Pierson is Terrified of the Vet

Pierson Head Down Looking Up

Is it time to go to the vet again?

My poor Pierson has a vet appointment tomorrow. Don’t worry, it is nothing bad. It is just time for one of his vaccines and his annual checkup. So why poor Pierson? Because he is absolutely terrified of the vet. At his last appointment, he peed all over the place. Pierson can be skittish at times, but this was the only time he’s been so terrified that he peed. What happened to my poor baby boy to make him so scared?

When I first got Pierson he was nervous at the vet, but not terrified. He did just fine on that very first day I caught him and took him in for a checkup. Three days later I took him to the emergency pet hospital because he had a severe bloody nose. He had to stay overnight. And while I doubt the experience was pleasant for him, he was not terrified when he went to the vet a couple weeks later for booster vaccines. Nor was he when he went another couple weeks later to be neutered.

It was probably a combination of all these vet visits that made last year’s annual checkup visit so terrifying. So I vowed to do some things to make Pierson’s experience more pleasant this year:

Travel Calm, Maya, and Me

Travel Calm helps keep Maya from acting so excitedly on car rides.

Canine Calming Remedy
I have a product called Travel Calm, which I use for Maya when we take long road trips. Maya gets excited in the car and this stuff helps her to relax. Travel Calm is an all-natural product from Earth Heart. It contains bergamot, lavender, tangerine, and other calming ingredients. Earth Heart also makes a product called Canine Calm. It is the same thing as Travel Calm but Travel Calm also contains ginger to help with car sickness. Pierson doesn’t really need the ginger, but it won’t hurt him either and I don’t have any of the Canine Calm.

Pierson Wearing the Thundershirt 003

Doesn’t Pierson look comfortable in his Thundershirt?

Pet Anxiety Shirt
Another product I have is the Thundershirt. I’ve tried it on Pierson before and loved how it fit. But for him, his anxiety about the vet was just too strong. However, with a combination of the Thudershirt, Travel Calm, and the below methods, I believe this shirt will make a positive difference for him.

Visit the Vet Regularly
For the past couple of days I have been taking Pierson to the vet for a visit. He doesn’t go to get a checkup or anything. He just goes so that he can hang out for a bit. Even though Pierson is just stopping by to say hi, the staff has been very helpful. If they have a moment or two, they come and introduce themselves to Pierson while at the same time bribing him with tasty treats.

Take Maya
Sometimes when Pierson is afraid of something but my dog Maya isn’t, Pierson calms down. Maya absolutely loves going to the vet so I will take both her and Pierson at the same time. Perhaps her attitude about the vet will help influence his attitude.

New Vet?
I don’t know if these few visits are enough to help, but I’m hoping so. I’m also thinking of having the new doctor check on Pierson. The two doctors at this office that Maya and Pierson usually see are males. But they have a new doctor who is female. I’m interested in seeing if this can make a difference. We’re going to the same vet office, but seeing a different doctor. If all this doesn’t make a difference, next year I may have to try a new veterinary office.

Wish us luck! I will try to follow up later this week to tell you how his vet appointment went. Let’s keep our paws crossed and hope for the best.

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13 Responses to “Pierson is Terrified of the Vet”

  1. peacelovenwhiskers Says:

    Good luck to Mr Pierson. My cat buggy got so nervous at a vet visit he blew through his coat – basically shed his coat- and then pooped a little on the exam table. I was mortified at the tome, but I now know its a natural defense against predators. He’s gotten a lot better since, but he will try to crawl my shoulder when its time for the temp check. I can’t blame him, I would too.

  2. Nature by Dawn Says:

    I forgot, there is one other thing I will try before I take Pierson to the vet today. We got a free trial of a product called K-10. The specific formula is their calming formula. It is a powder you put in the dog’s water. Ingredients include L-Theanine, Colostrum Calming Complex, Chamomile, and others. Paws crossed!

  3. Jodi Says:

    Good luck at the vet, I think you are doing everything you can to make his visit less stressful. Do you bring your own treats?

    Sampson loves going to our vet and seeing all the people who shower him with affection, but I noticed the last time I was there and had some really good treats he was paying more attention to me than to anyone else.

    • Nature by Dawn Says:

      Yep, lots of treats, even though I know he is gaining a little too much weight this winter. Oops! :/ Yesterday when we went, he was all eyes and ears on me for those treats until a vet tech walked up to say hi. Then he was back to being nervous.

  4. mollieandalfie Says:

    Mollie use to love the vets, until I left her there to get her spayed, now I have to drag her in there and muzzle her. She really goes for them.. No amount of treats is going to bribe her..LOL xxxooxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

    • Nature by Dawn Says:

      Interesting. I wonder what it is specifically about this procedure that affected Mollie and Pierson? Is it the loud noises of all the other dogs in nearby cages? Could the anesthetic have not worked well enough? Did someone manhandle my dog? Sometimes I wish our dogs could talk. :(

  5. Ruckus the Eskie Says:

    I’m terrified too!

  6. Marcie Says:

    Hope all those things helped to make Pierson’s trip a little better!

  7. 2browndawgs Says:

    Hope his visit goes well. I think sometimes if they have to wait with other dogs they pick up if they are nervous and it makes them the same.

  8. Ann Staub Says:

    I think you are doing a great job trying to make him feel more comfortable there. Something I’ve noticed with Shiner is that she has become more scared of certain things as she has aged. She is also scared of the vet, even though I used to work there. One day, we were driving to the lake and I noticed she was trembling. I realized it’s because she had been used to going to the vet’s office with me in the car.

  9. weliveinaflat Says:

    Reading the last bit about new vet, a new vet office will probably help not trigger the negative feelings he associated with the old one? :)

  10. Clowie Says:

    I hope all goes well.

  11. snoopys@snoopysdogblog Says:

    I hope you did ok buddy!

    I don’t like the Vets either, sometimes Mum just takes me to get weighed, which is by the door, so whenever we go now I head to the door after the weigh-in in the hopes it’s just one of those visits! :)

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

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