10 Things Your Vet Wants You to Know

Believe it or not, your love for your pet is not exclusively your own. That may sound like a strange statement. But it wasn’t until a recent life-or-death situation with my own pet that I came to realize just how much veterinarians love our pets, too.
My 11-year-old cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Adjusting her insulin is a tricky business. She received too much insulin one weekend and, as a result, her level of blood sugar plummeted causing her temporary blindness and confusion. I was fortunate to be home as her blindness set in and able to rush her about a mile down the road to a vet she had seen several months earlier for a different complaint.
The vet and her staff went to work immediately to save her life. They monitored her all night. By morning her vision had been restored and she appeared to be in diabetic remission.
Our pets are very important to the veterinarians who safeguard their health. According to the folks at vetstreet.com, here are 10 things your pet’s veterinarian would like you to know regarding animal care and the important role you play in keeping them healthy:
1. Communication is Critical — It’s important to discuss your expectations for your pet’s care with your vet. And your input about your pet’s day to day behaviors are key to assisting your vet in reaching a diagnosis. The latest advances in veterinarian medicine mean higher levels of care for our pets but not every ailment can be cured. Tell your vet how your feel about pain management and even Hospice care, when the prognosis warrants such discussions.
2. The More Information and Questions You Have the Better — Your vet would be happy to have you bring a list of problems with you to your pet’s appointment. It’s easy to forget pertinent information when you become distracted with things going on during the appointment. So write down your concerns and questions and observations ahead of the appointment.
3. There Are No Dumb Questions — If you observe a change in your pet’s behavior that concerns you remember that your pet’s vet would prefer you call right away and get their opinion. A change in behavior could be a sign of a bigger health problem.
4. The Sooner You Call the Better — Don’t wait too long to address a concern; some pet health problems can turn into emergencies within 24 hours. Fast action and early treatment can diminish your pet’s suffering and result in a more complete cure. Vets advise that the first time you think about calling follow your intuition and make the call.
5. If You Don’t Understand Something Speak Up — If your pet is diagnosed with a condition or treatment recommendations you don’t understand be sure to ask for clarity. Request handouts and reference materials so you can better familiarize yourself with their condition. And don’t be afraid to ask for a referral if a pet health specialist could better address your pet’s condition.
6. Don’t Rely on the Internet for Pet Health Recommendations — Your veterinary practice’s website may have reference links about your pet’s condition. Use these sources for additional information rather than a generic site, which may be misleading. Be sure to use the Internet responsibly and remember it is no substitute for a consultation with your pet’s vet.
7. Consider Pet Insurance — Veterinary care can be costly just as human medical care can be. Common procedures for pets these days include MRIs, neurosurgery and joint replacements. Purchasing pet insurance at a reasonable cost now can go a long way to covering unexpected treatments and emergency care in the future.
8. Ask about Pain Relief — Some ailments are incurable. Pain relief is something your vet is well versed in. Be sure to ask about pain relief for your pet’s particular condition.
9. Practice Prevention — Preventing illness is the best way to avoid difficult and costly treatments. Regular exams, proper diet and exercise can promote better health overall. Some pets are predisposed to certain health problems. Ask your pet’s vet about wellness care and preventive steps if your pet is predisposed to certain health problems.
10. Find a Veterinarian Before Your Get a Pet — Vets are a great resource before you choose a pet. They can tell you if the pet you’re considering has a temperament that is a good fit for you and your lifestyle. Too often pets end up in shelters due to behavior problems that could have been addressed at the onset if new owners were aware of their potential. By asking a vet before you adopt, rescue or buy a pet you will have less chance of having regrets later.
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