Seven ways to make the most of your vet visit

A vet’s job is tough, often tougher than a human doctor’s because a vet’s patient cannot speak. A visit to the vet’s can turn out to be a very stressful process for the owner, the vet as well as the pet. But a pet parent can do a lot to ease the tension and make the diagnosis and treatment of his pooch easier by keeping the following things in mind.

1. Always carry your pet’s records with you

Dr Kadambari
Your pet’s records can offer a lot of information to the veterinarian, particularly in case of an emergency.Records such as vaccination history helps rule out diseases that might be difficult, often expensive to diagnose. A record of your pet’s medications history might give a clue as to certain underlying cause for a particularly frustrating condition. All of these may save valuable minutes at the time of an emergency. Similarly, a pet’s pedigree record may help diagnose a genetic disorder. Therefore, be sure to maintain these records and don’t forget to carry them along when you visit your vet.

2. Be on time and turn off cell phone

If you’ve made an appointment, be on time. If you haven’t, make sure you arrive at the pet clinic well before closing hours. Your being on time definitely is certainly easy on the vet. Follow a good cell phone etiquette and tend to your calls post your visit.

3. Ask the vet how you can help restrain your dog

A little help from the owner goes a long way in restraining a dog without agitation. Dogs are naturally distrustful of strangers in a new place, particularly if these strangers want to poke and prod them at odd places. So an owner helping to hold a dog gives him a lot of reassurance, making the procedure of physical examination faster and easier on all involved.

4. Bring your dog to the vet personally

If you are the primary care giver to the dog, that is, you are the one who feeds him and walks him at home, you should be the one who takes him to the vet. Do not make the mistake of sending your pet with house help. Your presence reassures the dog and keeps him calm. It is also you who will be able to answer all the vet’s questions correctly- this process is called ‘history taking’. You can get a correct picture of how your dog is feeling.

5. Keep a list of questions ready

Often, while consulting a vet, pet owners forget to have their doubts clarified. Such doubts may include questions regarding dosing of the animal, why a particular mode of treatment was chosen and its possible complications, whether the condition might recur, etc. On the same note, a list of questions may also help make sure you don’t forget to mention anything important.

6. Emergency numbers

Make sure you can contact your vet in case of emergencies. Also make a note of these telephone numbers and where your vet can be reached very prominently on the cover of your pet’s file. That way, even when you leave your pet under someone else’s care, they know whom to call when there is trouble. However, make sure you use your vet’s personal phone number only for real emergencies. For minor ailments, make appointments during clinic hours.

7. Follow instructions very carefully

You might be given instructions to follow for the next visit. It is imperative you follow such instructions down to the last word because not doing so could be life threatening. This is particularly relevant prior to a surgical or invasive procedure that might require anaesthesia. So, let’s make the most of the vet visit and also help him better handle your pooch.