7 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Veterinarian and Vet Clinic
How can you know if your vet clinic is “a good one?” Here are some questions to ask your veterinarian that may help you decide.
- Your veterinarian should take the time to be very thorough with this exam because it will reveal early problems that can be prevented. Therefore, the vet should tell you that his/her exam will include these items at a minimum:
- Checking the eyes, ears, nose and mouth including dental
- Listening to the heart and lungs
- Feeling through the abdomen
- Examining the coat and skin, looking for lumps and bumps, and checking the lymph nodes
- Conducting an orthopedic exam looking for pain
- Looking for changes in temperature
- Checking the anal glands to see if they are full
- During these exams, vets should be focused on preventing future issues or problems that your pet may encounter. This includes weight, dental, coat and other issues. Preemptive blood and urine screens should be conducted.
- Even though there is not a standard of care there are position statements produced by a group of experts in each field. These should be the basis of vaccine protocols.
- Year-round protection is the standard.
- Each dental cleaning should include IV catheter, anesthesia, scaling, polishing, fluoride and sealing. If radiographs are not taken they should at least be available to assess disease under the gums.
- All pets should have pre-anesthetic blood work, an IV catheter with fluids, monitoring equipment to assess the heart and oxygen levels and a designated licensed veterinary technician to monitor the procedure. These procedures should be followed in every instance of surgery including spay/neuter, dental cleaning and more.
- Any pet that receives surgery of any type should get general pain medication and if appropriate local anesthesia as well.
- Some veterinarians have little or no experience in veterinary ER and that lack of experience can literally mean the difference between life and death for your pet.
(Note: Prior to launching Fort Street Veterinarian, Dr. Busselman practiced exclusively as an emergency and critical care doctor for seven years.)
- Your veterinarian should be able to explain—in terms that you understand—treatment options for your pet, taking into consideration your feelings and opinions.
- Your vet should be a good listener, paying close attention to your comments and concerns.
- A quality veterinarian also knows that he/she has limits, and when necessary, is willing to refer you to a specialist if your pet has needs beyond their knowledge or experience.
- A definite red flag should go up if a veterinarian says they can handle ALL of your pet’s situations and needs. Just as in human medicine, it is important to defer to a specialist when the need arises.
Ask Us These Questions and More!
At Fort Street Veterinarian, we pride ourselves on the quality of medicine and surgery we provide our patients and the customer care we provide their owners. We would love to answer any of your questions about your pet’s healthcare needs and why we consider our standard of care to be excellent.