Teegy’s health guarantee from the breeder. Teegy had really bad staining on the eyes and upon checking out the ingredients, I didn’t actually see any whole meats or anything of a natural nature. A friend recommended Wellness puppy, better and he seemed to like it. For adult food I had taken my research further and chose Orijen, it was not full of crap, was sourced and made in Canada and he looooooved it. At the same time I had seen a lot of information on raw feeding. The more I read the more I was truly considering it. It’s 100% natural, the dogs digestive system is built for it, let’s ask the Vet.
He was absolutely against raw diet and raw meaty bones. The Vet owned a pit bull and said he would never ever feed them raw meat or bones. I just couldn’t understand why not.
Issue number two, Yorkshire Terriers and toy breeds in general are prone to what is called Luxating Patella . Basically this is a floating kneecap, where it pops in and out causing pain and discomfort to the animal.
My dog had no knee issues, but this Vet kept pulling and stretching my dogs legs over and over and saying oh did you hear that. Each visit he did this and I wanted to punch his face in to be perfectly honest. I thought if you did that to my legs continually I bet they’d pop too. Then tells me that oh it’s getting progressive, can you hear that pop. I had to say, mine would too, and explain my dog has never shown any LP issues.
At this stage he was grating on my last nerve.
His constant stuffing of my dog with more liver treats in one visit than I gave him in a week, was not helping my mood either.
The final straw was the last appointment for shots and a checkup, Teegy had a bit of plaque on his teeth which he addressed. I pointed out that I brush his teeth every couple of days with the toothpaste I purchase from the vet surgery. Several options were presented to me, 1.) I can clean his teeth for $900.00 2.) I have special dental diets available for this.
My response to option 1.) contained expletives and option 2.) was an absolutely not as the ingredient list in those foods sounds like a chemistry lab. I told him I would go home and google commercially available options for cleaning dogs teeth. He told me there were none available, but he could order me a special one from California through Guelph (this is the where the veterinary college is in Ontario). I said no thanks.
Another discussion happened where he mentioned his dog was on pills containing glucosomine for joint health. I asked him if he’d ever considered feeding his dog cow trachea or chicken feet as they contained chondroitin and glucosomine. This guy hadn’t even heard of this and I said I bet your dog would enjoy those more than a pill.
I really felt at this time my Vet was no longer meeting my needs the more I was learning every day. We had completely different ideas of what a healthy balanced diet for a dog should consist of and his obvious closed mindedness toward many things I was considering certainly didn’t help.
I started asking my dog owner friends some questions about how they care for their dogs and how they view their health and diet.
My friends Wayne and Alana had been telling me about their holistic Vets (turned out to be the same fella, Dr. Paul McCutcheon). I spoke to my Vet about the more natural approach to health instead of throwing antibiotics and steroids at everything, how did he feel about that. He completely poopooed it, stating it didn’t work and it wasn’t something he had any interest in learning.
I decided it was time to research East York Animal Clinic http://www.eastyorkanimalclinic.com/content/home.
I found that Dr Paul McCutcheon had written a book showing the correlation of stresses to that of an animals health. I bought it and read it and had a better idea of the approach to the animals entire being rather than a quick fix for the ailment that had surfaced.
It was time to book that introductory appointment and find out all about it. They give you the opportunity to meet with them for an hour, explaining their methodology and their approach to your animals health.
When it comes down to it, we all want the best for our dogs and other pets. Be the master of your domain and do not feel bullied or pressured into settling for decisions that don’t feel right in your gut. Do some research, question your Vet about everything, it’s your time and money and your animal’s health that’s in question. Talk to your friends and fellow dog owners, join groups on facebook and yahoo groups. Get informed. The internet is a powerful tool. Be open minded and be cautious.
I wanted to share with you some of the information I did find when I went home and did my research on Dental Products for Dogs.
There are several over the counter products or that you can order online that I encountered:
Leba III – http://www.lebalab.com/
HealthyMouth – https://www.healthymouth.com/Articles.asp?ID=246
These all work, they are very inexpensive compared to a $900 cleaning.
Another thing I have also discovered in my recent adventure in raw eating, which I will share, my dogs love pork back ribs. One pork rib contains enough meat for a one meal serving and the knawing and chewing of the pork back rib is the best toothbrush I have found to date.
Big woofs to you and I will be back with an introduction to Teegy and Tufty.