But anyways! Then came the physical exam, which was considerably harder. First he checked her for fleas, which I could have told him that she had. We picked up some particularly stubborn - and freaking mammoth - fleas in Georgia a few weeks ago and I just can't seem to get rid of them. I told him that Ava has reactions to everything that I've tried on her and explained that I bathe her and use citrus oils to keep the fleas at bay. I didn't explain the diatomaceous earth though, especially since I tried to explain it before and he was doubtful and tried to sell me Frontline. He tried to sell me Frontline this time too - which not only doesn't work but causes Ava to react. Then he checked her eyes, ears, mouth, etc and she absolutely flipped out. She wasn't trying to bite him or anything, just backing up and bobbing her head whenever he tried to hold onto her head. She's never done it before but apparently now I'm gonna have to work on it with her...
And then came the jabs. They're my least favorite part of every exam and I don't even get them. Ugh. My vet isn't exactly holistic like I'd love, but there aren't any around here. He's not terribly vax heavy, but he still utilizes them much more than I, in my nonprofessional and internet-educated opinion, would ever use. I try to be really polite and all, but I really do feel like a bitch at times. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not going in there and demanding this and that. But I do think that I know a decent amount on the subject, more than the average patient for sure, and I realize that I have some unconventional views on the subject. But no matter how much I might know about it, the reality is that I'm the most timid, shy, unconfident person you'll meet. I find it very hard to speak my mind about something, even if I know exactly what I'm talking about and I'm talking to someone who knows less than me. So it really is hard for me to speak up and debate with the vet about this every time I go to see him. But I do. Every single time.
This time he wanted to give either the lepto booster or a puppy booster. First, she had one lepto shot when we had a lepto scare last fall. I wouldn't ever let him give it to her in the combination shot because it has such a high reaction rate, especially since she seems to be a particularly sensitive doggy. She had a fever and was really lethargic for a few days after the first shot, so she never got the second one. And she's never getting boostered for it. So I told him that was out. Then he said that she was due a "distemper and parvo" booster, so I asked if he had just a distemper booster. Apparently the only way he can get it is mixed with parvo, which was fine with me. Then I was like, "So, its just distemper and parvo? Not both of those mixed with everything else?" His answer? "Oh, well, we only have it in the 5 shot combo with -insert rambling of other needless vax here- in it." So my thoughts were that I was going to agree to a distemper shot and have the rest of them thrown in as bonuses? Very glad that I asked! I told him that I'd skip the booster and have her titered in a few years to see if I thought it was necessary. He said he wouldn't booster her, but he "strongly advised against it" and that his dogs would definitely be getting their boosters. Well, mine won't. I asked him if it was the same shot that she got last year and he said that yes, it was the exact same shot that she received last year with no side effects. So then I asked, "If its the same shot, why did it only 'last' one year last time and will supposedly 'last' three years this time?" He then explained that the reasons puppies get several rounds of shots is to boost their immunity and catch their system right as the mother's antibodies are disappearing. Then he said that the yearly shot was to booster their system and that it lasted three years. Which totally didn't answer my question, but okay. Uhm, she still wasn't getting it. Right before we left, I asked him if she was old enough to start agility and he said yes, but then added that he would never let his dogs take agility classes or obedience classes without being up to date on all of their vaccinations. I smiled, said thank you, and cued Ava for the door while my inner smartass responded in my head.
So remember everyone! Just say no to toxic jabbings!