Choosing a Vet
GSP Vet & Health Care
. . . Choose your vet as wisely as you would choose a pediatrician!
Choosing a veterinarian for your new GSP puppy should entail just as much care as choosing a new pediatrician for your child or a new General Practitioner for yourself. Ask friends for referrals, visit vets in their offices, do research on the web, interview vets by phone, etc. before making a decision.
Pay attention to the demeanor of the vet in question with his or her clients--both canine as well as human. Have they been in practice long? Have a long list of clients? What services can they offer in their office? (Can they do x-rays and labs there, or must your pet be referred elsewhere?, etc.) Is the office clean and updated? Are the "sick" animals kenneled in the same area with the well animals? Does the vet offer boarding in his or her clinic? What type of health care does the vet provide-- traditional, homeopathic, chiropractic, holistic, trauma, etc.? Is the vet primarily a large animal specialist (for cows & horses, etc.), or a small animal practitioner (dogs, cats, etc.)? Does he or she breed, show, judge or hunt? Belong to clubs or professional affiliations? Does he or she have experience with sporting breeds? GSP's specifically? Versatile breeds in general?
Your pup should be taken to the vet shortly after you bring him or her home for a brief check-up. Take along your health records that you were provided with, which should outline what healthcare your pup has received, and when. Your vet will then be able to recommend a continuing schedule that's right for you and your pet.
Use your judgment for when to take your GSP to the vet--annually for vaccine boosters, quarterly for stool checks, anytime vomiting, fever or diarrhea persists for an extended period of time, when your pet is in an accident, requires stitches, has unexpected weight loss or gain, extraordinary thirst, hunger, etc.
Remember: it's always better to be safe than sorry, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. . .