A few days ago I saw someone posted on Facebook asking questions regarding her pet’s health. Apparently she had just found a puppy who was in a really bad condition. She went to a vet to get the puppy checked but after the visit she doesn’t trust the vet anymore because according to her the vet “does not inspire confidence”. Instead of going to another vet to get a second opinion, she posted on Facebook group and asked the members there against the vet’s advice as you can read from the screenshot below. What worries me most is the answers she gets. The first person to comment (Orange) called her friend Green to ask her opinion about deworming and she gave a solution that even she said MAYBE it would work. Green, whose background is not vet-related but works in a local animal shelter, gave a solution of giving injectable animal drug. Please note that Green also said “maybe”. The owner (Blue) was not sure with the solution given by Green. So Green asked her friend, Red, to confirm whether her solution was okay or not. Red, who is also not from vet-related background, gave another solution and said the vet’s advice was wrong based on her ‘knowledge’. Please note that nobody gave advice to visit another vet for a second opinion. Everyone gave their own solution for the poor pup. It was only when Blue asked for a good vet then Red gave a contact of a different vet. It would cause more work for the vet if the pet owner continued with random solutions she had got. She claims her vet (who has knowledge) has no confidence, yet she listens to non vet people who seems confident but has no idea of what they suggest. Unfortunately that kind of posts or questions is not uncommon. With the ease of internet and social networking nowadays people tend to ask for free solution for their pet’s health. I understand vet visit can be expensive nowadays but there are a few reasons for it. We, vets, spend at least six years of study to understand animal health, to understand how drug works (not by giving random antibiotics or antiparasitic drugs), to understand disease symptoms and how to treat them. Really, we don’t have to waste 6 years in university if pet owners prefer to listen to Google or what the community says. To avoid being that kind of pet owner and being a horrible client for your vets, here are some tips from me:
- Start in your neighborhood. Ask your neighbors for a few recommended vets near you and visit them to see if they are good enough. Keep one number of good vet for emergency. Believe it or not, when someone is in panic sometimes it’s easier to ask on social media rather than to call their vets. If there’s no good vet nearby, expand your search zone and search more vets.
- Ask other pet owners who have the same dog/cat breed as you do for a reliable vet based on their experience. Due to similarities in their genetics, animals of the same breed tend to have similar inherited diseases.
- Visit a few different vets and pick which one suits you best. This may sound expensive but it is worth investing for your furry kids to find a good vet by experiencing them personally.
- If you feel you still have to ask Google after a vet visit, it means you haven’t trust them fully. Keep on trying a few other vets until you find a vet that you can fully trust and asking Google is not necessary anymore.
- If you really need to ask online, please use Google scholar instead of asking random people.
- Use online vet consultation service. Nowadays a few websites offer online consultation. This can be a quick alternative, but considering the vet’s inability to check your animal condition directly, it’s still essential to take your pets for a direct vet exam and you can consult the exam or diagnosis result online.
Having a pet is a life-long commitment. You can’t adopt or buy a puppy/kitten because they are cute but then abandon them because pet care is expensive. Health is one of the most important things for all creatures and investing in a good vet is essential for your pet’s life. Please choose your vet wisely.