Owners interfering with handling

Jade

Basic Member
#1
When I was working in a vet's office as a tech/assistant, it used to drive me crazy when owners who clearly couldn't control their pets used to try to interfere with our handling techniques. Some people have an excellent handle on their animals and are able to hold them properly without getting upset about what we were doing to them, but some owners are difficult and make everything so much harder - "Ooooo, what are you doing to my Poofy?? Don't touch her like that - she doesn't like it!!" Just a friendly reminder that it's always best for both you and your pet to remain as level and calm as possible. :)
 

MeriYa

Basic Member
#2
"Ooooo, what are you doing to my Poofy??...":ROFLMAO:
It's good to remind people to remain calm when taking their animal in to see a vet. Some people might think about taking their pet to a veterinarian in the same way that some people think about going to a doctor, they get all wound up about it.

I think I'd be someone who is totally guilty of this type of behavior, but in my defense I have to say that I wouldn't be one who couldn't control the dog in the first place. I think I would have an excellent handle on a dog if I brought him or her in to be seen by a vet. The dogs I've had, other people took them in to the vet for me, so I can only guess at how I might behave if I did have to go.
 

HereSadie

Basic Member
#3
They always make it worse too because it increase the dog's panicked emotions. I've never understood why owners don't just let the professionals handle it.
 

Vinny

Staff member
#4
There's actually a whole debate on this within the industry when handling dogs during vet visits, grooming or any profession where a dog needs to be handled by a human/s (unfamiliar or familiar). There is so much we can do as humans to help dogs in situations like these to help them not feel panicked, fearful and anxious. This will all take lots of education with professionals and owners/parents. The approach is to give dogs choices and let them offer the behavior for example teaching a dog/puppy that its ok to offer the paw for nail clippings. (Desensitization/Counter Conditioning all handling)

All this is great in theory. I happen to be part of the education mission for all of us humans to try our best to take the fear out of the many situations we put our dogs into. Again this is all about socializing, training and behvaior modification. Something for everyone to think about.

Here is a hypothetical example: We take a dog into a vets office for a normal check up lets say checking nails, ears and mouth just to name a few. The dog is fearful and has a high level of anxiety (observing body language) and the Vet, vet techs and owner hold the dog down through the whole exam. The dog can associate the whole experience as bad or even traumatizing therefore we just conditioned all negative emotional responses to:

  • unfamiliar men and woman
  • vets office
  • white or blue jackets vet and vet techs wear
  • clippers
  • touching ears
  • touching mouth
  • So many possible bad associations
Some possible triggers that can be conditioned as a bad association after this one visit. Now dog goes home and he starts to growl at unfamiliar people on his walks. This can be one of many triggers of a negative conditioned emotional responses, CER.

Note: Some of the things we look at from a behavior point of view :)
 

MeriYa

Basic Member
#5
@Vinny I think a lot of it boils down to how certain people feel about animals versus how other people feel about animals. Sometimes if a tech is handling an animal, that tech and/or veterinarian is just there to do their job, collect their check and go home. They couldn't care less about the animals that they take care of, nor do they care about the feelings of the owners.
That being said, there are owners who are unreasonable to deal with and these owners may not want to acknowledge that the tech and the trained veterinarian know what they are doing. Sometimes owners feel like they know best when sometimes they do not.
 

Ryan

Basic Member
#7
The problem in this industry is the same problem with dentists, hair specialists, nurses, caregivers, and other professions dealing with patient care. There are people who are truly dedicated to their work that their professionalism is beyond their paycheck. On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who just do their jobs because they need the job and they don't actually have the passion for that job.

If I was the dog owner and I don't like how they handled my dog, then I will just find another one who will handle my dog the way I wanted it.
 

Vinny

Staff member
#8
The problem in this industry is the same problem with dentists, hair specialists, nurses, caregivers, and other professions dealing with patient care. There are people who are truly dedicated to their work that their professionalism is beyond their paycheck. On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who just do their jobs because they need the job and they don't actually have the passion for that job.

If I was the dog owner and I don't like how they handled my dog, then I will just find another one who will handle my dog the way I wanted it.

I agree so much with this statement. I feel if we ask the right questions in different ways during initial interveiw we can get a very good idea of ones passion or what they might do if your dogs does __________ (fill in the blank). Get some info on ones ideology or giwbthey might handle your dog.

It might be hard to do this with vets and vet techs because we don’t really have a chance to interview until we are in the examination room.


I always suggest to everyone to research and educated themselves before letting anyone care for their pets.

Great input....
 

Woolsy

Basic Member
#9
There are some dog owners, like me, that don't have any idea on how to properly handle our dogs in a vet's office. We only rely on what the vet or vet tech's wisdom and skill on how to groom or treat our dogs. I guess we need a checklist on how to select a good vet who will properly take care of our dogs.
 

