Crockett: From Crotchety to Calm
I was working as a vet tech at Companion Animal Care Center in Phoenix, Maryland, when Crockett came to us as a new patient. He was a 13-year-old male hound who had had problems with ear infections all of his life. When I went into the exam room to take his history, Crockett was stressed and pacing. I sprayed Adaptil on a bandana and gave it to the owner to put around his neck, as he was exhibiting signs of avoidance with me. I took 10 minutes to get the history and then went to get the doctor for the examination. When we walked into the exam room again, Crockett was lying comfortably and relaxed on the floor. He was ready for considerate approach and even treats. The exam went very well. The owners commented that this was a miracle because he would always pace and scratch at the door during all his past exams.
Even with success stories such as this one, I feel like the best Fear Free tool and pleasant patient experiences come from keeping the Emotional Record. This tool helps us know the best ways to approach patients who used to exhibit FAS. With one, we scratch his butt so he doesn’t react or seem to feel vaccines given. Another, who previously would not stay still for vaccines or blood draws, just wants to put his feet up on his Dad for us to do what is needed. Another patient is comfortable only in the lobby for her examination. Being able to refer to the Emotional Record ahead of each patient’s appointment makes exams, procedures, and yes, even nail trims, so much easier and pleasant for all. These are the ultimate success stories of Fear Free in my opinion.
Kelly O’Hara, Elite Fear Free Certified Professional