Finding The Right Veterinarian
There is only one person responsible for your dog’s health: You. And a major part of this responsibility is getting the appropriate veterinary care and attention, which can only be accomplished by forming an honest, open relationship with the vet of your choice.
However most dog owners (of which you may also be guilty of doing) only look to the veterinarian as a solution to a health problem, never for prevention. But your responsibility is to take things one step further and understand your vet’s role with your role, and to form a successful relationship.
What Then Is The Job Of A Veterinarian?
It is to be your partner, to assist you in keeping your dog as healthy as possible for as long as possible. And your job is to remind the veterinarian of what you need and to be the best partner you can.
Ideally, you and your veterinarian will see to it that you are educated, that you seek assistance when and where needed, that you help your dog be a good patient, and that you are given all the information you need to make wise decisions. In the end, however, the final responsibility rests with you, and you have the more difficult task.
Keep in mind that this is a change from the way doctors, be they physicians or a veterinarian, have traditionally viewed their role. The old ways had veterinarians stand on authority, but a pedestal is a very narrow base on which to build a partnership.
What veterinary schools should now be most interested in teaching their future veterinarians is in actually teaching us dog owners, the real caretakers, to do the best with what we have in order to achieve the goal of maximum health for our companion animals.
There are still a lot of doctors who, despite being kind and sympathetic people, believe that what they think about your dog is more important than what you think. These sage are relics of the old model, one in which doctors reigned supreme. However, led by human medicine, things are changing.
Clients are increasingly less accepting of that old model, and a veterinarias can come along willingly or be dragged into the new world. It is in both parties’ interests that the change goes smoothly. As in any relationship, being understanding and sympathetic of the other party’s strengths and failings enhances the possibility of forging and maintaining a strong relationship with your veterinarian.
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