Thanks for all of your responses. I think a lot of good points were made. I really hadn't thought too much about the fact that Cavaliers are really not all that common in the U.S.. Where I live there are a decent number of them. In fact, there is a local dog park that has a monthly Cavalier Day and at least 40-50 show up every time. That said I could see how many vets wouldn't be all that knowledgeable about the breed and the specific diseases/conditions that they suffer from. My vet seemed to know quite a bit about Cavs, especially stuff relating to MVD....not quite as much in regard to SM, but she is very willing to do research and has referred me to specialists more than once for my cats and our dog before Lucy, so I can't imagine she would resist if I asked her for a referral if I felt she couldn't meet our needs. I do believe there are some not so great vets around and have had some negative experiences with two large (corporate type) vet hospitals. I would never go to another multi-location pet hospital again...they just don't off much as far as I can tell. But, I am rather happy with our current vet, which only has 3 doctors. That said, I would have no problem asking questions if I felt I wasn't getting the answers I needed nor would I stay with a practice that I felt wasn't doing a good job.
This is interesting to me - Dr. Axlund the neurosurgeon in our region, came from Auburn U and when he performed decompression surgery on Charlie, he used some of Charlie's body fat to cover the area where the bone was removed. I don't think he used pig tissue at the site, though, so that's probably a newer technique.
Originally Posted by Shay
Another point I wanted to make about vet care is our situation; we take our dogs to a large group practice, where several of the individual vets have special areas of interest. So when one of our dogs has a problem that falls into one of the special areas of interest, I make an appointment with that vet. They all have access to all of our records, so I don't have to worry about them not having all the needed information at their fingertips. Just for example, one vet does all the dentals, one does all the orthopedic surgeries, one does opthalmology, one does acupunture, and one does all the endoscopy. There are more specialties related to breeding as well. I've had good results with all of them; except for 1-2 of the younger vets overlooked an ear issue, and I later found from the OSU dermatologist that India had yeast in her ears, which was then cleared up. We have chosen a short list of 3-4 vets that we will go to when there is a serious problem with one of the dogs, and they have never let us down.
I have noticed that sometimes I suggest what I am willing to pay for; for example when India hurt herself playing, and they don't find anything conclusive on examination, I'll tell them I'd feel better if they took an x-ray. (When other people might just go home and watch their dogs for worsening symptoms) Or when Chocs had an abscessed anal gland I asked for her to be given something for pain and for the abscess to be lanced.
Kathy...When I first got Lily, Dr Axlund was the neuro at Auburn. He is supposed to be one of the best. When I did take Lily last year, I didn't know that he was no longer there. They told me he was in Ohio?? Is that where you live? I do think the pig tissue is fairly recent, and Dr Shores came up with that, with excellent results so I'm told. I really can't say enough about the Drs at Auburn, and feel fortunate to have them so close. The neuro I am seeing this week for Lily's latest episode is from there, so I feel really good about that, and am so happy that we now have a neuro in town as well.
Shay, Dr. Axlund has been in Ohio for a few years at Metropolitan Animal Hospital in Akron, Ohio. He performed neurosurgery on Charlie back in 2007. He is very kind and easy to talk to.
Scroll down on this page, and you'll see him:
Thanks Cathy...what a fine group of doctors you have in Akron, all with very impressive resumes. I wish we had a neuro clinic here, but thankful at least we finally have a neuro at our Specialty Animal Clinic, if only 2 days per week.