Like many pet owners, I’ve had a few bad experiences taking my dog to the vet. Then there are the crazy stories I hear in veterinary news and from the many people I meet as a large dog blogger. Add in that I worked in a veterinary hospital and understand the experience from both sides, and you’ve got a dog mom who is critical of the veterinary care her dog receives.
So believe me when I say Del Lago Veterinary Hospital is everything a vet’s office should be.
I’d taken Nala to Del Lago a time or two before for some minor things and been satisfied with the care Nala received. Earlier this year, a major issue came up and Del Lago did more than I possibly could have asked for.
Here’s what happened. Nala's on-again off-again weight issue suddenly turned into a severely swollen belly. At the same time, she started getting stomach sick. I called Del Lago and soon had an appointment with Dr. Nita Gulbas.
Dr. Gulbas took one look at Nala and knew she was not gaining weight but retaining fluid. She thoroughly explained the possible reasons for fluid retention and openly shared her concern about seeing this in an otherwise-healthy 3-year-old dog. She set out a plan for testing that would quickly and effectively get a diagnosis. When I described it to my husband, he said it was like CSI for dogs. That’s how thorough and strategic Dr. Gulbas was. I appreciated that every test had value and that Nala would not be put through any unnecessary tests.
Nala spent much of the next three days at Del Lago. Normally, dogs are not happy to be at the vet’s office, and this is especially true for a dog with separation anxiety. You would have never known Nala had anxiety issues by her happiness each time we pulled into their parking lot. At many service businesses, what happens behind the scenes is different from what the client sees. Based on Nala’s excitement to be there, I knew that they were treating my girl with kindness and compassion every step of the way.
Dr. Gulbas kept me informed with test results as they came in. She answered every question I had, never getting impatient and really showing her committment to getting Nala healthy. At the end of the day, one of the staff members would tell me how well Nala did all day and how much they loved having her there. Later, when Nala was on the road to recovery, we went in to pick up something from the office. One of the techs saw her as we walked in and immediately greeted Nala by name. “Nala, you look so good!” she gushed. Then she told me she had to grab one of the other techs who would want to see how well Nala was doing. Their excitement about her progress is yet another way I know they see us as partners in Nala’s care, not just another revenue stream.
All too often, I hear about pet owners who don’t get enough time with their vets, who don’t really understand their dog’s health needs, and who feel like visits become an endless run of expensive tests and medications. A vet’s job is a difficult and often thankless one, and I’m sure that most would like to give more than they’re able to in a busy practice.
That’s why I value Del Lago so highly. Dr. Gulbas and the support team really show how much they care in every word and action. I know that Nala will get the best care in their hands. We’ve been to offices where Nala refused to walk into the exam room, yet in Del Lago’s parking lot, Nala actually pulls ahead to get in as quickly as possible.
Thank you to Dr. Gulbas and everyone at Del Lago for being such a stellar example of veterinary care. I’m so glad you were there when Nala needed you.
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Photo credit: takomabibelot