Today, docsology.net is making a slight change. I still want to use it to write about my passions of Faith, Family, Finances, Fishing and Furry Friends. It just seemed like it would be fun to field questions about pets. Yes, I do miss hearing and answering those questions which used to come fast and furiously day after day. To hopefully make this happen, I am changing the “Furry Friends” category to “Ask Dr. Pearson” So, help me out and send me your burning questions.
Just click on the “Contact Me” button on the menu bar at the top of the page and leave a comment and/or your question. By commenting there, your questions will come directly to my inbox.
Today’s post is very general, but hopefully it will get things started well.
How Can I Get the Best Healthcare for My Pets?
Just like there are two sides to every pancake, there are two sides to every visit to the veterinarian. Most people concentrate on evaluating the veterinarian, the staff, the website, the waiting area and on and on. That’s all well and good and certainly deserves consideration. But, even when you find the veterinarian who scores a 10 out of 10, you will determine whether your pet gets the best healthcare possible. Follow these rules and make your next trip to the vet the best it can be.
1. Make an appointment.
This one has never been so easy since most websites allow you to choose a time online. Or, do it the old-fashioned way with a phone call.
Even if you must make an emergency visit, call ahead and alert the staff that you are on your way.
“Walk-ins welcome” is for barber shops!
2. Be on time for the appointment.
You will affect the flow of work in your veterinarian’s hospital. Your effect will be positive by arriving on time, or it will be negative if you are late.
Although they will do their best not to let it show, your vet and his staff will experience increased stress when a pet arrives late for an appointment and disrupts the flow of the day.
3. Know your pet.
Even a new puppy or kitten will develop a routine within a few days of arrival at your home. Before long, you will recognize certain personality traits. And, the longer you live with your pet, the more familiar you become with what is “normal” for your pet.
Medical and behavioral problems often result in changes in an animal’s routine or personality. Those changes serve as a prompt to consider contacting your veterinarian.
Learn to trust your judgment. Waiting too long could affect the outcome of treatment for some conditions and make it more difficult for your vet to deliver his best preventive medicine. While it IS best to err on the side of caution, try not to become a hypochondriac either.
4. Trust your pet’s doctor.
I am willing to say with a large degree of confidence that one of the most rare people on earth would be a non-caring veterinarian.
In forty-plus years of association with veterinarians, I can think of only one who might have fit into that category, and he is no longer around.
5. Be open and honest.
If you have a negative experience during a visit, speak to the doctor or hospital manager about your concerns.
Please never write a bad review or speak badly about a vet hospital or clinic and then avoid contact with the very ones who have the ability to explain and correct the situation.
In the long run, your pet, along with others, will benefit.
6. Consult the web with caution
Yes, there is some truly bad and incorrect information about pet health care on the web.
And, yes, there is some good and reliable information, too.
Remember, there is often more than one reliable way to treat certain conditions. So, just because what you read is not what your doctor has recommended, he knows your pet’s total health picture whereas the author of a web article does not.
7. Follow your doctor’s orders!
Here’s what may be the most perplexing behavior I have observed in people over the years: not following the doctor’s instructions.
Why do people consistently spend the time and money to get professional advice and pay for good medications, then go home and not follow through?
This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to make sure your pet gets the best healthcare possible.
When a follow-up exam is recommended, take it seriously. With lots of conditions, missing a follow-up exam could have the same result as leaving a smoldering campfire in a dry forest.
8. Understand that some conditions are curable while others can only be controlled.
A deadly disease such as a Parvovirus infection can be treated and cured most of the time. It never becomes a long-term (chronic) problem.
A very common disease like arthritis can be improved and controlled, but it will remain a problem for the long-term.
Always seek to understand whether your pet’s condition is curable or can only be controlled over the long haul.
Certain ear infections in dogs need a long period of managed control while an underlying condition is treated. Complete healing may be slow in coming. Many clients expect a quick cure for ear infections.
9. Explain your concerns about your pet’s problem as clearly as possible.
It’s very helpful to jot down a few notes about your observations at home before going for your appointment.
If it seemed important at home, it’s still important when you are in the exam room, so address all your concerns at the beginning.
10. Answer all the questions asked by the vet, even if you don’t see a connection.
For example, if you are there because your dog has developed a limp, you may be asked if your dog has been exposed to ticks. Many people may not see the connection, but there is an important possibility that must be ruled out.
11. Make every effort to understand the treatment plan and the fees before treatment begins. Never wait if you have questions about either the treatment or the fee.
Asking questions in the right way and at the right time actually demonstrates trust.
There could be options that are available even though possibly somewhat less effective than the initial recommendations.
12. Keep the line of communication open during and after each visit.
Open and respectful communication between you and your pet healthcare team is the most important instrument available to achieve high quality care for your pet.