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How to Find a Great Vet and When to Call

Apr 16, 2008
Finding a veterinarian can be as difficult as finding yourself a good doctor that you trust. Most veterinarians get into the profession because of a desire to help animals, but some lack the people skills to help you trust them. When you are looking for a vet you should find one that is willing to spend time talking with you and getting to know you and your dog. A vet who talks and listens to you and one that you understand is a valuable resource.

Knowing your dog and general dog health is the first step to spotting concerns that could become major health issues. You know your dog best, if they are acting more lethargic, or favoring a certain part of their body you should be concerned. Pay attention to the first warning signs and you may prevent a major illness. Be aware that signs of illness in a puppy or senior dog should be addressed more quickly, where it may be OK to monitor an adult dog for 24 hours or so if they are just lethargic or not eating.

There are many instances that you should call your vet right away. These include but are not limited to: you know or suspect your dog was hit by a car, or ingested poison of any kind, sudden changes in weight or throwing up or diarrhea for more than 24 hours or diarrhea with blood, if your dog swallows a foreign object, had a seizure, or been in a fight.

You are the best judge if something serious is going on with your dog. It may be OK to monitor them for a short period of time before calling or taking them in when they are experiencing mild symptoms, but be aware that a small problem could escalate into a major health concern if not addressed early.

If you have not developed the kind of relationship with your vet that allows you to speak your mind and they listen carefully and take a second look, it may be a good idea to get another opinion. You need to look until you find a vet that will listen to you and your concerns. Vets as a rule are very good, but some get in a hurry or decide on a diagnosis and they don't like you telling them that you are uncomfortable with it and want them to consider other options. If this sounds like your vet, you may want to consider talking to another vet until you find one that fits you. Don't be shy about going in and interviewing a vet to see if they will fit your needs, if they are willing to spend that time talking to you they may be a good fit. If the vet does not want to do an interview or if they don't satisfy your questions in that interview keep looking!

Remember, you are your dog's first line of defense. Know your dog. Choose a great vet and don't be afraid to switch if it is not working out. Trust your instincts when it comes to your dog and always call your vet when something is not right. They can tell you whether or not to come in, or whether it is OK to wait and monitor your dog based on the medical history they have. Your dog's health is important! Do not risk their health just because you have not found a great vet. Keep looking until you find what works for you and your dog, there are many awesome vets out there!
About the Author
Annette owns ACE Barkery which makes and ships a variety of healthy dog treats nationwide. They also offer a FREE Newsletter with dog health and training tips. Visit them at: ACE Barkery
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