Being a veterinarian isn’t easy. Our patients can’t tell us what is wrong or where it hurts. Our diagnosis and treatment plan is based on physical clues, diagnostics, and important information that we gather from you (the pet owner.) To do our job, we need as many pieces of the overall puzzle as we can get. There are things that you can do to make our job easier, and things that certainly make it harder….Which brings us to this list of 5 things you should not say to your vet.
#5- Don’t lie.
Please just tell us the truth about whatever embarrassing item your dog ate. Tell us that you forgot to give the medication. Tell us that your dog really hates his feet touched. Whatever the truth is, please tell us. It may be embarrassing, but it makes our job SO MUCH EASIER. We can waste precious time and resources doing testing and treatments that might not be needed if you give us all the information you know about your pet and his/her condition. No, we aren’t going to judge you, we just want to help your pet. We love them just like you do!
#4- “Well what I read online says you’re wrong….”
In an age where a VAST amount of information is at everyone’s fingertips it is really hard to make sure that you are getting accurate and up to date info when looking online. Please don’t misunderstand. The internet is a great thing, and contains a lot of really good resources and information. The problem is that just because something is on the internet does not mean that it is true or the best option for your pet. Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians go through years of schooling and continue with mandatory education for their entire careers. We make it a point to know about the newest studies, medications, and treatments. If you find out some interesting information online, please discuss it with us. We can look into the information and make sure that it is valid, or direct you to some great reputable sites that have studies to back up their findings. Please take your veterinarian’s word when it comes to your pet’s health. I promise that we have their well-being as our top priority.
#3- “My dog seemed sick so I gave him______.”
Please, please, please call a veterinarian before giving any medication to your pet. We know that you want to make your furry friend feel better, but we also want them to be safe. Pets are not little people, and many of them can not tolerate human medications, or even medications for animals given at the inappropriate dosage. Some medications can even be deadly for our pets! A quick phone call can save everyone a lot of frustration and maybe even save your pet’s life.
#2- “Do you have any questions?” Nope
If you don’t understand or have more questions about something, ask us. Education is a huge part of our job. We enjoy teaching owners about their pet’s condition and how to treat it. It can be really overwhelming when you get a lot of information thrown at you all at once. If you need us to write things down, demonstrate how to give a medication, or even call back and talk to us later when you think of a question you forgot to ask, please do so. We want you to be comfortable with the treatment plan for your pet. Don’t be afraid to ask us. That’s what we’re here for!
#1- “You’re only in it for the money.”
Out of all the things NOT to say to our vet, this is #1. This has got to be the most difficult thing that veterinarians and their staff members deal with on a daily basis. Veterinarians and their staff members are some of the most compassionate humans you will encounter on the planet. We go through years of schooling, long hours of emotionally exhausting work, and massive student debt because we truly love our patients. Our compassion can also be a curse. We invest so much of our time and emotions into our patients that comments like this literally cut to the bone. Great veterinarians and technicians leave this field every day because of emotional burnout. We make recommendations for your pet based on our education and the specific needs of your pet, not to make more money. No, we don’t get royalties for recommending certain food or medications. We recommend them because they are the best choice for your pet. We recommend them because we know they work. We recommend them because we want your pet to be the healthiest he or she can be. Like every profession, I’m sure there are some veterinarians out there that may not have pure motives. I can assure you that the vast majority are completely head over heals in love with their patients and just want what’s best for them.