SO frustrated with finding a VET! (long vent, sorry)

  • Ugh I'm so frusterated with finding a vet for Tayda. As you may know she has been newly diagnosed w/ Fanconi and I'm trying to schedule her first follow up visit to see how she is responding to the protocol. The place I took her is apparently the only place around that has the blood gas machine onsite. The first doc that I saw there seemed less than enthusiastic about the whole Fanconi thing, and actually said to me when I walked in, "Didn't you call here and didn't we advise you to take her to Tufts?" That didn't exactly give me a warm fuzzy feeling about being there. At any rate, I just got the blood work I needed and emailed Dr. Gonto about it and got Tayda on the protocol.

    Now I have to schedule her follow up visit and after calling around more, Im still not finding other vet offices that have the blood gas machine. So I called back to the same vet office and asked for a recommendation for another vet on their staff that has more experience w/ internal disorders…. and the lady recommended someone to me so I made the appointment with him.

    I'm a little bothered right now as he just called me personally to basically tell me that he'd rather not take my case. He said he has never diagnosed or seen a Fanconi case in his 40 years of being a vet and that the woman I saw initially has done some research on Fanconi since our initial visit and that at this point she is the most qualified to treat Tayda.

    I just get the feeling that they don't want to put the effort into this.... sigh..... I guess I can always just consult w/ Dr. Gonto but it really would be nice to have a knowledgeable vet on my side locally. I've left a message for the first doc to call me back so I can see what she has found out from her research.... and now I feel awkward because she likely knows that I was trying to see someone other than her for my follow up.


  • Can you just have that place do the blood work and go to a different Vet? My Vet doesn't have Blood gas machine, so they would just send people to a place that did and have the results sent to them? Kind of like when we have the need for a specialist, our clinic refers us on to them…..

    And so what if she knows that you are looking for someone else... you are the one paying... not very good customer service if you ask me... remember however that many times there are Vets that get "bent out of shape" if you tell them what the problem is....

  • I could do that and will do that as a last resort. Since I'm new to the area, I still don't have a regular vet here either so I'd have to find one of those also.

    I did find on the yahoo basenji fanconi group a list of fanconi saavy docs - and although there were none listed in CT, there is one in MA that is about 40 minutes from me! (I just can't get used to the idea that the states out here in the north east are so small!) I have a call into their office to speak with the vet that is listed and hopefully it will work out that he does in fact have basenji fanconi experience and I can take her there!

  • Sounds like a plan… and sometimes it is easier to work with your regular Vet... especially if he/she connects with Dr. Gonto....

  • I agree with Pat; find a vet you're comfortable with and work with him/her. Hopefully, you can at least find one who has seen a Basenji and doesn't hate them. (we actually had a couple of vets tell us "Oh, the first dog that ever bit me was a Basenji!" Considering that Basenjis are usually excellent judges of character, we decided to keep looking)
    And all in all, other than the regular (3-6 month) blood chemistries, blood gases, and the antibiotics when a UTI crops up, there really isn't anything particularly difficult about treating a Fanconi B. The protocol is not rocket science, but very easy to read and follow. As you become more comfortable with looking at the chem and gas reports, you will be able to make minor adjustments on your own. And, of course, Dr. Gonto is always more than willing to consult with your vet.

    Hang in there, it does get easier, though never what you would call fun!


  • Let us know how your search turns out.

  • You know, it really is sad there are so many vets that aren't familiar with fanconi and have not treated Basenjis. I take my furkids to a small town Vet in WV and luckily the Vet was the one to mention fanconi first!!! I just don't understand when they don't want to learn more about it? I mean… if you love animals wouldn't you want to learn more about them???😕 I wish the best for you in your search to find a great Vet.

