As a vet, I know that most pet owners genuinely care and love their pets. I also know that there are times when common sense applies, and things go wrong with your pet that you can DIY (do it yourself) care for your pet, and other times, when a veterinarian is needed.
|DIY Veterinary Care is like getting a kid to be your vet!|
The heart is in the right place, but things may not turn
out like you expected.
Do you have a car? Perhaps you are wondering why I asked that question. I do ... I have an old Honda. It gets me around. The engine sounds fine to me, and I haven't had any problems with it (other than regular maintenance stuff). But it went for its regular check up yesterday, and the mechanic said to me that the clutch is going. I had noted a bit of stiffening, but put that down to the age of the car. It is now going in for a new clutch, before it totally seizes up on me. As I give my car a professional check up at the mechanic, so should you with your pet (not at the mechanic, but at the vets).
I drive my car every day, and I spent quality time with it, hearing its humming as I zoom (under the speed limit of course) on the freeway to the vet hospital. I put petrol in it, and pump up its tyres. I speak nicely to my car, as God knows, I can't afford a replacement. But to identify that the clutch wasn't healthy and needed replacement, well that required a specialist ( the mechanic) to identify that there was a problem. I trust my mechanic, and I know he wouldn't say something needed fixing if it didn't.
That is where the challenge lies for a pet owner - when does your pet need to see a veterinarian. I think you will agree, that your pet needs to see a vet when there is something with your pet that worries you. And, you may not agree with this next statement, but at least each six months for a general check up.
It is that simple.
Frankly, many signs of illness are easily missed by owners - you are busy, day in/day out... and there are subtle changes you may miss. Like the broken tooth, or the lump in the armpit, or that the eyes are hazy - why is that so?
Or perhaps you are scared of what the vet will say when they see your pet? I had a customer say to me the other week, " I don't like taking my pet to the vet as they always find something wrong with them". This guy is not a client of mine, but I thought "What a strange thing to say", don't you think?
I don't go out of my way to find things wrong with pets that I see, but I can't help what I find. I think you will agree, that a great vet is one who does perform a full physical examination, a thorough assessment of everything, and lays it out for you, honestly. And when they find nothing wrong, and say so, you can be elated. That puts a big big smile on my face too. We all love healthy animals!
And when the vet does find something abnormal, it is not an insult to how you care for your pet, but it is just the vet doing their job properly... to keep you informed, and give you the knowledge you need to continue to care for your pet the best way you can.
My heart hurts when I see a new puppy, and find things wrong. But, should I keep my mouth shut? Not tell the owner? Or should I keep them informed, honestly, and give them the information they need to fix the problem (if it can be fixed). Frankly, burying your head in the sand, and hope the problem will disappear is not a realistic solution. And, ignoring it until it is very hard to fix, even in the best of hands, is criminal.
So, DIY is great if you are renovating the house, doing the gardens, or anything where it doesn't really matter if you stuff it up. So what if you try to paint your house, and it turns out splotchy... you can then get an expert to fix that up for you with no harm done.
But where your pet is concerned, they deserve more than DIY Veterinary Care. They deserve the real deal. And if your vet is anything like me, they will help you as much as they can, to keep you informed, in the loop, and help you do all the good animal care things, to keep your pet healthy.
|Dr Liz doing the vet - thing - looking at dental xrays of a dog|
whose mouth looked "normal" and "healthy"
on the outside, and on xrays, was anything but.
There are alot of things that vets cannot do.... and that is live with your pet day in and day out.... you are one of the most important parts of the equation of keeping your pet healthy, happy, and with you forever and ever (or for as long as they possibly could be). Your pet (and your vet) needs you to spot when things aren't going well.
DIY Animal Care --- that is you. You can do that, and vets can help you do it better! But you do that part best.
DIY Veterinary Care - nah, your pet deserves better. They deserve the real vet. The animal expert. See a vet if you are worried, concerned, got questions about your pet. We are there to help you and your pet. So let us! Your pet will give you big licks, big love bites, and a big grin from ear to ear because they know that you are caring about them, and doing the best you can do, for them.
That is all our pets every ask of us.