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OPINIONS PLEASE - Our policy on Emergency threads

May 8th, 2012, 09:21 AM
Hi members,

For the last bunch of years our policy on Emergency questions in threads has been to shut them down real fast and tell the Op to get to a vet ASAP. Basically in an emergency we don't want people on the Net we want them to go see a doctor. But, sad to say some people will never spend a dime on their pet's health and that gets members, mods and me riled up.

That said - perhaps we are taking the wrong approach.

Recently, a regular member has felt that we are closing these types of threads too soon in many cases.

The member wrote the mods and me the following:

I've read a couple of short "SOS" posts on the cat health forum lately, where a newcomer arrives in some degree of desperation, looking for information/assistance to deal with an urgent health concern for their pet.

Now, I know full well the dangers of getting too far into "medical" issues with other members (I'm probably on the "guilty list" myself!)...

That acknowledged, there are many people who, I believe, need a firm. supportive, motivating "push" to spur them on towards seeking a Veterinary intervention. Let's face it, some people simply do not understand the urgency of their situation.

Without providing them at least that much, I feel there is a real danger of facilitating, almost enabling a "wait-and-see" stance - something that inadvertently would be tantamount to allowing cruelty to occur.

There's a lot of good sense here imo, and maybe we should let these threads stay open longer for exactly for this reason - to explain just how serious it is to wait when a pet is showing certain symptoms. Mods and I are discussing this change lately.

But we really would like to hear the feedback from members on this issue.

What's your opinion on this?

Many thanks in advance!

May 8th, 2012, 10:56 AM
I think I have to agree that it might help some to get whatever information they can. There was a time we had no emergency Vet clinic where I live. You had to catch your Vet, any Vet, and beg for an appt. off hours. We were very lucky one time that our Vet lived right at his clinic and answered the clinic phone off hours.

There are still folks in remote areas who despite urgent need for a Vet simply cannot get one at certain times. I know I appreciate hearing what dire situation it might be so I can research before I go to the Vet, or while my critter is at the Vets.

It's a trade off. We don't want to encourage folks to not Vet but those who do Vet when they should might find additional support in more discussion.

I noticed some of those truncated, "get to a Vet" threads and they do seem rather abrupt. I understood the reasoning but not all, certainly in an emergency, reads the stickies. It could turn off folks we could help.

May 8th, 2012, 11:27 AM
If it is truly an emergency, then the board has to be very careful of what members are posting. Without knowing the full extent of the injuries or the illness due to unposted information may lead to more harm than good.

Two of our very active mods are very animal health knowledgeable, so perhaps leaving it up to their discretion on whether the thread warrants being closed (nothing we can do because of the severity), or that there are some homemade remedies/comfort that can be of some help until the OP can get to the vet.