So, I shall finally get off my virtual bum and get moving on this, not that I have been moving as quickly as I should in reality but alas, procrastination is my forte.
So for Part II I am going to state what I am looking for in my vet compare that with my short list.
What do I want?
As I have researched new trends and techniques for both dogs and cats I have come up with a few things I feel are a 'must'; they are as follows.
1) On site lab
Having a laboratory on site is beyond a must for me, it is much cheaper, if the vet has to send out a blood sample not only do you pay for the test but they transport of said test. It is also much faster, it can take as little as 20 minutes to run a test, I can patiently sit in the waiting room and get results (or be called later that same day) once again, if the sample must be packaged, picked up, delivered to a lab, tested, results returned to the vet and you contacted can take several days.
I also like to include other equipment under this heading, things like an X-ray machine, ultra sound machine and such.
2)Low dose vaccine
There is significant evidence that animals dont need to be vaccinated every year, an alternative is to do a titre test, which measures the levels of antibodies (the things the vaccine causes the body to produce) and at certain levels your dog or cat is considered 'safe' and re-vaccinating wont do any one other than the drug company good.
Not all vets are on board with feeding animals a prey model diet (one that I am considering switching my animals over to) If you are constantly at logger heads with your vet over something so major as what your animal is eating then it will never be a happy visit.
I have to like the staff, including the vet. If there is a snarky receptionist or a grumpy tech you will probably not like going to the vet especially if it is an unusual visit such as an emergency.
Hours also fall under this, if they are only open 9-5 monday to friday it is always going to be a hassel to try and get the critters to the vet, the more options the better.
So now my short list:
All About Cats and Dogs
A small practice with one vet, very nice vet and staff. The only do cats and dogs (which is fine with me as the Beardie isn't really a regular vet visitor)
Pros: Good hours (6 days a week with evenings), on site lab!, good location
Arlington Animal Hospital
A 2 vet practice, haven't gotten to meet the staff yet.
Pros: Titre testing, good hours (6 days with evenings), so-so location
Acadia Veterinary Clinic
A 2 vet practice, not the greatest hours and not the best location
Pros: Raw diet, Laser surgery
Small Animal Clinic
An extension of the Veterinary College, they are open pretty much 24/7 and offer lots of treament options but are often expensive.
Now begins phase 2 of actually communicating with the clinics and determining if they have everything I want (or at least most)