In the treatment of human beings there are 21 men, each specialising in a different field of medicine, to take a person from prenatal days to post-mortem. And yet, there is only one man who must be obstetrician-pediatrician-orthodonist-exodontist-endocrinologist-internist-orthopedist-exodonist-psychologist-urologist-gynecologist-neurologist-neurosurgeon-psychoanalyst-metabolist-dietition-cardologist-roentgenologist-geriatrist-pathologist to take a dog through his span of life.

He is, of course, your veterinarian.

With the changing relationship between man and dog (and cat) the functions of your vet are being transformed. He can no longer limit himself to safeguarding the physical health of the family pet; he now gets involved in the mental health of the pet’s family. Many vets now have invested in state of the ark modern equipment on par with human hospitals. Vets are able to carry out blood tests in their clinics.

Whilst I have met some excellent vets, I have also come across vets that leave a lot to be desired. We all know a sudden death of a human demands an enquiry and a post-morton. Vets normally are not answerable for the death of a pet. As I write this article I keep in mind that not many readers would be aware that they can complain to the local Veterinary College if they are dissatisfied with their vet or think he has been unprofessional.

A second opinion

I am a great believer in a second opinion, as indeed we do with a human Doctor. I strongly urge pet owners that are informed that their pets have a long- term illness or if you feel so minded to seek a second opinion, a good vet will not object. I have taken a second opinion on many occasions. I recommend this to my clients.

I would imagine that not many reader are aware that there are now specialist consultant vets, within easy drive from your home.

Signs of ill-health  ( Cut this out and keep)

Loss of appetite   Listlessness  
Irritation of the eyes/ears or discharge from them
Thick discharge from the nose
Persistent sneezing
Frequent coughing
Difficulty in breathing
Bleeding from any orifice
Persistent vomiting or diarrhoea
Difficulty in passing urine or motions
Fits or collapsing episodes
Lameness or paralysis of limbs
Drinking excessively
Persistent scratching or biting at the skin
Excessive coat loss producing bare patches
Abdominal Swelling
Unexplained weight loss
Whelping difficulty.

Emergencies

Ensure that your vet offers a 24 hour emergency service, if he does not ask him what you are to do in an emergency. I personally would not use a vet who does not have 24 hour emergency facilities. For out of hour’s treatment expect to pay a higher consultation fee.

‘Your own medical book’

It is a good idea to have a medical book and call this you’re pet’s medical history book. Every-time you go to the vet ask him to write down the problem and the treatment. One day you may decide to move home, change vet or indeed need an emergency treatment. The vet is closed and so is his computer At least by having a medical history book you have the medical history of your pet.

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