You should be minimally prepared before taking your pet to a veterinary practice unless it is an emergency. There are certain logical steps to be followed, although or maybe because of it, they are overlooked more frequently than it may seem.
The pet owner is, or should be, the veterinary surgeon’s main ally. He knows the pet best, and is the first one to notice when something is wrong. This is why, before you leave for the clinic, you should go over some of the questions you will be asked, such as: What is exactly the matter with your pet? When did these symptoms start? What do you think may be the cause?
Another important detail is that you should take along anything that might be useful, such as vaccination records, the medicines your pet may be taking, the container of a possibly toxic product, even a faeces sample if your pet has diarrhoea. It is better to take too much than not enough!
Once in the practice, there will usually be other animals there. Your dog should be wearing a collar and lead, even a muzzle, and your cat should be in a carrier. The smells of other animals and the memories of previous visits can make your pet react in unexpected ways in the waiting room.
When your turn comes up, and thanks to the checklist that you have answered at home, you should give clear and simple explanations. Although many owners forget this, it is also necessary to help handle your pet when the veterinary surgeon is about to examine it, especially if it needs to be restrained.
After the first examination, a series of tests may be proposed, such as blood tests, x-rays or ultrasound scans. You should remember that animals cannot tell us what is wrong, so these tests are valuable and necessary. This does not mean that you do not need to know what kind of procedure your pet is going to undergo, or how much it is going to cost.
At the end of the process, the veterinary surgeon will tell you what the cause or what he suspects is the cause of your pet’s discomfort, as well as what to do about it. From then on it is your responsibility to follow his instructions. But if there are things you do not understand, if you think you are going to forget something, ask for the explanations to be repeated once or one hundred times over, or to be put in writing. You should never have doubts when you leave the practice.
If everything has gone well, from this moment on your pet will begin to respond to the medicines, to diet, to the treatment, and of course, to its owner’s best care
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Colegio Oficial de Veterinarios de Alicante
Mendez Nuñez, 38 · 03002 Alicante
Tel.: 96 521 41 11 · correo electrónico