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12 Things Your Vet Won’t Tell You

1. “People always ask, ‘How do you handle pit bulls and rottweilers and big German shepherds?’ The truth is, the dogs that scare me most are the little Chihuahuas. They’re much more likely to bite.”-Mark Howes, DVM, owner and medical director of Berglund Animal Hospital in Evanston, Illinois

2. “We know when you’re twisting the facts. If your dog has a five-pound tumor hanging from his skin, please don’t tell me it wasn’t there yesterday.”-Phil Zeltzman, DVM, a traveling veterinary surgeon in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the author of Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound.

3. “Most hospitals keep comprehensive records of behaviour-of both your pet and you! If you are aggressive to the staff, you will be treated differently.”-Oscar Chavez, DVM, program director for the vet tech program at California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, California.

4. “Looking for a way to say thank you to your vet? Last year, one pet owner gave us a check for $100, saying we could use it at our discretion for an animal in need. That was a wonderful gift.”-Patty Khuly, VMD, a vet in Miami, Florida.

5. “We’re a vet hospital, not a dog hotel. People will get upset because their dog got a sheet instead of two fluffy blankets or because their dog didn’t get hand-fed. We’re just trying to get your dog better so he can come home and you can spoil him.”-Jessica Stout-Harris, a vet tech.

6. “The reason your pet is fat is because you are too. I would never say that to someone in an exam room, but the fact of the matter is, if you have an owner who overeats and is inactive, they are very likely to have an obese pet.”-Oscar Chavez, DVM.

7. “Here’s a pet peeve: owners who don’t want to pay for diagnostic tests but then cop an attitude because you don’t know what’s wrong with the animal. Since you wouldn’t let me do the blood work or X-rays, how the heck do you expect me to know?”-A vet in South Carolina.

8. “If you’re visiting your pet in the hospital, and we say something along the lines of ‘OK, it’s time to let Fluffy sleep now,’ often what we really mean is that you’re in our way, and we’re trying to treat other patients.”-Jessica Stout-Harris.

9. “I understand the value of dog parks, but I personally wouldn’t take my dog there. We see a lot of dogs who were injured at dog parks.”-Rachel Simpson, a vet tech at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos, California.

10. “Every time I save a life, every time I fix a patient, that makes everything worth it. And I love it when a client says, ‘I wish my physician would treat me as nice as you treat my pets.’”-Phil Zeltzman, DVM.

11. “A lot of veterinarians have told me matter-of-factly that they still don’t use painkillers for procedures that we know are painful. They think that dogs and cats don’t need it or that feeling pain after surgery is good because it keeps them from moving around too much. But research has shown that pets who are in less pain heal faster, sleep better, and don’t move around as much.”-Dennis Leon, DVM, director at Levittown Animal Hospital in Long Island, New York.

12. “At a veterinary meeting I attended, it came to light that more than half the vets there had not licensed their dogs, which is required by local law.