Choose The Right Vet Your Pets Life Rests In His Hands
Choose The Right Vet Your Pets Life Rests In His Hands One of the most crucial and important of decisions a pet-parent makes it that of choosing a vet.
It is the vet who will understand your pet when he gets ill and care enough to practice what is now popular as preventive health care.
Never choose a vet because he has a nice smile or a beautiful office or is cheap. Choose a vet who thinks about your pet the same as you do and always keeps
the best interest of the pet ahead of all other considerations. The vet must love the breed that your pet is and:
• Be kind and gentle when handling the dog. He must not leave diagnosis or check ups to assistants.
• He must always stay ahead of developments in medicine and update his skills and knowledge constantly.
• The vet must be able to stand by you through thick and thin and proffer timely advice.
• The clinic must be spik and spank and have space for overnight stay with clean kennels, space to run, and staff who love animals.
• It is ideal if the clinic is located close to your home and if it offers health care plans for your pet.
• Ask the clinic if they have emergency contact numbers so that you can call if an unforeseen problem occurs in the middle of the night or on a public holiday.
• Check if the clinic has specialists consulting with them like orthopedic doctors and eye specialists.
As a concerned pet parent you must make a list of questions you need answers to. And spend a little time on finding out whether you would be more comfortable with an allopathic vet represented by the American Veterinary Medical Association,
AVMA or a holistic vet represented by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, AHVMA.
While allopathic vets practice conventional medicine, a holistic vet will use medicinal herbs, nutritional changes or supplements, vitamins, and enzymes, chiropractic manipulations, homeopathy, Bach flower remedies, as well as massages for treatment.
And, if need be they will prescribe allopathic medicines. They try and treat the cause not just the symptoms of any ailment.
It is essential for you to choose a vet who will work along your side in caring for the pet. He must be patient, love the animal, and make time to explain things to you as well as take your opinion of things. After all, no one can know your pet better than you.
A vet must care for the pet for at least 10-15 years. He must be organized and maintain health records in great detail from the day the pet is born to the day it dies.
A pet will lead a complete existence only if you, the vet, and trainer work in harmony and side by side. So, choosing a suitable vet is an important decision that must be done after weighing all the pros and cons.
So you’ve got a new cat, and she needs a checkup. On your first vet visit, your vet will take the lead and give you some basic information, and probably will go through a fairly standard routine.
Upwards of 90% of the information you need, however, will be based on the questions that you ask your vet. Somewhere, typically towards the end of the checkup, your vet will ask you if you have any questions.
Usually, by that time, your adrenaline has been pumping, and you’ve been overloaded. Your cat has been stressed and so have you… you are both ready to leave. Do not let this opportunity pass you by.
Take this time to take the lead, and ask your questions. What questions? Well, the ones that you’ll forget if you don’t already have them written down. Yes, write them down now.
Much of the information being distributed today on feline diet, health, and cat care in general is either fear based (e.g. raw meat diets, vaccination scares), or profit based (i.e. advertising). It’s important, therefore, to get your vet‘s take on some of these issues.
Here is a list of issues that you can use to formulate your questions. This is by no means all inclusive, and you’ll probably have some specific ones of your own.
The important thing is that this will spark a dialogue between you and your vet that will help both of you to better care for your cat.
Here are some subjects to create your questions around…
Vaccination options: there are options for both type and schedule, and there are risks, so be sure to find out what your vet recommends for your cat.
Diet and nutrition: ask about commercial cat foods and brands as they are not all the same. What about alternatives like home made cat food, raw meat diets, and feeding table scraps?
Common cat owner mistakes: ask your vet which common mistakes to avoid.
Emergency procedures: find out what emergency procedures your vet has now, should you need it later.
Indoor or Outdoor: this is a big subject as it greatly affects your life, and the life span of your cat.
Cat litter and litter boxes: many choices can be narrowed to only a few by asking your vet for advice.
Common diseases and their signs: understanding what the common signs of disease are will help you detect problems in your cat early, and may save her life one day.
Use the above list to get started. As you write your questions, more will come to you. Write them down, even if the answers appear obvious. There is no question too small to ask your vet about the health of your cat.
