Asking your Vet Questions – Pet tip 231
Bringing your pet to see the veterinarian can be stressful on your pet but it can also be stressful on you the pet owner. This is especially true if you are going to see the vet to deal with a problem or disease as opposed to a regular checkup. Many pet owners get so overwhelmed and nervous that they barely hear/understand the medical details that the vet is speaking about. They frequently go home confused and full of even more questions. Obviously the best time to ask questions is right there in the vet’s office because the vet may be unable to speak with you when you call. One of the ways to deal with this is to have a set of pre-prepared general questions.
You’ll want to bring these written down questions with you to the vet because you want something tangible. You may forget one of the questions if you rely on your memory in times of stress. In terms of when to ask the questions, wait until the vet has finished speaking and then ask your questions. This is because you don’t want to interrupt the vet’s train of thought and they may well answer your question with their diagnosis and explanation of the problem.
So what will these general questions be and how does it make sense to have prepared questions before you know what your vet will say? The fact is that there are general questions that will be relevant to anycondition your pet may have. These questions include;
What symptoms should I watch out for?
What is the prognosis for this disease or condition?
What are the treatments for this disease or condition?
What can I do to prevent the disease from re-occurring?
You may have additional questions that come to mind if you already have an idea as to what is wrong with your pet. Write these down too and don’t be shy to ask your own on the spot questions. You are paying for your vet’s time; they aren’t doing you a favour by answering your questions. It’s their job to answer your questions in a way that you understand the answers.
A good additional tip when a vet is explaining a problem is recording the conversation. Many handheld portable devices and mobile phones like the Iphone have a built in microphone. This makes recording a conversation really easy. If your vet is willing to be recorded, this allows you to go over your vet’s conversation with more clarity when you get home. Another handy tip is to bring a second person with you, preferably someone that is less attached to your pet than you are. This will allow a second more objective person to digest and understand what the vet is saying.
At the end of the day, understanding what is wrong with a sick pet makes dealing with the problem easier. Having prepared questions that are answered clearly will make the treatment choices easier as well.
© Pets.ca 2010