How To Help Your Vet Help Your Pet
1. Keep a record on your pet:
Date of birth
Medical problems – major and minor
Keep your record up to date and handy.
In an emergency, your record will be a great source of
information to a veterinarian, especially if your usual vet is not
2. If you think your pet needs help, stay calm and
assess the situation by answering the following questions so that you can
inform your vet of the answers.
Is your pet breathing okay?
Is your pet breathing labored, coughing or wheezing?
Is your pet more or less active than usual?
Is your pet eating and drinking normally? If not, when did you
notice a change?
Is there any mucus or discharge from the nose, ears or eyes?
Is your pet's feces normal?
Is there any irritation around the anal area?
Is your pet licking or chewing itself?
Is your pets gums a normal color?
Did you have your yard or house sprayed recently?
Have you or your neighbors used any rat poison recently?
3. When you visit your vet:
Take with you a list of all medications or supplements, including
dosages, your pet is currently taking.
Inform your vet of anything you have done to help your pet with its
problem. (diet change, wound cleaning, oral supplements, etc.)
Ask your vet questions about your pet's course of treatment.
(How long will treatment last? What can be expected from the
treatment? What diet changes, if any, are necessary? Are
there any side effects from the treatment? What side
effects/symptoms should you look for as a result of your pet's
treatment? Does physical activity need to be limited? etc.)
Understanding the course of treatment for your pet is very
important. Your vet should welcome any and all of your
questions. Keep in mind that no one knows your pet as well as you
do. Tailor your questions about your pet and be specific. The
more questions you ask the better you will be able to help your pet when
you get your pet home.
A good veterinarian will welcome your questions. From your
questions, they will know you are a caring pet owner who wants to do
everything you can to help your pet recover. Be sure you understand
your pet's course of treatment. Never be afraid to say, "I
don't understand, can you explain it again?" Remember, if you
don't understand your pet's treatment, you can't help your pet! Ask
until you understand!