Five Vital Questions To Ask Your Vet
Choosing a “vital 5” out of my list of questions to ask your vet about your cat was no easy task. As the list gets longer, it becomes even more difficult.
My hope, of course, is that cat owners and vets everywhere will use this technique to form a better pet health care team. With some creativity, you can adapt the concept, if not the questions themselves, to fit just about any pet.
As you may already know, I began collecting my list of questions based on reader feedback. By the types of questions that I was being asked by website visitors, two major truths became painfully obvious…
1. Many people just do not seem to have a good working relationship with their vet.
By that I mean that for some reason, they don’t seem to get the information that they need. Honestly, I have been shocked by the questions coming my way on cat health and behavior. Hadn’t these people spoken to their vet? Surely their vet could have helped them with this topic.
Sadly, in some cases, the answer was no. Even worse, though, was the sad reality of the second truth…
2. They had asked one or more veterinarians about the issue, but never got a clear direction on what the problem was or what to do about it!
In some cases, these people had asked for help over long periods of time, with no results. For them, my standard answer of “here is what I know, now go ask your vet about the particulars” didn’t really work for them.
The quick answer of “get another vet” didn’t always apply either. It was either not feasible, or had already been tried. The obvious follow up to that would be to continue looking for a veterinarian who would help.
But that probably isn’t necessary most of the time.
I didn’t have a specific answer for these people at the time, but I knew two things. First, these people needed to get to a place where they could work as a team with their vet to help their cat.
Second, they needed to learn exactly what to ask in order to get their vet to talk to them.
One of our goals as cat owners should be to develop and encourage an information flow with our vet. Yet, this seems to be something that most of us put little thought into.
So, how do you do that? Two ways…
1. Ask good questions that lead to a two way information exchange.
My firm belief is that the quality of information that we receive is directly related to the questions that we ask. Based on that notion, I decided to try to help you, the cat owner, and put together a list of “questions to ask your vet.”
2. Arrive at your vet visit prepared, with questions in hand.
Show up at your vet visit with written questions, and write down the responses. While you’re there, jot down any new questions, along with their answers, that come to mind.
If you don’t, you will either forget to ask, not ask in the right way, or worse, forget the answer! Your pet will thank you.
Of my entire list of questions to ask your vet, I’ve selected 5 that are vital. Here they are…
1. Should my cat be indoor or outdoor?
This decision impacts how you and your cat interact. More importantly, it determines to a significant degree how long your cat may live. As a rule, indoor cats live many times longer than outdoor cats.
2. What are the most common diseases and conditions that I should know about?
You and your vet should briefly discuss the most common conditions that develop in cats.
This discussion can expand to include breed, and may vary based on geography.
3. What are the most common signs of disease that I should look for?
In addition to knowing which diseases are common, you should know what to look for. Getting a good idea of the common signs of disease will help you detect trouble early.
Some common signs of a number of diseases are excessive thirst and urination, excessive vomiting, weight loss, and lethargy.
4. What do you recommend for cat litter?
This can be somewhat controversial, but you should get your vet‘s opinion. There are many options, probably too many, on brand and type. Using the “wrong” cat litter can have a profound effect on the well being of your cat.
Some cats will refuse to use the litter box if you even change brands. Expand this into a discussion on litter box type, number and placement as well.
5. Is there a particular diet or brand of pet food that you recommend?
This again is controversial, but all important.
In addition, a number of well meaning cat lovers, including some breeders, are recommending home made cat food, or raw meat diets.
Watch out, as these can be dangerous, especially if not done correctly. Find out what your vet is feeding her own animals, and why.
Again, I’ll stress the value of the dialogue that begins based on these questions. If you’re a good conversationalist, you’ll be able to rewrite these questions in your own words.
If you are like most, however, you should write them down as is, and let the conversation flow from there.
Are there more questions to ask your vet than just these? Of course there are. Are there others that are also vital to you and your cat? Absolutely, and some of them only you may know.
The above list, however, should get you started on a great dialogue, and give you some solid information that a surprising number of pet owners simply do not have.
When to Call the Vet for Your Cat
The most important thing you can do when caring for a vet is make sure that he or she is healthy. When you have a cat, this is very important.
