Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vet Bashing


A senior dog died following a dental procedure, and apparently the Vet did no blood work before anesthetizing the dog. Very sad indeed, but now there are posts from dozens of people joining in the bashing and vowing never to take their dogs to the Vet again, planning to use home remedies and information they get off the Internet. That's far scarier, as so many dogs who need to be seen by Vets suffer while their owners search for home remedies or inexpensive cures. Many dogs are "treated" at home, and by the time they are taken to the Vet it is too late to save them - THAT is not the Vet's fault . . . There are many things that can be treated at home and with over-the-counter medications, but so many more that require professional treatment. My first Dal died many years ago during a badly botched Caesarian, but over the years I've been blessed with many other capable, concerned and caring Vets. I've shared many tears with my Vets, Vets who truly cared. Vets are not Gods, and Yes they can make mistakes too, but it is an even graver mistake to think we can treat everything at home, and not take our dogs in for professional help until it is too late to save them.

We need to be advocates for our dogs, to educate ourselves, and learn to ask questions. It also helps to have a Vet who explains the various options, so we can make educated decisions. There are good Vets and bad Vets, but there are many of them out there, and if we are not comfortable with one, we can always look for one we like better. I've gone to the same clinic since 1965. Many Vets have come and gone, some were fabulous, some far less.  My all time favorite Vet was beloved by many clients and we all shed tears at his farewell retirement party and still miss him. He was not perfect, and looking back I know he made some mistakes, but I know he was always doing his best, and his decisions were based on his experiences and the information available at the time. Sometimes there is no one right or best answer and Vets have to make judgment calls, a "best guess". It may not always be the right decision, but if it is based on education, experience, and caring it's the best we can hope for or expect.

1 comment:

Jennifer Steinbrecher said...

Good point, I thought much the same thing when I read that post about the poor grieving owner. I felt badly for the dog, but I have worked at clinics too where if the pet is below a certain age, blood work is optional. A vet can do EVERYTHING right and the pet can have a stroke due to an underlying, undiagnosed heart condition. And an owner, even when explained what needs to be done, will decline things the vet recommends and then later complain and ask why it was not done. I am not blaming the owner, I am just saying that there are many variables. And maybe the death was avoidable, and maybe despite everything the dog would not have made it. We'll never know. But I totally agree with you that avoiding vets, or seeing them as the enemy is NOT the right strategy.