  • Have u tried Angel Memorial ? There in Mass But they have the Best Vets IMO They are soo awesome with the patients and also the humans they helped me when i had issues with finding out about Denver having Ipsid they didn't know at first but they wheren't gonna stop until they found out what the problem was I can't say enough good things about the Vets there 🙂

  • I agree with Pat. I think I'd go the 40 minute drive…it sounds like you are considering that. I switched my vet from one that was 10 minutes down the road (no basenjis in their practice) to one 40 minutes from my house (lots of basenjis in their practice) just for the peace of mind of knowing they had some experience.

    It really doesn't sound like the original practice you've been going to is that keen on the situation anyway, so you have nothing to lose by trying the one you found on the fanconi list.

  • well i just heard back from the vet on the fanconi list and she says "we no longer treat basenjis with fanconi" and i said "you mean, you don't currently have any that you are treating, or you will not treat them"… she said that they dont' have the machine they need. i assume they are talking about the blood gasses...

    sigh.... back to the drawing board....

  • As long as nothing is at the emergency status level, keep looking until you find one you're comfortable with - they don't all have to be basenji lovers to be good vets.
    I was really impressed with my vet (sorry I'm in MN or I'd recomend) when he said he knew about fanconi and then was really really happy that I'd copied the protocol for him. He said he was "always happy to learn new things".
    Are you anywhere near a veterinary college? That might be a good option to check.

  • Hey phoenix - Is the Angell Memorial in Springfield, MA? or is it out by Boston?

  • Angell Memorial is in Jamaica Plain…so, Boston.

  • @Tayda_Lenny:

    well i just heard back from the vet on the fanconi list and she says "we no longer treat basenjis with fanconi" and i said "you mean, you don't currently have any that you are treating, or you will not treat them"… she said that they dont' have the machine they need. i assume they are talking about the blood gasses...

    sigh.... back to the drawing board....

    I don't get that at all… so what if they don't have the blood gas machine? You can had that done anyplace??? and just have the results sent? Gezzz.. that happens all the time here in California... and for more then just blood work?....

  • Yeah, I don't get it either. I'm actually off work this afternoon and I'm calling every vet within a 50 mile radius. So far only 2 of them have the blood gas machine, but both of them said I'd be "better served" by an Dr. "internist" (who, when I called that office, they DON't have the machine).

    It's all a big circle. I've explained there is a protocol and that the dr. that developed the protocol is more than willing to consult, but it seems lots of doctors don't want to take on the responsibility of treating a disease they know nothing about. sigh….

  • Alrighty, I may have made some progess. I found a place that has the I-stat machine and can do the blood gasses… the vet tech told me, like the others, that i might be better served by an internist... but i called him back and said "could you ask if any of the vets there would be willing to treat my basenji with fanconi there?"

    well he went off to ask the docs and when he came back he said that the two docs that are working right now said that they'd be "happy to manage her case" and actually, in the time between when i called the first time and the second time, they actually did an internet search and printed up the Gonto Protocol....

    thats a good sign.

  • Yea….. that is a good sign....

  • I know it gets frustrating. Our regular vet was wonderful but didnt have the machine. So off to a specialist we went. She was not very optimistic at first but soon realized we would do whatever it takes. I think the good vets appreciate owners who do their homework and honestly care about their animals. Soon you will become the "specialist" and you will need a vet that will listen and work with you. Following the protocol, keeping track of other lab values (BUN, Potassium, Crea ) and watching for urinary infections can be done by any vet. We did it for well over 7 years and dont regret a minute of it. "Pill time" became just another daily routine. So I am crossing my fingers that you find someone soon and settle into your daily routine as well. Fingers crossed.

  • When I got my first rescue basenji 100yrs ago, my vet didn't know what was happening with the drinking lots of water and losing weight.
    So, he didn't try to fool me with some type of pill, he took time to Call UC Davis vet school to find out about fanconis.
    I had brought in info from the internet.
    That is the kind of vet that I hope everyone finds.
    One who will learn and work for your dog.

  • Amen to that Sharron… and one that will admit that "I don't know" "but I am willing to learn".....

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