My First Visit to a Holistic Vet (FULL STORY)
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Thread: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet (FULL STORY)

  1. #1
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultMy First Visit to a Holistic Vet (FULL STORY)

    Oh, my my my. That was...well that was just insane. :

    I should start by saying, this experience in no way dampens my enthusiasm for holistic medicine and/or alternative therapies. I take herbs myself. I also dabble in Feng Shui and have an acupuncturist. I have practiced yoga and attended holistic fairs. The point being, I am very open to different, unconventional modalities. So, when I start thinking, "This is just too kooky," you have probably slipped WAY, way off the deep end.

    So. My appointment, as I said, was at 5:30. I had never been to this place so I left in plenty of time to get a bit lost. Well, it was easy to find. Right on a very busy and fast road, tiny little parking lot. I was extremely nervous about getting Angus out of the car right beside what amounted to interstate traffic.

    The "clinic" (if you can even call it that) was in what used to be a log cabin. This should have been charming, but everything about the place felt incredibly dated. It felt like I was taking my dog to a roadside bar for an exam. ??? Their scale looked like something from the 18th century. Because Angus is very bright and obedience trained I was able to get him on it, but honestly, I don't know how they talk the average dog into this.

    Anyway. I fill out some paperwork, and I wait. Then, I wait some more. And finally, I wait even longer. > It's not all bad, though. The people in the waiting room are positively amazed at how "smart" Angus is. I don't even think he's acting all that fantastic - in my rush to get there on time (so I could sit in their waiting room for an hour), I had walked out and forgotten his treats. So, I have no cash to pay him with, and as such I'm getting only lukewarm performance at best. But it's still enough to knock the socks off the waiting room crowd. They can't get over a dog who sits when he is told. Very easily entertained, these people.

    Finally I am called back. The vet tech looks very much like Mary Catherine Gallagher from SNL, only with blonde hair. She, and the rest of the vet techs, all wear the same expression. How many of you remember the Manson murders in the sixties? Remember the vacant expression of all his disciples? That spooky, "My lights are on but nobody's home" look in their eyes? {shudder}

    So, one of the Mansonettes briefly examines Angus. Her movements are very, very slow and deliberate. The way you would approach, say, a mouse if you were trying to catch it. No sudden movements. I wonder if she has had any previous experience with domesticated animals. ??? Very, very odd. I wonder how much of this is for show to make her appear like some sort of mystical healer. : I am not mystified. All the Mansonettes have this demeanor with Angus. It is really creeping me out. It seems to creep Angus out a little too.

    At last, the vet arrives. He looks...scruffy. :

    He talks very briefly about Angus, who is on the other side of the table, and as best I remember the vet never even laid hands on him except to pat his head once. ??? I was expecting to spend a lot of time talking about previous problems, Angus' history, our goals, etc. Instead, he launched immediately into a lecture about how horrible I am to feed kibble. And I am not feeding Ol' Roy. : Anyway, it is nothing earth-shattering and certainly nothing I don't already know and haven't already thought about. Right off the bat, he puts me on the defense with his ridiculing tone. >

    He did look at Angus long enough to notice his pink nose. This was the only thing specific to Angus we talked about. He said, "So tell me about the pigment in his nose." I said, "Well, it's very common in yellow Labs. It's called 'snow nose.' Their nose turns pink during the winter. Often, as they get older, it stays pink longer and longer." The Mansonettes become mildly agitated, and begin to shift in their seats and exchange knowing glances and vacant grins. The vet set me straight, so I'm here to set you all straight. There is no such thing as "snow nose." It is, in fact, a mineral deficiency. Apparently it was really stupid of me not to realize this. :

    The Mansonettes' job, while the vet lectures me about the evils of kibble and snow nose, is to sit around me in a half circle and stare directly into my eyes. This is when they earned their nickname. There they are, vacant, unblinking stares, directly into my eyes. It is as though they are trying to get a "reading" on me. Or hoping to hypnotize me into believing this crap. Or maybe they are watching for signs of violence and have instructions to stop me if I try to attack the vet. Either way, it is extremely annoying. >

    Oh, but it is about to get MUCH more interesting...

    The next part of the exam involves kinesiology. This is his very special area of expertise. What it entails, basically, is holding a pill on Angus' neck, and Angus tells us whether or not he wants that pill. ??? This may sound a bit silly, but it is actually very scientific. The vet tech puts the pill on Angus' neck and extends an arm outward. The vet says aloud the name of the pill (so Angus will know what type of pill it is). Then he pushes down on the vet tech's extended arm. Based on the amount of resistance the vet tech feels, we can get a very accurate reading of whether Angus needs this pill or not. See! Brilliant! : All this is done with very intense concentration, and a few huffs and puffs thrown in to underscore what important work this is.

