Just as veterinarians rely on tests to confirm their diagnoses, pet owners rely on guidance from their veterinarians to ensure proper care of their furry family members. Whether you are advised to treat your cat for ear mites or you have just been informed that your dog has hypothyroidism, you will undoubtedly have questions regarding your pet's condition, treatment and prognosis. Your veterinarian does not have telepathic powers to read what is on your mind. Knowing which questions to ask your veterinarian in different scenarios will enable you to leave the clinic with a clear understanding of how provide the best care for your pet.
Questions About Tests
Diagnostic tests, which include laboratory testing and medical imaging, are integral to determining your pet's condition and health status. If your veterinarian recommends any diagnostic tests for your pet, ask the following questions:
- What does this test evaluate, and what conditions will it confirm or rule out?
- Is the test performed during an appointment, or will your pet need to be admitted into the clinic for a few hours?
- Is the test performed under sedation?
- Does your pet need to fast prior to the test?
If your pet is being tested to monitor an ongoing condition for which he or she takes medication, such as a thyroid condition, be sure to ask if the blood must be drawn within a specific timeframe after your pet's medication is given.
Questions About a Diagnosis
Once your veterinarian confirms his or her diagnosis, you need to ask certain questions in order to make informed decisions regarding your pet's treatment and prognosis. Some questions to ask include the following:
- What exactly is this condition?
- Is this condition treatable?
- What are the treatment options?
- What is entailed in the treatment plan?
- Is this condition zoonotic?
- Once treated, can a recurrence be prevented?
If your pet is diagnosed with a serious medical problem, you should ask if treatment will enable your pet to have a good quality of life, and ask for an estimated life expectancy for your pet.
Questions About Surgery
If your pet requires a surgical or dental procedure, asking certain questions will serve to inform you of what you can expect and how to care for your pet during his or her recuperation period after being discharged from the clinic.
- Will your pet be discharged on the same day as the procedure?
- Will your pet require laboratory testing before undergoing anesthesia?
- Will your pet's vital signs be monitored throughout the procedure?
- Will an intravenous catheter be placed in your pet for the procedure?
- Will there be medications to give to your pet after his or her procedure?
- Will there be activity restrictions for your pet after the procedure?
- What special care will you need to do for your pet to help in the recovery?
- How long will it take for your pet to fully recuperate from the procedure?
- What should you be on the lookout for in the way of potential complications?
If tissue samples are taken from your pet during surgery for a biopsy, ask your veterinarian when you can expect the results of the biopsy.
Questions About Medications
Whether you are picking up a preventative product, such as heartworm prevention, a supplement or a medication to treat your pet's condition, there are essential questions that you should ask about these prescriptions. Some of the questions include the following:
- What exactly is this medication for?
- How often and how long does the medication need to be given?
- When can you expect to see improvement in your pet's condition?
- How is this medication given, orally or topically?
- What should be done if a dose is missed?
- Should this medication be given with food?
- Does this medication need to be stored in the refrigerator?
- Does this liquid medication need to be shaken before each dose is given?
- What are the potential side effects that you should be on the lookout for while giving your pet this medication?
If your veterinarian dispenses insulin needles for your diabetic dog or an intravenous fluid administration setup for your cat with kidney disease, make sure that you are perfectly clear on how to use these supplies before attempting to inject your pet.
Do not be shy about asking any other questions that will yield clarifying answers for you. You might feel like an interrogator, but your veterinarian will appreciate the fact that you demonstrate enough concern about your furry friend to ask these questions and educate yourself. He or she will understand that you are making a genuine effort to work together to preserve your pet's health. Get more information by clicking here.