As humans to our beautiful dogs one of the hardest things is to see them go through any kind of discomfort. Often such situations used to leave us wondering how to find that right vet for our dog, where can we take him and so on.
If you are also thinking about how to find the right vet for your dog, then read on…as this story is based on our personal experiences.
Trust is a must
Being humans to our nine-year-old boss-dog Mr. Popo, over the years we’ve met many veterinary doctors in the UAE. Some became our trustworthy, go-to people for treating our beloved dogs with empathy. One such person is Dr. Sam Westhead. Currently the Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Dubai-based Amity Veterinary Clinic. We first met Dr. Sam eight years ago. I made an emergency call to his erstwhile clinic that was routed to him, and I thank my stars for that. We felt as if Popo was choking on his chew bone and called for an emergency appointment. Dr. Sam tried to calm me down on the phone saying the dog isn’t choking from the symptoms you are mentioning. I insisted on the appointment calling it an ‘emergency’ but by the time we got to the clinic Popo was perfectly fine.
So, yes Dr. Sam was right but not for once did he say that night ‘I told you so’. Since then, he has become our go-to veterinary doctor whose approach is to help the dog first but also calm the human. It’s a rare thing we’ve realised and often this makes a huge difference because as humans we tend to panic easily [at least we do].
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Evaluate the situation carefully
In 2019 Popo had to undergo a massive surgery caused by a condition called ileus [I will do a separate post on that soon]. Obviously, we called Dr. Sam and this time it was really a massive emergency. He was in between jobs so couldn’t assist as such but supported us with his second opinion on everything. That July night was one of the longest for us as we saw our boy struggle. We rushed him to Umm Suqeim Veterinary Hospital (USV) at wee hours in the morning. And I thank my stars for taking the right decision that day.
Initially we were shaken but the way they handled Popo’s surgery and his post-operation recovery was truly remarkable. We will always be grateful to Dr. Scott and the nursing team at USV for their professionalism in handling the emergency. In fact, USV is the only 24-hour veterinary hospital in the UAE and if our experience is anything to go by, they are a great team. This incident made us realise the importance of knowing the right place for any pet emergency.
You can do as much research as you want to find the right vet for your dog but sometimes even the best may not be good enough for your pet. So, choose wisely. This might seem vague, so I’ll give you an example. If you see that your dog gets visibly anxious around a certain doctor, its best to look for a different person. Popo used to be very calm at the vet’s until he had a bad experience when the vet pinned him down roughly for an X-ray. It hurt him and he hasn’t been able to overcome the fear although we never went back to that doctor or the clinic ever again.
It’s always better to build a relationship with a doctor and a clinic so they have a clear understanding of your pet’s health and can treat accordingly. Sometimes this might be difficult especially in a place like the UAE with a transient population. In this case, do your in-depth research and talk to the community for suggestions based on their experience. Importantly, always try to have a back-up for any emergency.
Tell us about your favourite vet
Now that we’ve spoken about an important topic like ‘how to find the right vet for your dog’ tell us about which UAE-based vets you trust. And we will share the list with our PawzNRead community. After all knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied.