how veterinarians listen to our furry friends part 2

Posted by Dr. Rebecca Jackson on Jan 21 2013

Let’s see, as described in my last blog, by now your vet has questioned you, done the exam, run tests and now has an idea of what’s afflicting your furry family member. The puzzle is starting to look like something we can identify. At this point, your vet may recommend more tests, or they might start talking about treatment options. This is a great opportunity to ASK questions. Make sure you understand what you are treating, what the goal of the therapy is, how quickly you should see a response, and what to do if things aren’t going the way you think they should. You are your pet’s advocate (along with being their personal chef and main source of entertainment). It’s okay to ask questions and seek clarification.

The most important thing comes next. Are you ready? The next step is to follow through with your vet’s recommendations. The medicine doesn’t do any good if it’s left in the bottle. “Strict exercise restriction” (usually recommended after surgery) includes preventing your pet from following you up and down the stairs while you change the laundry. Food limitations include ALL treats, table scraps, licking the dishes in the dishwasher, peanut butter to get the pills down, etc. Rechecks are incredibly important for your vet to assess your pet’s progress.

Make sure you understand what you need to do at home to help your pet get better. You are an essential piece of the puzzle. We couldn’t do this without you, and your pet needs you more than ever. The best part? As you are going through all of this information overload and the stress of having a sick or injured pet, your Petplan pet insurance can be there to ease the financial burden. This allows you to focus on the most important thing: your furry family member.

Although this is a very simplified version of the diagnostic process that we as pet parents and veterinarians go through, I think the main points are here. They are as follows:

1) Let us know when something isn’t right. When behaviors such as eating, bathroom habits or play and snuggle times change, let your veterinarian know. It’s better to hear, “That’s nothing to worry about,” instead of, “I wish we would have known…”

2) Ask questions. We want you to understand what is going on and what we are hoping to do about it.

3) Follow through with the at-home care and follow-ups with your vet. We can’t make adjustments in our treatment plan if we don’t know how things are going along the way.

4) Don’t stress about the finances. With dog insurance or cat insurance from Petplan, we are here to help. If you want to better understand whether or not something will be covered, you can always submit a pre-authorization for diagnostics and therapy, something we will discuss more in the future…

To more waggin’ and purrin’, rwkj.