Monday, June 6, 2011

Mina's Tooth and a New Vet

Now that I will never ever go to the Animal Wellness Center again, I recently was faced with the challenge of finding a new vet.

Mina decided, in her infinite wisdom and glory, to chew on her nylabone so hard that part of her upper, left canine abandoned ship, flying across my office and skidding to a halt in front of my file cabinet.

Seriously, Mina?

We take the sanctuary chickens and turkeys to the Animal Medical Center in Auburn, which is about 30 minutes from where I live. So I decided to try them out.

What a world of difference!

The front office staff - and I met several of them - were very kind, polite and respectful.

When Mina and I were led to the exam room, upon discovering Mina was 12.5 years-strong, the tech immediately swept out of the room and returned with a blanket for Mina. "We don't want our older dogs to sit on the hard floor with their creaky bones!"

Mina agreed and promptly sat down upon the blanket.

As the tech left the room, she looked at Mina and said, "Best. Breed. Ever." I heart you, is what my mind said. My mouth just said, yes.

Dr. Rich Johnson was the vet Mina and I saw. He immediately got on the ground with Mina and introduced himself. Mina thought this was fabulous and stared deeply into his eyes,  imploring more attention.

He looked at the tooth and laid out all the options. There was no "let's do this" or "this is the best", it was a "these are your options for scenarios a, b, and c." I liked that a lot. He was very happy to answer my questions and never gave me the impression he needed to rush to his next appointment (which is something that happened at the previous vet).

The nerve ending is not exposed in Mina's tooth, so I decided to monitor it and make sure the sharp edges were not cutting her and she wasn't showing any signs of pain. So far, so good. I prefer this immensely to either grinding or removing the tooth.

I did not go into detail about the experience I had at the last vet, but I did mention having a bad experience regarding Mina and her lumps. He made a point to state his availability, that the techs and office staff are pretty tenacious when it comes to getting him to contact a client, and that he takes very seriously the communication between vet and client.

He also likes Animal Place, treated one of our turkeys, and is hoping to stop by for a tour. So he is the man, in my book.

It also only cost $38. I have never left the Animal Wellness Center with a bill that cheap. Not even for a general check-up.

Oh, and he thought Mina was 8-9, and she has an athlete's heart. This inspired Mina to try and leap up into his lap. But he was too high, so she settled for the front paws and the deeply profound, baleful stare that would topple canine nations if canines ruled the world.

The only downside, so far as I can see is the waiting room and the hallway to the exam room does not lend itself to dogs with leash reactivity issues. But the pros far outweigh this manageable con.

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