When it comes to the health of your pets, establishing a relationship with a veterinarian and taking your pets in for regular check ups are just the first steps. Actually following through with your vet’s recommendations for medications and treatments are also critical steps for having a happier, healthier pet.
It is important that you understand the reasons for your veterinarian’s recommendations, so always ask questions if needed. Routine screening tests can often identify the early stages of diseases in apparently healthy animals. Dental cleanings, laser therapy or acupuncture can be used to improve the overall health or well-being of your pet. Weight loss and preventive care are intended to keep your animal from getting sick.
Adhering to your vet’s recommendations is most important where medications are concerned. Failure to properly administer preventive products or medications can lead to allergic reactions, tick-borne diseases or heartworm disease. Not giving antibiotics as instructed can result in bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics.
Busy schedules, difficulty in administering medications, lack of confidence in a vet’s suggestions, communication lapses, and cost are all factors which frequently contribute to decreased follow through of recommended care. The veterinary community has tried to address the issues that make compliance difficult. Veterinary-approved online pharmacies now offer more convenient, lower-priced medications and pet care products. Most veterinary practices send out reminders for recommended care, and email or call clients with appointment reminders.
Sometimes a pet owner doesn’t follow through on a veterinary recommendation because he or she doesn’t fully understand what actions are needed or exactly how to implement care. If you are ever unclear or confused about caring for you pet after an office visit, be sure to call and speak to a technician or doctor for clarification. Communication between you and your veterinarian is the key to improving health and creating a long happy life for your pet.
Originally published August 2016 in the Huntersville Herald.