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Live Through a Trigger! Vet Appointment

Discussion in 'General' started by becvan, Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    I hate Cougar's vet appointments. It's not that we don't have a great vet (because we do.) It's because it raises my anxiety to really high levels. Cougar is an "anxious" or "neurotic" dog. (She is a border collie that doesn't work, need I say more?) She's had a few bad experiences at the vets (she doesn't take to pain well or being handled for that matter) and remembers them! She turns into an anxious wreck, I turn into an anxious wreck and we both shake together.

    Well they had to draw blood today (I hid in the waiting area.. I know better than to hang around for that!) so I've been fretting about this for a week! She, of course, is just fine when I'm not there!

    I just hate these appointments. I have days of anxiety over it and it takes me hours to calm down afterwards.

    However, I made it through another one! Whew. We don't go back till the fall for her shot now. Thank god.

    bec
     
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  3. Linda

    Linda Well-Known Member

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    Bec. this is a good thing that you had made it and went for an appointment! Goos for both oyu and your dog.
    Well, as a veterinary technician who worked for years with very, very sick animals (we were getting the worst cases from all state), I can say the animals certainly develop PTSD... or at least an animal version of it.
    I can easily spot a dog (with cats, it is more complicated) who had a bad experience with vets. Those dogs get very anxious, scared, and either try to bite or hide or pee and poop. The veterinary workers do know that. In some practices, they are trying to create as patient-friendly environment as possible, for example, give treats and toys. However, it does not work for some patients.
    If Cougar has very severe anxiety during vet visits, you may ask you vet for a mild tranquilizer to be given prior to a visit.
     
  4. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    Thanks Linda!

    Yes Cougar got very frightened of the vet's after her spaying surgery. Taking her home was not pretty. I had to sit on my living room floor with her for HOURS with her head in my lap. She wouldn't move and just cried. She was still heavily drugged and terrified. Hence the vet's is now a trigger for me. She's also had a few bad experiences with her nails being cut (her quick grows to the end of her nails and it's very painful for her, nevermind the bleeding issue.) So now I file her nails (no one is allowed to touch them except me.)

    The vet told me that if I wasn't her owner she would have to be permamently drugged or put down as most owners wouldn't have patience with such an anxious dog. She is anxious at home too. I say she's just like her owner! They refuse to tranq her for her visits (why not I have no idea?)

    Cougar is currently sleeping. She loses A LOT of hair and pants heavy from these appointments and afterwards needs to sleep. Takes her awhile to calm down. I know that feeling!

    The vet has tried treats and toys, they even clear out all the other animals for her! Nothing works. She just cries, shakes and tries to hide.

    I feel like a big meanie for making her do it.

    Some good news came out of it. Her new diet of homecooked food is great. She just needs a vitamin supplement so I was relived about that. I was a bit worried about her not getting enough.

    I'm making her rabbit stew today! :)

    bec
     
  5. Linda

    Linda Well-Known Member

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    Bec, I think that Cougar does have some issues more serious than just a bad experience with a spay. Surgery itself is painless as it is performed under anesthesia, and then animals are drugged to control their pain... So I do not think that this is a cause.
    Probably she had traumatic experiences before that!
    Also, dogs are very sensetive to their owners mood, and she may feel that you are emotionaly uncomfortable and thus get anxious herself.
    There is actually a solution called animal behavior therapist, but those are sooo expensive... Whe my previous dog neede one, I just could not afford it :mad:
    Well, what you may try to do is increasing her physical activity, if it is possible. If you have place where you and Cougar can take long walks, it will be beneficial for both.
    You are taking a great deal of care of her. I wish you both the best.
    And if you have any question about her, please ask, or need animal care products, please feel free to let me know, since I have acess to that stuff. I can give you my email or phone number.
    Hugs to you, kisses to Cougar
    Linda
     
  6. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    See! Now that is what I think! She's anxious because I'm anxious! And no one will listen! I figured that out when I leave her in the vets (and go hide outside to smoke to calm down) she calms right down as soon as I'm gone. Hence I'm the cause of the anxiety! *grumbles I knew I was right*

    Yes we need to walk more. She gained a "bit" of weight from our lack of exercise this winter and I know that walking her will help calm her down. You'd laugh when we walk. I'm all jittery and having anxiety attacks every three mintues and she is proud as a peacock! God forbid you come near me in an aggressive manner! Learned how protective she really is! LOL.

    I don't think Coug really needs a behavior course.. more like me! Train the owner (and the dog follows.) I did get her to stop chewing/eating everything in the house though! I was proud of that one!

    Hehe, Nic pointed out today that I take better care of my dog than myself or Matt. It's sad yet funny. Cause she's right. I will feed Matt and I soup and sandwhiches but cook for coug because of the food. So I'm making it a point to cook big meals for ALL of us.

    Okay shutting up now. And thanks so much for the offer. I have to mull over what might have been traumatic (as I can't think of anything else..)

    bec
     
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