hitting/tapping a dog on the head while giving it a shot - is this acceptable?


New Member
Aug 18, 2020
Warwick, NY
Today I took 2 of my dogs to the vet (a large chain). There was a large window in the operating room with an interior window that looked in to the treatment room, and I could see them treating dogs.
I watched them treat a small (~10lb or less) dog that looked very frightened and was jerking whenever they were giving it shots, etc.
At one point, a technician came over and with the flat of her hand, hit the dog on the head 5 times while they were injecting it or trying to get a stool sample, I am not sure which.
I am not saying that she wound up and struck the dog, but she wasn't petting it or patting it. The dog flinched every time she "tapped" it. And in the process, it urinated all over the exam table.
After a while, they noticed me watching and closed the blinds (the manager said it was because they were about to do a procedure, but since the lights weren't on in that operating room, I doubt that)

The technician described it as "tapping" the dog, but I know what I saw and it was more than a tap. I would describe it a hitting the dog; hitting it lightly, yes, but hitting it. I know if the owner had seen it, they wouldnot have been happy.

When I spoke to the doctor about it, he seemed about to defend the practice but I from what I saw, it didn't help the dog. The manager said it was a standard practice at the veterinarian's direction.

My old vet always said "if you wouldn't do it while treating a child, you shouldn't do it to a pet" and I cannot imagine a doctor/nurse hitting a kid on the head while giving them a shot.

So I am asking if people out there with knowledge can shed light on this. Is this a standard procedure? Is this considered acceptable?

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