Because a cat cannot tell you what is wrong, you must be alert to changes in your cat. Knowing when to call your vet is very important, but it can be hard to know if there’s really something wrong or not.
Knowing your cat’s normal behavior is important. First of all, what are his eating and elimination habits? Some cats eat their meals in one sitting, while others eat bites all day.
If your cat has had a chance in appetite, this could indicate a problem. Your cat should also be using the litter box regularly, and diarrhea, constipation, and straining to urinate are all causes for concern.
Ever cat is different, so make sure to notice how your cat normally eats and eliminates in order to notice when something is wrong.
Your cat’s daily activities should also be somewhat regular. If your cat is always playing and then suddenly seems less active, you may have cause for concern.
However, slowly becoming less active is a natural part of aging, and some cats are naturally just not as energetic as others.
Make sure you note sudden chances and call your vet if you are concerned. Watch for problems with gait as well, as this could indicate arthritis or injury, among other things.
Along with activity, watch grooming habits. Cats are very neat and tidy creatures by nature, so your cat should be grooming him- or herself regularly. Over-grooming may also be dangerous to your cat’s health.
It is also important to know when there is an emergency situation. In general, if there is any doubt in your mind, call your vet or even take your cat straight to the vet‘s office.
For example, if your cat gets hit by a car, but is not bleeding, you should still have him or her examined, as internal problems could be of concern.
You should also consider it an emergency if your cat suddenly has an extreme change in health. For example, if your cat suddenly begins vomiting frequently, he or she may have been poisoned, which can be fatal.
The important thing is to never take matters into your own hands if you are unsure. A vet can make sure that your cat is healthy and happy. As a guardian for your pet, it is your responsibility to provide this care whenever necessary, and its always best to be safe.
Your Vet: The Perfect Resource to Educate You About Your Dog’s Diet
Whether you have recently been blessed with a new puppy in your home, or you are a seasoned dog handler, it is wise to speak with a veterinarian about the best diet for your dog.
With so many ideas, diet plans, and dog food varieties on the market, how do you know where to start?
Begin with your vet. A trusted veterinarian wants only what is best for your dog. Just like you, he or she wants to find and discover what is perfect for your dog’s diet. Talk about all aspects of your dog’s diet.
Your veterinarian can advise you on the basics of a dog’s diet. Often, your vet will recommend a dry dog food. Dry food as the main component of your dog’s diet,
will increase the likelihood of good dental health for your pet, but this varies depending on specifics.
Treats are another area that you will want to discuss with the veterinarian. Do they encourage specific types of treats? What snacks are discouraged for your specific pet?
Each animal is different and you and your vet know your dog better than anyone. Working together, you will find what aspects of your dog’s diet work best, and what needs to be altered.
Some breeds, for example, will often have trouble maintaining a healthy weight.
For this reason, your vet may recommend a smaller portion for your dog’s diet than the recommended amount on the side of a dog food bag. If your older pet has trouble chewing, specific types of dog food may be beneficial as part of your dog’s diet.
Your dog’s diet plays a significant role in the health of your pet. Your vet can inform you about any supplements needed to boost your dog’s outlook for a happy and healthy life.
Glucosamine is one item that is recommended by most veterinarians to promote healthy joints. This is especially true for dog’s of larger breeds.
The next time you are in the vet‘s office is a great time to bring up your dog’s diet. Your vet will be able to weigh your dog to see if weight is an issue.
He or she can take a look at the overall health of your pet. For example, if your dog has a dull coat, your veterinarian may suggest a different type of dog food or to add an egg to your dog’s diet.
During the lifetime of your pet, your dog’s diet may need to be changed to suit his or her needs. Puppies and older dogs may require additional amounts of protein or other vitamins and minerals.
If your dog is bred, your vet may recommend other changes to your dog’s diet.
With all the hype about what is healthy for a dog’s diet, do not decide to go at it alone and inadvertently choose a poor diet.
Speak to the vet about your dog’s diet and educate yourself on what is best for your beloved pet. A healthy diet is key to longevity.
Both you and your vet want to see your dog live to be happy and healthy for many years, and providing a nutritious diet for your dog is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.
How Often Will I Need to Take Kitty to the Vet?
