We know that a trip to the vet is not every animal's idea of a good time. There are some cats and dogs that simply cannot move beyond that fear barrier. Fearful animals are less likely to brought to the vet by their owners simply because of the stress it causes to both parties. Even if they do make it to the vet, their level of fear can limit what we are able to accomplish during their visit. These fearful animals are perfect candidates for pre-visit pharmaceuticals. Pre-visit pharmaceuticals are short-acting, situational anxiety relieving medications we can have patients take at home before their visit to us. They can go a long way in helping animals be more comfortable at the vet and even learn to overcome their fear and anxiety.
Check out what our receptionist, Caitie, had to say about pre-visit pharmaceuticals and her cat, Shelly:
Going to the vet has always been quite the event at my house, but especially so for my "problem child", Shelly. Shelly is very particular and makes her feelings known. This becomes a problem when we need to make our annual visit to the vet. Getting her in the carrier is a struggle. The ride in the car is not fun. She fights to not be taken out of the carrier once we arrive. She is very vocal and will swipe, nails extended, at anyone who approaches her. She is what we call a "caution cat", as she will not hesitate to scratch or bite. I was completely embarrassed and anxious about taking her to the vet's office.
It was after her first visit at Schmitt's that the doctor introduced the idea of using gabapentin to help her feel more relaxed before and during her appointments. I was open to the idea because I wanted Shelly to feel more comfortable, but felt funny about the idea of giving my cat a drug that would make her more tolerable. To my surprise, the gabapentin helped both her and me more than I would have imagined.
I gave the gabapentin as instructed before her next appointment and noticed that she wasn't as resistant to getting in the carrier. She was more peaceful in the car on the way to the office. Once we opened her carrier and let her out to be examined, she was much more tolerant of being handled. No vocalizing. No lashing out. I felt better about bringing her in because I didn't feel like I had to apologize for my cat. Even after getting home she was less confrontational with her housemates as she previously had been after a stressful visit at the doctor.
From that day forward I have felt more confident about bringing Shelly in for an illness or vaccines. I know it won't be a traumatic event for either of us. Giving gabapentin or any other doctor recommended pre-visit medication won't make your pet enjoy coming to the vet, but it will help them feel more comfortable and relaxed during their visit.
Thank you Caitie (and Shelly) for sharing your experience!
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4268 Three Mile NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
After hour emergency consultations are available to clients of record until 10:00 pm. Our main line will direct to the doctor on call.