MeriYa

Basic Member
#10
I agree so much with this statement. I feel if we ask the right questions in different ways during initial interveiw we can get a very good idea of ones passion or what they might do if your dogs does __________ (fill in the blank). Get some info on ones ideology or giwbthey might handle your dog.

It might be hard to do this with vets and vet techs because we don’t really have a chance to interview until we are in the examination room.


I always suggest to everyone to research and educated themselves before letting anyone care for their pets.

Great input....
I think also in addition to asking the right questions we should also pay attention to how our dogs act when going to or coming from a place that is supposed to be caring for the pet. If a pet is unusually agitated when it gets to a vet, or acts completely out of character around a certain tech, I think it is important to pay attention to that type of behavior. Easy going pets are usually easy going no matter where they go unless they are going to a situation where they have had a very bad experience.
A vet or tech could be really caring towards dogs but maybe one time your dog just doesn't feel like going and so therefore starts acting out once there, but if the dog acts out of character every time you take it to a certain vet, or acts strange every time you pick it up from the vet, then that is a tell that shouldn't be ignored.
 

Ryan

Basic Member
#11
but if the dog acts out of character every time you take it to a certain vet, or acts strange every time you pick it up from the vet, then that is a tell that shouldn't be ignored.
If this is the case, then I should stop bringing my dog to that place or person. We cannot change the way the vet or the vet tech handle the dog properly. On the other hand, we have all the right to choose which clinic we can go to. If the dog acts up in any vet clinic that we go to, then the dog might have the problem and not the vets.
 
#12
Unless you're an experienced dog owner, I think many of us, myself included, just don't know much about what goes on during a vet visit. Sure, I know that you need to examine my dog and possibly give her vaccinations, but when there's a problem I haven't encountered before, it can be scary for both the owner and the dog.

Maybe vet techs or the vet herself could take a little time to explain what's going to happen during a certain procedure before doing it? As long as the procedure isn't emergent, I think it's totally appropriate to prepare the dog owner for what's about to happen. This would help reduce the owner's anxiety. Since our dogs feel our emotional energy, the calmer the owner is, the calmer the dog will be.

I'm sure it's frustrating as a vet tech or a vet because you do these procedures routinely, but for a new or unexperienced dog owner, the procedure is completely foreign.

I also find that I feel calmer when I can be of help somehow - whether it's rubbing my dog's ears to help keep her calm during the procedure or just talking to her calmly to keep her anxiety down. I find if I don't have anything to do, I feel helpless and that raises my anxiety level, too.
 

MeriYa

Basic Member
#13
If this is the case, then I should stop bringing my dog to that place or person. We cannot change the way the vet or the vet tech handle the dog properly. On the other hand, we have all the right to choose which clinic we can go to. If the dog acts up in any vet clinic that we go to, then the dog might have the problem and not the vets.
We should not want to change the way the vet or vet tech handles the dog if it is done properly. Why would we?

My key words are "...if the dog acts out of character every time you take it to a certain vet..."
However, like you wrote here, if the dog acts up in any vet clinic then then yes, perhaps the dog might have the problem.
 

ZITA

Basic Member
#14
Having been on both sides of the table I can see the debate. The #1 priority of a pet owner should be the vet. Their education, experience and trust is a must. With that being said the techs really do a lot of the work, without any fanfare, especially here in NY where a tech must be licensed. In my years I have developed relationships with the staff and if I see that a tech has shown a sincere interest in my pet then it tends to build another layer of trust & a sense of comfort.

So I have requested specific techs to ease the visit as most vet visits annual or other tend to cause some level of stress in my pets. And I always let the vet know that the tech is an asset to the practice. Depending on the pet-procedure I will be very hands on or step aside. I think the average pet owner is not familiar with the responsibilities nor the amount of schooling of the tech which is probably why they interfere. Personally I use the time prior to the vet coming in to explain the reason of our visit and to also try & connect with the tech or assistant. And yes I am one of those clients that will flat out ask if you are a tech or an assistant, lol. Perhaps it is also on a client by client basis too. If you have that client that freaks out because Rover needs blood work then perhaps it's best to take Rover to a different exam room. Faster, easier on tech & so much less stress on the dog by him not picking up on the clients anxiety &-or interference.
Both sides have the same goal, to provide the best medical attention so personally I think it all boils down to communication.
 
#15
Thanks for replying, ZITA! I appreciate hearing the viewpoint of someone who sees it from both sides. If a tech or vet ever wants my help with my dog I hope they'll just ask me. I'm definitely interested in making things go smoothly.
 
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