(Contributed by Dr. Jessica Levy)
Double-digit unemployment. Gotta love it!
The number of people calling for free vet advice is increasing along with the unemployment figures. My staff regularly tries to explain to people why it's just not a good idea for us to give free advice about sick pets over the phone. It's like calling the pediatrician's office, refusing to bring your sick child in (you can't afford it, he doesn't travel well, or you just live too far away), but demanding to speak to one of the doctors because you only have a couple of questions about your child's condition.
I don't think it's appropriate for me to give you a whole lot of information about how I would treat your sick pet without even being able to see it, examine it, and review its previous medical records. So many people helpfully say at this juncture, "I can send you the records, and then you can just tell me what you think!"
No. Here's what I think. Pick a veterinarian. Pay them for their services, including a good, thorough physical exam, and follow their recommendations. If things don't work out, let them know, ask them for different solutions, whatever.
Your veterinarian truly cares about your pet. Okay, that's a wild generalization, but most of us do. We care if our treatments work, we care about whether our patients are getting better or not, we lie awake at night wondering if we did the right thing, or if we did all we could have.
When you call just to get some quick advice about your critically ill pet that you feel you cannot afford to have seen, you are putting your vet out of business. Then who ya gonna call?