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How to Check if Your Veterinarian is Any Good

October 27, 2009

Doc Truli hears certain questions in the course of the day that may feel awkward to ask at first, perhaps confrontational, but would be awesome if everyone asked their veterinarian.

1. Can I see your state veterinary license?

2. Where do you go to vet school? Can I see your diploma?

(* If you feel uncomfortable asking, both of these questions can be researched online, in private, by searching your state’s professional licenses website under veterinarian and veterinary hospital.)

3. Can I see where my pet will be staying?

4. Will you be the surgeon performing the procedure?

(*For dental prophylaxis and cleaning, it is normal for a qualified, or in some states certified technician to perform these procedures.)

5. Are there other treatment options? And the corollary, what are the pros and cons of the treatment options?

6. What is my pet’s prognosis? This means: what is the expected, or possible outcome? It’s a doctor’s job to give you their professional opinion regarding prognosis.

You should hear your vet say something like, “Your puppy has xxx disease. With treatment he has a good prognosis, with almost 100% of puppies surviving and going on to live a normal life. Without treatment, he has a guarded prognosis, with a 50/50 chance of making it through the night.”

7. What part of this treatment plan is urgent, and what part or parts are preventative medicine?

8. Does my pet need so many shots?

9. How long might it take? (for laboratory tests, x-rays, etc). And it’s sister question: when can I expect results?

10. If your pet is very sick and you’d like a second opinion, just ask! Whom do you recommend as a specialist? Easy!

Don’t be shy! Your vet is there to help your pet and help you.

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