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Discussion Starter #1
I write this with head in hands.

So much work goes into promoting responsible breding from so many quarters, and those who we look to, to be the final push towards healthscoring before breeding, so very often let us down badly.

Now my own vet is fantastic (although I've seen a couple of ropey ones in this area in the past - including one who wouldn't take blood from puppies under 8 weeks old to Optigen litter test...!)), and because I don't use my own vet for my hip and elbow scoring, but of course they know I breed, came to me in a VERY concerned manner a couple of years ago to ask 'surely you healthscore?'. He was relieved to find I just go elsewhere for it.

HOWEVER, the longer I am in thie game, the more I hear which makes me want to DO something. I am certain in the main vets are wonderful. they work hard, they have the biggest sucicide rate proportionately in the population, and so I would hate to add to their woes, but BY GOD some are letting us down badly.

Just three examples:
About two years ago a lady called about using a stud dog. She wanted to do things the right wany hence calling WELL in advance. I talked about hip and elbow scoring to her and she was keen to get on and do it. The next day she called me back to say she had an appointment. However it had been awful because her vet and the receptionist, infront of a waiting room of people, had put on sarcastic voices and said 'ohhhhhhh aren't WE doing it the posh way!' Before telling her round 'her way' pups were selling like hot cakes and if it was just to get the pups sold there really was no need....

Yesterday someone (Rach) tells me that someone enquired about Jake. When she asked about hip scores and eye tests, the lady said 'oh no its fine, my vet said if I did them now I wouldn't get the results back in time as she is due in very shortly, so best to leave it and just do it for her next litter'....

Then just a month ago a lady used the dog here. Whilst sitting chatting, as you do, on the floor for twenty five minutes (grin), she said it was a 'damn struggle getting her scored at our vets'. I said why? She said because her vet had told her unless she was going to breed a lot of litters from the bitch it really just wasn't worth scoring!

Utterly illogical, unhelpful and negative responses. And I promise just some! I've had many puppy callers who turn out to be vet nurses or trainee vets who eally understand nothing about the schemes or how they work at all. Now that I can cut some slack on. They cannot be 'specialists' in 'everything', but even so shows a breathtaking casualness about something so important. its not even Labrador specific. If they are not promoting (and sometimes obstructing!) healthtesting in the best known breed that is tested commonly, then how about the more minority breeds with newer schemes!??

I have found a lot of vets very willing and keen to learn. But where is the BVA in this? Is it they don't inform vets well enough for such ignorance to shine through very often? Two of the three comments above were by youngish vets not old school old timers. The other we have no idea how old the vet was so will have to sit on the fence on that one...

Should these vets be reported to the BVA? Would the BVA CARE? Do they just lay the schemes out to use then say 'do what you will....' to the vets?

Any vets here care to comment, I know a few read. I love my own vet and many others. Its not a vet bashing exercise but these are people so seriously misled (or nearly in some cases but for their own strength of mind) that it really is of concern to me. Why put this effort in, to be kicked back by the one person who should be dead keen, even if only financially to get that dog on their Xray table?

Any thoughts? Should folks start naming and shaming these vets? Reporting them? Should mailings go out to them as and when we hear such rubbish happening?

Di
 

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The vet that I prefer to use in my practice has always asked me, whenever I have taken a pup in, if the parents were hip and elbow scored, and what they were (never asked about eye tests though, come to think about it), so I'm guessing he see's it as a significant factor.

Whereas I know that another vet in the same practice bred his Lab-bitch and (I believe) didn't hip and elbow score it. (People were queueing up to buy a pup from him because he was a vet, so they MUST be healthy pups!)

What about writing to the BVA and asking them about it? Maybe press them to write an article about it for their magazine?

Becs and The Gang
 

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The funny thing is becs, its a bit of a retorical question on my part, because I do know the BVA does mailshot their vets now and then on things such as these. I suppose just somehow the message gets lost, or mixed, or whatever.... but I do feel this has to be improved even if its only fifty vets a year saying such things.

I also know a vet who bred his Golden retriever without any healthtests and the pups walked out the door. Probably for the same reasoning you said, people THINK that a vets pups are going to be healthy (and god willing they are!) but I do find it like a health and Safety inspector who positively encourages people to leave trip hazards laying about and throw water over their electrical equipment! ;-)

Di
 

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Don't start me off on vets :evil:

When I had Hally scored - and OK I guess things have moved on rapidly in the last few years, but it wasn't that long ago, yet I was told I was the FIRST of their regular customers to have a dogs hips scored before breeding - and then they had the CHEEK to tell me not to breed because she came back 1 above the average which had changed in January of that year - when 6 months before she would have been on the average, Elbows 0 (and later PRA clear) - yet they would have supported me breeding her with no health tests 8O

Had I have known then what I know now (and over £400 lighter 8O ) I most definitely wouldn't have used them, and don't now.

Only recently, when taking the CNM swabs, my vet told me I should charge more for my pups because there isn't another labrador breeder on their books that goes to the lengths I do.

