You arrive at Dupont Veterinary Clinic nervous about how your appointment is going to go, because your pet has been vomiting all night and has been unusually tired at home. You know it is important to see your veterinarian, but you are worried about your pet’s anxiety level since he or she is not a big fan of visiting the vet. Your pet’s constant whining and pacing in the waiting area is adding to your increasing level of stress.
You are put at ease when you are greeted by our friendly and enthusiastic receptionist who knows your pet by name. The recognition and the familiarity comforts you some and you start to feel a little bit better.
You are escorted back to an exam room by a veterinary technician that asks a series of questions about your pet and the reason for your visit. You answer the questions to the best of your knowledge, but are anxiously watching your pet’s mounting level of tension.
The veterinarian enters the room in a few minutes and performs a full “head-to-tail” physical exam and discusses your pet’s clinical signs with you. The doctor recommends lab work and radiographs (x-rays) to help determine the cause of your pet’s clinical signs.
The doctor is starting to help ease your anxiety when they mention that they are going to take your pet to “the back” or to “the treatment” area to run these additional tests. Your heart sinks as you relapse back to your anxious state.
“What does the doctor mean by “the back”?,” you anxiously wonder. “Is my pet going to be alright on his own?”
The majority of pet owners have heard the phrase, “the back,” during one of their visits. We are providing full disclosure to our clients to help them understand why this part of the exam is necessary.
Here is a photo of our actual treatment area, where there are three extra exam tables with surgical lights (better light than in the exam room), water, extra supplies for blood draws, bandaging, diagnostics, etc. There are more technicians here to help your doctor run blood tests, take care of your pet, and even to help with x-rays. The treatment area allows the staff to work together as a team to tend to your pet much more efficiently. The treatment area is often a busy place, but it can also be quickly converted into one of the quietest rooms for those extra nervous pets. With better lighting, bigger exam tables, and more staff to help your doctor, this is why the treatment area can be superior to the exam room when helping treat your pet.
Some pets are actually calmer away from their owners, which makes it easier to perform a thorough physical exam, draw blood, or provide the treatment that they need. This allows the veterinarian and veterinary technicians to accomplish tasks more efficiently and safely, while reducing stress for your pets.
If your pet needs to come to “the back” for x-rays this is another room off of our treatment area (far back right in the treatment area photo) that is quieter and darker for the highest quality x-rays. Here is a photo of our x-ray area where your pet will be escorted.
In our treatment area we also have a full lab, where we can run the majority of your pet’s diagnostics, such as in-house lab work or cytology (to look at ear infections, masses/growths, skin infections, etc.). Here is a photo of our lab area (back right of the treatment area photo) where your veterinarian and veterinary technicians will be busy running your pet’s diagnostics to more efficiently and effectively diagnose your pet.
We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic hope that by providing full disclosure and visuals of our treatment area, owner’s minds will be put at ease when their pets need to be escorted out of the exam room for further treatment or diagnostics. We aim to provide the highest quality of care for your pets as we know they are an important part of your family… and ours!
By Ashley Dawes, DVM
The 4th of July is a time to prepare the barbecue and Oooh and Aaah at the “rockets’ red glare”. While this holiday may be one of our favorites, it can be a very dangerous or stressful time for our pets. It is important to consider how our pets may react during the 4th of July festivities, especially during the fireworks show. Our pets may be content around a lot of people and commotion, but it is common for pets to become stressed or anxious during really loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks. We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic have a few tips for you and your ‘fur family’ so you can enjoy a safe and happy holiday.
During the fireworks show it is best to keep pets inside where it is quieter and they can feel safe. If your pet is crate trained, keeping them in their crate with or without a blanket lying over the top can help them feel more secure. Drowning out the outdoor noise with a T.V. or radio turned on while your pet is inside can also be soothing for them. If your pet becomes anxious during thunderstorms or fireworks it is best to not encourage their anxiety. For example, owners should remain calm and go about their day so the pet doesn’t feed off of the owner’s anxiety. Often times if the owner is anxious, the pet will become even more anxious as they sense that there is something to fear. During the 4th of July, numerous pets go missing each year. This is because they become anxious and try to flee, which is why keeping them indoors where they are safe is often best. Anti-anxiety medications can be very helpful to get anxious pets through this noisy holiday. Call or stop by Dupont Veterinary Clinic to speak with your veterinarian about whether or not adding anti-anxiety medications is right for your pet. Thundershirts are also helpful for pets during storms or fireworks as the snug-fitting jacket helps to swaddle and comfort your pet during times of stress. Thundershirts can be found at Dupont Veterinary Clinic, so bring Sparky by to find the right fit for him!
Fireworks aren’t the only hazard for pets at this time of year. S’mores left out by the campfire or food near the barbeque can also be dangerous for your pet as they can lead to stomach irritation or obstruction of their intestinal tract. Toxic foods for pets include chocolate, grapes or raisins, avocados, onions, alcohol, macadamia nuts, and xylitol (a sugar-free sweetener found in gum, some candy, and some foods). Glow in the dark wrist bands or necklaces, while not toxic, can cause significant stomach or intestinal irritation if ingested by your pet. If you’re barbequing ribs or Buffalo wings this 4th, remember to keep the left over bones out of reach of your pets. These bones are often not digested and can cause serious stomach or intestinal blockage.
We hope these tips and tricks will help to keep you and your fur-kids safe and happy this 4th of July. Please fee free to call Dupont Veterinary Clinic at 637-7676 to speak with your veterinarian about what is best for you and your pets over this holiday. We are always here to help.