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Seven Things Your Veterinarian Should Tell You
veterinarian can be your closest ally when it comes to
keeping your dog healthy and safe. But just as some
doctors are more knowledgeable or skilled than others,
so are some vets. The best vets are partners in your
dog’s care, not demigods to be obeyed. And the best vets
will be the first to tell you that:
vets are generalists and lack the specialized training
necessary to perform surgery, or to treat cancer and
other major diseases.
Vets, like doctors, will give you their best guess when
your dog has a complicated problem, but it’s your
job to see that their education, certification and
experience fit the job at hand. A trained expert may
offer entirely different treatment options and have the
special equipment necessary for optimum results. Good
vets will suggest, rather than discourage, second
vets have little hands-on training in dental care.
Teeth cleaning is often performed by vet techs
rather than vets themselves. The best vets make sure
that both they, and their techs, have had substantial
hands-on training and will have a specially-trained
registered vet tech or anesthetist monitor anesthesia.
food companies influence dietary recommendations.
Veterinarians, like doctors, learn relatively little
about nutrition in school. What vets do learn can be
heavily influenced by the pet food industry. The best
vets study and experiment on their own. Those who
haven’t may be unaware of the benefits of fresh and
minimally processed foods. The best vets have asked
themselves: if heavily processed foods are bad for
people, how can they be good for dogs?
majority of vet bills are preventable.
Canine victims of intestinal obstructions, accidental
poisoning, car accidents, falls and predator attacks
fill veterinary waiting rooms. Heartbreak (and big
bills) also stem from diseases detected too late. The
best vets will educate you about common accidents and in
the early warning signs of cancer, diabetes and other
major diseases. They will encourage a yearly check-up
and blood test (twice yearly for older dogs).
You’ve probably been over-vaccinating.
The top immunologists and virtually all North American
vet schools have recently changed their vaccine
recommendations. No more one size fits all! Many common
vaccines have been deemed unnecessary for most dogs.
Vaccinating for multiple diseases at once can be as
harmful as can giving even one shot to an ill or
immune-compromised dog. Inappropriate vaccination can
result in autoimmune dysfunction, allergies, tumors,
organ damage and even death.
6) Your dog may sail through surgery but not
Many practices have too few trained assistants to watch
your dog as she awakens from anesthesia and makes it
through her first post-surgical night. Many have no one
to offer after-hours advice once your dog comes home.
YOU may not have the time and resources to provide
optimum care through recovery and rehab. The best vets
want you to take all factors into consideration when
deciding on treatment options and practitioners.
7) The cure may be worse than the
Surgical or pharmaceutical intervention to “fix” a
condition may have common undesirable side effects that
may be mentioned but not emphasized. There may be
natural methods available that are just as effective and
side-effect free—although your vet may not know them.
The best vets encourage you to investigate alternatives
© 2006 Jan Rasmusen – All
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attribution as follows:
Jan Rasmusen is the author of
Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care,
2006 Ben Franklin Award Winner for the “Best Health
Book” of any kind. Sign up for her free newsletter at https://www.dogs4dogs.com.
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