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Ask a Vet, Get an Answer

Feb 10, 2008
You cannot compare the expertise of a doctor to the expertise of a veterinarian because doctors only need to learn to diagnose and treat one species. Vets, on the other hand, have to learn to recognize and cure diseases for many different species without being able to talk to them in plain English.

Your dog is not going to sit down with the vet and tell him where it hurts or how long he has felt ill. We as pet owners have to take extra precaution in choosing a veterinarian to treat our furry loved ones. Be sure to ask your vet about his or her ability to perform surgery or treat serious diseases like cancer. Most veterinarians are unable to treat these kinds of illnesses, so if you find one who claims to be able to, you have either found a liar or a genius.

Find out which it is, because the specialized training to perform surgery and such is a rare commodity but may be what your pet will need in the future. If your vet is capable of such advanced procedures, you have yourself a winner. Another point of interest that you should ask your veterinarian about is pet dental care. Pet dentists are not exactly common as far as I know, since most people would turn to a vet for this type of thing. If your vet knows anything at all about pet dentistry, count yourself lucky. Ask your vet how to treat your pet's teeth properly, what kind of toothbrush and paste to use, how to remove trapped food, and what kind of food is lightest on teeth. This is not for the pet's vanity but for your pet's genuine well-being, since all pets need to be able to eat appropriately.

When you ask about what food to give to your pet, beware the sales pitch. If the vet only recommends the food in stock in the shop, you may need to ask another vet. It is ideal to find a vet who specializes in animal care only and not in the sale of products. One tip is to avoid any heavily processed foods because just as they are bad for humans, they will not be any better for pets. Avoid major bills by asking your vet to educate you in accident prevention and how to detect early signs of illness.

Many pet owners wait too long to take their animal to a veterinarian because of the big bills they expect to pay, however, prevention is the least expensive option if your vet is really your friend and educates you about how to protect your pets. Many vaccines are unnecessary, so do some research and make sure your vet does not pressure you to over vaccinate.
Any time a medicine is prescribed for your pet, ask about side effects because some treatments offer effects that are worse than the disease. You are your pet's insurance company, so be as tough on your pet's medical treatment as your insurance company is on yours.
About the Author
Terry Fitzroy is a professional writer specializing in cat questions and dog questions To learn more about Vet Questions visit DrLarryPetVet.com
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