How to Choose Vet
The failure to understand the simple processes of life and the basic body functions is to blame, we think, for the many people who take a dog to the veterinarian and say, “Kidneys out of order, Doc, fix her up.” Or, “He’s got kind of wobbly in the back end, sort of paralyzed.He’s the only dog we have. We don’t want anything to happen to him.Fix bins up. When’ll we call for him?”
A body isn’t like an automobile. You don’t replace parts by taking something out and putting something else back. You remove causes and supply adequate nutrition; you may remove growths, but you must wait for the body itself to do the regenerating.
People are inclined to expect either too little or too much of their veterinarian. Perhaps they have been misled in part by seeing too many movies in which the vet is depicted as a dirty, messy, careless drunk with a large cigar in his mouth, spilling ashes over his patient. The old gent who is perfectly content to sleep in the hay beside a sick horse,and his boon companion is always Dicker, the stable boy.
Most people today know that veterinarians neither look nor act like this caricature. They are men and women who have spent a good many years of their lives in rigorous study in order to be able to help you and your dog. Their skills and their abilities are of the utmost importance to the welfare of your pet and to your comfort and enjoyment. It is well worth spending some little time and thought in selecting the veterinarian who can best help you care for your pet.
What is the most important factor in your choice of a veterinarian? In our estimation, it is confidence, and before you place your confidence in a veterinarian the question you want to answer is, How much does he or she know?
In choosing a veterinarian, there are certain obvious criteria. You most not fail to notice the cleanliness and efficiency of the office or hospital. You will probably see the vet’s credentials hanging on the wall; they must include a certificate of study at an accredited college of veterinary medicine and a state license to practice.
The ideal veterinarian should be completely honest, with conduct guided by the code of ethics of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The ethical veterinarian will not give unnecessary injections at exorbitant prices, using five cents’ worth of vitamin concentrates. He or she will not exaggerate the seriousness of illness nor claim a cure in as ingle visit. Not only does he or she do whatever is possible for the patient during an office visit, but you should be provided with instruction in the care of the patient as well. If repeated visits to the office give you a sense of security, that is a matter for you to decide. The wise veterinarian, however, knows that the pet that costs the owner too much is a burden rather than a pleasure.
The ethical veterinarian charges moderate fees. There are, unfortunately, a few who callously feel that it’s not unethical to charge all the traffic will bear. It is. To be ethical, the veterinarian should consider all the factors involved. If a bill is too large for the value of the dog, or if it is beyond the owner’s ability to pay without hardship, that person will find that the very purpose of owning a pet namely, to have an enjoyable companion is gorse. Veterinarians who overcharge do infinite damage to their profession by reducing the number of pet owners. The ethical veterinarian is democratic. He or she does not exclude from his or her attention the laborer in work dottier or the person fro ma different ethnic or racial background. Yet there are doctors who do exclude people on the basis of their appearance, and this is wrong: when a pet needs care, the pct is the patient, not the owner.
The modern veterinarian shares any discoveries freely with other members of the profession. Through the presentation of studies at associations meetings and in veterinary journals, these observations are made available to others so that they can be used to relieve suffering. In our opinion, the veterinarian who does not continue learning by attending lectures and symposia, or by extensive home study, might well be guilty of malpractice ins five years. As a matter of fact, many states require evidence of continuing education for relicensing. Other shave academies that require many hours of study each year for members to remain in good standing.
The veterinarian in whom you can place your confidence may not wear all these qualifications like shining armor. They represent the ideal, and, happily, today’s conscientious veterinarian is approaching this ideal. The profession is distinguished by many truly magnificent characters men and women with utterly unselfish attitudes, who sacrifice themselves for their patients just as willingly and unstintingly as the family physician shares his or her strength and knowledge. Which should not he surprising to anyone: veterinarians must of necessity have an abiding interest in dog.
If you are new to an area and you have not obtained the name of local veterinarian from your previous one, there are many ways to fin done. Consult the local boarding kennels, pharmacists, and any neighbors who have a pet similar to yours. When you have settled on a name and have visited the establishment, you should then evaluate the premises and the doctor’s personality. If confidence is inspired by the visit, your problem is solved.
You should know there is a reverse side to the coin, too: the veterinarian will he evaluating you. He or she will wonder whether you will”gild the lily” or tell it like it is (many people do tend to exaggerate some symptoms and minimize others). He or she will hope you both will work well together to help your dog when and if a problem arises. The more recent veterinary school graduates have the advantage of knowing the newest theories and approaches to problems. And we have yet to see a woman veterinarian who hasn’t equaled or surpassed her average male colleague in this profession, so don’t let gender influence your decision.