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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thanks to the internet, everyone's a Dr

Before I begin..I am NOT saying not to do your research. The more informed our clients are, the easier our jobs are. Research everything to death. Get second opinions if you feel the need...get third opinions. No vet worth their license will be insulted by this.

BUT....do NOT think that you have everything all figured out because you did one of the following:

1) found some info on a random website
2) asked some strangers on a message board what they think is wrong with your pet
3) asked your Aunt Joan what's wrong with your pet.


More and more lately,  I and/or the Dr walk into the exam room just to have an owner give us their diagnosis of their pet immediately. Some have even gone so far as to say "I dont need an exam...I know what's wrong and these are the meds I want"

Yeah. That wont fly at a human Dr. and it wont fly with a vet either. Especially considering that at least 75% of these people are dead wrong as to the diagnosis. If you haven't gone to school to study veterinary medicine, you are not qualified to diagnose your pet. Neither are random strangers on the internet or your Aunt Joan who has worked at McDonalds for the past 30 years.

The Dr needs to examine your pet. Depending on what that exam turns up, we may need to do tests to determine the problem and proper course of treatment. To not do this would be a gross injustice to you and your pet, and may very well cost the vet his license. Yes, you have to pay for all this. WebMD is lovely and I have used it myself. It was never meant to replace an actual doctors exam. And it is also meant for HUMANS.

While I am on this particular rant...I need to say this. VERY IMPORTANT!!

DO NOT GIVE YOUR PET HUMAN MEDICATION. EVER. NEVER EVER EVER.  Esp if a licensed veterinarian has not explicitly told you to.

Yes, there are a few human meds that are safe for pets.(and no I will not tell you which ones.I will not give medical advice over the internet) Others..like Tylenol, Advil and Aleve....can KILL them in less then an hr. I dont care if your parents always did it and it was always ok. There's a guy that travels around the country eating nails for money. If I did that, I'd be in the hospital real quick. And if I told them that he ALWAYS does it and he's ALWAYS ok, I would be laughed at. And rightly so.

So PLEASE!! If you have the urge to give your pet human medication...at LEAST call your vet and ask if it is ok before you do it. It will probably save you the cost of an emergency vet visit and a lot of heartache in the likelyhood that your pet does not survive.

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