Many people are intimidated when it comes to medical professionals, and often follow medical advice blindly without questioning whether or not it’s the best thing for them. I’ve found this to be a big issue when it comes to pets and veterinarians. People just accept what they are being told about their pet’s care, and sometimes they could save their pet and/or themselves a lot of aggravation by asking a few questions. Here are three questions I always ask my dog’s veterinarian, and why.
Is this the best price?
Let’s face it, nearly everything you do in life comes at a price; however, I’ve learned most prices are negotiable. Letting your pet’s doctor know that you are paying out-of-pocket and that you are working with a tight budget could help them provide you with cheaper options. For example, our vet was able to change one of my dog’s prescriptions from pill to powder form, which will save us $150 every six months.
Are there any side-effect to this medication?
When a human gets a prescription they are usually provided with a pamphlet outlining what they medication is, what it does, and what side-effects are commonly seen in patients. Pets and pet owners aren’t afforded the same information. Most pet owners go on blind faith that the doctor is giving their pet the best and safest medication possible; however, that kind of thinking could get your pet into trouble. When my dog had ACL surgery in June 2011 she was on a number of medications for several months. We later learned one of those could cause liver damage after prolonged use. Had I taken the time to ask the risks, I would have known that in advance, and could have made an informed decision about continuing her use. Luckily, she wasn’t affected, and it only cost me $75 for a test to ensure she was still healthy.
Will you be the only one treating my pet?
There are at least eight doctors on staff at the animal clinic I chose for our dog, and over the last six years my dog has been treated by most of them, and we’ve had very few issues. However, two years ago she was treated for a condition called Pancreatitis, which required her to be admitted for two days. I left her with one doctor who I believed was capable and caring, and returned to find out that doctor was on vacation for the rest of her stay. Needless to say I was very upset that no one informed me she was being treated by a new doctor. Now, I make sure to ask who will be responsible for her treatment, and demand to be informed of any changes to that plan.
When it comes to your pet’s welfare and your finances you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the uncomfortable questions. You may be surprise how much more information you can gain just by asking some simple questions. Not to mention that it will help improve your pet’s overall care.
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