IMO - vets need education AND the BVA need to develop a bank of recommended vets who can take good quality plates and this should be made publically available - this might also encourage those vets who dismiss the subject to get their acts together and learn more about it - because of course they are loosing money by not doing so.

My guess would be that those vets who dismiss the idea of health testing do so because they are not confident of taking a good plate and don't want to let their customers down - yet - by behaving this way, they are in reality letting their customers, the breed and the prospective owners of the pups down :(
 

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there are other reasons for wanting to hipscore - even if you don't intend to breed from your dog - if you want to compete with it (working trials, agility etc).............. if you suspect a problem?

thank heavens for the excellent vets about - we all have a choice of who we use - i bypass two within walking distance to go to one 14 miles away
 

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BVA need to develop a bank of recommended vets who can take good quality plates and this should be made publically available
This they will never do Sue, because the vets would be up in arms at loosing the money, and the implied smear that their skills are not up to it. And why is that? Why should they feel there skills are not up to it whilst the BVA continue to score rubbish plates, penalising the person who is paying the bill? No Sue, whats needed is for the BVA to do the job they are paid for under the rules which are already in place and reject rubbish plates and make the vets do it again.

Regards, John
 

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Well , I have heard some of these sorts comments from our vets too

Recently when I had my viszla health tested I asked about whether to do elbows and was told well " I don't think that elbow scoring has taken off so really there is no point " at which point I said that I was asking if the BVA recommended elbows not whether it was popular ! at which point she sighed and rang the bva and check , yes it should be done she said .
I know that I test to pre check prior to starting intensive working trials training but I would have thought these vets would at least be a little more encouraging re health testing .

I really don't know how this seemingly non interest in health testing among vets can be over come .
 

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Well, call me cynical by all means, and I absolutely would not tar all with the same brush, but perhaps healthy dogs are not good for business.....

Just a thought.....

Kate
 

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We do have recommended vets here for the FCI scoring schemes. My own vet is happy to do the plates for hips (to send off to the BVA) but freely admits he is not familiar with the protocol for elbows. Interestingly the vet I used in the UK who did Cocos plates, with no problem at all, was Dutch!
 
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Ardenbrook said:
Well, call me cynical by all means, and I absolutely would not tar all with the same brush, but perhaps healthy dogs are not good for business.....
Gosh....Someone with as cynical a mind as ME 8O :wink: .

I've been really lucky in that before I even got Mojo (my first Lab) my vets told me to make sure I at least got a pup from Hip scored and eye tested parents. Elbow scores were mentioned too but at the time (5 years ago) I couldn't find a pup from Elbow Scored parents.....and of course it is just my luck to end up with the pup with ED :roll: .

It isn't just Labs that vets have very little knowledge about though. I know someone who is having a devil of a job finding a vet who knows how to do a Skin Punch test for Sebacious Adenitis on a Standard Poodle, yet this is one thing which is not a hugely rare problem (unlike CMN in Labs) in this breed.
 

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_Jules_ said:
It isn't just Labs that vets have very little knowledge about though.
Rightly or wrongly, this is only to be expected :( to my mind, the role of the vet is not dissimilar to a GP and why, when dogs appear to have HD / OCD etc they are referred to a specialist.

I do appreciate vets do considerably more training than Doctors, and also have wider scope for surgical intervention - BUT - if you think there are, what, 250 pedigree breeds, which breed(s) should they focus on? There is only so much knowledge even the cleverest person can absorb and recall in a conversation :( If most responsible Lab breeders decided to start in another breed, we would have to do an enormous amount of research beforehand to know what to look for in a pup, what conditions they are at risk from, what tests need doing before breeding etc etc

I am not defending them by any means, I think ALL vets should be given some form of training to ensure they remain up to date with the latest breeding practices and recommended health tests (even if only the mandatory and recommended tests on the KC's much heralded Accredited Breeder Scheme for each breed it would be a start) - maybe everyone on LF should get hold of a copy of the AB list and deposit it in their vets surgery next time they are there.

My vets had never come across Optigen or CNM testing, and were inexperienced in using premate testing until they met me - although of course they are now fully versed in all of them :lol: (and my wrath if the shaver comes out :twisted: )
 

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In reading this post, and the replys.. my thoughts focused in on one point. Sadly, it really is up to the individual to assure they receive proper services. As in health care for people, the system is full of red tape, and mis diagnosis, and one must constantly be on there toes, and be self informed. The internet is a blessing in this way, as so much more information is available. I myself am in search of a qualified vet, and have begun my search, some nine months before my real need. Im in Oregon, a state slightly larger then the whole of the UK, with a very sparse population. The UK''s 70 million, verses Oregons 3.5... There really are only a handful.... 5 or 6 veterinarians in the state whom perform "full service" for the canine.. So, I'll be contacting them individually for references etc, and will be traveling some 300 km for there services... Where as there are alot of vet's in Oregon, most are simply either "GP's" of live stock affiliated.. still.. there are qualified people.. an each of us is responsible to search them out. Governing agencies are only a platform for data bases and like real life, there are plenty of great people whom work there hardest, and sadly those whom do not.. I'm not one for the squeaky wheel gets the grease.. still I do practice due diligence in my efforts with the breed.. Frustrations abound, and most certainly one can find more negatives the positives.. the key... stay positive ones self.. I will be having my Elsa x-rayed in Oregon, and results forwarded to the UK for scoring. A process not common to veterinarians in the states.. still, I push on.. with optimism, and offer these kind words in support of those whom care...

