2001-Tue Jan 16 10:47:16 EST 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
People who work in veterinary medicine aren’t hard to understand. We’re motivatedprimarilyby two things:
These “drives” are good — they mean we’re in this business for the right reasons. The problem, though, is that sometimes the time, energy, stress and money required to achieve our goals (to get the “right” diagnosis and provide the “gold standard” of care) may go beyond what pet owners wish for or are able to invest in when they are faced with health care situations with their pets. As with all things, pet health care is subject to financial realities and other considerations — and the reality is, you can’t always give a pet every single one of the latest and greatest treatments. That’s life.
Making a plan to deal with a pet’s health care issues means making choices. And if you’ve got to make a choice, you may as well fully understand your options. To ensure you have all the facts, you can do your part by asking your veterinarian these five questions:
As I mentioned, veterinarians are trained to find answers. We tend to believe that knowledge is power and that information by itself is valuable. (Often this is true, but sometimes it’s not.) As a result, we frequently recommend additional tests or diagnostic options.
If a test doesn’t change the course of treatment or the prognosis, is it still worth doing? For example, let’s say we have a patient with cancer. If there were a test or procedure that would let us know whether we could expect the pet to live for only a month or for six months more, but it would not affect how we treated the patient, would you agree to it? What if it was very expensive?
I don’t think there’s a wrong answer to this question. I also don’t think veterinarians are wrong to recommend tests that provide more information without necessarily affecting treatment. Everyone approaches these situations a little differently, and veterinarians are in search of knowledge. That’s why asking, “What will we do with this information?” is important to help you as a pet owner make an empowered, informed decision.
Information is great, but understanding what you and your vet are going to do with the information is more important. There’s nothing wrong with asking your vet to explain, step by step, what the plan is. Asking for next steps is a great way to get peace of mind and a grip on how to move forward.
It is the job of a veterinarian to make recommendations about your pet’s health. Sometimes what a vet recommends is not feasible, affordable or ideal for your specific situation or perspective. That’s OK.
When your veterinarian makes a recommendation about treating your pet, it’s never wrong to ask what your other options are. The important thing you need to understand is the differencesamong options when your veterinarian lays them out for you. That’s why, whenever you ask this question, you must also ask…
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.