Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Chiwi is a Chihuahua. A very fat Chihuahua. Unfortunately, Chiwi can’t afford to be overweight. He’s had two bum knees for a year, and just last week he slipped a disc in his back. This collection of bad news means Chiwi likely won’t walk again without surgery, rehab and emergency weight loss.
For veterinarians, the C word isn’t always cancer. In many cases, it’s something far more complicated: compliance.
Simply put, compliance is the extent to which you, the pet owner, follows medical advice for your pet. It is a term laden with meaning, one that effectively asks you to be honest with yourself. Are you willing and able to do what it takes?
Though it might seem obvious to you, the reality is that it’s not always easy to answer this question in the affirmative. Doing what it takes to keep your pet as healthy as possible, especially in the face of a complicated set of problems like Chiwi’s, can be expensive, stressful, time-consuming and physically demanding.
Which explains why veterinarians have to walk a fine line when it comes to making recommendations. We can’t just make dictatorial pronouncements about what our patients need; we’ve got to understand our clients’ real-life limitations if we’re going to get to what’s best for each pet.
But getting that done isn’t always easy. That’s why we tend to follow some simple, collaborative steps when we approach our clients with recommendations for caring for their pets. I offer them here in the hopes that you'll feel more confident giving your veterinarian your input and, along with it, your compliance.
1. Honest questions, honest answers. “Can you manage the treatments I’ve just recommended? I know you must have your plate full, so I just want to be sure this schedule is realistic for you.”
Veterinarians are aware that not every client is capable of (or can afford) what we recommend. That’s why we have to be accommodating with our treatment plans. We don’t want to assume you can’t do what we’d like you to, but we have to let you know that you can be honest with us about what’s reasonable.
Of course, this approach assumes you’ll reward our honesty with more of the same. Without it, your pet might not get what she needs.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Members of the public called The Marine
Mammal Center when they spotted a sea
lion pup on the streets of San…
Clicker-training a cat may seem like it
would be impossible, but Mikkel Becker
says it's actually not as hard as it…
We round up our favorite Mother's Day
presents, from decor to accessories, that
reflect mom’s passion for animals.
We share the “sweet spots” where many
felines like to be petted, and the one
place that tends to bring out the…
If you’re looking for a semi-longhaired
feline with a Siamese-like personality, this
beautiful breed might be your…
We’re sharing hilarious, cringe-inducing stories from our Facebook fans that we bet many pet owners can relate to!
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.