Bruce and Elsa
 

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In reading this post, and the replys.. my thoughts focused in on one point. Sadly, it really is up to the individual to assure they receive proper services. As in health care for people, the system is full of red tape, and mis diagnosis, and one must constantly be on there toes, and be self informed. The internet is a blessing in this way, as so much more information is available. I myself am in search of a qualified vet, and have begun my search, some nine months before my real need. Im in Oregon, a state slightly larger then the whole of the UK, with a very sparse population. The UK''s 70 million, verses Oregons 3.5... There really are only a handful.... 5 or 6 veterinarians in the state whom perform "full service" for the canine.. So, I'll be contacting them individually for references etc, and will be traveling some 300 km for there services... Where as there are alot of vet's in Oregon, most are simply either "GP's" of live stock affiliated.. still.. there are qualified people.. an each of us is responsible to search them out. Governing agencies are only a platform for data bases and like real life, there are plenty of great people whom work there hardest, and sadly those whom do not.. I'm not one for the squeaky wheel gets the grease.. still I do practice due diligence in my efforts with the breed.. Frustrations abound, and most certainly one can find more negatives the positives.. the key... stay positive ones self.. I will be having my Elsa x-rayed in Oregon, and results forwarded to the UK for scoring. A process not common to veterinarians in the states.. still, I push on.. with optimism, and offer these kind words in support of those whom care...

Bruce and Elsa
 

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JohnW said:
No Sue, whats needed is for the BVA to do the job they are paid for under the rules which are already in place and reject rubbish plates and make the vets do it again.

Regards, John
seriously when my plates would have been rejected...
this vet would not touch my dog anymore...
i would ask my money back....
 

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Ardenbrook said:
Well, call me cynical by all means, and I absolutely would not tar all with the same brush, but perhaps healthy dogs are not good for business.....

Just a thought.....

Kate
you are bad 8O :lol: :wink:
 

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Sadly, it really is up to the individual to assure they receive proper services.
You are not wrong - BUT - as with GPs, many people put their faith wholly in their vet - after all, they've been the ones that have spent 7 years at Uni. A prospective breeder would need to be aware of the health tests to have that conversation with their vet in the first place.

Likewise, information such as understanding the the ability to take a good plate undoubtedly comes from the 'community, seldom written in the guidelines.

If you look back at the threads I mentioned above about the member who received appalling service from their vet, I was shot down in flames by some for suggesting they should find a different vet and have the plates taken again - because even some with experience believed that the vet couldn't make THAT much difference - clearly it can - from a HD diagnosis to a score under 10, that's one HELL of a difference.
 

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During my long life with some medical issues involved - human and canine as well - I came to a conclusion: you better do some studying first and have your own diagnose ready before entering the vets' or GP's ... :wink:

Saves time & money....
 

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Another point to remember, is that dogs are only one pet, vets don't necessarily specialise in, or are even that interested in them beyond general treatment/knowledge. Some vets I've come across are even quite wary of dogs. A number of years ago, one vet I used (not for long) who was supposed to specialise in birds, managed to give one of my budgies the wrong dose in a course of treatment and killed her, they most certainly are not infallible, and the ones that I've met that have made mistakes tend to never own up to it, even when proven wrong. This vet was told by the practice manager to reply to my complaint letter and never did, she just moved on.

Fortunately I've also met some very good vets! I've been taking my pets to the vets on my own since I was about 12 years old (quite a long time ago 8O ) and I've learnt to be discerning.

Indie had to have two sets of plates done as the vet mucked up the first lot and they were rejected by the BVA. Of course the vet didn't actually word it like that at the time when they told me, and I was unaware of just how inexperienced they were at taking plates for scoring/grading. They did the second lot free of charge (and made out they were doing me a favour), but I wasn't happy that Indie had to go under GA again, and asked if sedation would be better. They went ahead with sedation (which I didn't think you were meant to use for scoring/grading as I've found out since??) and Indie came back in a worse condition than from a GA. I'm quite happy to unrecommend them to anyone who lives in the York area!
 

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Sedation is acceptable Joanne, it is having the plates taken with nothing, as my Anna was which is not allowed. Not that this is because you get a better plate though, it's simply because the rules of taking any exray forbid people holding the animal because of stray ex-rays possibly giving the person an overdose. This was done because in the early days holding an animal was normal and many people did suffer as a result.

Regards, John
 
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