The first visit to your local veterinary’s clinic should be as soon after bringing her home as possible. The vet will be able to assure you that she’s in tip-top condition,
advise you on the kind of food and how much she should be having, what shots she should have now, and whether or not she’s currently a home for fleas and worms.
This is a good opportunity for you to see how the vet handles the kitten, and also to ask any questions you may have about your cat’s health in general.
Use your time with the veterinary wisely. Whilst the vet examines kitty, ask if there are any kitten care leaflets you could have, or any books she recommends. Ask when the kitten can go outdoors,
what’s the best way of litter tray training her, how to stop her from scratching your furniture, does she need any vitamins added to her food, how much milk does she need
– any questions, it doesn’t matter how dumb you think they may sound to a professional, you aren’t a professional and you need the answers!
Once the initial examination is complete, the essential question that you should ask the vet is when you should bring the kitten back for her next “check-up”, and write that immediately into your day planner.
In kittens, some veterinary clinics may want to check on your kitty every other month or so – or they may recommend a series of weekly shots to boost your kitty’s
immune system ready for all those birds and mice she’s going to chase once she’s allowed outside!
Once you get through this feline baby stage however, you’ll probably be advised to bring your cat into the clinic once a year for an annual shot and general health check-up.
Selecting a Vet for your Pet
The best proven method to select a veterinarian is to visit one and then decide. A prior appointment should be taken and the staff should be informed before bringing the pet along.
A little bit of information can be also taken on the phone about the profile of the veterinarian.
The owner can even ask to talk with the veterinarian directly, and if he is busy doing a surgery, a message can be left to contact back. Another good method is to consult other friends who are pet owners.
Since they will already be having more experience in this regard, they can be of good help. If there isn’t familiarity with such people the local humane society, catteries and kennels can be contacted.
Sometimes the price can be a problem for many people. Such people can approach veterinarians who are working in a blue collar locality.
Veterinarians are people who usually are very compassionate about pets. But some of them can lack communication skills in spite of being highly qualified, but they still will be specialized in their fields.
A good veterinarian would stand close to the owner, like less than three feet. He will maintain constant eye contact and will address the pet by its name.
While talking, he will smile and run his fingers through the fur of the pet. Disinterest and hurrying to finish the examination are bad indications.
And if the veterinarian is really busy, it is better to opt for a veterinarian who can give more time.
The interiors of the office are another clue about the veterinarian’s nature. The office should be clean and odor free. The waiting room can also give lots of input about the vet.
Flyers and displays can divulge whether the veterinarian is part of any community and social organizations.
Notices which say that payment is supposed to be paid after examination and fine will be placed if appointment is not cancelled before hand aren’t good indications.
In the examination room, the equipments and instruments should be disinfected and organized neatly. The selection of staff also should be observed as the veterinarian will select staff which has similar nature as his.
If the receptionist doesn’t talks well, so will the veterinarian. Not only should the talking be good, but she should have a good attitude.
She should look up when a person enters the room and give him a smile. Her telephone conversation can also say a lot of things.
The number of staff members should also be considered. If there is a larger staff, it shows that the veterinarian is really busy and cannot give adequate time to the owner and his pet.
After the veterinarian is chosen, the next step should be bond creation.
Appointments can be taken for routine physical examination which can give time to interact with the veterinarian and knows about the pet in depth. Emergency visit leaves very little time for in depth communication.
It is always recommended to bring in only one pet at a time and not the whole lot. Otherwise, the veterinarian won’t be able to give individual and detailed attention to one animal.
Mornings are the best time to get appointments as the veterinarian will be having lots of free time on hand with less number of patients to see at that time.
Another thing to be kept in mind is that a family member should accompany the pet who is more informed and usually makes visits to the veterinarian. He or she should be familiar with the history of the animal; otherwise it can create great confusion.
This family member can maintain his own personal log and can note down questions about the pet prior to the appointment. Before going ahead with the treatment, the estimated cost should be discussed with the staff and the vet.
It is a very good idea to get the pet examined by the vet before deciding to buy it. Appointment can be made with the vet and seller.
The vet can not only determine the health conditions, but also the nature of the pet. This is a great help which can facilitate owner’s decision.
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