Veterinarians have a tough job. Imagine trying to get your doctor to diagnose you without being able to vocalize what you’re feeling or, where you’re feeling it, or even how much it hurts. This is what vets do every day, all day.
Perhaps the harder part of the job is articulating to emotional pet parents – who are even more in the dark about the intricacies of pet health – what is going on, the best course of action, why it’s necessary for their fur-kid, and how much it’s going to cost.
Passions run high when our pets are in trouble. How can we manage our expectations?
1. Communication is essential
“Remember unlike humans, pets can’t tell us how they feel or where it hurts. Nobody knows your pet as well as you do, so when you bring them to the vet be as informative with their history as possible. Some small detail may seem insignificant to you but may actually help point your veterinarian in the right direction. Once your veterinarian has a good understanding of the problem they may recommend that a few tests be performed. If you are confused or don’t understand why, then feel free to question why. How will the results of these tests affect your treatment plan? How much do they cost? Keep an open dialogue with your veterinarian and make sure they understand your expectations with regards to your pet’s care.”
2. Dr. Google didn’t go to vet school
“Many people will now consult the internet rather seeking veterinary advice. While the internet can be a great source of information, use it wisely. Nobody verifies or monitors what is said on the internet and I have seen multiple examples of people mistreating their pets based on absurd internet advice. If you seek more information on health topic, ask your vet for a list of reputable veterinary sites.”
3. The actual cost of healthcare
“Canadians have one of the best healthcare systems in the world; however, since we are never billed directly, most people have no idea of what their medical care actually costs. As a result, when their pets get sick, our clients are often surprised with the costs of diagnostics and treatments.”