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A case for veterinary "well" visits.

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Robert, Aug 24, 2011.

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  1. Robert

    Robert New Member 5 Year Member

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    I just wanted to write a quick post about why I feel veterinary care, especially a well visit upon acquiring a new tortoise, is a good idea.

    (I understand that this is potentially a debatable topic, and so moderators can move it if they wish to do so.)

    For me, annual well visits to the vet are routine for all of our pets. Annual well visits are also routine for all of my children.

    My family recently acquired a male Sulcata. He is roughly seven years old weighs 32.5 pounds. By all accounts, he appeared to arrive to us in very healthy condition. We chose to take him to the vet for a well visit.

    Upon meeting the vet, we provided a record of what he eats, pictures of his enclosures, average temps in his enclosures, and any history that we knew about him. The vet asked some questions and we had a nice 50 minute visit in which our vet got to know Sid a little. She has met our two leopard torts and is familiar with our husbandry. She did a fecal and Sid tested positive for fluke and pin worms. She gave us the option to treat, and we did so. Overall a nice visit.

    Now some would say that was an unnecessary visit and an unnecessary expense.

    This past week, we woke up to find that Sid was just not acting like himself. He jaw appeared swollen on one side and he was acting a bit lethargic. The next day, the swelling on his jaw had doubled in size. Erin called the vet and described the circumstance. She asked for Erin to email a picture of Sid's swollen bump. Due to the fact that she had already met Sid and examined Sid on a well visit, we were able to save LOTS of time and energy. We didn't have to answer questions about our husbandry, temps, diet, anything. Our vet already had 95% of the info she needed and she was able to compare Sid's current condition against the baseline that she had established at the well visit. She was then able to treat accordingly.

    For me, having that type of relationship with our vet is valuable and exceeds the cost of the well visit. Instead of calling up a random vets office, frantically trying to find a vet that treats exotics, we were able to make a quick call to someone that knows Sid personally. That provides me with great peace of mind and is of great value.

    Now is it necessary for everyone? That part is certainly debatable. For me, a person that is new to tortoises and reptile husbandry, it is worth it. At the least, I recommend any new reptile owner find a vet that treats exotics and keep their number handy. This way, if anything goes wrong, at least you (or someone else caring for your pet) has a starting point. It is always difficult to search for help during a crisis. [hr]
    Another plus for us is that our vet has red foots of her own. She absolutely LOVES Sid, Leia and Chewy. Due to their size and temp restrictions, she has offered to do at home visits at any time we need her to. Her charge for at home visits is the same as her in office visits. Certainly a plus as Sid gets bigger!
  2. Torty Mom

    Torty Mom New Member 5 Year Member

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    Woo hoo Rob that was one awesome post! I totally agree!

    I have taken Lou to the DR. so many times! We have a great relationship with our vet. Two weeks ago Lou had a very wet nose, I called our vet she was booked so I was going to have to see someone else. Well, when they took me to the little room the tech asked if I wanted to see Jennifer, I told him my appt was with someone else, he said that Jennifer already knew I was there, and she had already grabbed Lou's chart! How awesome was that!! When she came in, she was so excited to see how much better he looked and she even commented on his weight gain. She too knows my husbandry, and that I am a crazy worried MOM and I asked her what I had done wrong for Lou to catch a cold. She reassured me that I am doing everything right! It was awesome we got right down to business and I was outta there in 30 minutes! It's such a relief, because I really didn't want to see anyone else that didn't have tortie experience, been there done that! I LOVE MY VET! Even though she still thinks Lou is a girl! :p

    Relationship with a good vet = $$ priceless
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