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     How To Find A Good Veterinarian Newsletter Dec 2005

Many people will choose a veterinarian by openiing the yellow pages and finding the closest one available. Certainly when surveys are done, location is often a primary reason for choice in this area.

Others may choose a veterinarian based on price. There are many calls each day in most veterinary clinics of people price shopping for such things as routine surgeries (Let me comment here on that-there is no such thing as a "routine surgery" only those done frequesntly. All involve anethesia and a calculated trauma called surgery. Skill is important and so is the safety of the pet, so don't scrimp on screening recommended or anything the staff suggest to make it safer for your pet during and after the procedure.) Also, folks will price shop for vaccines and sometimes even bigger and more complicated procedures which there is no way to quote without seeing the pet first.

The best way to choose a veterinarian is to meet the doctor and staff and tour the clinic. Make sure you feel safe communicationg to the veterinarian and staff. This is the MOST important thing you can do for your pet. The animals cannot talk and explain how they feel or where it hurts. You have to be the voice and therefore, make sure you feel comfortable communication with the people involved. And just as important, make sure the doctor and staff talk to you and communicate to you in the desired amount and frequency, asking questions of you for data, and relaying cost and medical possiblities and potential outcomes, as well as frequent updates on results of tests done or patient progress when hospitalized.

Now, of course, you should ensure your veterinarian is skilled in what your pet needs done. Feel free to ask the doctor about skill and comfort level in any major or unusual procedure. All good ones will offer the possiblity of referral to a specialist if needed and available.

The reason I suggest you ask for a tour of the clinic is so you can observe for yourself the facilities. Also, those that are good at what they do, have nothing to hide and will gladly invite you in or schedule a time when you can tour (There might be a sterile or delicate procedure happening where it would be unsafe for the pet involved to have strangers walking about.)

Another great way to find a good veterinarian is through personal referral. A friend or family member may reccomend someone and that is usually a good indicator.

Let me suggest one other thing to you. IF you have a pet with a problem and you want a second opinion, see a speicalist. Going from general practitioner to general practitioner can be very expensive and unrewarding. Ask your veterinarian for a referral to a specialist if you feel a second opinion is neccesary. Such a request should be well received and honored.

If you have any trouble communicating with your current veterinarian about something, but want to stay with that doctor, I am available as a consultant for a fee of $25 per 1/2 hour. (In USA only, please) I will talk with you and the doctor and help sort out the senario for you. (If you need help improving your communication skills, see How Can Scientology Help Me With...Communication?

RECCOMENDED READING: The articles on regarding Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs and Holiday Hazards For Your Pets as we are heading into the holidays.

Give you pets a treat and get them some top quality vitamins on our products page as well.

Wishing you the best this holiday season regardless of what you celebrate (or if you don't) See you next year.

Dr. Jan

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