Open Thread
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Special Guest: Veterinarian Nancy Kay

We’ve moved our open thread to Friday this week, so we can feature special guest Dr. Nancy Kay, a veterinarian, regular Bark contributor, and author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life. Nancy will be stopping by our open thread this afternoon. (If you can’t be here then, feel free to leave a question for Nancy and check back, or join the real-time conversation on any subject that suits your fancy in the meantime.)
Nancy is eager to talk about the veterinarian-client relationship, sharing hard-won insight into everything from saving money on your vet bills to setting reasonable expectations of your vet to getting the most out of check-ups and much more. While she can speak generally to health issues, she won’t be giving specific medical advice or making diagnoses.
A staff internist at VCA Animal Care Center, a 24-hour emergency/specialty care center in Rohnert Park, Calif., Nancy was selected by the American Animal Hospital Association to receive the 2009 Hill’s Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award and she was also the recipient of the 2011 Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award.
Newcomers, the open thread is a little like the dog park: Get out there and run, sniff around and play nice. Obscene, abusive, offensive or commercial comments will be taken down. We close the thread at 4 p.m. PST.

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Submitted by Lisa | May 13 2011 |

I was visiting my family in a town 200 miles away and ended up rescuing a dog. While there, I went to my sister's vet and learned that the 1 year old dog is Heartworm +. We talked about treatment options, but left things open. I returned to *my* town and took the dog to *my* vet to discuss HW treatment as well. The protocol was pretty much the same, however *my* vet bill is estimated at $1,000 while the other vet (who treats a LOT of HW) gave me an estimate of $350. I'm trying to come to terms with the price difference and think of it as going with the best price (all else being equal). However, I don't want to alienate *my* vet by going to a different vet for treatment.

I got a line item cost estimate from *my* vet, and the shots are priced lots higher. Would I be out of line to just gently say that I need to go to the other vet to save resources for expenses the dog might have? Obviously, I want to be able to go to *my* vet in case the dog has any problems ...but I'm worried that I'm asking too much.

PS...How much time do you allow between the last oral HW preventative and the first of three injections? Both of my vets gave me different answers. One said "one week" and the other said "one month". Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Submitted by Lisa Wogan | May 13 2011 |

Thanks everyone, and especially Nancy Kay, for joining us today. We'll be back with the open thread as usual on Wednesday.

Submitted by Dottie | May 14 2011 |

I was walking my dog, when two small black cairn terriers came out of the bushes and attacked him. They didn't hurt him except pulled out some of his hair. Since that time he is afraid of dogs. Other than that he is a great little dog. What can I do to make him more comfortable around dogs?

Submitted by Ross Sears | May 17 2011 |

I had my pug dog to the vets for all his hots and when he came home he had a blood stain between his eyes and was very uneasy my question do they draw blood from that area. thank you Ross

Submitted by KJ | May 21 2011 |

My 11 year old Rottie is in excellent health but has developed a habit in the last couple of weeks of licking a spot on one of his front legs. I cannot find anything wrong, have washed it good but he has licked til the hair is coming off. Any ideas what is causing this and what I can do. Right now I have neosporin under a gauze bandage on it.


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