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How to take your pet to the Vet, or Honest Vibes make All OK

May 8, 2016

I had to take my Ginger to the vet, as she was getting a bloated tummy, skinny backbone, and eating as if she hadn’t been fed in days. As travel with a cat is normally stressful, not to mention a trip to the vet’s, I realized some honest communication was in order.
The 1st time we went, her meows took on the quality of an adolescent boy – squeaky and broken. But I kept telling her she’d come right back home with me. (She was a stray when I got her, so travels don’t equate with coming back home to her)
And she was a VERY good girl! I also kept up a mild banter with the vet and the tech, to keep me calm and steady. On the way home, no meows!
Well, unless I was telling her ‘OK, we turn turn turn now!’. Wink

Ginger needed to return and get a shot, so we went back again today. She did NOT like going in the crate, but I told her matter-of-factly that it was what we were doing. In she went, and when I latched the door, she hissed at me.
Once.
I chuckled and told her I didn’t blame her for not liking it Smile

Before I let her out at the vet’s, I asked them 2 questions:
1. Would she be lethargic or anything like that after the shot
2. Was the shot intramuscular or sub-q, and where on her body would it be given.

I bent down to look at Ginger in her crate, and I said to her:
“Ginger . . the nice ladies from last time are here again. It won’t be like last time. This time will be very very quick. They’ll put you on the floor first (to get her weight), and then one lady will hold you very tightly as the other lady bites you really hard one time on your thigh.
This will help your tummy feel better, and it’s the only magic we know to help your tummy.
If you understand, and let them, we can go home after I ask them a few questions, and you’ll feel better.
I love you, and would not make the lady bite you if there was another way.”

We opened the carrier door, and guess what?
Ginger wouldn’t come out!! LOL!!
I said “That’s OK, we can wait all day if you need to prepare.”

So out she came.
She lay on the scale on the floor and didn’t move.
She lay on the table and didn’t move, not even when I asked her if she was ready to be bitten.
She did give a jerk when the needle went in right at first, but I told her this was the biting part. Ginger instantly went still again.

We put the carrier on the table, and right in she went, rubbing against my hand all the time.

I told the vet and the tech that it may have sounded goofy, but our pets pick up on when we’re nervous, or they are suddenly ‘attacked’ by the people at the vet’s. It was just a matter of being honest with myself, and feeling clean about the situation.
I had explained what was going to happen. Not only to Ginger, but to myself. I wasn’t fearful or nervous or guilty, and it went smoothly.
I think it also helped the vet and her tech – I had set them up to succeed their mission easily.

The trip home was the same as the 1st time, with quiet unless I was talking Smile
And the moment she got out of the carrier, Ginger came and licked my toes before asking for brunch. 🙂

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P.S. there’s another trick I like to use when transporting an animal in a carrier: try to support the bottom, and carry them BACKWARDS, with the door towards you.
Not being able to escape, or see you, and then having things seemingly fly at them is not conducive to calmness. At least the first few times, or if they rarely travel in carriers.

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