It’s as important that your Frenchie have a good vet as it is that you have a good doctor. If you know other Frenchie owners in your area, ask them for a recommendation, since it is best to find a vet who has experience with our breed and its special needs. If yours is the only Frenchie around, you may check with some bulldog, pug, or Boston terrier owners to see whether they can recommend a vet who treats other brachycephalic breeds. Once you have decided on one or more vet clinics that you want to check out, here are some suggestions about how to go about it.
You can form an initial impression just based on how you are treated by the person who answers the phone. Here are some questions that will help you evaluate the clinic itself.
Do you have any Frenchie patients? Or other brachycephalic breeds?
How long has the clinic been open?
How many vets are in the practice?
Are there any vet specialists in the practice? If not, to whom do you refer when a specialist is needed?
Do you provide emergency services, or see patients after hours?
How many vet techs are on staff?
What are your hours?
What services do you offer (grooming, boarding, ultrasound, X-rays, etc.)
Will you give me a tour of the clinic? If so will I be able to talk to a vet then?
What are your fees and charges?
VISIT THE CLINIC
When you visit the clinic, note how you are greeted. Do you feel welcomed and
find the staff and atmosphere organized and professional? If there is a bulletin
board, are there photos of patients and notes on it that suggest client satisfaction?
Photo albums of patients? How about informational bulletins, brochures, or
newspaper articles that give you a clue about the clinic’s philosophy and focus?
Are there resident animals or signs that the clinic is caring for animals looking for a
A Vet Tech will probably give you the tour, and should be able to answer any question.
When looking around, here are things you should look for.
Is the clinic area clean?
If there are boarding facilities, are the kennels clean, with water and appropriate bedding?
How many surgical suites are there? How busy is their surgical schedule, and would your dog be able to be given emergency surgery if it should be needed?
Would adequate anesthesia help be available in an emergency?
How are aggressive animals dealt with? Even a mild-mannered Frenchie can become aggressive when stressed by injury or illness, and especially in a strange environment.
Does the clinic have up to date equipment? Does it plan any updating or expansion?
What sort of anesthesia protocol do they use, and who is in charge of anesthesia? What is the anesthesia person’s training and experience?
Does the clinic have a quarantine area for infectious diseases so that infected animals can be isolated? If so, what are the staff protocols regarding masks, booties, gloves, and disposable garments?
Does the clinic have an ICU? If so, who oversees care of the animals in it?
Once you have selected a new vet, even one with a lot of Frenchie patients, it might
be a good idea to print out A Letter to My Vet
to give to her. There could be some
information in it that might help her treat your Frenchie.