    Dosage is determined the same way. The vet says aloud, "1 pill, three times a day." Push. "1 pill, two times a day." Push. We narrow it down to an exact dosage. This method works, presumably, because Angus has a very keen understanding of the words "pill," and "day," and he can also count. : : :

    So we go through this little magic show for at least an hour, over a hundred different pills' worth. I am able to feign interest in the beginning, but towards the end I am becoming very, very cranky. I am two and a half hours past my dinner, and beginning to melt down. At first I glance at my watch, in an attempt to get across the message in a subtle way. By the end of our visit, I am twisting my entire body around to pointedly look at the clock on the wall behind me. My cell phone is ringing every half hour. Kevin is worried. I am worried too. I wonder if this will ever be over. Is this going to be my new life? Hungry, tired and surrounded by Mansonettes? :'(

    I have very little recollection of the last half hour or so of the visit. Just bits and pieces. I think we went over each of the more than 100 pills he had put on Angus' neck and what they were used for. It was mind-numbingly boring. I stood at the front desk and silently prayed for the receptionist to please hurry up before I ended up passed out in a corner, drooling on myself. I remember calling Kevin from the parking lot and telling him I was on my way, and to make rice for me please. I finished my dinner at 9:30 pm.

    I came out of there with a bill for $280. It was $75 to be ridiculed, $60 for the magic show, and the rest was all the supplements it is going to take to keep Angus alive, apparently. : I was really miffed about the supplements, but to be fair, it is not that he recommended completely stupid things. The ones I wasn't as familiar with I looked up, and I think those have some validity as well. It was just the whole "smoke and mirrors" method of arriving at these conclusions. : I would rather have just sat and talked about Angus, and about which supplements would be beneficial to him and why.

    Bottom line: Not going back. One other observation: Angus was very, very popular and very much admired by the other patrons. He is indeed a nice-looking boy, but I'm not sure he was deserving of all the carrying on that was happening. But what it was is, everyone in there really had dogs that, sadly, were in extremely bad shape. Some were quite old, others were quite sick. We saw a 180 lb. Lab on our way out. Could barely walk, and had apparently just had some kind of hip surgery. I just wanted to cry...he should have been about the size of Angus.

    I just don't think Angus is all *that* sick. :

    Please tell me you enjoyed my story. It cost me a lot of money!!!!

    ********

    It is 9:30 and I just had dinner. My appointment was at 5:30.

    Here are the Cliffs notes: NUT JOB!

    Full story tomorrow. I'm just too tired. :


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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  3. #2
    MyLabsMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    Brenda from Connecticut

  4. #3
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    Quote Originally Posted by MyLabsMom
    Indeed!

    Hoo boy. It's going to be a good post, I'll say that.

    But don't get discouraged! I still firmly believe in holistic medicine. Just not this guy.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    penzpurlz is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    OK Connie....I'll be watching tomorrow. If I don't see it before work...I'll check in tomorrow nite looking for the "hol" story.
    Penny from Sunny Southern California

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    Ohhhh NO, Connie!!!! :-[

    Wanna come see our guy??

    PS. I can't WAIT for your post!!

  8. #6
    hark67 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    I can't wait to hear the details. I went the holistic route many years ago with Huckle. At the time he was suffering with chronic staph infections and severe folliculitis. I was at my wits end. The Keflex was costing a fortune and the long term steroid was scaring me, not to mention not helping with Huckle's eating disorder(He had 2 bowel surgeries for foreign objects before he was 2) The holistic vet was my last resort to try and get off these meds.

    I spent a fortune there and every time I went back he was no better. The vet would just say "he is no worse either!" and then she would suggest changing how many sugar tabs I was giving him or adjust what time they needed to be given(timing was VERY specific!) I think she was a bit of a nut job too!


  9. #7
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    Don't get discouraged, Connie.

    Remember the whole hoopla last spring about Gabby being diagnosed with hip dysplasia with borderline x-rays? And a series of vets having her on Metacam (and Rimadyl and a series of drugs that made her have diarrhea in the house)?

    I don't think I posted about what happened because it was so close to our law school finals- but I took her to an amazing holistic, chiropractic vet that we have here. When I was riding professionally, she treated some of the horses in our barn and something went off in my mind - huh, maybe she could help Gabby.

    She requested the x-rays beforehand and looked at them. I walked in and she said "your dog has something else going on besides HD." Gabby was having problems going on long walks and couldn't jump up and down off of things at this point- but she adjusted Gabby's back and Gabby hopped right off the table. We've gone back twice for re-checks and it's been great.

    Here's her website if you want to look: http://www.petbodybuilders.com/

    I am actually quite skeptical about a lot of holistic medicine (particularly herbal, since it's not well studied)- but I really think if you get the right person, it can really make a huge difference. It has for Gabby. I hope you find someone!


  10. #8
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    Quote Originally Posted by henrysmom
    Ohhhh NO, Connie!!!! :-[

    Wanna come see our guy??

    PS. I can't WAIT for your post!!
    Yes, I DO want to come see your guy. I am green with envy. Your experience sounded a "hol" ( penpurlz) lot different than ours!


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  11. #9
    Di
    Di is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    Oh crap I have to work a 10hr. shift tomorrow! Looking forward the story- sorry it didnt work out!

  12. #10
    lablimo is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: My First Visit to a Holistic Vet

    Oh, Connie, I'm so sorry. I cannot wait to hear what happened.

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